Sprint Launching Its First 5G Phone May 31, But What About the Network?

Sprint hasn’t yet flipped the switch on its 5G network, but the carrier announced that two of its 5G devices, the $1,152LG V50 ThinQ 5G smartphone and HTC’s $600 5G Hub, a wireless hotspot, are available to preorder tomorrow (May 17).

Both products go on sale in stores on May 31.

We went hands-on with LG's V50 ThinQ 5G at Mobile World Congress in February.

We went hands-on with LG's V50 ThinQ 5G at Mobile World Congress in February.

Sprint pegged May as the launch month for its 5G network, but the company hasn’t confirmed an actual date. However, the V50 ThinQ and the HTC 5G Hub will first be available for Sprint customers who live in the carrier’s initial 5G launch cities: Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and Kansas City. The company said the devices will be available in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix and Washington D.C. in “the next few weeks.”

MORE: The Truth About 5G: What's Coming (and What's Not) This Year

Sprint will offer LG’s V50 ThinQ for $24 a month on an 18-month Sprint Flex lease with no money down. V50 ThinQ buyers will have to activate their devices on Sprint’s $80/month Unlimited Premium plan. That plan comes with unlimited data, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Twitch Prime, Tidal HiFi and 100GB of data to use the V50 ThinQ as an LTE mobile hotspot. Sprint is also offering V50 ThinQ buyers a free 3-month subscription the cloud gaming service Hatch.

HTC’s 5G Hub will be $12.50 a month to lease, and 100GB of data will cost you $60 a month. If you don’t want to buy a 5G phone, the HTC hub will reportedly offer 5G speeds to non-5G devices within Wi-Fi range of the device.

HTC's 5G Hub will give non-5G devices faster connectivity.

HTC's 5G Hub will give non-5G devices faster connectivity.

We plan to put Sprint’s 5G network to the test when it goes live. Our early test of Verizon’s 5G network in Chicago was underwhelming, because 5G coverage is still spotty and speeds aren’t quite as fast as promised (though 5G is definitely faster than LTE).