MWC Part 2: The Dawn of 5G

Foldable smartphones may have taken the spotlight at the 2019 MWC in Barcelona, but the more realistic jump in technology for smartphones is 5G. Operators around the world are getting ready to introduce 5G and naturally, OEMs have introduced 5G versions of their flagship devices. From high-end devices to the cheapest 5G device yet, Barcelona witnessed it all. Here is a quick look at some of the 5G device launches.


At the 2019 MWC in Barcelona, LG simultaneously unveiled the G and V series phones for the first time. The LG V50 and ThinQ 5G and the LG G8 ThinQ, both offer a significant upgrade over the previous versions. As 5G remains the key theme of MWC 19, LG has done a good job of not missing the bus by unveiling the 5G version of the V50.

With 5G set to offer a better device experience, LG has focused on areas that impact content consumption like audio and video. LG G8 ThinQ supports Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) technology, allowing compressed high-resolution audio streaming without compromising sound quality.  It is also the world’s first smartphone with advanced palm vein authentication using a combination of the ToF (Time of Flight) Z Camera and infrared sensors.

LG has decided to give a unique twist to dual screen phones in the form of an accessory. Moto Mods’ moderate success has already led to user awareness about the idea of an accessory which serves as an additional differentiating factor. LG V50ThinQ 5G dual screen comes with a couple of use cases including multi-tasking and gaming. In fact, gaming can be a good segment which LG can leverage while other use cases continue to develop. The gaming mode looks particularly interesting as it gives total control for gamers and amplifies the experience. Although the uptake will depend on the cost, even a high single-digit attach rate can serve as an additional opportunity for LG to sell more displays. LG is yet to announce the prices.

LG has added a bunch of other features focusing on the touchless experience but in the preview, some of these features didn’t work smoothly. Since it was a preview of the devices, LG has time to work on those.

The main challenge for LG is to market these features. This was a key pain point for its flagships in the past. It is highly dependent on the United States and LATAM region but to drive volumes LG can use the new V and G series as market entry products in countries where it doesn’t have a major presence and its consumer electronics division overshadows its smartphones.


Xiaomi unveiled the cheapest 5G smartphone yet with the launch of Mi Mix 3 5G. The Mi Mix 3 5G has a Snapdragon X50 5G modem providing downlink speeds of up to 2 Gbps and is powered by a Snapdragon 855 processor

It also has a dual-camera setup both in the front and back. The camera setup includes a 12 megapixel (MP) wide-angle sensor and a 12MP telephoto lens on the rear as well as 24MP and 2MP selfie shooters. Xiaomi’s Mi Mix 3 5G is a bezel-less phone as the company has opted for a slider to house its front cameras. The phone’s slide camera feature is different from that of the Vivo and the punch-hole display to house the front cameras in the new range of Samsung Galaxy S10. The phone has a 3,800 mAh battery.

The Mi Mix 3 5G starts at €599 for the 6GB/64GB version and will be available from May through and retailers across Europe. Additionally, Xiaomi has also partnered with operators including 3, Orange, Sunrise, Telefonica, and Vodafone to expand its reach in Europe.

Xiaomi surprised everyone with aggressive pricing of its Mi Mix 3 5G version. Other OEMs, especially Chinese OEMs, looking for expansion in Europe will find it tough to get a 5G premium on their first 5G devices. Xiaomi will also be looking to leverage its Mi Mix 3 5G to enter operator portfolios in developed European markets where it has already gained mind share.

Apart from this, Xiaomi also launched Mi 9, which was a good upgrade over its previous Mi 8. It is the first triple camera device within Xiaomi’s portfolio. The camera set up includes a 48MP main lens and an ultra-wide 16MP lens with a 12MP telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom

In short Xiaomi’s latest portfolio is indicative of the company’s desire for Europe expansion with higher average selling price (ASP) devices. But for countries like Spain and smaller western and eastern European countries, we estimate that bulk of its shipments will be driven by its sub-US$200 portfolio.


Tarun is a Research Director with Counterpoint Technology Market Research, based out of Gurgaon (near New Delhi). Tarun has 10 years of work experience with a key focus on the evolving mobile device ecosystem with specialties in Emerging Markets. He understands specific mobile industry nuances, helping clients to navigate through the rapidly changing technological trends. As a Telecom Analyst he has been quoted extensively by the leading media platforms. Tarun holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management, specializing in International Business from the Amity International Business School and is a graduate in Physical Sciences from Jammu University, Jammu in the northern Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir.

Term of Use and Privacy Policy

Counterpoint Technology Market Research Limited


In order to access Counterpoint Technology Market Research Limited (Company or We hereafter) Web sites, you may be asked to complete a registration form. You are required to provide contact information which is used to enhance the user experience and determine whether you are a paid subscriber or not.
Personal Information When you register on we ask you for personal information. We use this information to provide you with the best advice and highest-quality service as well as with offers that we think are relevant to you. We may also contact you regarding a Web site problem or other customer service-related issues. We do not sell, share or rent personal information about you collected on Company Web sites.

How to unsubscribe and Termination

You may request to terminate your account or unsubscribe to any email subscriptions or mailing lists at any time. In accessing and using this Website, User agrees to comply with all applicable laws and agrees not to take any action that would compromise the security or viability of this Website. The Company may terminate User’s access to this Website at any time for any reason. The terms hereunder regarding Accuracy of Information and Third Party Rights shall survive termination.

Website Content and Copyright

This Website is the property of Counterpoint and is protected by international copyright law and conventions. We grant users the right to access and use the Website, so long as such use is for internal information purposes, and User does not alter, copy, disseminate, redistribute or republish any content or feature of this Website. User acknowledges that access to and use of this Website is subject to these TERMS OF USE and any expanded access or use must be approved in writing by the Company.
– Passwords are for user’s individual use
– Passwords may not be shared with others
– Users may not store documents in shared folders.
– Users may not redistribute documents to non-users unless otherwise stated in their contract terms.

Changes or Updates to the Website

The Company reserves the right to change, update or discontinue any aspect of this Website at any time without notice. Your continued use of the Website after any such change constitutes your agreement to these TERMS OF USE, as modified.
Accuracy of Information: While the information contained on this Website has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, We disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. User assumes sole responsibility for the use it makes of this Website to achieve his/her intended results.

Third Party Links: This Website may contain links to other third party websites, which are provided as additional resources for the convenience of Users. We do not endorse, sponsor or accept any responsibility for these third party websites, User agrees to direct any concerns relating to these third party websites to the relevant website administrator.

Cookies and Tracking

We may monitor how you use our Web sites. It is used solely for purposes of enabling us to provide you with a personalized Web site experience.
This data may also be used in the aggregate, to identify appropriate product offerings and subscription plans.
Cookies may be set in order to identify you and determine your access privileges. Cookies are simply identifiers. You have the ability to delete cookie files from your hard disk drive.