Dash 5G is lighting up 9 new US cities and we speed-tested it for you



The V50 ThinQ is LG and Dash’s first 5G cellphone.

Lynn La/CNET

After a tough begin, Verizon, the highest wi-fi companies supplier within the US, confirmed off the blazing speeds that 5G is able to. Now it is Dash’s flip. In a bid to show its 5G readiness, the nation’s fourth-largest community operator turned on its community in areas of Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Price, Houston and Kansas Metropolis on Thursday.  Within the coming weeks, Dash expects to launch service in elements of Chicago, Los Angeles, New York Metropolis, Phoenix and Washington, D.C. The corporate claims the roughly 2,180 sq. miles of protection, which covers 11.5 million folks, makes it the biggest 5G community within the nation.

Forward of the Could 31 launch of the LG V50 — a $1,152 5G cellphone distinguished by its second-screen attachment that will not be made out there within the US — Dash invited CNET to check out the cellphone and its 5G protection in Dallas. We put the LG V50 via a number of exams in quite a lot of areas to preview what shoppers can anticipate from the service and whether or not they need to think about shopping for in but.

Dash is the newest to firm to hitch its wagon to the thrill over 5G. In good situations, 5G will permit us to obtain films to our telephones in seconds or stream AR/VR video games with out lag. Past telephones, it might revolutionize entire industries, from self-driving vehicles to distant medical procedures. 5G continues to be a piece in progress, although, and is years away from reaching these ranges of pace (as Thursday’s exams show), protection or reliability. However like the opposite wi-fi carriers, Dash desires cleared the path in giving its clients a next-generation expertise.

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Placing Dash’s 5G to the check on the LG V50


Downloading on 5G was (largely) a breeze

We timed how lengthy it might take to obtain PUBG Cellular, a 1.86GB file. The V50 took solely Three minutes and 31 seconds to obtain and set up the sport, whereas the G8 on 4G LTE had solely put in 73MB (3% of the file) of the sport in that very same interval. 

Afterward, we moved onto large media information. We downloaded the primary episode of Blue Planet 2 on Netflix in top quality, and your entire season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel from Prime Video. The 50-minute Blue Planet episode took 49 seconds to completely obtain on the V50. The G8 on 4G LTE wasn’t even 1 / 4 of the way in which via downloading the episode in that very same interval. 

As for all eight episodes of the primary season of Mrs Maisel, that took simply 4 minutes and 5 seconds. This is able to offer you loads of time, say, to rapidly obtain a full season of a present as you board a aircraft after realizing last-minute you did not save any offline leisure. The G8, sadly, was nonetheless removed from finishing the obtain of the pilot episode by the point the V50 completed downloading the season.

There was one occasion, nonetheless, when 5G was slower than anticipated. Whereas downloading Wine Nation, a one hour and 43 minute film from Netflix, the cellphone stalled after it reached 90% in a few minutes. After restarting the check twice, each 5G and 4G LTE connections had been extremely sluggish. Ultimately, it took three minutes and 45 seconds to obtain the film on 5G (the G8 on LTE made no progress your entire time). That is a good time to clock in on LTE, nevertheless it felt by some means glacial on 5G (we have been spoiled!). Dash later informed us the placement skilled “heavy load testing” which may have brought on issues on the website. We do imagine the consequence was wonky as a result of we ran a pace check a couple of minutes later, and timed our quickest outcomes but (extra on that under).

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Velocity exams: Dash vs. Verizon

We used the Speedtest.internet app to check 5G speeds on the LG V50 to 4G LTE on one other premium LG cellphone, the LG G8. Common obtain pace was 109 megabits per second (Mbps) over six trials, in comparison with 3.74Mbs obtain on the G8. As for add charges, that was being carried out by Dash’s 4G LTE community. As a result of 80% of site visitors on its community are on the downlink, Dash prioritized quick obtain speeds solely on 5G. Nonetheless, 5G will deal with uplinks “within the coming weeks,” stated Dash.

At one other location in downtown Dallas, we ran one other sequence of pace exams. This time, speeds topped at 434Mbps, the quickest we noticed all day. That is spectacular, however not practically as quick as what we noticed on Verizon’s 5G community earlier this month, which topped out at 1 gigabyte per second. Word, nonetheless that Verizon’s millimeter wave-based community is quicker however has a shorter vary, whereas Dash’s 5G relies on a 2.5GHz mid-band radio airwaves, which supply a pleasant mixture of pace and protection vary.  For extra on how these two 5G networks evaluate, learn: Verizon 5G vs. Dash: We put real-world obtain speeds to the check.

One essential factor we stored in thoughts whereas we examined was the truth that hardly anybody was on 5G. As one of many few people who had been capable of check Dash’s community on its inaugural day, its comprehensible that we sped alongside as had been simply a part of a handful of vehicles on the freeway, so to say. As extra folks purchase 5G telephones and get on 5G, community speeds will certainly be impacted.

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5G on the go, in a bus and a automotive

In contrast to Verizon’s 5G community, you do not have to be close to or inside eyesight of a node to get high-speed information from Dash. To get a way of the community’s consistency whereas touring, we hopped on a shuttled bus to take a small route round Dallas. We watched the information speeds of a V50 on screens that hung above our seats. On the left of the display we watched the obtain price, which we noticed clock in at 700Mbps throughout the trip. 

Now and again the speed dipped to 4G speeds because the system began a brand new cycle throughout testing, however Dash claimed that when customers skilled a hand-off, they’d not discern any variations in service. On the fitting was our route traced out in actual time. The route was drawn in inexperienced to indicate 5G and when our protection switched to 4G LTE, it was supposed to show black. Throughout our 25 minute trip although, we did not see it make the swap, that means the 5G connection remained constant.

A number of hours later within the afternoon, we took a 20 minute automotive trip from a city north of Dallas named Addison towards downtown Dallas. We cruised at about 60 miles an hour and all through the trip we noticed the icon swap between 5G and 4G LTE. As we ran pace exams, obtain charges reached as little as 10Mbps and as excessive as 168Mbps. So whereas Dash’s community is broad, it would not have blanketed protection throughout its markets. 

Velocity exams via the day. Word that the double-digit outcomes had been taken whereas in transit.

Lynn La/CNET

LG V50 impressions and battery life

The LG V50 packs a 4,000-mAh battery, and Dash claimed that it is best to anticipate an identical battery life on 5G as you’ll different high-end telephones working on 4G LTE. We began testing our cellphone in earnest at 1:00 p.m. with the battery at 82%. By the afternoon at 4:39 p.m. after we wrapped up the final of our exams, the cellphone was at 32%. Lastly, after about three extra hours on standby, the cellphone had 19% of its reserves left at Eight p.m.

As a result of that is positively longer than a piece day, I think about the battery life to be fairly stable. We put the cellphone via quite a lot of exams, downloaded tons of issues and the display was set from 50% to 80% brightness the entire time. Whereas it wanted juice on the finish of the evening, battery did not turn out to be a priority at any level within the day.

Typically, the V50 is stable cellphone to debut a 5G cellphone with. I solely spent in the future with it, however its large 6.4-inch OLED show was sharp and vibrant, and the truth that it was waterproof gave me further peace of thoughts as I used to be operating round city with it. It is also one of many previous few high-end telephones with a headphone jack. The cellphone is large although, so it was onerous to maneuver with one hand, and the again obtained fairly scuffed up on the finish of the day — maybe as a result of I used to be laying it down on stone surfaces.

5G panorama within the US and last ideas

Our testing occasion in Dallas is much like the 2 Verizon hosted in April and Could when it launched its 5G community in Chicago and Minneapolis to various levels of success. 

Whereas Dash is all in on 5G now, it is unclear how the roadmap appears to be like if T-Cellular efficiently completes its $26.5 billion merger that the FCC permitted final week. By itself, T-Cellular plans to launch 5G companies in 30 US cities as quickly as units are made out there (which is quickly). In the event that they merge, their mixed 4G LTE and 5G protection would notably improve, however the Justice Division reportedly desires the 2 firms to create one other wi-fi service to keep up the established order of 4 gamers.

Total, speeds had been extremely quick. In some spots we averaged 100Mbps and different occasions we topped over 400Mbps. We had been notably impressed with how rapidly the LG V50 downloaded a full season of a present below 5 minutes.

In contrast with Verizon although, we by no means got here near topping 1 gigabit per second. The S10 5G was additionally capable of obtain PUB-G a couple of full minute quicker than we did. However Dash’s method to 5G is not essentially about peak efficiency or having the best speeds. As an alternative, it desires to supply a superb, dependable expertise for the typical person, and for probably the most half, that is what we obtained.

What we favored most was that we did not must be close to any nods or towers to get 5G. We merely drove as much as a delegated space and we had been constantly linked to the community. There have been some exceptions — like whereas we had been within the automotive or downloading Wine Nation — however for probably the most half the ordeal went easily.

Personally I would not exit and purchase a 5G cellphone proper now. The expertise continues to be very costly for shoppers: the LG V50 is $1,152 and the Galaxy S10 5G that can come to Dash ultimately of June prices round $1,300. As well as, Dash’s Premium Limitless plan to entry 5G prices $80 to $90 a month. In the meantime, 5G is simply out there in a handful of cities for every service. That’ll change because the yr progresses, so I would wait a minimum of till the tip of this yr or into 2020.

Nonetheless, it is promising. 4G LTE enabled plenty of industries to flourish, like video streaming and rideshare companies. Whereas we do not know precisely what sort of area of interest firms might be on the horizon with 5G (and it is no assure that each firm that emerges can have a optimistic affect), we’re excited to get yet one more glimpse of 5G’s capabilities. 

The story initially printed on Could 30, 7:30 a.m. PT. 

Replace, 8:57 a.m. PT: Provides clarification that the 5G networks are being turned on. 9:33 a.m. PT: Provides early pace check outcomes. 11:33 a.m. PT: Provides check tweet evaluating 5G to 4G LTE.  3:27 p.m. PT: Provides “On the go” testing part.

Replace, Could 31, 3:00 a.m. PT: Provides further testing info and “Closing Ideas” and “Battery” sections. 11:10 a.m. PT: Provides hands-on impressions of LG V50 and Galaxy S10 5G availability on Dash.


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