BUILT FOR SPEED: Samsung's S10 5G phone.
BUILT FOR SPEED: Samsung's S10 5G phone.

In search of the Gold Coast's 'G' spot

IMAGINE downloading a 4K movie from Netflix in seconds - or an entire season of your favourite series in just a few minutes.

5G not only promises to revolutionise our entertainment and gaming, it promises a bright new future for everything for high tech medicine to driverless cars. But how close is reality to the hype?

We took 5G for a road test on the Gold Coast, a region famous for sun, surf, sex, and bikies - to find its 'G spot'.

Using the Samsung's new Galaxy S10 5G phone, we jumped on a tram to check out speeds in real life situations from Surfers Paradise to Southport and beyond.  The first thing we noticed is how incredibly speeds varied.

As Samsung and Telstra point out, this is very new technology in Australia, so the network is being fine-tuned and upgraded as we speak.

Telstra says 5G will be at least twice as fast as 4G but in some areas a whole lot faster.

When Samsung put the S10 5G to the test in Sydney, it reached  more than 1200 megabits per seconds for downloads and an 64Mbps upload speed.

In our first test,  near our apartments in Como Crescent, Southport, our speed test recorded 114 Mbps download speed and an upload speed of 40.6 Mbps.

The test rated the speed as "very fast", saying: "Your internet connection should be able to handle multiple devices streaming HD videos, video conferencing and gaming at the same time."

Near that spot we downloaded a number of movies from Netflix, including American Assassin (514MB) John Wick: Chapter 2 (580MB), Extraction (395MB), Parker (561MB) and Land of the Lost (522MG).

Times varied from around 45 seconds to over one minute.

In comparison, c/net did testing in Chicago, again using a Samsung S10 5G phone, earlier this year and was able to download Wine Country, in just over 10 seconds.

It was able to download more than 10 hours of season 2 of the Netflix series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel in about four minutes.

So where's the best 5G spot on the Gold Coast you ask?

Some of the fastest speeds we recorded were near the Gold Coast University Hospital. One speed recorded more than 310 Mbps download.

Griffith University's 5G speed clocked in at 150 Mbps download and 33.5Mbps upload. Near Queen Street, Southport we had speeds ranging from 67.4Mbps download to 357Mbps.

At Southport South, our testing came up with 422Mbps and 59.3Mbps upload.

Telstra's going big with its promotion of 5G and other services.
Telstra's going big with its promotion of 5G and other services.

At Broadwater Parklands, our speed test came in at 196 Mbps download and 26.8Mbps upload. Main Beach clocked in at 230Mbps download, and 52.1 upload.

Southport North recorded 245Mbps download and 49.2 Mbps upload speeds.

Telstra's own maps show a gap in its 5G connections in the most popular areas of Surfers Paradise.

When we got to near Cypress Avenue, speeds dropped to 133 Mbps download and 54.3Mbps upload. Cavill Avenue was a more respectable 153Mbps download and 54.4 Mbps upload.

Back in Southport, near Chinatown, and outside Telstra's huge 5G sign, the speed was 125Mbps download and 53.1 Mbps upload.

Telstra says typical download speeds for 4GX vary considerably. They range from 5-300Mbps using the latest category 16 devices.

Those with older phone (category 11), may only get speeds of up to 200Mbps. If you're phone is even older (category 9), your speed may be throttled at 5-150Mbps.


Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G hit over 1.2Gbps on Telstra 5G in Sydney.
Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G hit over 1.2Gbps on Telstra 5G in Sydney.

Samsung says 5G will change the way we enjoy things like augmented reality, virtual reality, 4K and 8K video as well as cloud-based content.

The Korean tech giant says it will mean people will shoot and watch more 4K and 8K content, while gamers can expect richer and faster gameplay with less latency.

"Delay times will be virtually eliminated during sports broadcasts, and games like first-person shooters and racing games, which could be difficult to enjoy due to mobile devices' technical limitations, will be taken to a whole new level," Albert Hoseong Kang, of Samsung Electronics' Innovative Product Planning Group, says.

Albert Hoseong Kang, of Samsung Electronics’ Innovative Product Planning Group.
Albert Hoseong Kang, of Samsung Electronics’ Innovative Product Planning Group.

Two of the new features in the Samsung S10 5G are Live Focus bokeh (blurred background) effects when shooting video and a Quick Measure app to measure objects' size.

That technology alone will see Samsung devices being used more and more for augmented reality whether in gaming or business demonstrations.

The phone features a 6.7 inch, edge to edge display, a high-capacity 4,500mAh battery, as well as support for super fast Charging of 25W.

It comes with with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of baseline storage - the largest baseline storage in the Galaxy S10 line.
Telstra has started rolling out 5G in 10 cities around Australia as well as regional areas like the Gold Coast and Toowoomba.

Over the next 12 months, the telco expects its 5G coverage to increase in area almost five-fold and reach into at least 35 Australian cities.