You didn’t have to wait long to see the first phone packing Bluetooth 5.0 — in fact, it’s less than a month away. When Samsung posted the specs for its brand new Galaxy S8 line, it quietly let slip that the smartphones would use the bleeding edge wireless standard. To recap, 5.0 promises up to twice the speed of Bluetooth 4.2, and four times the range. You could connect to smartwatches that are more responsive and capable, for example, and connect to some smart home devices from a greater distance. Just don’t expect to see the difference right away.
As with earlier Bluetooth tech, this is highly dependent on other device makers following suit… and at last check, 5.0 is a no-show on other hardware. Moreover, it’s not going to be a cure-all for your short-range wireless ills. The 5.0 spec doesn’t provide for higher-quality wireless audio (that’s due in 2018), so your headphones won’t sound any better for a while. This is ultimately about expanding the S8’s potential, even if it doesn’t fulfill that potential until many months down the road.
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