The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G phone has a bit more of an allure about it because it’s a surprise, and it’s not launching at the same time as the three flagship S10 devices.

Revealed at Unpacked here in San Francisco this is the first big-name 5G device and just days out from Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Samsung have really sent a shot across the bow of their competitors.

But given it’s not available for a few months (they say “First half of 2019”), what does a Telco do? Tell people to hold off and forego those valuable 24 month contract renewals in March?

No way – Telstra has teamed up with Samsung to create an offer you’ll struggle to refuse.

Sign up for a Telstra contract to get a new Samsung Galaxy S10+ and you’ll get that phone shiny and new on March 8th.

But when the Galaxy S10 5G launches, you can walk into a Telstra store (within a three week window to be defined before the 5G phone launches) and hand back your S10+ (in good working order), and they’ll slide a S10 5G across the desk.

Now given that device is likely going to cost more outright, and that 5G plans are likely to be higher monthly cost too – a straight swap, on an existing 24 month plan is a bloody cracker deal.

Sure, 5G is only working in 200 “sites” and that will roll out over time, but – plenty of people are really keen for 5G so it’s a winning offer.

Why? Can’t answer that – Telstra said today the most compelling reasons to upgrade were for faster speeds and less buffering – But – how many people are getting buffering on their 4G connection? Especially those in a 5G roll-out area?

Not compelling at all to me, but I get the drive to be first, both as a telco, smartphone maker and consumer.

Trevor Long travelled to San Francisco as a guest of Samsung Australia