Wi-Fi 6 devices are in-market with more on the way
Developed in response to the ever-growing number of connected devices worldwide, Wi-Fi 6, based on the IEEE 802.11ax standard, is the next generation of Wi-Fi technology, and offers improved speed, capacity, coverage and performance of connected devices. With the Wi-Fi 6 just around the corner, buzz around Wi-Fi 6 devices has been increasing. While some say Wi-Fi 6 devices currently on the market do not yet take full advantage of what the latest iteration of Wi-Fi has to offer, these devices are fully Wi-Fi 6-ready.
Samsung unveiled the first of several commercially available Wi-FI 6 devices back in February. The Galaxy S10 has a new feature called Intelligent Wi-Fi that, according to Samsung, “allows for an uninterrupted and safe connection by seamlessly switching between Wi-Fi and LTE.” The S10 series (S10e, S10, S10+ and the newly announced, S10 5G) is currently available and the devices range from from $750 to $1300, depending on version and capacity.
There are been rumors that Google’s Pixel 4 smartphone, set to be released October 2019, will rival the S10 and that it will support Wi-Fi 6.
Asus’s ROG Rapture GT-AX11000 router uses a 1.8 GHz quad-core CPU to promise wireless connections as fast as 1.1. Gbps. With a second 5 GHz frequency band that can be dedicated solely to gaming and an additional feature that prioritizes gaming traffic from ROG devices, the Asus router mainly targets gamers who require the best connection possible during online play. The router is currently available.
In October of last year, Asus brought the AX88U router to the market. The router supports critical Wi-Fi 6 upgrades like OFDMA and 1024-QAM. It also has four antennas, a feature that the company say will produce wireless speeds of up to 6,000 Mbps — a 2,600 Mbps increase from previous generation routers.
NETGEAR has released the NIGHTHAWK AX8 and the NIGHTHAWK AX4. As their names suggest, the AX 8 has 8-Stream AX Wi-Fi with speeds up to 6Gbps and the AX4 features 4-Stream AX Wi-Fi with speeds up to 3Gbps. Both routers support uplink and downlink OFDMA.
TP-Link has also released a Wi-Fi 6 router, the AX6000, and expects to release a gaming router, the AX11000, soon.
Those in the smart home device arena have been a bit more hesitant to develop Wi-Fi 6 compatible devices, pointing out that right now, users may not benefit from Wi-Fi 6 enabled smart home devices. It is still an expensive endeavor for the user, with Wi-Fi 6 routers costing between $200 and $400, and in order to feel a significant difference between Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6, you would to have a large number of devices hooked up to your router at once.
These companies appear to still be in the wait-and-see stage of the process, buying time until it becomes clear just how much Wi-Fi 6 devices will truly impact a user’s connected experience.