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You’ve heard the term 5G and you know it means faster mobile internet. But does your phone support this network? Probably not. So, it’s time to consider a new smartphone that has 5G support.
Several 5G smartphones are already available, with more expected as the network becomes widely available. But which 5G phone should you buy?
First up is perhaps the most desirable non-Apple smartphone in the world, the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G Enabled. This is an upgrade of the original S10 with an improved display and camera alongside 5G connectivity.
It’s the top of the range smartphone capable of doing everything you need, with super-fast mobile internet where available. This is thanks to the X50 modem.
Featuring a 6.7-inch WQHD+ 3040×1440 display and Snapdragon 855 CPU, the phone also boasts a 12MP Super Speed dual-pixel 16MP ultra-wide and 12MP 2x Zoom 3D depth-sensing camera. There’s 8GB of RAM, and the phone comes equipped with either 256GB or 512GB of storage.
Samsung is making a huge push into the 5G arena, as proven by the existence of another 5G model. The Samsung Galaxy Note range is aimed at consumers with an eye on productivity and ships with a stylus.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G model bundles the note-taking productivity advantages you’ve come to expect with ultra-fast mobile broadband. The integrated cloud-based apps benefit from the 5G speed, too. The Dynamic AMOLED capacitive touchscreen display measures 6.8 inches (1440 x 3040 pixels) and boasts 16M colors.
With 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, the Note 10+ also boasts a feature-packed primary quad camera. Also squeezed inside is an octa-core processor. This is powered by two 2.73 GHz Mongoose M4, two 2.4 GHz Cortex-A75, and four 1.9 GHz Cortex-A55 chips.
Chinese device manufacturer OPPO is another option if you’re looking for a 5G smartphone. The OPPO Reno 3 Pro 5G is a dual-mode 5G phone featuring a 6.5-inch, 90Hz high-sensitivity curved touchscreen display, and Snapdragon 765G octa-core processor.
Preinstalled with the Android 10.0-based ColorOS 7, the device has 8GB of RAM and comes with 128GB of storage. The phone’s dual-mode 5G means that the device can connect to two types of 5G network. These are NSA (Non-Standalone Access) and SA (Standalone Access).
A quad-camera system is employed on the rear of the phone. This 48MP camera offers a remarkable five times zoom feature, alongside a 32MP front-facing camera. 4K video shooting is also possible at 30FPS. Built-in facial and fingerprint recognition secure the OPPO Reno 3 Pro 5G.
Chinese consumer electronics manufacturer Xiaomi is another entrant into the 5G data market. Its flagship Mi Mix 3 has a strong 5G variant while offering a surprisingly limited selection of bands. While other phones in this list retain support for 2G and 3G networks, the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G only supports LTE and 5G.
This shouldn’t be a problem for most, but travel to rural areas might result in a lack of mobile signal. Inside, a quad-core Snapdragon 855 processor runs the device, alongside a choice of 6GB, 8GB, and 10GB of RAM. Storage is either 128GB or 256GB, while a Qualcomm X50 5G modem handles mobile internet connectivity.
The Android 9.0-based MIUI 10 features on the device, which boasts a 6.4-inch 2340 x 1080 Full HD+ OLED display. There are four camera sensors on this phone; two front and two rear. On the front, you can take selfies with the 24MP Sony IMX576 sensor which is paired with a 2MP depth sensor. Meanwhile, on the back, you’ll find a 12MP Sony IMX363 paired with a 12MP Samsung S5K3M3+.
You’ll have noticed how the Samsung devices are 5G versions of existing hardware. This is a common tactic—enhancing an existing model with 5G. It avoids the need for a completely new device when the new technology arrives during a manufacturing run. You’ll find the same tactic employed by Huawei, a company smaller than Samsung, but challenging in the same markets.
With a 7.2-inch OLED FHD+ 1080 x 2244-pixel touch display with 16.7 million colors, the Huawei Mate 20X 5G phone features four cameras. The rear triple Leica primary cameras are 40MP (Wide Angle Lens), 20MP (Ultra Wide Angle Lens), and 8MP (Telephoto). Meanwhile, the front-facing camera is 24MP.
Inside is an octa-core processor, utilizing two Cortex-A76 based 2.6 GHz, two Cortex-A76 based 1.92 GHz, and four Cortex-A55 1.8 GHz chips. The phone has 8GB of RAM, with 256GB of onboard storage, expandable to a further 256GB, for a total of 512GB.
The phone ships with Huawei’s own version of Android, EMUI 9.1, which is based on Android 9.0. It also has dual SIM support, although only one slot is 5G capable. Note that Huawei products now ship without Google Play. As a result, while you can enjoy a good Android experience, it won’t be a Google Android experience.
The Best 5G Smartphones for You
If you’re looking for a way to get online with the fastest available mobile speeds, 5G is the answer. Perfect for online gaming, video streaming, and Internet of Things uses, it has the potential to make standard browsing as effortless as turning the pages in a book.
The quintet of 5G smartphones we’ve looked at are:
- Samsung Galaxy S10 5G
- Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G
- OPPO Reno 3 Pro 5G
- Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G
- Huawei Mate 20X 5G
It’s worth keeping in mind that many 5G phones have non-5G variants, too. Meanwhile, some networks don’t yet support 5G, perhaps due to infrastructure restrictions, or the lack of a 5G option for CDMA. It’s wise to avoid buying a 5G phone just yet if your network doesn’t support it.
To avoid buying the wrong device, read the details carefully, and do your own research. You should also take a moment to check the differences between LTE, 4G, and 5G.