5G phones are coming. Since 2018, many smartphone manufacturers have claimed that they are going to launch the world’s first 5G phone. Now in 2020 there are a lot of 5G handsets to choose in the market, and here are the best 5G phones you can buy right now.
What is 5G?
But before we get to the smartphones, let’s simply figure out what 5G is. The 5th generation of mobile networks or 5th generation wireless systems, abbreviated as 5G, is the fifth generation of mobile communication systems. It is the successor to 4G and will be 20 times faster than a 4G device. Once the phones and the network infrastructure support 5G, we can enjoy faster upload and download speeds than we could with 4G or even WiFi .
What can we expect from 5G?
5G will bring faster speeds, higher capacity, stronger signal and connectivity, faster cloud processing and lower latency. Many industries will benefit from 5G, like self-driving cars, drones, the Internet of Things (IoT), the gaming industry, VR/AR, AI, etc.
A 5G phone will enable users to always stay connected wherever they go. Even when traveling in high speed trains or planes, you can play games in real time and watch 360-degree virtual reality videos.
Best 5G Smartphones in 2020
Since 5G deployment kicked off in 2019, we’ve witnessed the first batch of 5G phones from Samsung, Xiaomi, Huawei, OPPO, vivo, OnePlus, etc. These phone brands are rolling out more and better 5G models; Apple is rumored to release its first 5G iphone probably in September or October. You’ll see even more 5G phones throughout this year and next. Let’s expect a real 5G era.
Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus 5G
Samsung’s Galaxy S20 Plus is one of best 5G phones you can buy right now. It features a superb 120Hz 6.7-inch display, powerful 4500mAh battery, and 64MP quad-camera setup. Unlike other 5G phones, Galaxy S20 Plus is 5G ready and works on every type of 5G network. The Snapdragon 865 chipset makes solid 5G connectivity and delivers smooth performance. At $1199, S20 Plus is not a budget 5G phone.
OnePlus 8 Pro 5G
OnePlus 8 Pro is the best OnePlus phone as well as one of the top Android phones you can get so far. Launched on April 14, the OnePlus 8 Pro comes with 6.78-inch curved display with 120Hz refresh rate and 5G capability. It has a 48MP Quad Camera on the back and a 3.8mm 16MP punch hole camera on the front, also a good camera phone choice. Starting from $899, OnePlus 8 Pro 5G is the most expensive phone of OnePlus, with the stunning design, premium experience and relatively affordable price compared to Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus, it is a competitor in the high-end phone market.
Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro 5G
The Xiaomi Mi 10 series is Xiaomi’s latest flagship release. The Mi 10 Pro is a 5G phone sporting a 6.67-inch 90Hz AMOLED panel, quad camera setup with a main sensor of 108MP at the back – same as the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra. It supports 8K video recording, 50W wired as well as 30W wireless charging. The most expensive 12GB +512GB version of Mi 10 Pro 5G is priced at ¥5999 (around $863) in China.
Huawei P40 Pro 5G
Huawei released its high-end P40 series the P40, P40 Pro and the P40 Pro+ in April 2020, and all of them support 5G connectivity. Sold at around $860, the P40 Pro has the Kirin 990 5G chipset, 6.58-inch Quad-Curve Overflow Display augmented by the 90 Hz refresh, and an ultra vision Leica quad camera.
Redmi 10X 5G
On May 26, Xiaomi kicked off its 5G Redmi 10X in China, the first smartphone in its new Redmi X series. The Resmi 10X is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 820 chipset supporting dual 5G standby and bringing 5G connectivity to upper mid-range phones. It is a cheap 5G phone, selling at ¥1,599 (~$230) for the 6GB/128GB option. The phone sports a 6.57-inch screen with an in-display fingerprint sensor, a 4,520mAh battery with 33W charging and 48MP quad rear camera setup.
OnePlus Nord 5G
On July 22, an affordable 5G phone OnePlus Nord was released by Chinese phone brand OnePlus, which is the company’s first midrange phone priced under $600. The OnePlus Nord has a 6.44-inch flat display with a 90Hz refresh rate, an in-display fingerprint scanner, dual selfie cameras 32MP+8MP and rear 48MP quad-camera setup.
Powered by a Snapdragon 765G processor, it has a solid 4,100mAh battery, supporting Warp Charge 30T fast charging, which is claimed to boast a 70% charge in 30 minutes. The phone is sold at at €399 ($456) in Europe, £379 ($480) in the UK, while 27,999 rupees ($375) in India for its entry-level version with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage.
Best 5G Smartphones in 2019
Smartphone giants have spent lots of money and energy studying 5G phones. In 2018, China’s 5G development was all over the news: ZTE’s “World’s first 5G phone call” , OPPO’s “World’s first 5G WeChat video call”, OnePlus’s “World’s first 5G tweet” , Xiaomi’s “World’s first Weibo post”, etc. China’s leading smartphone companies are really trying their best to get a leg up in the 5G race.
Yet, we never got to see a real 5G phone in 2018. But now, during 25-28 February 2019 at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, many companies showed off their newest 5G products and future 5G devices. Let’s check out the best 5G phones to be released in 2019.
On December 10 2019, Xiaomi finally launched its new Redmi K30 5G phone. Starting from 1999 yuan ($285), it is currently the cheapest 5G smartphone on the smartphone market. The Redmi K30 5G comes with a 6.67-inch touchscreen display and it is the first smartphone from Xiaomi to feature a 120Hz refresh rate display. The 5G phone is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G processor.
As far as the cameras are concerned, the Redmi K30 5G packs a quad-camera on the rear, and on the front, the it has two cameras: a 20MP primary camera and a 2MP camera.
Vivo’s iQOO Pro 5G
On August 22, vivo’s sub-brand IOQQ launched its flagship iQOO Pro in Beijing. Available in both 4G and 5G variants, the premium device features a 6.41 inch display with a water-drop notch, Snapdragon 855+ chipset, a 4,500mAh battery and 12GB RAM.
The iQOO Pro 5G phone is based on the Snapdragon 855 Plus SoC and the Snapdragon X50 5G modem. It’s sold at 3,798 yuan ($535) for 8GB+128GB, 3,998 yuan ($563) for 8GB+256GB and 4,098 yuan for 12GB+128GB ($577). It might be the cheapest 5G smartphone in the market so far.
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 plus 5G smartphone
On August 21, Samsung officially released its latest flagship phone Samsung Galaxy Note 10, Note 10+ and Note 10 Plus 5G in China. Priced at ¥7999 ($1130), the Note 10 Plus 5G is Samsung’s first 5G handset in China, 12+ 256GB, only supports Non Standalone (NSA) mode.
This 5G phone has a big 6.8-inch Infinity-O Display, a whopping five cameras, and an improved S-Pen, which can let users turn their phone into a PC using DeX.
Huawei Mate X
During the MWC 2019, Chinese smartphone giant Huawei announced the Huawei Mate X, which is the brand’s first foldable 5G smartphone.
“HUAWEI Mate X combines 5G, foldable screen, AI and an all-new mode of interfacing to provide consumers with an unprecedented user experience. ” Its 5G connectivity is provided via Huawei’s own Balong 5000 5G modem rather than the Qualcomm models, Huawei claims it to be the world’s fastest 5G foldable phone, with an amazing 5G download speed that reaches 4.6Gps on the Sub-6GHz band (theoretical).
Huawei Mate X is the first 5G device where both price and release date have been announced . It’s said that the phone will be released in June this year, at a price of €2,299 ($2,600).
ZTE Axon 10 Pro 5G
ZTE launched Axon 10 Pro 5G, its first 5G smartphone, on Feb. 25 at MWC 2019.
It is powered by Snapdragon 855, features a 6.47-inch OLED display with a waterdrop notch, a triple-camera set up, 6GB of RAM, and a 4,000 mAh battery. Price, on the other hand, has yet to be confirmed, and the phone is expected to be released at some point during the first half of 2019.
Samsung Galaxy S10 5G
Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G phone, unveiled on Feb. 20 at the MWC, has a 6.7-inch display, three rear cameras and the ability to wirelessly charge other devices. Samsung is yet to announce its release dates and prices for the S10 5G but we’re expecting a quite hefty price tag. Also, the Galaxy S10 5G won’t be the only 5G phone from Samsung.
OnePlus 5G phone
Early in October of 2018, OnePlus had celebrated its success of making the world’s first 5G tweet, according to a tweet by Pete Lau, the company’s founder and CEO.
On Feb. 25 at the MWC 2019, OnePlus showed its first 5G prototype smartphone for the first time, which was hidden inside a thick protective case and locked inside a plastic cube. It will come equipped with a Snapdragon 855 processor, OnePlus is yet to confirm the price, but it’s likely to cost as much as $200 to $300 more than 4G equivalents.
OPPO 5G flagship
At MWC19, OPPO also demonstrated its first 5G smartphone at Qualcomm’s booth playing Soul Calibur VI over a 5G network. Just like almost all the other 5G devices, it is based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 and is expected to hit the market later this year. More details about pricing and specs are yet to be disclosed.
Way back in 2015, OPPO set up its 5G standardization team to study 5G. The hard work and effort has paid off. In November of 2018, OPPO established the world’s first 5G WeChat video call, which is an important milestone for the 5G industry to move from technical standards to real life application.
On March 21, OPPO announced that its first ever 5G smartphone has successfully passed 5G CE tests and OPPO was awarded a 5G CE certificate by CTC Advanced GmbH.
Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G flagship
As we know Xiaomi unveiled Mi Mix 3 in October of 2018, at the MWC Xiaomi brought a 5G version of it. The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G sports the latest Snapdragon 855 processor instead of the Snapdragon 845 for the 4G version — the Snapdragon X50 5G modem is a highlight. Xiaomi said the 5G Mi Mix 3 will sell for just €599 (or around $680) when it hits the market in May, which is a whole lot cheaper than we expect many of the first 5G phones to be.
LG V50 ThinQ 5G
Like Xiaomi’s 5G version phone, the LG V50 ThinQ is a 5G version of its existing phone LG V40. It’s the first 5G phone from the company, and the dual screen has it competing with the foldables.
There are some differences between the V50 and its predecessor V40. The key feature is of course the 5G connectivity.To fit its larger 5G antennas, it’s a bit bigger and thicker than previous generations in the V series. The V50 is equipped with the new Snapdragon 855, a bigger Snapdragon X50 modem and a bigger battery of 4,000mAh. It is expected to launch by the end of March, but pricing is still a mystery.
Should I buy a new 5G smartphone now?
Almost every famous Android phone maker has made plans to release a 5G phone, but only Huawei and Xiaomi clearly announced how much they are going to cost.We can be sure that 5G won’t be cheap! Not until the 5G infrastructure is highly advanced, will 5G phones be actually useful.
At the MWC 2019, Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon declared with confidence, “The phones are ready; we’re just waiting for the networks.” While AT&T CTO Andre Fuetsch said, “The issue is the devices. Frankly, we’re waiting on the devices.” Through the conflicting comments, we can see that 5G phones still need time.
It has been predicted that 2020 will be the year of 5G’s extensive launch. 5G, at its current state, means limited coverage and expensive costs. Supposedly, we have a few more years to go before 5G coverage can compete with 4G. Now, carriers need to spend billions of dollars to expand the 5G networks. Phone manufacturers need to use pricier components like 5G radios and bigger batteries. Handset companies still need some time to lower the 5G phone costs. But thanks to the fast development of technology, we can expect a new 5G world in the near future.
Featured photo credit to 5g.co.uk