If you’re looking to buy the best 5G phone, that’s not going to be too hard, because most smartphones released nowadays are compatible with the next generation of connectivity.
However, this round-up of the best 5G phones isn’t just a replica of our standard best smartphones guide – we’ve considered the key uses of 5G and brought you a list that focuses on these key points. The following round-up is broken down into categories to fit the reasons you might be looking to buy a 5G phone and see this here.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G
The best 5G phone for most people today is the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE. This handset, which was released late-on in 2020, offers all the great core functionality of the Samsung Galaxy S20, including its 5G connectivity, but does so for a firmly mid-tier price point.
On top of that rapid 5G connectivity is an incredible 120Hz HDR10+ screen, a suite of premium hardware that includes a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 CPU, Adreno 650 GPU and 8GB RAM, as well as a long-lasting battery and strong selection of four cameras (three on the back and one of the front).
Naturally, as it is a Samsung device, you get full access to Android and Google Play store, too, and there is a wide selection of colours to choose from and two spec configurations as well.
In the official Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G review it was concluded that it was “whether you’re new to Samsung or upgrading from an older handset, this is the device for you”, and now with 5G networks prevalent and the cost of this phone and 5G SIM plans affordable for most people, it is overall our top recommendation.
OnePlus 8 Pro
The OnePlus 8 Pro won T3’s Phone of the Year Award at the most recent T3 Awards and, as it offers next-gen 5G connectivity, is, therefore, our top recommendation for the best premium 5G phone.
Superfast 5G connection aside, the phone delivers a truly top-tier suite of hardware, including a 120Hz, QHD+, HDR10+ display, which manages to outpunch even the best panels from Samsung, Sony and Huawei right now.
Internal hardware consists of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 CPU, Adreno 650 GPU, 12GB RAM and 256GB of UFS3.0 storage, which combines to deliver buttery-smooth performance in games and apps, while unlike past OnePlus flagships the phone also delivers IP68 water and dust proofing.
Throw in full access to Android and Google Play store, as well as OnePlus’ excellent Oxygen OS 10.5 skin, a battery that goes the distance, and a good (if not best-in-class) camera system, and it becomes easy to see why this 5G phone is so easy to recommend.
TCL 10 5G
Anyone who tells you that getting 5G on a phone is going to cost you a lot of money hasn’t come across the TCL 10 5G: not only does it offer 5G, you also get a very decent screen, processor and camera as well, and all for a very affordable price point.
Some corners are cut to get the phone to this price – no waterproofing, no wireless charging – but you can’t have many complaints considering the amount you’re paying. TCL is relatively new to the smartphone scene, even though it’s a veteran in the electronics industry, and we’re impressed with what it’s pulled off here.
Apart from the 5G that’s on board, it’s perhaps the display that has the most appeal here. It’s bright and vivid, and you get a host of software tweaks that you can apply to make the colours pop if you need to (when watching Netflix, for example).
Apple iPhone 12
For Apple fans, there is one top choice for the best 5G phone for them, and that’s the Apple iPhone 12. Released alongside the iPhone 12 Mini (great for small hands) and iPhone 12 Pro (great for those with deep pockets), the iPhone 12 delivers everything an Apple phone fan needs.
Naturally, 5G connectivity is excellent, with all 5G bands covered (great for future-proofing and travelling abroad), while the phone also boasts a best-in-class 5nm A14 Bionic CPU, which smokes the best Android has to offer in benchmarks.
The screen, despite not delivering a 120Hz refresh rate, is a stunner, too, with it delivering a pin-sharp HDR10 Super Retina XDR panel that has a remarkable 1200 nits peak brightness.
As you would expect, the iPhone 12 also delivers Apple’s typically high build quality and it runs the latest version of iOS, too, in iOS 14.2. There’s also plenty of colours to choose from, as well as storage capacity variants, ranging from 64GB up to 256GB.
Overall, as seen in the iPhone 12 review, “the iPhone 12 is the ideal iPhone for most people, thanks to class-leading screen quality, high-quality cameras and great future-proofing (including 5G).