Choose the Right 5G phone
5G is here, and if it’s not available where you are, it will be soon. We are now looking at the first mainstream 5G phones in the US. When you consider that a phone is a three-year investment for many people, it is understandable that you want a 5G phone to take improvement of the affected improvements that we will see later this year and in the future. We are here to help.
Samsung Galaxy S20 series is likely to be the best-selling US 5G phone in early 2020. Samsung Galaxy S20 series is expected to be the best-selling US 5G phone in early 2020
Does 5G Matter?
We are following the launch of 5G in the US on our Race to 5G page. Right now, 5G has a lot of handling, but the experience is not too crowded. At AT&T and T-Mobile, 5G is mostly indistinguishable from 4G across the country. The Verizon system offers high speeds but a minimal coverage area. And Sprint will soon cease to exists.
So you shouldn’t expect a 5G phone to change your world right away. It is a future investment. By the end of 2020 and until 2021, T-Mobile / Sprint will work alongside a full 5G mid-range in many cities, which will make a noticeable difference in performance. I also expect AT&T and Verizon to expand their fast 5G high-band coverage in major cities and bring speeds of more than 500Mbps to more people. Verizon will have to do so to launch its 5G home product as promised later this year.
The next big hit in 5G phone features will come in early 2021 when phones arrive with the Qualcomm X60 modem, which can better combine very different forms of the 4G and 5G spectrum. It will make the most significant difference at AT&T than I’ve ever heard. However, you don’t have to worry that the latest 5G phones (released in 2020, like the Galaxy S20 and LG V60) will be overtaken by a new feature this year.
This AT&T 5G symbol refers to low-band 5G, which is not noticeably faster than 4G at the moment. This AT&T 5G symbol indicates to low-band 5G, which is not noticeably faster than 4G at the moment.
Four types of 5G to Understand
To be able to choose your 5G phone, you need to know the four types of 5G that exist or will soon be available: a low, medium and high band, and DSS. Low, Medium, and High range from a lot of coverage at low speeds to almost no coverage at incredibly high rates.
There is a fourth term, DSS, which refers to a way of dividing radio waves between 4G and 5G. This allows network operators to slowly reduce the capacity of their 4G networks when 5G is flourishing. This is a boon for people with 5G phones and potential problems for those without 5G phones.
Each of the operators will offer this. When Sprint and T-Mobile are merged, I will call them together as the new T-Mobile:
AT&T: Much low band, but very slow; no middle band; High group in small parts of so far 35 cities; DSS will arrive later this year.
New T-Mobile: Lots of low-band. Lots of middle bands. A small high group. Without DSS.
Verizon: All the high band for now. DSS will arrive later this year.
The telephones in this list can process this:
LG V60 (Verizon), Moto Edge +, 1Plus 8 (Verizon Galaxy S20 +, S20 Ultra,): Low / Medium / High and DSS.
Galaxy S20, OnePlus 8 Pro, LG V60 (without Verizon), OnePlus 8 (without Verizon) – Low / Medium and DSS.
Galaxy Note 10+ 5G: low / medium and DSS (on AT & T / T-Mobile). High and DSS (on Verizon).
Moto Z4: Stop
So it’s confusing and a little complicated. If a price is not a matter, we recommend buying one of the phones with it all. Verizon gives you a choice of four, but other providers mainly offer the Galaxy S20 +.
At T-Mobile, I’m ready to make an exception for the OnePlus 8. At $699, it’s the only 5G phone that I think is reasonably priced, and it doesn’t look like T-Mobile is going to be gaining much in volume anytime soon. Finished.
More 5G phones are coming. Motorola and Alcatel have announced that they will soon launch 5G phones, which may cost much less than the prohibitive S20 range. And then, of course, there is the iPhone.
OnePlus 8 The OnePlus 8 is a cheaper 5G phone for Verizon and T-Mobile.
Should you wait for the iPhone 5G?
If you are an iPhone user, of course.
We expect the next 5G iPhone to come out in September or October with the same Qualcomm X55 modem as Samsung Galaxy S20 The US model of the iPhone will almost certainly support low, medium and high band 5G as required by Verizon. (International models almost certainly won’t support high-band 5G.)
If you are an iPhone, there is no reason to switch to any of the existing 5G phones with the state of current 5G networks in the next six months. It just doesn’t make enough of a difference compared to your investment in the iPhone ecosystem.
By 2021, especially in the new T-Mobile, 5G will make a significant difference in the way you experience mobile internet across the city. The latest 5G iPhones can access this network. Well, know more when they come out, so stay tuned.