The best 5G phones in 2021

There's no better time to grab one in all the best 5G phones, as Black Friday phone deals provide you with the chance to save on some of the best phones out there. And at the moment, it's extra not unusual for a phone to offer 5G beef up than to send with out it — even in rather affordable handsets.

Does that mean that is now the time to make your next phone a 5G-ready software? While carriers are continuing to expand their 5G networks to boost speeds and building up coverage, purchasing any new telephone most probably manner you might be getting 5G compatibility — and doubtlessly at an overly horny worth.

The genuine query is what to expect from the best 5G phones as soon as you've got one to name your own. You'll see quicker speeds, surely, if not as fast as what 5G proponents had been touting back sooner than 5G networks came online in 2019. Check out our 5G information to look when 5G is coming to you. Furthermore, Roland Moore-Colyer has found one compelling reason to adopt 5G.

Then again, our favourite 5G phones be offering more than just speedier downloads. The best 5G phones characteristic outstanding cameras, giant shows and super-sized batteries. 

Samsung and Google have expanded the pool of 5G phones, and the iPhone 13 lineup from Apple provides four extra fashions to the mix. As a end result, we have now got some inexperienced persons atop the scores of the best 5G phones.

What are the best 5G phones?

The iPhone 13 Pro Max heads our list of the best 5G phones scores, due to a big battery that is helping gas longer battery life than ahead of. But the super-sized iPhone offers different benefits like even better 5G reinforce than closing year's iPhone 12 lineup and a fast-refreshing display.

Any of the new iPhones would be a sensible choice in case you are on the lookout for the best 5G telephone, as all four models fortify numerous different 5G networks. The iPhone 13 is especially interesting, due to its $799 value.If you like Android to iOS units, we might counsel either the Galaxy S21 Ultra, as it really works with each more or less 5G network and sports activities a large OLED displays. 

If you need one of the best performing cameras on a 5G phone, consider either the Google Pixel 5a or Pixel 6 — the latter has more features, although each are slightly priced. And if price range is a priority, the Galaxy A32 5G from Samsung proves you do not need to pay up to get 5G connectivity on you telephone.

One development to regulate is Verizon's 5G C-Band network, which shall be rolling out to A hundred million other people by March 2022. We've tested Verizon 5G C-Band, which offers faster speeds over longer distances, and it helps the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13, in addition to Samsung's Galaxy S21, Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3. 

The best 5G phones you can buy right now

1. iPhone 13 Pro Max

The best 5G telephone you can purchase

Specifications

Screen Size: 6.7 inches

Processor: A15 Bionic

Size / weight: 6.Three x 3.1 x 0.Three inches / 8.Five oz.

Battery lifestyles (Hrs:Mins): 12:16

5G networks supported: AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon

Reasons to buy

+Excellent battery existence+Brighter display with quick refresh charge+Superior efficiency

Reasons to steer clear of

-Pretty bulk-Battery may just price faster

The iPhone 13 Pro Max is the best 5G phone available after replacing our previous pick out, the iPhone 12 Pro Max. As excellent as that telephone used to be, the iPhone 13 Pro Max improves upon it in each and every significant manner, together with ones which are vital to 5G.

Like its predecessor, the iPhone 13 Pro Max offers extensive 5G beef up. But a bigger battery manner the new Apple telephone lasts longer on a charge — greater than 12 hours in our testing, which is among the most lasting phones lately on the marketplace. The iPhone 13 Pro Max lasts that lengthy even though Apple added a dynamically adjusting display, which has proven to be a power drain on different devices. Here, with the assist of the environment friendly A15 Bionic chipset, the iPhone 13 Pro Max thrives.

The new telephone weighs a little bit bit more than Apple’s older style. But with all the improvements and the extended 5G support, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is a tool 5G fanatics will love.

Read our complete iPhone 13 Pro Max review.

2. Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

The best 5G telephone from Samsung

Specifications

Screen Size: 6.8 inches

Processor: Snapdragon 888

Size / weight: 6.5 x 2.Ninety seven x 0.35 inches / 8.08 ounces

Battery existence (Hrs:Mins): 11:25

5G networks supported: AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon

Reasons to shop for

+Dynamic 6.8-inch AMOLED display+Good battery existence+S Pen give a boost to

Reasons to keep away from

-No charger in field-Lacks microSD card slot

The Samsung Galaxy S21 lineup is the first to function Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 888 system-on-chip in the U.S., because of this that any of the three new phones — the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 Plus and Galaxy S21 Ultra — toughen every 5G community available in this country. We prefer the Galaxy S21 Ultra, now not just because it prices $200 not up to final yr’s related S20 type, but because it additionally lasts a long time on a price.

The Galaxy S21 held out for almost 11.Five hours on our battery test, though that was once with its display screen set to a 60Hz refresh fee. Turning on the setting that lets the telephone dynamically regulate its refresh price does draw some energy, but even with that mode grew to become on, the S21 Ultra still outlasted the moderate smartphone. That’s a excellent quality to have in a 5G telephone, as is the S21 Ultra’s expansive display screen and S Pen enhance.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review.

3. iPhone 13

A more affordable 5G iPhone

Specifications

Screen Size: 6.1 inches

Processor: A15 Bionic

Size / weight: 5.8 x 2.Eight x 0.Three inches / 6.4 oz

Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 10:33

5G networks supported: AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon

Reasons to shop for

+Much advanced battery+Extensive 5G beef up+Brighter show

Reasons to steer clear of

-Lacks 120Hz display-Slower charging than competitors

Apple’s iPhone Pro models get the fancier options, but the standard iPhone 13 is a strategy to enjoy a really perfect 5G telephone for less. Improvements all the way through the iPhone 13 lineup — a bigger battery, a smaller notch, and wider 5G make stronger than prior to — are on display here, but for an extremely low $799 value.

Unlike previous models, you don’t must sacrifice garage. The iPhoine 13 features 128GB in its base style, double what Apple used to offer. That an a vast growth in battery existence over the iPhone 12 makes this an excellent 5G phone.

Read our full iPhone 13 review.

4. Google Pixel 5a

The most sensible finances 5G camera phone

Specifications

Screen Size: 6.forty three inches

Processor: Snapdragon 765G

Size / weight: 6.1 x 2.9 x 0.Three inches / 6.5 oz.

Battery existence (Hrs:Mins): 9:45

5G networks supported: AT&T, T-Mobile Verizon

Reasons to shop for

+Stunning show for worth+Excellent broad/ultrawide cameras+IP67 water resistance

Reasons to keep away from

-Older chipset-No U.K. availability

5G phones have fallen in price, so you can in finding inexpensive choices than the $449 Pixel 5a. But you will not to find many that deal with cell photography in addition to Google's newest midrange telephone.

Unlike the Pixel 4a and Pixel 3a, the Pixel 5a sports two rear cameras — a 16MP ultrawide lens and a 12.2MP main shooter. That offers the new phone added flexibility, and, when blended with Google's computational photography strengths, you can be confident of getting some very good pictures from this sub-$500 telephone.

The U.S. version of the Pixel 5a works with each sub-6GHz and mmWave-based 5G, so that you must be capable to use the telephone on any network. And Google has incorporated a beefy battery so you'll be able to go longer between fees than you did with earlier Pixel fashions.

Read our full Google Pixel 5a review.

5. iPhone 13 mini

Best compact 5G phone

Specifications

Screen Size: 5.Four inches

Processor: A15 Bionic

Size / weight: 5.2 x 2.Five x 0.Three inches / 4.97 ounces

Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 8:41

5G networks supported: AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon

Reasons to buy

+Low value+Excellent A15 Bionic chipset+Outstanding cameras

Reasons to avoid

-Battery existence still under moderate for a telephone-No rapid refresh price on show

Most of the best 5G phones tend be on the outsized facet, however no longer so the iPhone 13 mini. Like its predecessor from a yr ago, the iPhone 13 mini comes in a hand-held dimension that weighs less than 5 oz.. Yet, it packs sufficient beef up for 5G to work with bands on all the primary carriers.

Apple higher the battery measurement from the iPhone 12 mini, so the iPhone Thirteen mini lasts longer on a fee. Battery lifestyles is still underneath moderate relative to other phones, but few different phones run on a chip as tough as Apple’s A15 Bionic chipset.

Read our full iPhone 13 mini review.

6. iPhone 13 Pro

Apple's Pro features for less in a 5G phone

Specifications

Screen Size: 6.1 inches

Processor: A15 Bionic

Size / weight: 5.Eight x 2.8 x 0.Three inches / 7.14 ounces

Battery existence (Hrs:Mins): 11:42

5G networks supported: AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon

Reasons to shop for

+Excellent battery life+Brighter show with quick refresh price+Extensive 5G toughen

Reasons to keep away from

-Fast charging limited to 20W

Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro is a brilliant choice for individuals who need the best features of Apple’s telephone lineup but both don’t want to pay up for the iPhone 13 Pro Max or don’t like its massive measurement. This year, there’s little distinction between the iPhone 13 Pro models, so you'll be able to get Apple’s most sensible options in a telephone with a 6.1-inch display screen that’s $A hundred not up to the $1,099 iPhone 13 Pro Max.

That means iPhone 13 Pro homeowners will enjoy extensive 5G strengthen and longer battery life, due to a bigger battery and the energy potency of Apple’s At15 Bionic chipset. You also get a dynamically refreshing show that can scale up to 120Hz when wanted for smoother screening. All that comes in a reasonably slender 7-ounce design that’s easy to tote round.

Read our complete iPhone 13 Pro review.

7. OnePlus 9 Pro

Fastest-charging 5G phone

Specifications

Screen Size: 6.7 inches

Processor: Snapdragon 888

Size and weight: 6.Four x 2.9 x 0.34 inches / 6.Nine oz.

Battery lifestyles (Hrs:Mins): 10:40

5G networks supported: T-Mobile, Verizon (low-band)

Reasons to buy

+Beautiful 120Hz display+Excellent efficiency+Crazy quick stressed and wi-fi charging

Reasons to keep away from

-Won't paintings with AT&T 5G

The OnePlus 9 Pro has two options that generally bog down a telephone’s battery existence — 5G connectivity and a show that can be offering a 120Hz refresh charge for smoother scrolling and extra immersive video games. Both can consume a lot of battery power, however that wasn’t the case when we examined the OnePlus 9 Pro and its 4,500 mAh battery. The telephone lasted more than 10.Five hours, even with its higher display refresh price grew to become on.

That’s as a result of the OnePlus 9 Pro features a dynamically refreshing show that adjusts its velocity all the approach down to 1Hz for static actions, best hitting 120Hz when you have the benefit of a quicker refreshing display screen. And when it’s time to price, the OnePlus 9 Pro units the standard for speedy recharging, both wirelessly and with a stressed out connection.

A Snapdragon 888 chipset and numerous RAM means the OnePlus 9 Pro can match any Android telephone for efficiency. The telephone is coming to T-Mobile, the place it is going to work with the Uncarrier’s 5G community. Verizon additionally certified the OnePlus 9 Pro for its 5G network, too, with the phone ready to make use of Verizon's national and Ultra Wideband networks; the inexpensive OnePlus 9 handiest works with national 5G and not sooner Ultra Wideband connections.

The OnePlus 9 Pro begins at $969, but lately the simplest model available in the U.S. is the $1,069 version that packs in extra RAM and storage (12GB/256GB) than the 8GB/128GB base style.

Read our full OnePlus 9 Pro review.

8. Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus

An excellent Samsung 5G phone for less than $1,000

Specifications

Screen Size: 6.7 inches

Processor: Snapdragon 888

Size / weight: 6.36 x 2.98 x 0.31 inches / 7.05 oz

Battery lifestyles (Hrs:Mins): 9:41 (adaptive) / 9:53 (60Hz)

5G networks supported: AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon

Reasons to buy

+Screen features 120Hz refresh rate+Impressive zoom feature+Supports all 5G community sorts+Beautiful design

Reasons to avoid

-So-so battery life

Released previous this yr, the Galaxy S21 Plus came along and surprised everyone. For $200 not up to its predecessor, the S21 Plus exams a large number of the bins. It's a big, gorgeous phone with an exquisite 120Hz show and the best Qualcomm processor but, the Snapdragon 888.

Starting at $999 for the 128GB fashion, the Galaxy S21 Plus is a force to be reckoned with, although it lacks a few of the Galaxy S21 Ultra's giant features. As a 5G telephone, alternatively, you've gotten the latest Qualcomm X60 5G modem and you'll be able to get entry to whatever 5G bands you need. Any of the three carriers will paintings, including Verizon's mmWave community.

If you want a smaller telephone, the regular Galaxy S21 could also be a super select. It's mainly the Galaxy S21 Plus in a more compact frame for $799. 

Read our complete Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus review.

9. Samsung Galaxy A32 5G

A super price range choice for 5G coverage

Specifications

Screen Size: 6.5 inches

Processor: Dimensity 720

Size / weight: 6.Forty six x 3.00 x 0.36 inches / 7.23 oz.

Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 11:39 (adaptive), 12:22 (60hz)

5G networks supported: AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon

Reasons to buy

+Very low price+Four years of security patches+Great battery lifestyles+90Hz refresh fee

Reasons to avoid

-Subpar HD+ display

5G is to be had even underneath $300. One such software is the Galaxy A32 5G, a chunky telephone that you'll be able to take to any provider and get sub-6Ghz enhance. You should buy the Galaxy A32 through AT&T or T-Mobile, or bring an unlocked type to Verizon. And at $280, you might be tempted to take action.

If we needed to resort one main criticism towards the Galaxy A32, we would knock it for the subpar 720p LCD. At 6.Five inches, that is a low pixel density and you'll be able to visibly see it in case you look shut sufficient. But the two main cameras work nice for one thing at this worth level, much better than the A32's direct competitor, the OnePlus Nord N200 5G.

Grab the Galaxy A32 if you want the best reasonable 5G phone around. It won't wow you in any respect, however it gets the activity done.

Read our full Galaxy A32 5G review.

10. Samsung Galaxy A52 5G

Samsung's best midrange 5G phone

Specifications

Screen Size: 6.Five inches

Processor: Snapdragon 750G

Size / weight: 6.3 x 2.9 x 0.Three inches / 6.7 ounces

Battery lifestyles (Hrs:Mins): 12:19

5G networks supported: AT&T, T-Mobile

Reasons to shop for

+120Hz display+Long battery existence+Good primary camera

Reasons to avoid

-Other cameras underperform-Display scratches easily

Samsung has up to date its midrange Galaxy A lineup, highlighted via several 5G-ready gadgets that lower the charge of proudly owning a 5G phone. Of those, the best possibility for most customers is the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G, which features a display able to a 120Hz refresh charge. (You must manually set that feature.) The phone is a solid performer, and its major digital camera captures some compelling photographs.

The 5G connectivity doesn't put too much of successful on battery existence, as the Galaxy A52 5G lasted greater than 12 hours on our batter check. While that result came with the screen's refresh charge at 60Hz, even turning on the quicker refreshing show gave us 10-hour-plus battery lifestyles — a greater than applicable end result.

Verizon customers will want to turn to the Galaxy A42 5G, which will work with that service's mmWave-base towers. But if you're on AT&T and T-Mobile, the Galaxy A52 5G offers a way to enroll in the 5G crowd without spending too much for your telephone.

Read our complete Samsung Galaxy A52 5G review.

11. Google Pixel 6

A excellent 5G possibility, with some caveats

Specifications

Screen Size: 6.4 inches

Processor: Google Tensor

Size / weight: 6.2 x 2.Nine x 0.Four inches / 7.Three ounces

Battery lifestyles (Hrs:Mins): 8:13

5G networks supported: AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon

Reasons to shop for

+Unique design+Great worth+Tensor chip powers very good new reviews

Reasons to steer clear of

-5G modem can drain battery faster than anticipated-The Pixel 6 Pro has a faster refreshing display and telephoto lens

The Google Pixel 6 is a beautiful 5G choice as it offers a somewhat low worth — it begins at $599 — whilst still retaining top class features. Google's new Tensor chip powers the telephone, fueling numerous device learning-driven features, and this is your first opportunity to grasp Android 12 on a new instrument.

That said, there are some caveats, specifically associated with 5G protection. If you want a telephone that works on the higher-speed networks of AT&T and Verizon, you can want to buy the Pixel 6 at once from those carriers — and it costs greater than the $599 Google and T-Mobile are charging. There's additionally an older modem in the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, and we suspect that is hampering battery existence.

Nevertheless, the Pixel 6 will provide you with the opportunity to hook up with 5G in an reasonably priced phone that gives state of the art options. That's sufficient to make up for a few of the 5G shortcomings.

Read our complete Google Pixel 6 review.

12. iPhone 12 mini

Apple 5G for lower than $600

Specifications

Screen Size: 5.Four inches

Processor: A14 Bionic

Size / weight: 5.18 x 2.Fifty three x 0.29 inches / 4.76 ounces

Battery lifestyles (Hrs:Mins): 7:28

5G networks supported: AT&T, T-Mobile Verizon

Reasons to buy

+Price has dropped via $100+Capable dual cameras

Reasons to keep away from

-Shortest battery lifetime of any iPhone 12 model-Only 64GB storage to begin-Older hardware

Like the iPhone Thirteen mini, the older iPhone 12 mini proves that a 5G telephone doesn’t need to be humongous to house all the antennas needed to attach you to the next-generation community. The iPhone 12 mini includes a compact 5.4-inch OLED panel, and even though the phone itself is in truth smaller than Apple’s own iPhone SE, it might probably nonetheless connect with every form of 5G network — even Verizon’s mmWave-based 5G towers.

You’ll get Apple’s nonetheless tough A14 Bionic processor with the iPhone 12 mini, as well as the similar camera setup found in the iPhone 12. That approach you'll expect great pictures from Apple’s smallest iPhone. The battery inside the iPhone 12 mini is lovely taxed by 5G connectivity, however a relatively low starting price means you'll be able to experience 5G with no need to pay up for the privilege. And that price has dropped to $599 now that the iPhone 13 models are right here, making this a better value than before.

Read our full iPhone 12 mini review.

How to make a choice the best 5G phone for you

When in search of a 5G telephone, it would be best to believe which wi-fi service will likely be providing your mobile phone carrier. Different service suppliers are taking other approaches to their 5G rollouts.

Verizon, for example, has placed an emphasis on mmWave-based generation at the starting, so in case you plan on getting your telephone carrier from Big Red, you had best be sure that your 5G phone is able to connecting to mmWave towers. Likewise, whilst T-Mobile and AT&T have a couple of mmWave deployments, the vast majority in their network will depend on sub-6GHz technology for preliminary coverage. That's now not as quick as mmWave, but it covers a wider house. 

OpenSignal these days ranks T-Mobile as the best 5G network, even though no longer each and every third-part testing company concurs. Global Wireless Solutions ranks AT&T as the best 5G network, while RootMetrics praises AT&T's speed and T-Mobile's 5G availability.

Apart from what 5G networks a telephone supports, the standards for picking a 5G telephone is set the same as it could be for any handset. Consider the processor, display screen dimension, cameras and different features. Battery is particularly essential — 5G can draw some critical energy, and you'll be able to desire a telephone that is in a position to handle the added calls for on its battery.

Price stays an important distinguishing issue, and it is going to get extra so as lower-cost 5G phones roll out later this 12 months. In 2019, you had to pay any place from $Seven-hundred to $1,2 hundred for a flagship 5G phone. Even with the Galaxy Z Fold Three costing $1,700 — a worth that has more to do with its foldable design than its 5G strengthen — the value vary for 5G phones has begun to fall with extra 5G fashions to be had for $500 or less.

How we check 5G phones

To take a look at phones with 5G connectivity, we take them out into the field to measure obtain speeds with the Speedtest.net app. When imaginable, we examine that velocity to a comparable telephone on the similar wireless network to check out and gauge the improvement that 5G has to provide. We also be mindful of the way the telephone plays when 5G protection is not available.

Because so much of that 5G performance hinges on the wireless community and not the telephone itself, despite the fact that, we give greater weight to the standards through which we judge all phones. We run an array of benchmarks on each and every telephone — each artificial benchmarks in addition to real-world tests like transcoding a 4K video to 1080p and timing how long it takes. Our lab also measures the brightness and colour accuracy of each and every phone's display. Our proprietary battery take a look at determines longevity on a charge by way of without end streaming internet pages over an LTE community; we then recharge the tested phones to look how quickly they charge in 15-minute periods.

To measure camera efficiency, we shoot pictures under plenty of conditions, evaluating the results to photos produced by way of cameras in the same worth vary.

For 5G phones, we also believe the value of the tool compared to comparable LTE handsets.

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