We are inching close to the hyper-connected smart world thanks to the upcoming 5G technology. The fifth generation of cellular mobile communications would be a successor to the 4G network we are currently consuming. In India, you can expect 5G to go mainstream by 2020 or 2021, but 5G phones are already here well ahead in advance.
What improvements do 5G bring to the table?
- Greater speed, projected at 10-100 x faster than 4G (Strictly speaking the average speeds would be better than that of what we get in 4G).
- Better stability in connection
- Lower latency indicating shorter response time from servers would be shortened
- Higher bandwidth facilitates handling of more devices in a network.
The implication goes beyond faster browsing and download speeds. 5G would gear up the Mixed Reality experience, Edge computing, and better delivery of web-based services.
In case you are interested, we have covered 5G in detail in a separate article.
In case you plan on sticking with your phone for a couple of years and don’t want to miss on next-gen cellular connectivity when it arrives, here’s a list of 5G phones that you may consider.
Best currently available and top upcoming 5G phones of 2019 in India
1. Samsung Galaxy S10 5G
Samsung launched two 5G phones at its Unpacked event this year. While one is the Galaxy S10 5G which is similar to the Galaxy S10+(review), and then there is the Galaxy Fold, which gets its spot below.
The S10 5G has a bigger 4500mAh battery, a faster 25W charging support, and an extra ToF camera sensor for better depth-mapping, enhanced low light shots, and faster autofocus.
It has a 6.7-inch 1440 x 3040 Dynamic AMOLED display. It is powered by the Snapdragon 855 chipset in the U.S. and Exynos 9820 globally. It ships with 8GB RAM and up to 512GB of internal storage.
The Galaxy S10 5G will be exclusive to Verizon in the U.S. for now and will soon available via Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile. Rest, it is available in South Korea via KT telecom; via EE and Vodafone in the UK; via Telestra in Australia; Deutsche Telekom and Swisscom in Europe.
2. Samsung Galaxy Note10+ 5G
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G is as the name indicates just a 5G fork of the new flagship. It carries the same specs dot to dot. The underlying processor is Snapdragon 855 (in the U.S.) and Exynos 9825 in other markets including India. The performance is backed by up to 12GB of RAM and 512GB of onboard storage.
There is a 10MP front snapper. And as for the back, like the regular Note 10 Plus, here too you get a quad-camera setup comprising of a primary 12MP sensor, coupled with a 12MP 2x optical zoom telephoto, a 16MP ultra-wide sensor and finally a 3D VGA ToF sensor.
3. Oppo Reno 5G
Oppo Reno 5G is another phone that has become available in partnership with telecom operators in certain parts of the world. Recently, Oppo in partnership with Sunrise telecom has launched the Reno 5G in Switzerland.
Apart from Sunrise, the Oppo Reno 5G phone will be compatible with China Mobile, Swisscom, Telstra, Optus, and Singtel networks.
Oppo’s new Reno 5G phone has 10X optical zoom, a Snapdragon 855 chipset and a notch-less AMOLED screen.
4. Xiaomi Mi Mix Alpha 5G
Xiaomi recently launched its Mi Mix Alpha concept phone which will be made available in limited quantity. The Mi Mix Alpha boasts a wrap-around display that extends to back.
There are no bezels on the sides and phone offers 180 percent screen to body ratio. The other major highlights of this Xiaomi 5G phone is 108MP primary rear camera (Samsung HMX sensor) and Snapdragon 855 plus Chipset, 40W fast charging. It is yet to become available in India.
5. Samsung Galaxy Fold 5G
The Galaxy Fold is a cutting edge phone from Samsung and it also has a 5G variant available in select countries. The phone opens like a book to reveal its bigger, flexible display.
The Galaxy Fold is powered by Snapdragon 855 mobile platform and is also the first phone with UFS 3.0 storage (512GB). It combines two batteries for a 4380mAh capacity, has dual front cameras, triple rear cameras, and one cover camera.
6. OnePlus 7 Pro 5G
OnePlus first talked about its 5G phone at the 2018 Qualcomm annual Tech Summit. The 5G phone prototype was finally showcased at MWC 2019, but it was kept in a sealed package, but visitors did get a demo of a 5G application, cloud-based gaming.
Apart from the 5G support, OnePlus 7 Pro 5G features a 90Hz Fluid AMOLED display that projects 2K resolution. The cameras include a 48MP Sony IMX586 shooter coupled with an 8MP 3X telephoto Zoom (f/2.4 aperture) and a 16MP 117-degree Ultra-Wide angle lens (f/2.2 aperture). Under the hood, the phone carries an SD855 chipset along with a 4000mAh battery that supports a whopping 30W fast charger. The internals also includes up to 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.
7. Huawei Mate 30 Pro 5G
Huawei Mate 30 Pro is another phone that has a 5G compatible version. This Huawei 2019 flagship is known for its camera capabilities. It flaunts a quad-camera setup at the rear and dual camera at the front.
The Huawei Mate 30 Pro 5G version is also driven by Huawei’s HiSilicon Kirin 990 chip which is coupled with Mali -G76 MP16 GPU, UFS 3.0 storage and up to 8GB RAM. It is other unique features are 720p@7680fp slo-mos and 27W fast wireless charging. Its shame to see such a powerful device ship without Google services.
8. Huawei Mate 20 X 5G
It will be Huawei‘s first non-foldable 5G device. The phone will be first available with the Swiss telecom network – Sunrise. The Mate 20 X 5G phone will have a new modem, slightly smaller 4200mAh battery in comparison to the regular Mate 20 Pro (review). This is compensated by a 40W fast charging support.
Further, it comes in 8GB RAM and 256GB of storage. It launched at a price of CNY6,199 ($900/€810) in China. It is also available in the UK with Sky Mobile, Three, and Vodafone. As for Europe, Sunrise is the provider. Lastly, in the UAE, the phone is available through Vodafone.
9. Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G
Xiaomi is one of the brands enlisted by Qualcomm who has picked its X50 5G NR modem family for standard 5G equipped mobile device launches starting in 2019.
The 5G variant of Mi Mix 3 was officially presented at MWC 2019. It’s a slider phone with a 6.39-inch FHD+ screen and is powered by Snapdragon 855 mobile platform. The handset has a 3800mAh battery and runs Android 9.0 Pie-based MIUI 10 out of the box.
It is available in the UK via O2 and Vodafone. As for the rest of Europe, Sunrise is the service provider.
10. LG V50 ThinQ
The LG V50 ThinQ 5G is available for Sprint and Verison users in the US starting this spring. In fact, the phone has a wide 5G logo on the back that shines when the phone connects to Sprint’s 5G network. Further, it will hit the U.K. via EE telecom; Australia via Telstra and Europe via Swisscom.
Talking of specs, there is a 6.4-inch OLED display, Android 9.0 Pie, triple rear cameras, dual front cameras, 4000mAh battery, and of course, the Snapdragon 855 powering it all.
11. Lenovo Z6 Pro 5G Discovery Edition
Lenovo too joined the 5G brigade with its Z6 Pro 5G Discovery Edition which is made available in China. The phone comes with Snapdragon 855 chipset coupled with an X50 modem.
The other highlights of the phone include AMOLED screen, metal-glass design, up to 12GB RAM and 512 GB storage. The phone also includes a 4,000mAh and 27W fast charging.
12. ZTE Axon 10 Pro 5G
The 5G edition of ZTE Axon 10 Pro bears the Snapdragon 855 processor and X50 5G modem. It comes with a 4000mAh battery and up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. The display is a 6.47-inch 1080 x 2340-pixels AMOLED panel with a notch up top.
The rear cameras include a 48 MP+ 20 MP+ 8 MP trio and upfront, you get a 20 MP selfie snapper. The phone is available in UAE with Etisalat and is available in its homeland too.
13. Vivo Apex 2019 (Upcoming)
Vivo jumped the 5G bandwagon with the new Vivo Apex 2019 prototype but would be slow on a commercial release as its skeptical towards the initial adoption and the quality of the network.
The Vivo Apex 2019 has no ports or buttons and primarily relies on gestures and pressure sensors for navigation. There are magnetic pins at the back for charging, an in-display fingerprint sensor, and also display speakers.
14. Huawei Mate X
Mate X is the first foldable phone and the first 5G phone from Huawei. Unlike most 5G phones that will use Qualcomm’s X50 modem, the Mate X has Huawei’s own Balong 5000 5G modem paired with Kirin 980 chipset.
Other Android OEMs
Once the king of the Android platform, HTC would also try its hands on 5G. Apart from a partnership with Qualcomm, it has also collaborated with China Mobile for the 5G advancement. However, its interest lies in the Hybrid reality viz. The Vive product range, not on smartphones. The company had a 5G Hotspot to showcase at MWC 2019.
Lenovo and its subsidiary Motorola has also bet on the bandwagon, although if history is any guide, then we won’t be parlaying with the company. ZTE, Nubia, Sony and other companies would contribute and participate in the 5G adoption. Even you could expect the Mountain View King of Search, Google to surprise us with its upcoming Pixel device.
Nokia and Apple won’t be introducing 5G phones this year.
So, should you be excited about 5G?
Yes, definitely! If you’re an early adopter, then this year would turn out to be an exciting one for you. 5G enforcement would be a staged process that comes with minor problems. However, like you, we too wish for a trouble-less transition. The adoption from Smartphone makers would depend on operators’ infrastructure and progress to a great extent. OEMs would have to overcome some early design challenges too.
Here’s the summary list of best 5g mobile phones in 2019
|Samsung Galaxy S10 5G||₹91100*|
|Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G||₹91100*|
|Oppo Reno 5G||₹69000*|
|Xiaomi Mi Mix Alpha 5G||₹250000*|
|Samsung Galaxy Fold 5G||₹200000*|
|OnePlus 7 Pro 5G||N/A|
|Huawei Mate 30 Pro||₹99999*|
|Huawei Mate 20 Pro||₹69999*|
|Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G||₹40000*|
|LG V50 ThinQ||₹74600*|
|Lenovo Z6 Pro 5G Discovery Edition||₹71999*|
|ZTE Axon 10 Pro 5G||₹71,990|
|Vivo Apex 2019||N/A|
|Huawei Mate X||N/A|
*expected India price.