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 5G phones of 2019 and top upcoming 5G phones in India
1. Samsung Galaxy S10 5G
Samsung launched two 5G phones at its Unpacked event this year. The Galaxy S10 5G looks almost similar to the Galaxy S10+, but it has a bigger battery and an extra ToF camera sensor (for AR stuff, perhaps).
The Galaxy S10 5G will be exclusive to Verison in the US. Samsung has understandably not announced any price or availability details for Galaxy S10 5G yet. In fact, Samsung only showed the device to journalists from afar, which is to say it isn’t quite ready yet.
2. 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.
The Mate X is a slim foldable phone with a single 8-inch flexible OLED panel that folds outwards. Other notable highlights include 4500mAh battery, 8GB RAM and 512GB storage.
3. Samsung Galaxy Fold
The Galaxy Fold is a really cutting edge phone from Samsung and it will also have a 5G variant. 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.
4. OnePlus 5G Phone
OnePlus first talked about its 5G phone at 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.
The smartphone world expects the upcoming 2019 Oneplus phone to incorporate 5G. OnePlus sure sees it as a ‘game changer’ and the way forward.
5. Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G
Xiaomi is one of the brands enlisted by Qualcomm who have 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.
6. LG V50 ThinQ
LG V50 ThinQ 5G will be 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.
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.
7. Vivo Apex 2019
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 2018 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.
8. Oppo 5G Phone
Oppo introduced an unnamed smartphone at MWC 2019 that will be available in Q2 2019. The first 5G phone from Oppo will be compatible with China Mobile, Swisscom, Telstra, Optus, and Singtel networks.
Oppo also announced an upcoming triple camera phone at the same event, which would also include its 10X Super optical zoom technology.
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. In fact, 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?
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 which 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.
List of best 5G phones 2019 launched or expected to be announced soon
|Product Name||Price in India||Announced|
|Samsung Galaxy S10 5G||N/a||Q2, 2019|
|Huawei Mate X||N/a||Q2, 2019|
|Samsung Galaxy Fold||N/a||Q2, 2019|
|OnePlus 5G||N/a||Q2, 2019|
|Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G||N/a||Q1, 2019|
|LG V50 ThinQ||N/a||Q1, 2019|
|Vivo Apex||N/a||Q1, 2019|
|Oppo 5G||N/a||Q3, 2019|