Best 5G phones 2020 get the perfect 5G phone for

Here at T3 we’re fully 5G-ready and this guide to the best 5G phones on the market is the only one you’re going to need: from the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra to the Oppo Reno 5G and everything in between, we’ll talk you through the best 5G phones, the cheapest 5G deals, and the details of the 5G spec.

Just about every phone manufacturer out there is working on 5G right now, as CES 2020 has shown and the rest of 2020 will no doubt go on to prove, and you’ve now got a number of fantastic 5G phones to choose between – read on to find the best 5G phone on the market for you, whether you’re buying now or waiting until later.

  • 5G UK: the phones, networks, and deals you need for 5G in the UK
  • Best phones: all the top smartphones right now in one place

Buying a 5G phone already makes a lot of sense, and it’s making more sense every day in 2020: UK operators are now rolling out 5G coverage in more and more areas in a major way, giving you access to super-fast speeds and extra bandwidth. New towns and cities are getting the upgrade all the time.

On top of that, the price premium for making the jump to 5G is shrinking all the time: new models are now appearing on the scene on a regular basis, and we reckon there’s never been a better time to take advantage of what 5G has to offer.

Sometimes newer tech can take a while to filter down to the masses, but fortunately it looks as though that won’t be the case with 5G: both operators and manufacturers alike seem keen to get 5G technology into the hands of users as quickly as possible.

And while it might take a while for our best smartphones list to get filled with 5G phones, as we go further into 2020 you should have a wide choice of handsets to pick from, with new models from the likes of Apple and Google on the way. We’re here to guide you through all the current options.

5G is here, and in 2020 more 5G phones are going to launch around the world.

In terms of the impact of 5G, think augmented reality (computer graphics merging with the real world), virtual reality, improved streaming resolutions, holographic displays, enhanced power and next-gen cloud computing… 5G is a significant jump forward for phones.

With so much bandwidth available, we’re seeing plenty more gadgets and devices getting online too (self-driving cars and so on).

Partner these exciting developments with the other phone advancements charging over the horizon, such as totally notch-less and bezel-less displays, and its easy to see why many commentators are pegging 2020 as another big year of change for smartphones.

You might see some regional variation – 5G phones in India might not launch at the same time as in Europe for example – while Apple seems to be taking its time for now. We think the iPhone 12, due to appear in September 2020, is going to be the first Apple handset to support 5G.

Before we get to the 5G phones leading the 5G vanguard, though, let’s briefly recap what 5G exactly is…

5G explained – what is 5G?

5G is the successor to 4G (or LTE), which succeeded 3G (spot the pattern…). As phones and the network infrastructure become 5G-capable, we can all start enjoying faster upload and download speeds, among many other 5G phone benefits.

How much faster is a 5G phone connection? It depends on your device, location, and network, but improvements of around 15-50 percent should be possible day-to-day in the real world. Hypothetically, in lab conditions, 5G can improve on 4G many more times than that, so there’s room to grow: imagine full 4K movies downloading in a minute or two, and you’re in the right area.

5G isn’t just about speed though, about simply being able to watch 4K Netflix on the train home. It’s also about capacity, and being able to get a stronger signal in crowded areas. In other words, you shouldn’t lose connection anywhere near as easily at a crowded sports stadium or a music festival, for example.

Be sure to check out T3’s dedicated 5G explained feature if you want even more information about 5G technology and what it can do for you.

The best 5G phones to buy in 2020

1. Best 5G phone for most people: OnePlus 7 Pro 5G

Simply put, one of the best 5G phones

Specifications

Weight: 206g

Dimensions: 162.6 x 75.9 x 8.8 mm

OS: Android 9.0

Screen size: 6.67 inches

Resolution: 1,440 x 3,120 pixels

CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855

RAM: 6GB / 8GB / 12GB

Storage: 128GB / 256GB

Battery: 4,000mAh

Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 16MP

Front camera: 16MP

Reasons to buy

+Who needs bezels?+Excellent OxygenOS software+Rapid hardware

As promised all those months ago at the Mobile World Congress Shanghai, OnePlus has created a 5G-enabled version of its flagship smartphone. The OnePlus 7 Pro 5G is identical to the standard 4G-touting OnePlus 7 Pro – same design, cameras, display, battery cell. In fact, the only difference is its ability to surf speedy 5G networks. That’s a very different approach to the Galaxy S10 5G, which is an entirely-new device with more cameras, a bigger battery and screen than the standard S10.

As such, OnePlus 7 Pro 5G owners will enjoy the same 6.67-inch display with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio and 90Hz refresh rate. The latter, branded Fluid AMOLED by the firm, equates to 90 frames-per-second and makes animations and transitions appear much smoother on the edge-to-edge display. It also supports HDR10 and HDR10+.

OnePlus 7 Pro has a fingerprint scanner embedded beneath the AMOLED display, which is 36% bigger than the one included with the OnePlus 6T for faster and more accurate unlocks. According to OnePlus, the scanner unlocks in 0.24 seconds.

Aside from the AMOLED display, the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G has a triple rear-camera capable of shooting images in Portrait Mode, ultra-wide or at 3x optical zoom. There’s also a 16MP f/2.0 selfie camera found in a small pop-up drawer that emerges from the chassis. OnePlus 7 Pro 5G benefits from UFS 3.0 storage, which dramatically improves speed across the entire operating system – from loading-up a hefty PDF document for the first time, to saving photos from the camera. There’s also a flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 under the bonnet to keep things ticking over, as well as a 4,000mAh battery, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of built-in storage.

2. Best premium 5G phone: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

The best Galaxy phone Samsung has ever made, plus 5G

Specifications

Weight: 222g

Dimensions: 166.9 x 76 x 8.8 mm

OS: Android 10

Screen size: 6.9 inches

Resolution: 1440 x 3200

CPU: Exynos 990 / Snapdragon 865

RAM: 12GB/16GB

Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB

Battery: 5,000 mAh

Rear camera: 108 MP wide + 48 MP periscope + 12 MP ultrawide + 0.3 MP TOF

Front camera: 40MP + 40MP

Reasons to buy

+Huge, super smooth 120Hz screen+Hyper premium internal hardware+Versatile, feature-packed camera

There’s so much to like about the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra that it’s difficult to know where to start: amazing looks, 5G connectivity of course, and specs to rival any handset out there, including up to 16GB of RAM.

That quad-lens rear camera isn’t bad either, with its 100x digital zoom for getting you closer to the action, and a sharper 10x hybrid optical zoom. When you’re not drooling over the phone’s high-speed 5G connectivity, you’ll be admiring the quality of the snaps it takes.

Perhaps the only downside is the price, because this is going to cost you a substantial amount of money. With all that in mind, we reckon its the best premium 5G phone out there at the moment.

3. Best budget 5G phone: Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G

The best cheap 5G phone on the market today

Specifications

Weight: 225g

Dimensions: 157.9 x 74.7 x 8.5 mm

OS: Android 9.0

Screen size: 6.39 inches

Resolution: 1,080 x 2,340 pixels

CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855

RAM: 6GB

Storage: 64GB / 128GB

Battery: 3,800mAh

Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP

Front camera: 24MP + 2MP

Reasons to buy

+Fantastically low price point+Unusual slide-out mechanism+Strong internal hardware spec

The 5G Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 was confirmed in late October 2018, and after being teased at MWC 2019, it went on sale in May 2019, putting it near the front of the 5G smartphone release schedule.

5G aside, the Mi Mix 3 looks like a strong device, with a magnetically sliding 6.39-inch OLED display embedded in a sleek bezel-less design (93.4% screen-to-body ratio), and a suite of hardware that includes a maximum of 10GB of RAM and 256GB of storage space, as well as a dual rear camera system (24MP + 2MP). We were certainly impressed with the non-5G version of the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3.

Most exciting for users looking to upgrade to a 5G phone this year is the smartphone’s price, which is significantly lower than the other best 5G phones. Indeed, the Mi Mix 3 5G proves that you don’t have to break the bank to get a rapid 5G phone.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 5G is one of the absolute finest 5G phones on the market today.

(Image credit: Samsung)

4. Samsung Galaxy S20 5G

One of the very finest pound-for-pound 5G phones in the world

Specifications

Weight: 163g

Dimensions: 151 x 69.1 x 7.9 mm (5.9 x 2.7 x 0.3 in)

OS: Android 10

Screen size: 6.2 inches

Resolution: 1440 x 3200 pixels

CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon SM8250 / Exynos 990

RAM: 8GB / 12GB

Storage: 128GB

Battery: 4,000mAh

Rear camera: 64MP, 12MP, 12MP

Front camera: 10MP + TOF

Reasons to buy

+Packed with power+Supports all 5G standards+Gorgeous screen+Stunning fit and finish

The Samsung Galaxy S20 5G is testament to the South Korean maker’s dedication to ushering in the era 5G data connections, with this premium phone supporting all 5G standards. That means that, providing you have 5G in your area, you are guaranteed to be able to tap into those lighting fast, low latency networks.

It also delivers in terms of a phone, too, with flagship-grade tech, features and fit and finish. The S20 5G’s incredible AMOLED screen with silky smooth 120Hz refresh rate is truly something to behold.

The camera system, too, for a Samsung device is literally bursting with features and shooting modes, while the fact that the phone comes running Android 10 out of the box with Samsung’s superb One UI 2.0 skin on top means that interacting with it is a sheer joy.

Through in some genuine gaming chops thanks to an Adreno 650 GPU and plenty of internal storage space, and it is easy to see how this phone delivers the complete package to its owner.

Indeed, that package is so impressive that the Samsung Galaxy S20 5G has just won the much-wanted Best 5G Phone award at the T3 Awards 2020. This means that it struck the right notes with the judges and should absolutely be top of any upgrader’s list.

5. Samsung Galaxy A90 5G

The best 5G phone available at a mid-range price point

Specifications

Weight: 206g

Dimensions: 164.8 x 76.4 x 8.4 mm

OS: Android 9.0

Screen size: 6.7 inches

Resolution: 1,080 x 2,400 pixels

CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855

RAM: 6GB / 8GB

Storage: 128GB

Battery: 4,500mAh

Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 5MP

Front camera: 32MP

Reasons to buy

+5G at a mid-range price+Very tidy design+Strong internal hardware spec

Our next Samsung pick in this list is the one to go for if you want a quality 5G Samsung phone for as little cash as possible: the Samsung Galaxy A90 5G. It comes with all the usual Samsung qualities (speedy, well designed, great screen) but won’t make you part with your life savings.

And you’re getting a whole lot in return for your money too, including a triple-lens rear camera (with one camera a 48MP monster), a generous 6.7-inch screen and a big 4,500mAh battery. Some corners are cut – no IP68 waterproofing and no wireless charging, for example – but overall it’s a fantastic deal.

It’s fantastic to see 5G phones coming down in price, and the Samsung Galaxy A90 5G should be the start of an ongoing trend where 5G becomes more affordable. We’ll add more great 5G phones to this list as we come across them.

6. Huawei Mate 20 X 5G

A powerhouse of a 5G phone from Huawei with a simply massive screen

Specifications

Weight: 233g

Dimensions: 174.6 x 85.4 x 8.4 mm

OS: Android 9

Screen size: 7.2 inches

Resolution: 1,080 x 2,244 pixels

CPU: Kirin 980

RAM: 8GB

Storage: 256GB

Battery: 4,200mAh

Rear camera: 40MP + 8MP + 20MP

Front camera: 24MP

Reasons to buy

+Gargantuan screen size+Packed with power+Strong battery life

It might use slightly older components, but the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G is still a superbly powerful phone and one that’ll have you reaching the fastest 5G speeds… assuming you can get them wherever you happen to be standing. Unlike the latest Huawei phones, it has a full suite of Google apps too.

As we’ve come to expect from Huawei, the camera is excellent, and there are three lenses on the back as well as 3x optical zoom. The battery is a huge 4,200mAh one as well, so you shouldn’t have to worry about running out of juice before the end of the day.

Because the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G has been out a while, you might be able to pick it up for some very decent prices (see above and below for details). Definitely one to consider if you like your screens as big as possible (and you don’t mind operating your phone with two hands).

(Image credit: Samsung)

7. Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G

A hyper-premium 5G phone choice

Specifications

Weight: 198g

Dimensions: 162.3 x 77.2 x 7.9 mm

OS: Android 9.0

Screen size: 6.8 inches

Resolution: 1,440 x 3,040 pixels

CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 / Exynos 9825

RAM: 12GB

Storage: 256GB / 512GB

Battery: 4,300mAh

Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP + 16MP + TOF

Front camera: 10MP

Reasons to buy

+Clean and classy design+You get a stylus

if you want to stick with Samsung for your 5G needs then the 5G-enabled Galaxy Note 10+ offers an interesting alternative to the 5G-enabled Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S20 models. It’s unique selling point is of course that S Pen stylus that sets it apart from the other Galaxy handsets.

So if you think you’re going to want to make notes on the lock screen, control your phone remotely, and do all the other stuff that the Samsung stylus enables, this could be an even better bet than the S10 and S20 above. It also has a slightly tweaked design that you might find preferable.

Really though you can’t go wrong with any of these phones – just decide on the screen size you want and whether or not you’d like a stylus. Remember to check the latest prices on the web as well, as they could play a big part in helping you make a decision (the embedded widgets on this page should help with that).

8. Huawei Mate 20 X 5G

A powerhouse of a 5G phone from Huawei with a simply massive screen

Specifications

Weight: 233g

Dimensions: 174.6 x 85.4 x 8.4 mm

OS: Android 9

Screen size: 7.2 inches

Resolution: 1,080 x 2,244 pixels

CPU: Kirin 980

RAM: 8GB

Storage: 256GB

Battery: 4,200mAh

Rear camera: 40MP + 8MP + 20MP

Front camera: 24MP

Reasons to buy

+Gargantuan screen size+Packed with power+Strong battery life

It might use slightly older components, but the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G is still a superbly powerful phone and one that’ll have you reaching the fastest 5G speeds… assuming you can get them wherever you happen to be standing. Unlike the latest Huawei phones, it has a full suite of Google apps too.

As we’ve come to expect from Huawei, the camera is excellent, and there are three lenses on the back as well as 3x optical zoom. The battery is a huge 4,200mAh one as well, so you shouldn’t have to worry about running out of juice before the end of the day.

Because the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G has been out a while, you might be able to pick it up for some very decent prices (see above and below for details). Definitely one to consider if you like your screens as big as possible (and you don’t mind operating your phone with two hands).

9. Oppo Reno 5G

One of the more affordable, and stylish, 5G phone options

Specifications

Weight: 215g

Dimensions: 162 x 77.2 x 9.3 mm

OS: Android 9.0

Screen size: 6.6 inches

Resolution: 1,080 x 2,340 pixels

CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855

RAM: 8GB

Storage: 256GB

Battery: 4,065mAh

Rear camera: 48MP + 13MP + 8MP

Front camera: 16MP

Reasons to buy

+Cute pop-up selfie camera+Superior photo-taking capabilities+Sleek design

Also entering the 5G phone race is Oppo, with the Chinese maker officially unveiling the Oppo Reno, a brand new, 5G-toting flagship phone.

The Reno 5G comes with a 6.6-inch edge-to-edge OLED display, a large 4,065mAh battery, 10x lossless hybrid zoom camera and, yes, a 5G modem. It also features a wizzy pop-up wedge selfie camera. In short, the Oppo Reno 5G looks like a real 5G phone contender.

The dramatic Reno release has been coming, too. In January 2018 Oppo finalised a deal with Qualcomm to use its components and technology in its devices, while in May 2018 it demonstrated the world’s first 5G video call, too. Oppo has been working on 5G technology for a while now.

The 5G Oppo Reno is set to cost €899 (roughly £790) at launch and is set for release in June 2019. That’s still a lot of money, but it’s likely to be one of the more affordable 5G handsets to begin with.

10. Moto Z3

A decent alternative 5G phone available at a mid-range price point

Specifications

Weight: 156g

Dimensions: 156.5 x 76.5 x 6.8 mm

OS: Android 9.0

Screen size: 6.01 inches

Resolution: 1,080 x 2,160 pixels

CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 835

RAM: 4GB / 6GB

Storage: 64GB / 128GB

Battery: 3,000mAh

Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP

Front camera: 8MP

Reasons to buy

+Low price+Mid-range hardware spec

There are a few qualifiers here: the Moto Z3 is capable of 5G speeds, but only if you buy the 5G Moto Mod for it, and are on Verizon in the US, and are in an area where 5G is supported. Tick all those boxes and you can join the 5G revolution!

The Z3 itself was actually launched quite some time ago, bringing with it a decent 6.01-inch screen, a Snapdragon 835 processor and 6GB of RAM. It’s not the most capable phone in the world, but with a 5G add-on, it qualifies for our roundup.

Now Motorola has joined the 5G club, we’ll have to wait and see what it has planned for the other smartphones it’s launching in 2020. You’ll certainly be able to pick this up relatively cheaply, but remember the 5G Moto Mod.

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