5G has arrived in many countries and while it’s not yet widely available in most, coverage is improving rapidly and the number of 5G phones is growing, so now’s the ideal time to upgrade to one of the best 5G phones available.
Best phones by brand
If you’ve got the money to spend there’s plenty of choice, as most of this year’s flagships – from the Samsung Galaxy S20 to the OnePlus 8 Pro – support 5G. But even if you’re working with a more limited budget there are a number of options, such as the Samsung Galaxy A90 5G and Nubia Red Magic 5G.
You’ll note that two of the examples we’ve given are Samsung phones, and that’s no accident, as the South Korean company has brought out a large number of great 5G handsets, many of which have found their way onto our best 5G phones list, but there are plenty of options from other companies too.
And the selection of great 5G phones is only going to grow, so we’ll be keeping this list regularly updated as new 5G handsets are released throughout 2020 and beyond.
Later this year we’re expecting the Samsung Galaxy Note 20, iPhone 12 and potentially the Google Pixel 5 range to launch with 5G for example, so check back to see where they – and other upcoming 5G phones – rank.
- What is 5G? Our full explainer about the next-gen internet tech
Best 5G phones at a glance
- Samsung Galaxy S20 / S20 Plus
- OnePlus 8 Pro
- Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus
- Oppo Reno 5G
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
- Samsung Galaxy S10 5G
- Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G
- OnePlus 7 Pro
- Nubia Red Magic 5G
- Samsung Galaxy A90 5G
Best 5G phones
1. Samsung Galaxy S20 / S20 Plus
Release date: March 2020 | Weight: 163g/188g | Dimensions: 151.7 x 69.1 x 7.9mm/161.9 x 73.7 x 7.8mm | OS: Android 10 | Screen size: 6.2-inch/6.7-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 3200 | CPU: Snapdragon 865 / Exynos 990 | RAM: 12GB | Storage: 128GB (S20) or 128GB/256GB/512GB (S20 Plus) | Battery: 4,000mAh/4500mAh | Rear camera: 12MP + 64MP + 12MP (+ToF on S20 Plus) | Front camera: 10MP
Lots of power
Not a huge upgrade on S10
The Samsung Galaxy S20 series are all available with 5G versions, but we’d suggest the base and Plus versions are the best option, as they combine plenty of top-end features with a (relatively) low price tag.
As with most Samsung phones, the S20 devices have great-looking displays with AMOLED panels, but they up the refresh rate to 120Hz. They’ve also got top-end chipsets and cameras with plenty of software tricks to help you take the best picture possible.
Sure, they’re missing some tricks from the phone that sits at the top of their range (which is just below in this list), but we believe the low price makes the Samsung Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus more accessible and better value for money.
2. OnePlus 8 Pro
The best OnePlus yet
Release date: April 2020 | Weight: 199g | Dimensions: 165.3 x 74.35 x 8.5mm | OS: Android 10 | Screen size: 6.78-inch | Resolution: 3168 x 1440 | CPU: Snapdragon 865 | RAM: 8/12GB | Storage: 128/256GB | Battery: 4,510mAh | Rear camera: 48MP+48MP+5MP+8MP | Front camera: 16MP
One of the best displays around
5G and plenty of power
Reverse & fast wireless charging
Most expensive OnePlus yet
Less storage base model vs 7T Pro
The OnePlus 8 Pro is one of the best phones available so of course – since it comes with 5G as standard – it’s also one of the best 5G phones.
5G-aside the highlight is undoubtedly its screen, which is a 6.78-inch curved, Fluid AMOLED display with 513 pixels per inch. But it also has a 120Hz refresh rate, which is higher than most phones, and can help interactions feel smoother.
This being a flagship it also has flagship power, with a Snapdragon 865 chipset and up to 12GB of RAM. It has a quad-lens camera too, headlined by a 48MP snapper, and there’s a big 4,510mAh battery.
Speaking of the battery, this is the first OnePlus phone to support wireless charging, as well as the first to have a real water resistance rating. You could in fact say that it’s the first to have no real compromises.
3. Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G
A 5G phone with a stylus
Release date: August 2019 | Weight: 196g | Dimensions: 162.3 x 77.2 x 7.9mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.8-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 3040 | CPU: Snapdragon 855 / Exynos 9825 | RAM: 12GB | Storage: 256GB/512GB | Battery: 4,300mAh | Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP + 16MP + ToF | Front camera: 10MP
Great selfie camera
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G is one of the best phones from 2019 and the absolute top from that year if you’re looking for 5G connectivity.
As with all Samsung Galaxy Note phones, the Note 10 Plus 5G has a stylus you can use, which is great for note-taking, sketching and annotating documents, all tasks that 5G will improve by offering a more reliable internet connection and faster downloads and uploads.
Sure, this is a pricey phone, even within the high-price standards that the others on this list set, but there’s enough to like here to offset that, like the top-end cameras or screen technology.
4. Oppo Reno 5G
Pop-up to 5G
Release date: May 2019 | Weight: 215g | Dimensions: 162 x 77.2 x 9.3mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.6-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2340 | CPU: Snapdragon 855 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB | Battery: 4,065mAh | Rear camera: 48MP + 13MP + 8MP | Front camera: 16MP
Great camera array
Battery life isn’t incredible
Pretty big phone
As with the base device, the Oppo Reno 5G has a decent camera array, display and processing power. It has also got a novel design, with a ‘shark-fin’ pop-up selfie camera that’s sure to impress people at parties. This means there’s a full-body display too, not broken up by a notch or chunky bezel.
This is one of the more affordable 5G phones on the market right now but that doesn’t make it cheap. It’s also pretty big, so people with small hands might find it a bit hard to use.
5. Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
Is it a phone, or a mini-tablet?
Release date: March 2020 | Weight: 222g | Dimensions: 166.9 x 76 x 8.8mm | OS: Android 10 | Screen size: 6.9-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 3200 | CPU: Snapdragon 865 / Exynos 990 | RAM: 12GB / 16GB | Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB | Battery: 5,000mAh | Rear camera: 108MP + 48MP + 12MP + ToF | Front camera: 40MP
Impressive camera tricks
Very expensive for ‘standard’ smartphone
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra is the 5G phone for you if you want plenty of cutting-edge features, specs and tricks on your handset, no matter the price. And you better be ready to ignore the price, because this phone isn’t cheap.
With its 6.9-inch AMOLED 120Hz screen, 108MP main camera, 100x digital zoom, top-end chipset and of course its 5G compatibility, you’re not going to be left wanting for new features to try out.
The Galaxy S20 Ultra is not a perfect phone by any means, and its price is so high that we’d argue the Samsung Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus are probably better 5G phones for most people, but if price was no object this phone would likely land higher.
6. Samsung Galaxy S10 5G
Samsung’s original 5G phone
Release date: April 2019 | Weight: 198g | Dimensions: 162.6 x 77.1 x 7.9mm | OS: Android 10 | Screen size: 6.7-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 3040 | CPU: Snapdragon 855 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB / 512GB | Battery: 4,500mAh | Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP + 16MP + ToF | Front camera: 10MP + ToF
Samsung’s first ever 5G phone was the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, a version of the Galaxy S10 Plus with next-gen connectivity and a few extra tweaks and changes too. It’s the most premium device of the S10 range, in price as well as features.
With four rear cameras (and impressive post-processing software), a great Samsung display and, for the time, a top-end chipset, it’s a decent device, even though it has been succeeded by the Galaxy S20 series.
Versions of the phone with an Exynos chipset (in Europe and Asia) may have some problems like a battery life that could be better, and a tendency to get rather hot, but we didn’t find issues like that in versions of the phone with the Snapdragon 855 (in the US).
7. Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G
A relatively affordable 5G phone
Release date: May 2019 | Weight: 225g | Dimensions: 157.9 x 74.7 x 9.4mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.39-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2340 | CPU: Snapdragon 855 | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 3,800mAh | Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP | Front camera: 24MP + 2MP
All-screen front looks good
Sliding mechanism is fiddly
4G alternatives cost less
When the first wave of 5G phones came out, the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G was the most affordable of the cohort. It’s a 5G-enabled version of the base Mi Mix 3, but also has a number of other upgrades.
The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G has an all-screen design, so the front-facing cameras are housed in a pop-up mechanism that keeps them out of sight when you don’t need them. It’s got two selfie-snappers as well as two rear cameras, and also a decent chipset and screen.
Affordable 5G phones are a niche that’s really being explored in 2020, so the Mi Mix 3 5G might be toppled soon, but for now it’s one of the best options if you’re looking for a 5G handset that won’t break the bank.
8. OnePlus 7 Pro 5G
One of the first 5G phones
Release date: May 2019 | Weight: 206g | Dimensions: 162.6 x 75.9 x 8.8mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.67-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 3120 | CPU: Snapdragon 855 | RAM: 6GB / 8GB / 12GB | Storage: 128GB / 256GB | Battery: 4,000mAh | Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 16MP | Front camera: 16MP
Powerful, sharp screen
More affordable than competitors
No different to non-5G
Camera is good, not great
The OnePlus 7 Pro 5G was one of the first 5G phones available in many regions, and it’s a 5G-enabled version of the base OnePlus 7 Pro, exactly the same in all ways except connectivity.
This means it has a high-end chipset, good-looking display and a pop-up camera, just like the Oppo Reno 5G (although perhaps not as wacky-looking). It also has impressively quick charging.
Sure, this isn’t as top-end as some of the other phones on this list, but the price reflects that, as it’s a little more affordable than lots of the other devices on this list.
9. Nubia Red Magic 5G
Magic for gaming, less so for some other things
Release date: March 2020 | Weight: 218g | Dimensions: 168.6 x 78 x 9.8mm | OS: Android 10 | Screen size: 6.65-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2340 | CPU: Snapdragon 865 | RAM: 8/12GB | Storage: 128/256GB | Battery: 4,500mAh | Rear camera: 64MP + 8MP + 2MP | Front camera: 8MP
144Hz display is ideal for gaming
Shoulder triggers are handy
Screen isn’t the most high-res
The Nubia Red Magic 5G is one of the smallest names on this list, but it shows that you don’t need to be a big name to make a great 5G phone, as this has a whole lot going for it.
The most exciting feature is its screen. Not for its fairly pedestrian 1080 x 2340 resolution, but for its 144Hz refresh rate, which is higher than the refresh rate on any other smartphone at the time of writing, and therefore makes for smoother interactions with supported content.
The Red Magic 5G also has loads of power from its Snapdragon 865 chipset and up to 12GB of RAM, and that’s good, because this is primarily a gaming phone – if its RGB lights didn’t give that away its physical shoulder triggers probably would. Of course, that makes it an ideal fit for 5G, since with online and streamed games, 5G can be a real advantage.
10. Samsung Galaxy A90 5G
If 5G is your priority over other features
Release date: September 2019 | Weight: 206g | Dimensions: 164.8 x 76.4 x 8.4mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.7-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2400 | CPU: Snapdragon 855 | RAM: 6/8GB | Storage: 128GB | Battery: 4,500mAh | Rear camera: 48MP + 8MP + 5MP | Front camera: 32MP
Big, bold screen
Not good for night photography
No zoom camera
The Samsung Galaxy A series is a more affordable alternative to the Galaxy S range, and the A90 5G is, as the name suggests, its device designed for people who want a 5G phone.
The handset brings the highlights of the A-series, like good-looking screens and big batteries, although we found in our review that its camera wasn’t as great as competing phones.
The Samsung Galaxy A90 5G really competes with the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G, as it’s for people who want an affordable 5G phone that sacrifices on some features in order to lower the cost.