In 2021, the best 5G phone for you won’t just be the latest top-price flagship, as it would have been in years past when 5G was still new. Now that most new mid-range phones (and even some budget ones) connect to next-gen cellular networks, there are plenty of options for you. We’ll highlight the best ones below.
5G is the next generation of mobile data connectivity, bringing super-fast speeds along with improved reliability and connection stability over 4G, making it great for tasks like online gaming, movie streaming and downloading large files quickly.
Now that 2021 has shown its smartphone hand, so to speak, the list is likely to remain the same until 2022 – that is, until a last-minute handset appears.
This round-up is not a replica of our standard best smartphone guide. Instead, we’ve looked at the major uses of 5G, and brought you a list that focuses on these key points. The following roundup is broken down into categories to fit the reasons you might be looking to buy a 5G phone.
Each of these entries has a ‘best’ model and a ‘runner-up’ which gives you a choice even within categories, which is especially important as not all of our best phones are available in the US or other regions.
At Nerdshala, we test every new 5G phone out there, so we have a good idea of how they all run, work, and compare. We’ve used that knowledge to create this buying guide to help you figure out which 5G phone is best for you.
- What is 5G? Our full explanation of the next generation of Internet technology
Best 5G phone at any cost
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra tops our list of best smartphones, so being a 5G phone it’s definitely the best 5G phone you can buy – but it doesn’t come cheap.
Still, you get a decent amount for your money, with a 6.8-inch 1440 x 3200 curved AMOLED screen (which also has a 120Hz refresh rate), a top-end chipset, up to 16GB of RAM, and a quad-lens camera. , a 108MP main shooter, a 12MP ultra-wide, and a pair of 10MP telephoto snappers – allowing for up to 10x optical zoom.
The design also impresses with a stylish matte glass back and edge-to-edge display. The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra also has a bigger battery, so you can use 5G (and everything else) for a longer period of time, and support for the S Pen stylus, which makes it a better choice for art and productivity than most smartphones. makes it better.
read our full Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Review
The latest best OnePlus phone, the OnePlus 9 Pro is a top-tier device that improves upon previous issues like a weak camera.
In addition to offering that all-important 5G connectivity, it’s the best OnePlus camera phone around, thanks to its ‘Freeform’ ultra-wide lens designed to reduce distortion at the edge of images, as well as Hasselblad’s There is also partnership.
Elsewhere there are high-end specs in the form of a Snapdragon 888 chipset, up to 12GB of RAM, and a 6.7-inch 1440 x 3216 AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate. HDR10+ support means visuals look great too.
65W fast charging and 50W wireless charging sweeten the deal which means it’s a pricey take on a highly commendable release from OnePlus.
Cheapest 5G Phones
While OnePlus has a few Nord phones that offer low-cost 5G, the OnePlus Nord CE 5G is its only truly affordable offering, with a low price tag that undercuts a lot of the competition.
It looks and feels great, whether you’re looking at its colorful back or swiping through its menus. We also found that its battery life was pretty impressive, something you can’t say about many 5G phones, and that many of its other specs are good for the price.
It’s not the right phone – especially in the camera department – but for no matter what you’re paying, it’s our top pick if you want a cheap 5G phone.
read our full OnePlus Nord CE 5G Review
Probably the cheapest 5G phone in the market right now is the Realme 8 5G, which is part of the eighth generation budget devices from Chinese brand Realme.
The smartphone is the epitome of ‘cheap and cheesy’ – its design and cameras aren’t exactly great, but its screen is big, the processor is good for the price and the battery lasts a long time.
It’s a great option if you need a 5G phone but don’t want all the bells and whistles of top-notch camera features, fast charging, and processing power, and we probably won’t see 5G phones that are cheap enough for a long time. till.
read our Full Realme 8 5G Review
Best 5G Gaming Phone
The Lenovo Legion Phone Dual is a powerful 5G phone for gaming, with a top-notch processor, plenty of RAM, side trigger, and a dedicated gaming mode, so it’s a great option if you’re a mobile gamer.
It’s a good phone outside the gaming realm, though with its incredibly fast 90W charging, a pop-up camera for selfies, software that works well horizontally (unlike most phones) and clean software.
We found some software issues in our review, but the only major downside to the phone’s appearance, like all gaming phones, is its fairly divisive appearance, with a big red ‘Y’ on the back and some LEDs on the rear.
read our full Lenovo Legion Phone Duel Review
The Nubia Red Magic 5G has everything you could want from a gaming phone – a FHD+ AMOLED screen with a 144Hz refresh rate, a top-notch processor with plenty of RAM, and a long-lasting battery with fast charging capabilities.
You won’t be able to pick up the Red Magic 5G in all regions, but if you can get it, and you’re looking for a 5G gaming phone, this should definitely be your first choice.
We found a few software issues with the phone, but if you’re a mobile gamer, it’ll handle anything you throw at it with ease, especially if you want to play online games in and around the outdoors (thanks to 5G connectivity) ).
read our full Nubia Red Magic 5G Review
- The best gaming phones you can buy now
Best 5G Phones for Media Watching and Streaming
The iPhone 13 Pro Max inherits the acclaimed display of its predecessor, so it’s no surprise that the newest and biggest Apple phone makes its way to our 5G phone list in the ‘screen’ category.
With its large 6.7-inch OLED screen, great contrast, and sharp visuals, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is great whether you’re using Apple’s own services like Apple TV Plus or any other streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu. It’s also great for watching YouTube, checking out TikTok, or anything that benefits from so much screen real estate.
The phone also has better battery life than its predecessors, so watching shows while on the go at work you won’t be able to stream on the way back. Movie downloading also happens with the presence of 5G…