The Best 5G Phones of 2021

With operators rolling out lightning-fast 5G networks across the nation, the time has never been better to buy a 5G phone. 5G phones are available at price points to match every budget. Discovering what phones have 5G capabilities can be confusing, however, so we thought we’d help out by listing the best 5G phones currently on the market, and why adopting 5G will improve your enjoyment of your mobile device. 

What makes 5G phones so special?

You know how your Wi-Fi network is faster than your wireless 4G network? 5G levels the playing field by providing download and upload speeds almost as fast as Wi-Fi, with faster response times than 4G LTE. This significant increase in speed comes with more reliable connectivity and stability than existing 4G networks.

On a personal level, this makes it possible to view high-resolution streaming video, download large files quickly, and play data-heavy online games over your mobile network. From a business perspective, 5G networks allows for real-time inventory control, augmented reality apps for customers, and a more personalized, streamlined customer/business relationship. 

How to Get 5G

You need two things to get 5G: A 5G-enabled phone and access to a 5G network. Mobile network providers are currently transitioning from 4G LTE to 5G, with 5G networks available in larger urban centers. As a reflection of this, 5G phones also support 4G networks, so you can switch between networks depending on availability. Just as 4G replaced 3G, so too will 5G coverage grow and eventually eclipse 4G as the nation’s primary network speed. 

What are the best 5G phones?

All major phone companies now offer 5G phones, including Apple, Samsung, and Google. What’s changed recently is the price range of those phones, which now come in budget-friendly as well as top of the line models. Below are the best 5G phones currently on the market. 

The iPhone 12 Pro Max

With a starting price of $1099.99, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is an investment, but then again, you get the most 5G bands of any available phone and a 5-nanometer chip capable of performing 11 trillion operations per second on the Neural Engine. An immersive 6.7-inch display lets you get the most out of streaming 4K Dolby Vision videos, which the phone can also record.

With a respectable ten to eleven-hour battery life and the ability to toggle between 4G and 5G networks as needed, the iPhone 12 Pro Max is a versatile phone that comes with a tough Ceramic Shield display to protect against damage. The only caveat is size: at 6.33 x 3.07 x x 0.29 inches, some people find the phone a little bulky.

The iPhone 12 Pro Max

Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is slightly more expensive than the iPhone 2 Pro Max, with a starting price of $1199.99. it’s well worth the price if you’re an Android fan, though, and is one of the only 5G phones with S Pen support. Featuring Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 system on a chip, the Galaxy S21 ULtra 5G offers support for every 5G network currently available in the United States. Add on almost 11.5 hours of active battery time, a 108mp camera, and a 60Hz screen refresh rate, and you’ve got a powerful phone capable of handling video, downloads, and gaming with ease. The lack of a microSD card counts against the S21 Ultra slightly, but the phones existing 128 to 256GB memory makes up for this lack.

Google Pixel 5

The Google Pixel 5 has a much lower $699.99 starting price, in part because the phone only offers 128GB of memory with no upgrade options. Having said that, the Pixel 5 supports AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon 5G networks, and has one of the best cameras on the market with 12.2 MP dual-pixel and 16 MP ultra wide lenses. A 90Hz refresh rate ensures crisp, clean visuals, while ultra-clear HD Duo screen sharing allows you to watch sports and movies with friends and family, share screens, read articles, or just catch up on your day. If you want one of the best 5G phones without paying a premium price, the Pixel 5 is an excellent choice. 

Google Pixel 5

OnePlus 8 5G UW

OnePlus 8 5G UW

A smaller, compact version of the OnePlus 8, the OnePlus 8 5G UW is a budget-friendly 5G phone with a starting price of $799.99. While it lacks the raw power of top-of-the-line Samsung and Apple products, the OnePlus 8 offers a 90Hz refresh rate for rapid touchscreen responses, a SnapDragon 865 processor capable of handling graphics-intense mobile games, and 38MP, 2MP, and 16MP rear cameras. A great phone for those who want reliability at an affordable price.

LG Wing

The LG Wing is a very different type of phone. A Swivel Mode that turns the main screen into a landscape screen while revealing a second display beneath the first, allowing you to play video and games on the main screen while using the bottom screen for other applications. It’s an interesting idea, and when coupled with 256GB of memory and a 64MP, ultrawide 13MP, and 12 MP ultrawide rear cameras, a tempting one. The price range rivals that of a high-end Android or Apple phone at $999.99. A Snapdragon 765G processor and 8G of RAM make the LG Wing an attractive gaming phone. Whether the well-designed swivel screen catches users’ attention remains to be seen. If you want an interesting, eye-popping design, however, this may be the phone for you.

Motorola edge +

The Motorola edge +

Designed for use with Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network, the Motorola edge + boasts 256GB of storage and Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 processor for lag-free gaming and streaming videos. The edge + has a display that curves around the edge of the phone for maximum viewing on an impressive 6.7-inch Full HD OLED display. if your focus is on cameras, you’re better off with the Pixel 5, but if visuals and audio are your thing, then the excellent speakers and audio tuning technology of the Motorola edge + make it a high-performance gaming and video device. Priced at $999.99, the Motorola edge + is one of the more expensive 5G phones on this list, but capable of holding its own against its competitors.

Nokia 8V 5W UW

At only $699.99, the Nokia 8V 5W UW offers 5G on a budget. Designed primarily for use with Verizon’s Ultra Wideband 5G network, the phone contains a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G chipset, and a long-lasting battery. The price does, however, come with some tradeoffs: the phone lacks an OLED screen and wireless charging. It’s a solid little phone, but not one of the best 5G phones on market, even in the mid-price range.

Nokia 8V 5W UW

Choosing a 5G Phone

Choosing a 5G phone requires some thought. Do you want a top-of-the line model like that iPhone 12 Pro Max, or is a mid-range phone like the OnePlus 8 5G UW a better choice for your budget? Do you use your phone primarily for texting and web-browsing, or do you need a powerful graphics processor for gaming and streaming videos? Rather than make the choice yourself, drop by your local GoWireless Store and let our customer service team help you choose the best 5G phones for you.