Most people will likely experience the benefits of a robust 5G network only through a 5G phone. After all, the grand promises carriers and chip-makers are making with 5G coverage don't mean much if you can't access 5G service with your own device. To help you keep tabs on all the latest 5G phones and when we can expect more, here's what the major phone-makers are offering.
As Samsung's flagship phones for 2020, all three Galaxy S20 devices have 5G. They also have brilliant 120Hz AMOLED displays (in 6.2-, 6.7- and 6.9-inch sizes), reverse wireless charging and a water-resistant design. The Galaxy S20 has three rear cameras while the Plus and Ultra have a fourth time-of-flight camera too.
Rumors are floating that Apple will include 5G connectivity this year for its upcoming iPhone 12. More specifically, Apple analyst Ming-chi Kuo predicts the company will unveil three 5G phones. There are a couple of reasons why the company didn't jump on the trend in 2019.
First, Apple usually isn't the first in on mobile trends, instead preferring to perfect an emerging technology before committing to it. For example, it was behind its competitors in making phones with 3G and 4G LTE connectivity when those networks just launched.
Google hasn't revealed its plans for 5G and the company declined to reply to a request to comment. Even with its latest launch of the Pixel 4 and 4 XL in October 2019, the company did not unveil any 5G plans. That means we may have to wait until later this year (or even later) to see a 5G Pixel phone.
While OnePlus phones aren't as cheap as they used to be, the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro's premium experience comes at a relatively more affordable price than its high-end Android competitors. As the more advanced phone, the OnePlus 8 Pro has a 120Hz display and a telephoto camera. But the OnePlus 8 is more affordable and still has 5G, a 90Hz display and the same top-of-the-line processor.
In addition to its headphone jack (a rarity among top-tier phones these days), the LG V60 is unique because it works with a case accessory that effectively doubles the size of its screen. The Dual Screen case allows the V60 to fold open like a book, so you can display two apps on both displays or view content as a single tablet (albeit with a big hinge in the middle).
Despite its high price tag and being a Verizon exclusive in the US, the Motorola Edge Plus is still a premium 5G phone worth looking into. It features a Snapdragon 865 chipset, a giant battery, an OLED screen with a high refresh rate and multiple rear cameras with heavy-duty specs. As CNET editor Patrick Holland declared, it's "one of the most wonderful Android phones I've tried in a long time."
Launched in 2019, the high-priced Galaxy Note 10 Plus delivers the premium goods, from a killer 6.8-inch screen and all-day battery life to excellent camera tools. Its 5G variant, the Note 10 Plus 5G, is even more expensive and is one of the most popular 5G phones. It's available on Verizon for $1,300.
Like 2018's Motorola Moto Z3, the Moto Z4 from last year connects to 5G networks with a Moto Mod accessory. The Mod attaches to the back of the phone using magnetic pins and, at the time, was one of the cheaper options for a 5G phone. Today, the phone itself costs $499 and the Mod costs an extra $350.
The Mi 10 Pro 5G is packed with a Snapdragon 865 chipset, a 90Hz refresh-rate display, a 4,500-mAh battery and even a 108-megapixel rear camera. As a premium phone, it costs about $1,100 when converted from its price in Europe (999 euros, which is about £890 or AU$1,660).
The Galaxy A90 5G has a 6.7-inch display, three rear cameras and a Snapdragon 855 processor. It also has an octa-core processor and an in-screen fingerprint reader. Though not available through Samsung in the US, it retails for £399 (about $490 or AU$740), and is one of the more affordable 5G phones.
Though Nokia isn't the phone giant that it was 15 years ago, it still launched a 5G phone. Known as the Nokia 8.3, the phone costs 599 euros ($650, £550 or AU$1,110), and has "global 5G" capabilities. That means you can roam on 5G as you travel abroad -- something unheard-of so far from other phone-makers.
Nokia also stands to benefit from 5G in other ways though. In addition to Qualcomm and Ericsson, the company has patent rights to 5G technology and stands to make up to $3.50 for every 5G phone sold.
Oppo made its name with midrange phones, but its new Find X2 and Find X2 Pro come packed with flagship specs. Launched nearly two years after its predecessor, the Oppo Find X, the Find X2 and X2 Pro have 6.7-inch displays, triple rear cameras, a water-resistant design and 5G.
Chinese phone-maker Coolpad's first 5G phone was supposed to be the Legacy 5G. Though the company planned to sell the phone in the second quarter of 2020 for "under $400" via Coolpad, Amazon and other US retailers, we haven't seen the 5G variant being sold yet (a 4G LTE version is available on Boost Mobile, however). The Legacy also operates on sub-6GHz spectrum and was supposed to be supported by T-Mobile (now merged with Sprint) and AT&T's 5G networks.
Though it's not a household name, TCL is usually known for its affordable TVs. The company makes phones too, however, and its latest 5G phone is called the TCL 10 5G. It features four rear cameras, a headphone jack and Qualcomm's Snapdragon 765G chipset -- a midrange 5G processor that's cheaper than its 800-series processors.
Instead of a phone, Taiwanese electronics company HTC has a 5G hotspot. Once available on Sprint for $600, the hub connects up to 20 people simultaneously. Equipped with a 5-inch display, audio speakers and Android Pie software, the device is also a media hub you can make video calls with or use to check mail.