Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 is the UK's first 5G phone

Image credit: TechRadar

The race to bring 5G to the UK is coming to a head – EE announced it will switch on its network on May 30, beating the competition to the punch.

But now we've heard Vodafone will actually launch its first exclusive 5G phone before that, making the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G the first 5G phone you can buy in the UK.

In a statement, Vodafone confirmed it will offer the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G from today, May 23, and it'll also sell the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G – there's no release date for this latter phone at the time of writing, but the Galaxy will be available on EE from June 7, so it could be a roughly similar date. 

The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G isn't going to be quite like the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 4G phone – while it'll still have the 24MP and 2MP rear cameras, and dual 12MP front-facing cameras on a pop-up rear section, it has a few minor differences.

Showing the differences

One major addition in the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G is a 3,800mAh battery, bigger than the 3,200mAh of the 4G phone. There's also a newer chipset, in the Snapdragon 855, which is an upgrade on the previous phone's Snapdagon 845, and the phone will launch with Android 9 instead of 8.1. All these changes were likely made to improve the phone's 5G functionality.

Vodafone is presenting the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G as its 'affordable' 5G handset, as it's a far more mid-range device than the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, but with an upfront price of £99.99 and a £50 monthly tariff for even the most affordable contract, it's not exactly a cheap phone.

If you buy the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G phone today you won't be able to connect it to 5G networks yet - which is something of an issue when you're paying that much more - but it'll still run on 4G, and you'll get an early glimpse at what the future of phones holds.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist. He also currently works in film as a screenwriter, director and producer.