You'll want the best 5G phone if you aim to access the next generation of connectivity. And that's something you should want, as 5G offers much faster speeds and more reliable connectivity than 4G.
Best phones by brand
While 5G phones started being released in 2019 with a few made available throughout the year, 2020 is shaping up to be the year of the 5G phone, with nearly all top-end flagships boasting 5G connectivity, and even some mid-range handsets available in 5G versions.
As such, 5G phones are no longer prohibitively expensive, so if you want the best phone without breaking the bank you can probably pick up a 5G phone too.
As we've said, 2020 is the year of the 5G phone, and because of this new handsets are constantly coming out that you can pick from. Because of this our list will be constantly changing, with the Xiaomi Mi 10, Huawei P40 range and Oppo Find X2 potentially set to change our rankings soon, and perhaps the OnePlus 8 after that.
Currently, the list is dominated by Samsung, which has put out the majority of 5G phones so far. However lots of other companies are putting out 5G phones now too, so Samsung's days as reigning champion may be numbered.
Best 5G phones at a glance
- Samsung Galaxy S20 / S20 Plus
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
- Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus
- Oppo Reno 5G
- Samsung Galaxy S10 5G
- OnePlus 7 Pro 5G
- Samsung Galaxy Fold
- Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G
- Huawei Mate 20 X 5G
- Samsung Galaxy A90 5G
Best 5G phones
1. Samsung Galaxy S20 / S20 Plus
The best 5G phones you can buy now
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
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. 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
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.
Read our in-depth Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra review
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
Yep, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G is technically the fourth Samsung phone on the list of the best 5G phones (and we're only on entry three), but this 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.
Read our in-depth Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G review
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
The best 5G phone that isn't a Samsung device is the Oppo Reno 5G, which is a 5G-enabled version of the Oppo Reno 10x Zoom, a decent upper mid-range phone from 2019.
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.
Read our Oppo Reno 5G review
5. 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).
Read our in-depth Samsung Galaxy S10 5G review
6. 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
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.
Read our OnePlus 7 Pro 5G review
7. Samsung Galaxy Fold
A foldable 5G phone
Release date: September 2019 | Weight: 263g | Dimensions: 160.9 x 117.9 x 6.9mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 7.3 / 4.6-inch | Resolution: 1536 x 2152 / 720 x 1680 | CPU: Snapdragon 855 | RAM: 12GB | Storage: 512GB | Battery: 4,380mAh | Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP + 16MP | Front camera: 10MP + 8MP
If you thought the Oppo Reno device was a 5G phone with an interesting design quirk, meet the Samsung Galaxy Fold, a foldable phone that in some regions was also 5G.
The Galaxy Fold when folded shut has a slim 4.6-inch screen on the front, but you can open it out to create a 7.3-inch phablet. It's also packed with all the top-end specs that were also found in the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus.
So if you want a phone with a fast internet connection, that will also quickly get you 'wow's at parties, this might be the phone to check out.
Read our Samsung Galaxy Fold review
8. 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
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.
Read our full Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G review
9. Huawei Mate 20 X 5G
A phone with a huge screen
Release date: July 2019 | Weight: 233g | Dimensions: 174.6 x 85.4 x 8.4mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 7.2-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2244 | CPU: Kirin 980 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB | Battery: 4,200mAh | Rear camera: 40MP + 8MP + 20MP | Front camera: 24MP
If you want a huge screen like the Samsung Galaxy Fold, but not in a handset that, well, folds, then you'll like the Huawei Mate 20 X 5G's massive high-quality display.
The phone is almost exactly the same as the non-5G Huawei Mate 20 X, the top-end device of Huawei's 2018 range of Mate devices, and that means it's a pretty premium phone. It has a suite of great cameras, a big battery, and a fairly powerful chipset.
Read our full Huawei Mate 20 X 5G review
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
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.
Read our full Samsung Galxay A90 5G review