Thanks to technological advancements, the best 5G phones are now available at all price points. This list, on the other hand, almost always includes the best phones from the top phone manufacturers. The real story, however, is that less expensive devices now routinely support 5G as well.
Top 10 best 5G phones in UK in 2021
According to Timereviews editors, the following are the best 5G phones you can buy right now in 2021.
1. Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max
5G support, a new eye-catching design, improved cameras, and four distinct models all add up to make the iPhone 12 Pro Max a standout.
Apple unveiled four iPhones in October, all of which are 5G devices. The iPhone 12 is at the top of the lineup, with a starting price of £799 and an A14 Bionic processor and dual rear cameras. If you want something smaller and less expensive, the iPhone 12 Mini is your best option for a 5G capable phone. If you want something more premium, the iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max have more features.
2. Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
The Samsung Galaxy S21 lineup is the first in the United States to use Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 888 system-on-chip, which means that any of the three new phones — the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 Plus, and Galaxy S21 Ultra — can connect to any 5G network in the country. We prefer the Galaxy S21 Ultra not only because it costs $200 less than last year’s comparable S20 model, but also because it has a long battery life.
On our battery test, the Galaxy S21 lasted nearly 11.5 hours, though that was with the screen set to a 60Hz refresh rate. Turning on the option that allows the phone to dynamically adjust its refresh rate consumes some power, but even with that mode enabled, the S21 Ultra outlasted the average smartphone. That is a desirable feature in a 5G phone, as is the S21 Ultra’s large screen and S Pen support.
3. OnePlus 9 Pro
The OnePlus 9 Pro, the latest best OnePlus phone available, is a top-tier device that improves on previous issues such as a poor camera.
Aside from 5G connectivity, it’s the best OnePlus camera phone available, thanks to its ‘freeform’ ultra-wide lens, which is designed to reduce distortion at the edge of images, and a partnership with Hasselblad.
Other notable features include a Snapdragon 888 chipset, up to 12GB of RAM, and a 6.7-inch 1440 x 3216 AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate. Because HDR10+ is supported, the visuals look fantastic as well.
The addition of 65W fast charging and 50W wireless charging sweetens the deal, making this a pricey but highly laudable release from OnePlus.
4. OnePlus Nord 2
As the successor to the OnePlus Nord, the OnePlus Nord 2, has been released. The OnePlus Nord was a significant smartphone for OnePlus because it provided consumers with an affordable option. The new OnePlus Nord 2 is priced at Rs 27,999, which is slightly higher than the original Nord’s starting price, but it is now priced above the even more affordable Nord CE 5G. It has higher-resolution cameras, a faster SoC with 5G connectivity, and stereo speakers. Is this new phone a worthy successor to the OnePlus Nord, or does it fall short in terms of value? To find out, I put the OnePlus Nord 2 to the test.
5. OnePlus Nord CE 5G
OnePlus’ Nord CE 5G is aimed at the lower end of the smartphone market. According to OnePlus, the CE in the name stands for Core Edition because the device is capable of providing a core smartphone experience. The OnePlus Nord meets all of the essential specifications and includes a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The 6.43-inch AMOLED display on the OnePlus Nord CE 5G has a holepunch for the selfie camera. It also has a refresh rate of 90Hz. The display has good viewing angles and a quick-to-unlock in-display fingerprint scanner. The smartphone is thin and weighs 170gms, making it suitable for use with one hand.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G processor was chosen by OnePlus, and RAM options include 6GB, 8GB, and 12GB. It comes in two storage sizes, but storage is not expandable due to the lack of a microSD card slot.
The Nord CE 5G is equipped with three cameras: a 64-megapixel primary camera, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide angle camera, and a 2-megapixel mono camera. It has a 16-megapixel selfie camera. The Nord CE’s daytime photos were good, but its lowlight camera performance could be better.
In the Nord CE, OnePlus has included a 4,500mAh battery capable of providing more than a day’s worth of battery life. It also supports 30W fast charging and includes a Warp Charge 30T charger.
6. Xiaomi Mi 10T
The Redmi Note 10T is the first phone in the Redmi Note lineup to support 5G. It has a 6.5-inch Full HD+ (2400×1080 pixel) display and a refresh rate of up to 90Hz. The Redmi Note 10T is powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 700 processor, which has an octa-core CPU that can run at up to 2.2GHz and can be paired with up to 6GB RAM and 128GB storage options. It is powered by the most recent MIUI 12 version, which is based on Android 11. The Redmi Note 10T is equipped with a 48MP primary camera, a 2MP macro camera, and a 2MP depth sensor. On the front, there is an 8MP selfie camera. The Redmi Note 10T has a 5,000mAh battery with 18W fast charging support.
7. Oppo Find X3 Pro
By any standard, the Oppo Find X3 Pro is a fantastic phone. Oppo’s 6.7in 10-bit 120Hz QHD+ display is one of the best in any phone right now, and it’s backed up by 65W wired and 30W wireless charging, a 4500mAh battery, and a top-tier camera with 50Mp sensors on both the main and ultrawide lenses.
You’ll have to do without a periscopic zoom lens – the telephoto here is only 2x zoom – but Oppo includes a novel microlens camera capable of microscopic super-closeups instead. That’s not the only oddity; the design itself is one-of-a-kind, thanks to a seamlessly sloped camera module built right into the phone’s glass body.
The Find X3 Pro is also difficult to beat in terms of pure performance, with all of the above plus a Snapdragon 888 chip, 512GB storage, and 12GB RAM. You simply must be willing to pay the price, as it is not cheap.
8. TCL 10 5G
Anyone who tells you that getting 5G on a phone is going to be expensive hasn’t seen the TCL 10 5G: not only does it have 5G, but it also has a very good screen, processor, and camera, all for a very reasonable price.
Some corners were cut to get the phone to this price – no waterproofing, no wireless charging – but given the price, you can’t really complain. TCL is new to the smartphone scene, despite being a veteran in the electronics industry, and we’re impressed with what it’s accomplished here.
Aside from the 5G connectivity, the display may be the most appealing feature here. It’s bright and vibrant, and you get a slew of software tweaks to really make the colors pop if you need to (when watching Netflix, for example).
9. Google Pixel 5
Google’s recently released Pixel 5 offers a lot of phone for the money.
It is equipped with a 6-inch display with a resolution of 2340 x 1080 and runs Android 11, the most recent version of Google’s mobile operating system (better than HD). Google has committed to providing major software updates for the Pixel 5 for three years, so you won’t have to worry about missing out on new features or critical security updates.
The Google Pixel 5 only comes with 128GB of internal storage, which is sufficient for thousands of photos, hundreds of songs, and dozens of hours of HD video. This storage tier hits a nice sweet spot, but if you don’t rely heavily on cloud storage for your data, think twice.
Google equipped the Pixel 5 with a 12MP telephoto lens and a 16.6MP wide angle lens, both of which can record 4K video at 60 frames per second. Its front-facing camera has an 8MP lens and can record 1080P video at 30 frames per second. The Pixel 5 does not support facial recognition, but it does have a fingerprint reader on the back that allows you to unlock the phone without having to type a password.
The Pixel 5 has a lot of appealing features for a much lower price than most 5G phones. It should be your first choice if you want an Android phone that will receive regular software updates and are fine with the 128GB storage limit.
10. Asus ROG Phone 5
The Asus ROG Phone 5 checks off a lot of boxes for a 2021 flagship, including a Snapdragon 888 SoC, a 144Hz OLED screen, and a 6,000mAh battery with 65W charging. Other notable features include a 3.5mm port and a triple rear camera system (64MP main, 13MP ultra-wide, and 5MP macro). Some variants even include a secondary rear screen, though it is less useful than the secondary rear display on the Mi 11 Ultra.
Asus’ phone, on the other hand, is a gaming-focused offering, as evidenced by two capacitive shoulder triggers, two rear touch sensors (on more expensive variants), a Game Genie UI overlay, and a slew of optional first-party accessories. You can play games on other Snapdragon 888 phones, but the extra inputs are always appreciated.
The ROG Phone 5 is currently available on Amazon for around £800, which is a good price for a gaming flagship powered by the Snapdragon 888.
How to Select the Best 5G Phone for Your Needs
When shopping for a 5G phone, think about which wireless carrier will be providing your cell phone service. Different service providers are approaching 5G rollouts in different ways.
Verizon, for example, has prioritized mmWave-based technology from the start, so if you plan on getting phone service from Big Red, make sure your 5G phone is capable of connecting to mmWave towers. Similarly, while T-Mobile and AT&T have a few mmWave deployments, the vast majority of their network’s initial coverage is based on sub-6GHz technology. This is slower than mmWave, but it covers a larger area. According to an OpenSignal report on 5G network performance, Verizon had the fastest 5G speeds but the least amount of 5G availability. T-Mobile has the most extensive 5G coverage, though its speeds are only marginally faster than LTE.
Aside from which 5G networks a phone supports, the criteria for selecting a 5G phone are similar to those for any handset. Take into account the processor, screen size, cameras, and other features. The battery is especially important because 5G can consume a lot of power, and you’ll want a phone that can handle the extra demands on its battery.
Price remains an important differentiator, and it will become even more so as lower-cost 5G phones become available later this year. A 5G phone in 2019 cost anywhere from $850 to $1,299 USD. Despite the fact that the Galaxy Z Fold 2 costs $2,000 — a price that has more to do with its foldable design than its 5G support — the price range for 5G phones has begun to fall slightly, led by the $699 OnePlus 8. More 5G phones under $500 are expected as devices use Qualcomm’s lower-cost Snapdragon 7 and 6 series chipsets, which now include 5G modems.
Now that most phones on the market are 5G phones, it can be difficult to determine which device is best for you if you want to use this next generation of technology. In the two years since the first 5G smartphones hit the market, a lot has changed. 5G is the next generation of mobile data connectivity, bringing super-fast speeds as well as improved reliability and connection stability over 4G, making it ideal for online gaming, streaming movies, and quickly downloading large files.