Want a phone with 5G? Well here are the best 5G phones around.
It wasn’t all that long ago that 5G seemed like a pipe dream and it certainly wasn’t very long ago that it was technology reserved for the most premium of devices. However, 2020 has seen 5G expand across the breadth of the smartphone market – from £300 budget 5G phones to over £1000 ultra-premium devices. Here’s our handy Trusted Reviews guide of the best 5G phones around.
If you are looking to pick up a phone right now, or any time from now moving into the future, it’s worth considering if the time is now right to make that 5G upgrade. Now that the industry has made the step up from 4G to the new connectivity standard, there’s a whole lot of choice and there’s only more to come.
Apple is set to launch its first 5G iPhone very soon – with its debut expected on the upcoming iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 mini. There’s the recently announced Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5 from Google as well. Unlike iPhone 12, Google’s new 5G devices are now available to buy, with devices shipping very soon.
We’ll be giving all those incoming 5G phones the full review treatment and we’ll have to see if they can make it onto this very list. Until then, read on for a look at the pros and cons of these exciting 5G devices and visit our in-depth reviews if you want more. For a quick look at best 5G phones picks, take a peek below:
- Best overall 5G phone: Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus
- Best display: OnePlus 8 Pro
- Best value: Realme X50 5G
- Best colour options: Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
- Best camera: Huawei P40 Pro
- Best big phone: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
- Best budget gaming: OnePlus Nord
Related: Best phones
1. Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus
The sensational and sensible Samsung flagship
- Cool design
- Great screen
- Nippy performance
- Decent battery
- Ugly skin
- 8K video recording is pointless
The Galaxy S range has gradually started to get a little more Note-y, becoming more square and adopting the same selfie camera cut-out positions for the S20 range, and it’s certainly worked in the phones benefit.
Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus is an absolute stunner – from its minimalistic rear to its all-encompassing vibrant display. The design is a key reason why it sits atop our best 5G phones list but it’s much more than just looks.
While UK Samsung fans miss out on the faster Qualcomm Snapdragon version, the Exynos model is no slouch – blistering through games like PUBG, even in the super-smooth 120Hz mode as well as comfortable bouncing from task to task in daily use.
The Galaxy S20 Plus bats away previous criticisms of the battery life of Android flagships – managing around a day and a half in the QHD+ 60Hz mode. While using 120Hz on a daily basis will see you needing a charge before the day is out.
- Read our Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus review
2. OnePlus 8 Pro
A stunning screen at a stellar price
- Great screen
- Seriously powerful
- Improved cameras
- Finally has wireless charging
- Large size and overly curved screen make it uncomfortable to hold and use without a case
- Colour filter camera is utterly pointless
The 2020 flagship from OnePlus gives everything it’s got in its quest to be the best 5G phone on the market, and it doesn’t miss by much. OnePlus 8 Pro brings all the high spec chops we’ve come to expect from the company over recent years and works to address some key criticisms.
On top of the swift performance offered by the Snapdragon 865 processor and the delightful OxygenOS version of Android, an improved camera and wireless charging make this the most spec-rich OnePlus phone yet. The snappy performance is only enhanced by a glorious 120Hz OLED panel, truly going to toe-to-toe with the Samsungs – the usual mobile display titan.
OnePlus hasn’t massively updated the design for the 8 Pro but it still screams premium and the “Glacial Green” colour is a stand out option. While its large size and curve don’t make it the easiest phone to hold, they do facilitate that stunning display experience and day-long battery life (at 120Hz 1080p settings).
- Read our OnePlus 8 Pro review
3. Realme X50 5G
The best value phone on the market by some distance
- Very good battery life
- Low price for a 5G phone
- Well-specced 120Hz screen
- Strong general and gaming performance
- Surprisingly capable main camera, even at night
- Glass back
- Two of the rear cameras are filler
- No headphone jack
Realme X50 5G is a phone that is hard to comprehend. It has so many remarkable specs that it makes very little sense to be priced so low – but, Realme has managed it.
From being one of the lowest-priced 5G phones, to one of the lowest-priced 120Hz display phones to also sporting a glass back on the rear, the list of surprises is long and impressive.
The under £300 device has even more outstanding features under its belt. While the quad-camera might be a bit lens overkill, the day-to-day shots you can take with the X50 5G offer more detail and eye-catching colour than the majority of phones anywhere near this price point.
- Read our Realme X50 5G review
4. Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
A reimagined flagship that shakes up the mid-range
- Snapdragon 865 even in the UK model
- Better battery life than other S20 models
- Nice range of colours
- Flat 120Hz display
- You have to pay more for the faster charger
- Secondary cameras aren’t the most detailed
Samsung snuck in between Google and Apple’s big 2020 phone launches with a carefully tweaked version of its S20 phone from earlier in the year – and it’s looking like a shrewd move.
To start, the Galaxy S20 Fan Edition (FE) answers the prayers of UK fans and provides them with the Snapdragon 865 for the 5G version – unlike the Exynos setup of the original S20. This means that all S20 FE users get best-in-class Android performance that’s only made better be a glorious, and uncurved, 120Hz OLED panel.
The stunning display is joined by the sleek and attractive design that Samsung is known for – even if it does have a glass back – and there’s a great selection of eye-catching colours available.
If blistering fast speed, smooth display and stylish design weren’t enough, the new Fan Edition also tops its S20 siblings on battery life – with the 4500mAh battery outperforming the other Exynos-sporting UK models.
- Read our Samsung Galaxy S20 FE review
5. Huawei P40 Pro
One of the best camera phones you can buy
- Class-leading camera
- Good battery life
- Elegant design
- Great if you don’t want Google
- No Google Services mean, for the price, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere (which is a shame)
- Massive hole punch
- App Gallery needs serious improvements quickly
Let’s immediately point at the elephant in the room and show it the door by saying that the Huawei P40 Pro doesn’t support Google Services and, unless you are extremely confident you can make do with the more limited app selection, Huawei’s flagship is quite pricey for what you get – even with 5G.
Nevertheless, the hardware is remarkable and worthy of acclaim. Huawei has long been a camera contender in the smartphone market and the P40 Pro is no different. The P40 offered a tremendous level of detail, impressive 5x optical zoom and a delightful ultra-wide sensor too and, now, the P40 Pro has been given all these camera chops with the added benefit of optical image stabilisation – a thrilling combo.
Alongside Samsung, Huawei makes some of the most premium (and expensive) looking devices on the market but the P40 Pro offers something that sets it apart. The tried-and-tested glass sandwich formula is wearing a little thin and Huawei combats that by offering a frosted glass back – it’s stylish, unique and collects fewer annoying fingerprints.
The P40 Pro has little to be disappointed about on the spec sheet, cramming in a stunning 1200 x 2640 90Hz OLED panel, a speedy Kirin 990 processor, 40W charging and a day’s worth of battery life – on top of all that goodness we’ve already touched upon.
- Read our Huawei P40 Pro review
6. Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
The definitive ultra-premium phone
- Bronze colour is really nice, and adds a matte finish
- S Pen even more responsive than ever
- Really good triple camera
- The best looking phone around
- Battery life, on Exynos version, isn’t good
- Screen resolution limits are annoying
Want an Android phone that has all the premium modern features you could ask for, maybe putting style over functionality in some cases? Then the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is the height of gluttony that you’ve been looking for – with 5G too.
The massive 6.9-inch device sports a WQHD+ 120Hz adaptive refresh rate panel that may just offer the most immersive screen you can get on a phone. The display is unbelievable smooth, offers pixels for days and the colours pop like nobody’s business. It remains disappointing that, even after shelling out upwards of £1179, you can’t use the high refresh rate and high resolution at the same time but battery life concerns go some way to explain this.
The breathtaking aesthetics of the Note 20 Ultra aren’t limited to the display, with the new Mystic Bronze colour standing out from the competition. Mystic Bronze combines with the more boxy and industrial design of the Note series to truly make it feel like you’re holding a bar of ultra-premium tech jewellery.
For longtime Note fans, it is worth noting that the S Pen is better than ever – with a response time of 9ms, which is down from all the way up at 40ms. There’s a ton of new gestures and features to try out too.
- Read our Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra review
7. OnePlus Nord
A mid-range 5G marvel
- Great quality OLED panel
- Very quick charging
- Lovely version of Android
- Nice, ergonomic design
- 5G and great performance
- Screen seems to mark very easily
- Secondary cameras are pretty much useless
OnePlus Nord is one of the cheaper 5G devices you can buy and, even if it doesn’t reach the value heights of the Realme X50 5G, it offers more in terms of looks and snappy performance.
The snappiness comes courtesy of the Snapdragon 765G processor, a chip that’s on the new Google Pixel devices for upwards of £100 more. The speediness of the Nord feels even more delightful when combined with the 90Hz panel – not many phones at this price point are such a joy to use,
OnePlus redesigned its traditional rear end layout for the Nord, giving it a fresh new look that makes it one of the best looking phones around. You can either combine that with the stand out new Blue Marble colour or the less eye-catching but sleek Grey Onyx.
OnePlus isn’t known for its camera capabilities and, at this price point, surely it would fall by the wayside? Not so with the Nord. While the additional cameras are much of a muchness, your day-to-day snaps are such to impress – with plenty of detail, attention-grabbing colours and a decent night mode.
- Read our OnePlus Nord review