At long, long last, actual 5G phones are here. The next-gen of mobile networks has been a major talking point at every major technology tradeshow for the best part of a decade now, and finally we’re getting to see the shiny new devices that will be able to take advantage of the faster mobile speeds 5G promises.
We’re expecting almost all of the major smartphone manufacturers to either launch a 5G device or show off prototype 5G devices over the next few days, weeks and months. These are the 5G phones we’re looking forward to dreaming of being able to afford.
Read more: What is 5G?
Huawei 5G phones
Huawei’s first ever 5G phone is the Mate 20 X 5G. It’s essentially a Mate 20 X that can take advantage of the faster internet speeds 5G networks will offer. Unfortunately, it has a significantly smaller battery than the non-5G version of the phone.
You’ll be able to pre-order the Mate 20 X 5G at an as-yet-unspecified date in late May, and it will start shipping to buyers in June. It will be available on EE, Vodafone, O2 and Three, and has a starting price of £999 (the non-5G version costs £799).
Another 5G phone we can look forward to is the Huawei Mate X. However, 5G support is just one of its tricks. The Mate X is a folding phone, which features a 6.6-inch, 2480 x 1148 front display and another 6.38-inch, 2480 x 892 display around the back. When unfurled, these combine to form an 8-inch, 2480 x 2200 screen.
Unsurprisingly, it’s expensive. The Mate X will start at €2299 (~£1995), and it’s coming to the UK in Q3.
Samsung 5G phones
In February 2019, Samsung launched the Galaxy S10 5G, a supersized version of the Galaxy S10 that supports 5G. It’s an absolute monster, featuring a 6.7-inch display, triple rear cameras, dual front cameras, a 4500mAh battery and all the trimmings.
In the UK, it will go up for pre-order on May 22, and will start shipping to buyers on June 7. The handset will be available in Majestic Black and Crown Silver colour schemes, and will initially be available on EE and Vodafone. There’s no word on pricing yet.
The Galaxy S10 5G is already available for purchase in South Korea (1.39 million KRW (~£900) for 256GB, 1.55 million KRW (~£1000) for 512GB), and parts of the US ($1299.99 (~£1000) for 256GB, $1399.99 (£1100) for 512GB).
Also potentially on its way is a 5G version of the Samsung Galaxy Fold. It features a 4.6-inch, HD+ Super AMOLED outer display, and a 7.3-inch, QXGA+ Dynamic AMOLED inner ‘Infinity Flex’ display that opens up like a book. When the Fold is closed, it essentially looks like two phones stuck together.
Back in February, Samsung said that 5G and LTE versions of the folding handset will be made available, but after review units started breaking after just two days of use, the release of even the basic (£1800) model is up in the air.
OnePlus 5G phones
OnePlus has a 5G variant of its flagship OnePlus 7 Pro on the way. The OnePlus 7 Pro 5G doesn’t have a fixed release date, but OnePlus says it’s “coming soon”. In the UK it will, initially at least, be an EE exclusive. Unfortunately, we don’t yet know when EE’s 5G network will go live.
The OnePlus 7 Pro 5G doesn’t have an official price either. However, you can expect to pay a good chunk more for it than the OnePlus 7 Pro. We’re expecting it to cost somewhere between £849 and £1099.
Related: OnePlus 7 Pro review
Xiaomi 5G phones
Xiaomi unveiled the 5G version of the Mi Mix 3 in February, and the best thing about it might just be the price. Not something we think we’ll say about too many 5G phones. Not yet, anyway.
The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G uses the Snapdragon 855 chipset and the Snapdragon X50 5G modem. Otherwise it’s the same as its predecessor. There’s the same 12-megapixel dual cameras around the rear, the same 24-megapixel and 2-megapixel cameras on the front, and the same 6.39-inch display as before too.
But the price is, of course, different. The Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G will cost €599 (most likely £599 in the UK) when it goes on sale on May 23. That’s only €100 more than its predecessor, which isn’t too bad.
LG 5G phones
LG’s first 5G phone is the LG V50 ThinQ. It’s got five cameras − three on the back and two on the front − a 6.4-inch OLED display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 modem and a hefty 4000mAh battery.
The equally new LG G8 does not support 5G, so the V50 is there to go up against the likes of the Samsung’s Galaxy S10 5G and 5G Mi Mix 3.
In South Korea, it costs 1,199,000 KRW (~£780), EE says it will be selling the handset in the UK later this year.
ZTE 5G phones
The ZTE Axon 10 Pro 5G also launched in February, though no price or release details have yet been announced. We’re hopeful that it’ll be one of the more affordable 5G handsets on the market (when it eventually arrives).
The Axon looks a lot like last year’s Huawei P20 Pro, and is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 and X50 5G modem. It also features a 6.47-inch AMOLED display, an in-display fingerprint sensor, and a triple camera setup around the back − combining a 40-megapixel f/1.8 main sensor, a 20-megapixel 125 degree wide angle lens and an 8-megapixel telephoto lens.
Oppo 5G phones
Oppo also has a 5G smartphone on the way, but it doesn’t have a name yet. At MWC 2019, the Chinese firm said it will feature a Snapdragon 855 processor, the Snapdragon X50 modem and an incredible 10x lossless zoom triple camera array.
It pulled the covers off a prototype of its upcoming 5G handset, the Oppo Find X 5G, in late 2018. It’s a direct follow-up to the Oppo Find X, and was on show at the 2018 China Mobile Global Partners Conference. The prototype also happens to be powered by the Snapdragon 855 and X50 5G modem.
“We are confident Oppo will be one of the first companies to launch a commercial 5G smartphone in 2019,” said Brian Shen, Oppo’s Global Vice President and President of China Business.
Motorola 5G phones
Motorola’s Moto Z3 is a 5G-ready smartphone, thanks to the Moto Mod 5G, which − just like 5G networks in the US − is “coming soon”.
The magnetic modular attachment, which clips to the back of the Moto Z3, features the ingredients necessary to access 5G services. It contains a Snapdragon 855 SoC, which includes the all-important Qualcomm Snapdragon X50 5G modem.
The Moto Z3 shipped with the Snapdragon 835 chip, so the mod is designed to allow owners to retrofit their phone, rather than buying a brand new 5G handset. Unfortunately, it’s only the Verizon-exclusive Moto Z3 that’s compatible with the Moto Mod 5G at present, but if Moto expands the line-up this year, there’s a good chance support will improve.
HTC 5G phones
Poor old HTC hasn’t yet given up on high-end smartphone production. On the contrary, the Taiwanese firm has reportedly claimed that its 2019 flagship will focus on 5G connectivity, artificial intelligence, and blockchain capabilities.
We believe this device will land as the HTC U13. We don’t know very much about it yet, but one thing we can assume is that it will feature Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 CPU. Going by recent trends, we can probably expect the HTC U13 to be announced in May.
Unfortunately for Apple fans, it looks like the first 5G iPhone is still a year and a half away. It’s looking increasingly unlikely that the company will launch a 5G mobile this year.
According to a Fast Company report, Apple plans to release its first 5G iPhones in 2020, which will be some time after 5G networks go live. These iPhones will reportedly use the Intel 8161 5G modem rather than Qualcomm’s X50 modem. If the report proves accurate, that could be a huge black mark against the company’s 2019 models.
Are you ready to purchase a 5G phone? Let us know on Twitter @TrustedReviews.