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Is now the time to buy a 5G phone? Not quite

It’s getting increasingly difficult to block out the hype around 5G, but a new report has shown that you shouldn’t feel bad about continuing to resist getting sucked into it.

According to analyst firm Gartner, 5G smartphones will account for just 12% of overall phone sales in 2020. But the outlook is predicted to look very different in 2021.

Related: Best 5G phones

Gartner says it expects 221 million 5G phones to be sold worldwide in 2020, and predicts that this figure will rise to 489 million in 2021 − accounting for just over 30% of overall phone sales.

Another report from Gartner, which was released earlier this week, claims that by 2023 5G phones will account for more than 50% of overall mobile phone sales. In other words, there’s no rush − the shift will happen gradually.

“From 2020, Gartner expects an increase in 5G phone adoption as prices decrease, 5G service coverage increases and users have better experiences with 5G phones,” said Ranjit Atwal, Gartner’s senior senior director.

“The market will experience a further increase in 2023, when 5G handsets will account for over 50% of the mobile phones shipped.”

Samsung and Huawei have been particularly keen to hype up 5G, but we at Trusted Reviews are far from convinced that now’s the time to jump on board with the new technology.

5G coverage in the UK is still very patchy. Right now, you can only take advantage of 5G speeds in very specific locations, and blanket coverage is still a couple of years away.

Related: 5 reasons why you shouldn’t buy a 5G phone yet

Furthermore, we’ve found that the first 5G phones are either enormous or suffer from very poor battery life due to a combination of internal space limitations and the need for specialised 5G hardware and larger cooling areas, though Qualcomm has promised that it is working to improve this situation.

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