In Review

Best 5G smartphones on sale in 2019: Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, OnePlus 7 Pro 5G and more

The next-generation mobile network is finally available in the UK - these are the phones that can connect to it

Vodafone and EE became the first mobile providers in Britain to offer 5G coverage earlier this year. As a result, seven cities across the UK are now able to access the next-generation connection.

Last month, Vodafone announced that it had switched on the new network in Bristol, Cardiff, Glasgow, Manchester, Liverpool and London, Pocket-lint reports. About 12 more cities, including Guildford and Southampton, will be upgraded to the faster connection “imminently”.

One month earlier, EE flicked the switch on its own 5G network, which is currently available in London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester, Edinburgh and Belfast.

Not only do the networks promise to deliver much faster download speeds than a conventional 4G connection, they can also handle more devices at once. This means you’re unlikely to experience slower download speeds in busy areas. 

But only a small selection of phones can connect to a 5G network.

Given that EE and Vodafone are currently the only 5G providers in the UK, they are the only mobile phone operators that sell smartphones capable of connecting to the next-generation network. But competitors are working fast to catch up. O2, for example, has said that it will to launch its 5G network in October. 

In the meantime, these are the best 5G smartphones on sale:

Samsung Galaxy S10 5G
Samsung Galaxy S10

Samsung

The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G isn’t just a standard S10 that’s compatible with the next-generation mobile network, it’s a much faster model that boasts the largest display of the S10 range. 

Aside from its ability to connect to a 5G network, the S10 5G’s standout feature is its quad-lens rear-facing camera. Trusted Reviews says the system, which has the most lenses of any S10 model, includes a “3D depth-sensing” camera that can improve augmented reality (AR) features – where computer graphics are layered over real-world images. 

“In many ways, this is the ultimate version of Samsung’s 2019 flagship device” and is “one of the best picks” for those looking to make the jump to 5G, the reviews site concludes. 

EE is offering the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G for £69 a month with an upfront cost of £130. The plan comes with 10GB of data, as well as unlimited calls and texts. 

Vodafone, on the other hand, has the Galaxy S10 5G for £66 a month with a downpayment of £99. Not only is this slighter cheaper than EE’s deal, it also comes with more data - 15GB to be precise - plus unlimited calls and texts.

OnePlus 7 Pro 5G

The new OnePlus 7 Pro is proving to be another hit for the Chinese tech firm and the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G [pictured top] is likely to follow suit.

The 5G model is identical to the regular OnePlus 7 Pro, albeit with the ability to hook on to the new generation of mobile networks, says Pocket-lint. Buyers therefore get a 6.67in OLED display with a slick 90Hz refresh rate, where swiping animations look far smoother than other smartphones. 

The new device also comes with a “cool pop-up front camera”, allowing OnePlus to install a display with barely any bezels, the tech site says.

EE’s cheapest plan for the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G is £59 per month following a downpayment of £170. Customers get 10GB of data, plus unlimited calls and texts. 

Oppo Reno 5G
Oppo Reno 10x Zoom

Oppo

Much like OnePlus, Oppo is a Chinese phone maker that specialises in creating powerful phones to rival the iPhone XS and Samsung Galaxy S10 – but at a fraction of the price. In true Oppo style, the phone company’s new Reno 5G is the cheapest model on this list that can connect to a 5G network. 

The Reno 5G packs a “vibrant and sharp” 6.6in OLED display with an in-screen fingerprint scanner that’s “blisteringly quick” at unlocking the phone, says the Australian news site Finder.com. It’s also well suited to gaming as the phone boosts its processing power to optimise frame rate. 

“There’s a lot to the Oppo Reno 5G beyond just its 5G connectivity”, the website says, especially its “raw speed” and impressive gaming performance.

The cheapest plan on offer through EE costs £54 a month after an initial payment of £170. The plan comes with 10GB of data, and unlimited calls and texts. 

LG V50 ThinQ 5G

It may not have the catchiest name, but the LG V50 5G is one of the more powerful models on this list. 

The Korean tech firm’s latest smartphone is built around Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 855 chipset, meaning it should be able to handle anything that users demand. It has a triple-lens camera system that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance image quality, says TechRadar

Users can buy a second screen that can be clipped onto the side of the handset, effectively turning it into a foldable phone, the website says. The new phone isn’t as slick as the Samsung Galaxy Fold or Huawei Mate X, but it’s ideal for people who spend most of their day on their smartphones.

Phone plans start at £69 per month with a downpayment of £170 on EE. The phone comes with 10GB of data, along with unlimited calls and texts.

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