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We asked, you told us: Most aren't buying 5G phones until networks are ready

The promise of 5G is cool, but it's not yet a reality.

Published onJune 8, 2019

Samsung Galaxy S10 5G Verizon Wireless UWB closeup

After several years of hype and speculation about 5G networks, carriers are slowly starting to roll out the new service. At the same time, Qualcomm has made 5G modems available, and manufacturers are already beginning to put the hardware in its phones.

Now that a handful of 5G-compatible phones are available for purchase, we wanted to know if you were planning to upgrade to access the faster network. Here’s what you had to say.

Will you upgrade your phone just to get one with 5G?


According to the majority of the over 24 thousand people who voted in this week’s poll on the site and YouTube, 5G networks aren’t ready yet. As many commentators stated, 5G service is currently only available in hyper-specific areas within a handful of cities.

If we use 4G and LTE as an example, it has been nearly a decade since carriers started rolling out the service. Today, most areas are widely covered, but there are still large regions where you’ll be lucky even to see a 3G signal. As history tends to repeat itself, we’ll be lucky to see a decent percentage of highly-populated areas offer 5G within the next two to three years.

Putting Verizon's nascent 5G network to the test
Samsung Galaxy S10 5G Verizon Wireless Node with UWB

So I have to agree with most of those who voted in this week’s poll; hold off on buying a 5G phone for now. First adopters will be able to show off how fast the network is on a speedtest, but they most likely won’t see a true benefit for several years.

Noteworthy comments

Here are some of the best comments from last week’s poll explaining why they voted the way that they did:

  • I’m certain there won’t be 5G in my neck of the woods for at least another five years. I still deal with 4G dead spots on a daily basis.
  • 4g is fast enough. What do you need 5g for? Does it help with network congestion?
  • I’ve got the Moto Z3 Play so I may consider the Moto Mod once 5G becomes more widespread.
  • Got rid of home broadband almost 6 months ago. LTE within my home is lacking. My hope is that 5G will give me the extra speed for things to stream cleanly. I’ll even mount a signal booster to the roof in order to do that. Hoping to see an Android One with an X55 5G modem in it. Or even next years Pixel 4a, assuming it’s 5G. I’m not going to pay premium prices for 5G. 
Sprint 5G: Testing Sprint's new network in Dallas
LG V50 ThinQ on Sprint 5G
  • How about a phone that can truly go all day without having to top it off first? My 4G can’t come close to the promised speeds so what makes you think the 5G will be better. Sounds like a gimmick to me right now.
  • Yes. After the network is real, the data caps are modified to accommodate the increased speed, and a real use case is identified. So.. Maybe 2023?
  • Are there many examples where early adopters of new tech are rewarded more compared to those of us who wait until the new tech is ready for prime time or matures?
  • That’s it for this week, everyone. As always, thanks for voting, thanks for the comments, and don’t forget to let us know what you thought of the results below.

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