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5G networks are popping up all over the map, with the likes of China, Europe, the US, and other regions offering the next-generation cellular standard. If faster cellular speeds are what you’re after, getting a 5G phone is something to consider.

Fortunately, we’ve done the legwork to bring you a list of the best 5G phones. The good news? We had to sift through loads of devices, showing us just how far 5G has come in a short time.

It’s also worth noting that 5G devices aren’t just for 5G networks, as they’ll work just fine on today’s LTE 4G networks too. This is ideal if your local carrier has announced plans for 5G, but the actual launch is still months away.

What is 5G, anyway?

Before we show you the best 5G phones you can currently get, let’s talk about 5G technology. 5G is the next step in cellular connectivity, in the same way that 4G followed 3G. This mobile connectivity standard delivers faster downloads than 4G LTE, although top speeds vary with the specific 5G technology used — more on this later.

5G also enables lower latency, ideal for activities like VoIP calls, video conferencing, and online gaming. Essentially any real-time activity where lag can be a big problem.

Finally, 5G networks also bring reduced congestion compared to 4G. This means you shouldn’t have as much trouble holding a connection at concert venues, stadiums, and other places with a ton of people.

Many carriers in Africa, China, Europe, Korea, the Middle East, and the US offer 5G right now. India is one of the biggest markets without 5G right now, but hopefully, the standard launches soon there as well.

This is just a brief overview of what 5G is. To learn more about the technology, check out our “What is 5G and what can we expect from it?” post at the link.

Is 5G safe?

We’ve seen several alleged 5G dangers in recent years, with one persistent claim being that 5G causes cancer. These claims have been doing the rounds with 2G, 3G, and 4G as well. Nevertheless, the evidence right now generally points to this not being the case

Another popular conspiracy theory is that 5G is somehow responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. Simply put, cellular radio waves don’t create viruses or weaken the immune system. So, please don’t burn down towers.

The 5G/coronavirus conspiracy theory also doesn’t hold water when the likes of India and Iran — two nations with loads of COVID-19 cases — don’t have 5G networks right now.

All signs point to 5G being safe or just as safe as 4G and other technologies. The internet is full of nonsense myths about 5G tech, a lot of which our very own Gary Sims debunked in a video you can check out above.

mmWave versus sub-6Ghz: What’s the difference?

Qualcomm Snapdragon 5G badge

5G is divided into two standards, much like HSPA+ and LTE are two 4G standards. These two 5G standards are mmWave and sub-6GHz.

mmWave 5G is the faster of the two standards right now, with a 2021 OpenSignal survey noting that Verizon’s mmWave 5G network offers average download speeds of almost 700Mbps. But this standard is more unreliable than sub-6Ghz and legacy 4G, making it suitable for much smaller pockets of coverage.

Meanwhile, sub-6Ghz 5G isn’t much faster than gigabit LTE. In fact, the survey above showed speeds varying from 238Mbps by Korea’s LG U+ down to 47Mbps for T-Mobile in the US. Nevertheless, sub-6Ghz 5G offers blanket coverage much like legacy 4G tech, and you’re still benefiting from reduced network congestion and lower latency.

Best 5G phones:

Editor’s note: We’ll be updating this list of the best 5G phones regularly as new devices launch or are announced.


1. Samsung Galaxy S21 series

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra back in hand 1
David Imel / Android Authority

Samsung’s flagship phones have generally enjoyed plenty of features and widespread availability, which rings true in the 5G phone era. The Galaxy S21 series also enjoyed a $200 price cut across the board at launch, which means you’ll be spending $800 on the cheapest model compared to $1,000 in 2020. So what do you get for the cash?

The S21 series delivers 120Hz OLED screens, Snapdragon 888 or Exynos 2100 processors, wireless charging, and IP68 water resistance. But the S21 Ultra is the star of the show — it packs a QHD+ screen, a crazy rear camera setup (108MP main, 12MP ultra-wide, 10MP 5X periscope, 10MP 2X telephoto), and a 5,000mAh battery. It even includes S Pen support.

Our verdict: Samsung Galaxy S21 review — Strength in value

Otherwise, the S21 and S21 Plus have to settle for FHD+ displays and the same rear cameras seen on their predecessors (12MP main, 64MP hybrid zoom, 12MP ultra-wide). The base S21 also tops out at a 4,000mAh battery and uses a plastic back, while the S21 Plus offers a 4,800mAh battery (but retains a glass back). Either way, you’re still getting powerful, feature-packed devices that are among the best 5G phones around.


Samsung Galaxy S21 specs:

  • Display: 6.2-inch, FHD+
  • Chipset: SD 888 / Exynos 2100
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 12, 64, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 4,000mAh
  • Software: Android 11

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, FHD+
  • Chipset: SD 888 / Exynos 2100
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 12, 64, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 4,800mAh
  • Software: Android 11

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra specs:

  • Display: 6.9-inch, Quad HD+
  • Chipset: SD 888 / Exynos 2100
  • RAM: 8/12/16GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 108, 12, 10, and 10MP
  • Front camera: 40MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 11

2. Asus ROG Phone 5

Asus ROG Phone 5 product shot of the rear of the phone from the left side
Ryan-Thomas Shaw / Android Authority

The Asus ROG Phone 5 ticks plenty of boxes for a flagship in 2021, such as the Snapdragon 888 SoC, a 144Hz OLED screen, and a 6,000mAh battery with 65W charging. Other notable features include a triple rear camera system (64MP main, 13MP ultra-wide, 5MP macro) and a 3.5mm port. Some variants even feature a secondary rear screen, although it’s less useful than the Mi 11 Ultra’s secondary rear display.

Asus’ phone is a gaming-focused offering, though, and that’s why we see two capacitive shoulder triggers, two rear touch sensors (on more expensive variants), Game Genie UI overlay, and several optional first-party accessories. Sure, you can play games on other Snapdragon 888 phones, but the extra inputs, in particular, are always welcomed.

The ROG Phone 5 is currently available on Amazon for around ~$700, making it a pretty good deal for a Snapdragon 888-powered gaming flagship.


Asus ROG Phone 5 specs:

  • Display: 6.78-inch, Full HD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 8/12/16/18GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 64, 13, and 5MP
  • Front camera: 24MP
  • Battery: 6,000mAh
  • Software: Android 11

3. Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra pen leaning against phone
David Imel / Android Authority

Want a 5G phone but want to go all-in on the S Pen experience? Then Samsung’s 2020 Note device is for you. More specifically, we’d advise people to get the Note 20 Ultra over the regular Note 20, although that $1,300 price tag is pretty steep.

The Ultra model offers a 120Hz QHD+ screen, microSD expansion, a glass back, a 108MP primary camera, and a 12MP 5x periscope zoom shooter. Meanwhile, the regular Note 20 packs a 60Hz FHD+ screen, no storage expansion, a “glasstic” plastic back, a 12MP main camera, and a 64MP camera for 3x hybrid zoom.

Our thoughts: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra long-term review — The good and bad six months later

Samsung’s Ultra model also serves up an Exynos 990 or Snapdragon 865 processor, 12GB of RAM, and a 4,500mAh battery. Otherwise, typical Samsung features like wireless charging, water resistance, and 8K recording are present across both phones. The Note 20 Ultra also offers both mmWave and sub-6Ghz 5G in one device.


Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra specs:

  • Display: 6.9-inch, QHD+
  • Chipset: SD 865 / Exynos 990
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 108, 12, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 10

4. Xiaomi Mi 11 series

Mi 11 Ultra rear of the phone viewfinder
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

The Mi 11 and Mi 11 Ultra are Xiaomi’s latest mainline flagship phones, and the two devices are starkly different propositions. They both share a QHD+ 120Hz OLED screen, Snapdragon 888 SoC, and sub-6GHz 5G capabilities (no mmWave here), but that’s about where the similarities end.

Expect to pay a steep €1,200 for the Ultra model, and your cash gets you an IP68 rating, 67W wired and wireless charging, a massive battery, and an impressive rear camera setup (50MP main, 48MP ultra-wide, 48MP 5X periscope). You also get a tiny secondary screen on the back for selfies. 

Xiaomi’s standard flagship is still a good proposition at €749, featuring 55W wired charging, 50W wireless top-ups, a 4,600mAh battery, and a 108MP main shooter. But you miss out on the Ultra’s IP rating, faster charging, telephoto camera, and tiny rear screen.

You can also land right in the middle on the Xiaomi Mi 11 Pro. It shares the same 6.81-inch display as the other two, with a massive 5,000mAh battery and a completely new camera array. You can tap into a 50MP main lens, 8MP periscope telephoto, and finally, a 13MP ultra-wide shooter. Xiaomi kept the 5G-ready Snapdragon 888 processor, so you should never have to worry about power.


Xiaomi Mi 11 specs:

  • Display: 6.81-inch, Full HD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 108, 13, and 5MP
  • Front camera: 20MP
  • Battery: 4,600mAh
  • Software: Android 11

Xiaomi Mi 11 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.81-inch, Full HD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 256/512GB
  • Cameras: 50, 8, and 13MP
  • Front camera: 20MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 11

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra specs:

  • Display: 6.81-inch, Full HD+, 1.1-inch rear screen
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 256/512GB
  • Cameras: 50, 48, and 48MP
  • Front camera: 20MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 11

5. OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro

OnePlus 9 Pro side profile
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

The OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro are the latest OnePlus flagships, and they make for a pretty decent upgrade over last year’s OnePlus 8 family. The standard model targets the lower end of the flagship tier, while the Pro model is an unabashedly premium device.

Both phones share a Snapdragon 888 SoC, 120Hz OLED screen, a 4,500mAh battery with 65W wired charging, and the same main and ultra-wide cameras (48MP and 50MP respectively). And these are also the first phones developed in partnership with camera veteran Hasselblad.

More coverage: OnePlus 9 Pro review — Gunning for Apple and Samsung | OnePlus 9 review — Serious business, cheap suit

The Pro variant stands out by virtue of its IP68 rating across the board, 50W wireless charging, 3X telephoto camera, and QHD+ screen. Otherwise, the standard OnePlus 9 doesn’t have an official IP rating (unless you buy it via T-Mobile), offers 15W wireless charging (or no wireless charging in India), a 2MP monochrome sensor in place of the telephoto lens, and an FHD+ panel.

In terms of 5G support, both phones support sub-6GHz networks, but the OnePlus 9 doesn’t appear to support mmWave connectivity. Meanwhile, the Pro model indeed offers mmWave for super-fast speeds.


OnePlus 9 specs:

  • Display: 6.55-inch, Full HD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 48, 50, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 11

OnePlus 9 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, QHD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 48, 50, 8 and 2MP
  • Front camera: 16MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 11

6. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 notifications on cover display
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Those looking for a foldable 5G phone have a great new option from Samsung. While the other Samsung flagships might have an edge in certain respects, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3’s lure is that it can be folded in half, much like a classic flip phone. Unfolding the device will showcase a sharp 6.7-inch 2640 x 1080 AMOLED display.

It finally packs near-flagship level internals, but the Z Flip 3 is still a little light in the battery department. Features include a Snapdragon 888 processor, up to 256GB of internal storage, and a 3,300mAh battery.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 may be the best foldable smartphone made to date and certainly the most affordable. Even if the clamshell-style form factor isn’t as beneficial as something like the Galaxy Z Fold 3, the quality of the hinge and improved display outweigh the negatives.


Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 12 and 12MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 3,300mAh
  • Software: Android 11

7. Apple iPhone 13 series

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Series 6
Luke Pollack / Android Authority

The Cupertino company may have been late to the 5G party last year, but the iPhone 13 family is full of worthy upgrades. Between the iPhone 13 Mini, standard iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max, there’s easily an iPhone for everyone.

All the phones deliver OLED screens, water resistance, wireless charging, and Apple’s blazing-fast A15 processor. But fans of small phones will be glad to see the 5.4-inch iPhone 13 Mini offer plenty of upgrades. It finally packs better battery life, so you can actually use your Mini all day long. Of course, there’s also the standard iPhone 13 that’s still not quite on the large side.

Other options: The best iPhone 13 alternatives

Aside from offering bigger batteries, the Pro and Pro Max models also provide a triple rear camera setup compared to the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini’s dual rear cameras. So the Pro models might be worth considering if you value endurance and photography flexibility.

One thing you won’t find on these iPhones is a fingerprint scanner, as Apple is still reliant on Face ID. This isn’t exactly ideal in today’s still-masking world. 


Apple iPhone 13 Mini specs:

  • Display: 5.1-inch, Full HD+
  • Chipset: A15 Bionic
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 12 and 12MP
  • Front camera: 12MP
  • Battery: 2,438mAh
  • Software: iOS 15

Apple iPhone 13 specs:

  • Display: 6.1-inch, Full HD+
  • Chipset: A15 Bionic
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 12 and 12MP
  • Front camera: 12MP
  • Battery: 3,240mAh
  • Software: iOS 15

Apple iPhone 13 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.1-inch, Full HD+
  • Chipset: A14 Bionic
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB/1TB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, and 12MP + 3D ToF
  • Front camera: 12MP
  • Battery: 3,095mAh
  • Software: iOS 15

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, Full HD+
  • Chipset: A15 Bionic
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB/1TB
  • Cameras:12, 12, and 12MP + 3D ToF
  • Front camera: 12MP
  • Battery: 4,352mAh
  • Software: iOS 15

8. Sony Xperia 1 III and 5 III

Sony Xperia 1 III vs Sony Xperia 5 III backs stood up
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Sony has been delivering creator-ready phones in its Xperia line for a few years, and the latest Xperia III series is the best of the bunch. Both models come 5G-ready, so it’s up to you to decide on your needs. For budget-conscious users, there’s the 6.1-inch Sony Xperia 5 III at $999, or you can go all-in on the premium Xperia 1 III at $1,299.

Either way, you’ll get a Snapdragon 888 chipset, an IP68 rating, and a headphone jack to unleash your creativity. The Xperia 1 III tops out at 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, while the Xperia 5 III sticks to 8GB and 256GB respectively. Both devices also offer 4,500mAh batteries, though the Xperia 1 III has an edge with wireless and reverse wireless charging.


Sony Xperia 1 III specs:

  • Display: 6.5-inch, 4K
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 256/512GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 11

Sony Xperia 5 III specs:

  • Display: 6.1-inch, Full HD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 11

9. Samsung Galaxy A52 5G and A52s 5G

Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G angled up against flower pot
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Another Samsung handset makes our list of best 5G phones, but we’re looking at a mid-ranger this time. The Galaxy A52 5G is one of the top picks if you want a well-rounded 5G device but don’t want to pay top dollar.

Our verdict: Samsung Galaxy A52 5G review — Scrappy, mid-range fighter

The A52 5G brings a couple of flagship-level features to the table, namely IP67 water resistance and a 120Hz OLED screen. But the core specs are pretty good, too, featuring a Snapdragon 750G chipset, 128GB to 256GB of expandable storage, and a 4,500mAh battery with 25W charging. Photography is handled by a 64MP main camera, a 12MP ultra-wide snapper, and a pair of 5MP sensors (depth and macro). Selfies and video calls are accomplished with a 32MP camera.

Samsung’s mid-ranger retails for $500, which isn’t the lowest price on the list. But you can definitely do a lot worse than this, and the blow can be softened by contract pricing.

International consumers can also snag the new Galaxy A52s 5G with its beefed-up Snapdragon 778 chipset. The two phones share most of the same spec sheet, which means you’ll find the same flexible camera setup and large 4,500mAh battery onboard.


Samsung Galaxy A52 5G specs:

  • Display: 6.5-inch, Full HD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 750G
  • RAM: 6/8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 64, 12, 5, and 5MP
  • Front cameras: 32MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 11

Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G specs:

  • Display: 6.5-inch, Full HD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 778G
  • RAM: 6/8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 64, 12, 5, and 5MP
  • Front cameras: 32MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 11

10. Google Pixel 5 and 5a

the google pixel 5a on a bench with water splashed droplets
Jimmy Westenberg / Android Authority

Last year, the Google Pixel 5 joined the 5G party, but it skipped the $1,000 flagship path. The company uses upper mid-range silicon instead of the pricier flagship silicon, coming in at $700 in the US and €629 in Europe. 

Aside from the mid-tier 5G processor, the Pixel 5 also sports a 90Hz OLED screen, a secondary ultra-wide rear camera instead of the Pixel 4’s secondary telephoto shooter, and premium extras like wireless charging and IP68 water/dust resistance. The firm also brings several camera-related features to the table, such as Night Sight in Portrait Mode and Cinematic Pan for smooth videos.

In terms of 5G capabilities, the US Pixel 5 gets both sub-6Ghz and mmWave capabilities. Meanwhile, the rest of the world only gets sub-6Ghz support.

Those on the hunt for a more affordable 5G Pixel should also look at the $450 Pixel 5a 5G. It offers the same processor and dual rear camera setup as the Pixel 5 and finally adds water resistance to the budget-friendly mix.  Not to mention the fact that it packs Google’s largest battery to date.


Google Pixel 5 specs:

  • Display: 6-inch, Full HD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 765G
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Cameras: 12.2 and 16MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 4,080mAh
  • Software: Android 11

Google Pixel 5a 5G specs:

  • Display: 6.34-inch, Full HD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 765G
  • RAM: 6GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Cameras: 12.2 and 16MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 4,680mAh
  • Software: Android 11

These are our picks for the best 5G phones you can buy now or will be able to soon, but plenty of other suitable devices didn’t make the cut. We’ll be sure to update this list with new models as soon as they launch.