Best daily deals

Links on Android Authority may earn us a commission. Learn more.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra is the best 5G phone out there — here's why

We'll also look at a few other options.
By
September 10, 2022
5G logo on graphic
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

5G networks are popping up all over the map, with many regions offering the next-generation cellular standard. Those looking for faster cellular speeds should consider getting a 5G phone. We’ve done the legwork and picked the very best 5G phone currently available. Additionally, we’ve rounded up a few other great 5G phones, just to give you a bit more options to choose from. Let’s dive in.

The best 5G phone: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Galaxy S22 Ultra Noted Wallpaper 1
Zarif Ali / Android Authority

This is the best 5G phone you can get your hands on in our opinion, and there are several reasons why. The phone supports both mmWave and sub-6GHz 5G, which worked great during our testing. It also offers high-end specs and a bunch of extra bells and whistles that will keep power users happy. So not only is it the best 5G phone around, it’s also one of the best Android phones overall.

Read more: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review

The Galaxy S22 Ultra is a huge device with its 6.8-inch display. It sports four rear cameras that will take fantastic images in just about any lighting condition. It’s one of the best phones for photography enthusiasts, alongside the Pixel 6 series. It’s also the market leader when it comes to software support, as it promises four years of OS and five years of security updates.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra comes with an S Pen.

The handset comes with an S Pen, making it a great replacement for the discontinued Note series. It offers all the power you need, as it can handle just about any task you throw at it with ease. And the build quality is simply amazing, which makes the phone feel extremely good in the hand. 

No phone is perfect, though. The battery life of the Galaxy S22 Ultra is average at best, and the charging speeds aren’t as fast as the ones you get with some of its rivals. The speakers could be better too, considering the price tag of the device. 

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Ultra-premium build quality • Gorgeous screen • Solid performance
See review
MSRP
SAVE
$999.99
$200.00
$999.99 at Amazon
See review

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra specs:

  • Display: 6.8-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: SD 888 or Exynos 2100
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 128/256/516GB or 1TB
  • Cameras: 108, 12, 10, and 10MP
  • Front camera: 40MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 12

Other 5G phones to consider

While the Galaxy S22 Ultra is the best 5G phone to get in our opinion, we understand that it’s not for everyone. Some don’t want to spend that much money on a phone, don’t need all the features it offers, or simply think it’s too big. With that in mind, we’ve made a list of a few other great 5G phones available from different brands and at different price points, just to give you a bit more variety. 

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

Samsung Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S22 Family in white spread on wood
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

The Samsung Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus are quite similar phones to one another, but they offer less than the Ultra model listed above. You get mmWave and sub-6GHz support with both, and you’ll also find the same high-end chipset under the hood.

More options: The best Samsung phones available

However, the cameras are a bit different compared to the Ultra model. The two Galaxies come with three rear sensors instead of four, and the main one offers a much lower resolution. Regardless, they are still among the best camera phones you can get. The handsets also come with a lower display resolution and smaller batteries, among other things.

They are still flagship devices and are suitable for all you power users out there. They offer the same specs and features for the most part, with the exception of the S22 having a smaller screen and a smaller battery with slower charging (45W vs 25W).


Samsung Galaxy S22 specs:

  • Display: 6.1-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: SD 888 or Exynos 2100
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 50, 12, and 10MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 3,700mAh
  • Software: Android 12

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus specs:

  • Display: 6.6-inch, Full HD+
  • Chipset: SD 888 or Exynos 2100
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 50, 12, and 10MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 12

Asus ROG Phone 6 series

Asus Rog Phone 6 homescreen in hand
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

There are two phones in the ROG Phone 6 series. The first is the ROG Phone 6 Pro, which is the best of the two. It has everything a gamer needs, including a large 6.78-inch display with a 165Hz refresh rate, a massive 6,000mAh battery with 65W charging, and great performance thanks to Snapdragon’s latest chipset paired with 18GB of RAM.

Read next: Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro review

The device comes with ultrasonic Airtriggers that are fully customizable in terms of sensitivity and button mapping. To level up your gaming experience, you can also get various accessories like Asus’ Aero Active Cooler 6 that does a great job cooling down the handset when playing games for a long time, or the Kunai 3 controller that makes the gaming experience more enjoyable for most people.

The second device in the series is the ROG Phone 6, which is more or less identical to the Pro model. The only two differences are that it tops out at 16GB of RAM instead of 18GB and that it lacks a secondary rear display, which is capable of displaying the time, text messages, logos, and other simple things.


ROG Phone 6 specs:

  • Display: 6.78-inch, FHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1
  • RAM: 8/12/16GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 50, 13, and 5MP
  • Front camera: 12MP
  • Battery: 6,000mAh
  • Software: Android 12

ROG Phone 6 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.78-inch, FHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • RAM: 18GB
  • Storage: 512GB
  • Cameras: 50, 13, and 5MP
  • Front camera: 12MP
  • Battery: 6,000mAh
  • Software: Android 12

Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro

Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro lying on autumn leaves
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

While not all Pixel releases are perfect, Google went all out with the Pixel 6 series. The Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro are great 5G phones. Not only because of their fast data speeds, but because they are excellent overall handsets. However, keep in mind that only Verizon’s models of the two Pixel phones support mmWave technology, and they cost $100 more.

Google took another approach at design this time around, playing with looks to make these phones stand out from the crowd. Their playful colors are fun, build quality meets premium standards, and the overall design is flattering.

Also read: These are the best Android phones available

Specs are worthy of a true flagship, too. Both phones come with a Google Tensor chipset, which competes with the best alternatives. Along with 8GB/12GB of RAM, these devices won’t fall behind in performance. The large AMOLED screens also feature a Full HD+ or QHD+ resolution and 90Hz or 120Hz refresh rates, depending on whether you get the Pixel 6 or the 6 Pro.

Those looking for something cheaper from Google can also look at the Google Pixel 6a, which is one of the best mid-range phones currently available.


Google Pixel 6 specs:

  • Display: 6.4-inch, Full HD+
  • Chipset: Google Tensor
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 50 and 12MP
  • Front camera: 8MP
  • Battery: 4,614mAh
  • Software: Android 12

Google Pixel 6 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.71-inch, QHD+
  • Chipset: Google Tensor
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 50, 48, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 11.1MP
  • Battery: 5,003mAh
  • Software: Android 12

Xiaomi 12 and 12 Pro 5G phones

Xiaomi 12 series on table cascaded
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

First launched in China, we didn’t recommend the Xiaomi 12 series for some time. However, the duo of 5G phones has been making its way to other markets, including Africa, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. They aren’t coming to the USA, but it’s easier for everyone to get them now that they are in more countries.

The Xiaomi 12 and Xiaomi 12 Pro are outstanding 5G phones, featuring premium designs, high-end specs, and overall great experiences. While Xiaomi is known for its affordable prices, these are not cheap, with prices starting at €999 for the Xiaomi 12 and €1,099 for the Pro variant.

Both come with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, 8/12GB of RAM, 128/256GB of storage, and AMOLED screens with a 120Hz refresh rate. Differences between both phones aren’t too significant. The Pro has a slightly larger 6.73-inch display with a QHD+ resolution. The Xiaomi 12 has a 6.28-inch Full HD+ panel. The larger device also has a slightly bigger 4,600mAh battery instead of 4,500mAh.


Xiaomi Mi 12 specs:

  • Display: 6.28-inch, Full HD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 50, 13, and 5MP
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 12

Xiaomi Mi 12 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.73-inch, QHD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 50, 50, and 50MP
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 4,600mAh
  • Software: Android 12

OnePlus 10 Pro

OnePlus 10 Pro top down view of the back panel
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Another phone first launched in China is the OnePlus 10 Pro. It has since been launched globally, including in North America, and it’s definitely among the best 5G phones around. It’s one of the first phones launched in collaboration with Oppo, something you can tell by looking at the new design, which suits it well.

The OnePlus 10 Pro offers a premium design and build quality. Sporting a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and as much as 12GB of RAM, performance is also high-end. The screen is large at 6.7 inches, and it looks incredible thanks to the AMOLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate.

You also get an IP68 rating, a large 5,000mAh battery, and 80W fast charging (65W in the USA).


OnePlus 10 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, QHD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 48, 50, and 8MP
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 12

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Z Fold 4

samsung galaxy z fold 4 home screen open
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Those looking for a foldable 5G phone have a couple of great options from Samsung. While the other Samsung flagships might have an edge in certain respects, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4‘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 2,640 x 1,080 AMOLED display.

It finally packs near-flagship level internals, but the Z Flip 4 is still a little light in the battery department. Features include a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 processor, up to 512GB of internal storage, and a 3,700mAh battery.

Also: The best foldable phones in existence

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 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 4, the quality of the hinge and improved display outweigh the negatives.

If you’re into foldable phones and don’t mind paying much more for a smartphone/tablet hybrid, you should also look at the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4. It’s a beast of a device and also supports 5G speeds. The main difference is that, while the Z Flip 4 folds in, the Z Fold 4 is more like a regular-sized smartphone that folds out into a tablet form factor. Specs are also high-end, and the experience is nothing short of what you can expect from a premium handset device.

Both devices support mmWave 5G technology.


Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch and 1.9-inch
  • SoC: Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 12 and 12MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 3,700mAh
  • Software: Android 12

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 specs:

  • Display: 7.6-inch  and 6.2-inch
  • SoC: Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 256/512GB and 1TB
  • Cameras: 50, 12 and 10MP
  • Front cameras: 10MP, 4MP UDC
  • Battery: 4,400mAh
  • Software: Android 12

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. There’s easily an iPhone for everyone between the iPhone 13 Mini, standard iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max.

All the phones deliver OLED screens, water resistance, wireless charging, mmWave support, 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 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.

If you’re looking for an iPhone experience on a budget, take a closer look at the 2022 iPhone SE. It offers a fantastic experience at a much lower price point.


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: A15 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

Vivo X80 Pro

Vivo X80 Pro lockscreen fingerprint scanner edit
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

Vivo has upped its flagship game in the last couple of years, and the X80 Pro is the company’s first flagship for 2022. It offers high-end specs, including a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, a QHD+ 120Hz OLED screen, and a 4,700mAh battery.

Verdict: Vivo X80 Pro review — Vivo’s best, (mostly) refined

You’re also getting a host of other notable features, namely 80W wired charging, 50W wireless top-ups, an IP68 rating, and the best in-display fingerprint sensor on a smartphone today. Vivo’s flagship is also equipped with a flexible quad-camera system, delivering a 50MP main shooter, 48MP ultrawide lens, 12MP 2x telephoto camera, and an 8MP 5x periscope shooter.

The main downside to the phone is the price tag, varying between €1,100 and €1,300 in Europe and retailing for Rs 86,999 in India.

Vivo X80 Pro specs

  • Display: 6.78-inch, QHD+
  • Chipset: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 256GB
  • Cameras: 8, 12, 48, 50MP
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 4,700mAh
  • Software: Android 12

Oppo Find X5 Pro

Oppo Find X5 Pro desk back
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The Oppo Find X5 Pro is a gorgeous-looking device with a sleek design, even if it’s quite the fingerprint magnet. Looks aren’t all, though, and the phone’s internals are even more impressive. It also helps that you get the full power of 5G connectivity.

Specs include a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset (Dimensity 9000 in China), up to 12GB of RAM, and an IP68 rating. Additionally, you’ll get a sizeable 5,000mAh battery. The triple-camera setup is competent, and the QHD+ AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate is gorgeous.

Oppo’s camera bump is one of the most unique we’ve seen in a while, and it seems to melt into the device itself. It stars a pair of 50MP shooters along with a 13MP telephoto lens. You’ll have some problems with fingerprints due to the high-gloss finish, so be ready to clean often.


Oppo Find X5 Pro specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: SD 8 Gen 1 or Dimensity 9000
  • RAM: 8/12GB
  • Storage: 256/512GB
  • Cameras: 50, 50, and 13MP
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 12

Sony Xperia 1 IV

Xperia 10 IV phone on wood base
Adam Birney / Android Authority

This is the best phone from Sony you can currently get. The Xperia 1 IV was announced in May and offers high-end specs as well as loads of bells and whistles power users will enjoy. This 5G handset supports both sub-6GHz as well as mmWave technology.

Read next: Sony Xperia 1 IV buyer’s guide

You get a large 4K display with a 120Hz refresh rate, the fastest chipset currently available, a headphone jack, and even a microSD card slot. The battery comes in at 5,000mAh and supports 30W charging, getting it up to 50% in 30 minutes, according to Sony. It’s a great phone for creators, offering super camera autofocus, stellar video capture, and a few unique content creator apps. The speakers are great as well.

Sony’s flagship also features a side-mounted fingerprint scanner, wireless charging, and a 21:9 aspect ratio that makes it quite tall and slim. The biggest drawback of the device is its price, which comes in at $1,600.


Sony Xperia 1 IV specs:

  • Display: 6.5-inch, 4K
  • SoC: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 256/512GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, and 12MP + 0.3MP ToF
  • Front camera: 12MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 12

What is 5G, anyway?

Red 5G logo projected 2
Kris Carlon / Android Authority

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, which is ideal for VoIP calls, video conferencing, and online gaming. Essentially any real-time activity where lag can be of concern.

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

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

This is just a brief overview of what 5G is. To learn more about the technology, check out the dedicated post using the link below.

Here: What is 5G, and what can we expect from it?

Are 5G phones 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. Nevertheless, the evidence 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 5G phones: 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.


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 update this list with new models as soon as they launch. In the meantime, you should check out our list of the best cellphone plans to find the right 5G provider for your needs.