5G Phones Coming in 2019

We’re looking forward to the launch of 5G in the UK. It’s around 20 times faster than 4G, with the potential for even better speeds. With 5G, you’ll be able to stream video in 4K, and make 4K video calls. There are also benefits for mobile gaming because of 5G’s lower latency.

But we’re in a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation here, in that you won’t be able to actually use 5G until both your network and your smartphone support the next-gen connectivity standard. So do you buy a 5G phone now and wait for the networks to catch up, or do you go for a network that promises 5G support and wait until it’s ready to buy the hardware?

Though many of the phones covered here are launching this summer, we still don’t know an exact date for when you’ll be able to use 5G in the UK, and widespread availability is not expected until well into 2020. 

EE, for example, promises to launch 5G for users of the yet-to-be-announced OnePlus 5G phone and Samsung Galaxy S10 5G in the second half of 2019 across 16 UK cities. This will be achieved in two phases: first in Birmingham, Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, London and Manchester; second in Newcastle, Leeds, Hull, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester, Coventry and Bristol.

If you’re an EE customer and you don’t opt for one of those two phones AND live or work in one of the 16 cities, you will not be using 5G in 2019. In the meantime, the phones listed below will max out at 4G (or 4.5G if you believe the marketing hype), so it is worth carefully considering whether you should upgrade now or wait a little longer.

At first 5G will be supported in only the most expensive, top-spec phones, but it will gradually filter down to the mid-range- and eventually budget markets, as we saw with 4G. 22 manufacturers have promised 5G phones in 2019, mostly using Qualcomm’s X50 modem. For more details on the technology, see our guide to What is 5G?

If you decide to wait, we’ve tested some great 4G smartphones at various price points. Check out the best flagship, mid-range and budget phones available now, as well as some great phones coming soon (some are even foldable, which for now is arguably more cool than supporting 5G).

But for those who want to make the leap to 5G nonetheless, here are the 5G phones that are confirmed to arrive this year:

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 5G

Samsung Galaxy S10 5G

LG V50 ThinQ 5G

Huawei Mate X

OnePlus 5G

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