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Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max 5G 256GB Natural TitaniumUnlimited Calls and Texts 5GBApple iPhone 15 Pro Max 5G Dual SIM 256GB Natural Titanium5GBdataUnltdminutesUnltdtexts24month contractZeroupfront cost£46.00per month(prices may change during contract)Visit NowSky Mobile
Apple iPhone 14 5G 128GB StarlightRedApple iPhone 14 5G Dual SIM 128GB Starlight250GBdataUnltdminutesUnltdtexts24month contract£15.00upfront cost£37.00per month(monthly price + out of bundle charges will increase every April by the Consumer Price Index rate of inflation + 3.9%)Visit NowMobiles.co.uk
Apple iPhone 15 5G 128GB BlackUnlimited Calls and Texts 5GBApple iPhone 15 5G Dual SIM 128GB Black5GBdataUnltdminutesUnltdtexts24month contractZeroupfront cost£33.00per month(prices may change during contract)Visit NowSky Mobile
Apple iPhone 14 5G 128GB StarlightUnlimited Calls and Texts 5GBApple iPhone 14 5G Dual SIM 128GB Starlight5GBdataUnltdminutesUnltdtexts24month contractZeroupfront cost£30.00per month(prices may change during contract)Visit NowSky Mobile
HONOR X 7a 5G 128GB BlackPay Monthly 2GBFree EU RoamingFree Roaming up to 30GBHONOR X 7a 5G 128GB Black2GBdataUnltdminutesUnltdtexts24month contract£99.00upfront cost£6.99per month(monthly price will increase every April by the Consumer Price Index rate of inflation + 3.9%)Visit NowMobiles.co.uk
HONOR X 7a 5G 128GB SilverPay Monthly 2GBFree EU RoamingFree Roaming up to 30GBHONOR X 7a 5G 128GB Silver2GBdataUnltdminutesUnltdtexts24month contract£99.00upfront cost£6.99per month(monthly price will increase every April by the Consumer Price Index rate of inflation + 3.9%)Visit NowMobiles.co.uk
HONOR X 7a 5G 128GB BluePay Monthly 2GBFree EU RoamingFree Roaming up to 30GBHONOR X 7a 5G 128GB Blue2GBdataUnltdminutesUnltdtexts24month contract£99.00upfront cost£6.99per month(monthly price will increase every April by the Consumer Price Index rate of inflation + 3.9%)Visit NowMobiles.co.uk
HONOR X 7a 5G 128GB BluePay Monthly 2GBFree EU RoamingFree Roaming up to 30GBHONOR X 7a 5G 128GB Blue2GBdataUnltdminutesUnltdtexts24month contract£99.00upfront cost£6.99per month(monthly price will increase every April by the Consumer Price Index rate of inflation + 3.9%)Visit Nowe2save
HONOR X 7a 5G 128GB BlackPay Monthly 2GBFree EU RoamingFree Roaming up to 30GBHONOR X 7a 5G 128GB Black2GBdataUnltdminutesUnltdtexts24month contract£99.00upfront cost£6.99per month(monthly price will increase every April by the Consumer Price Index rate of inflation + 3.9%)Visit Nowe2save
HONOR X 7a 5G 128GB SilverPay Monthly 2GBFree EU RoamingFree Roaming up to 30GBHONOR X 7a 5G 128GB Silver2GBdataUnltdminutesUnltdtexts24month contract£99.00upfront cost£6.99per month(monthly price will increase every April by the Consumer Price Index rate of inflation + 3.9%)Visit Nowe2save
HONOR X 7a 5G 128GB BlackPay Monthly 5GBFree EU RoamingFree Roaming up to 30GBHONOR X 7a 5G 128GB Black5GBdataUnltdminutesUnltdtexts24month contract£89.00upfront cost£7.99per month(monthly price will increase every April by the Consumer Price Index rate of inflation + 3.9%)Visit NowMobiles.co.uk
HONOR X 7a 5G 128GB SilverPay Monthly 5GBFree EU RoamingFree Roaming up to 30GBHONOR X 7a 5G 128GB Silver5GBdataUnltdminutesUnltdtexts24month contract£89.00upfront cost£7.99per month(monthly price will increase every April by the Consumer Price Index rate of inflation + 3.9%)Visit NowMobiles.co.uk
HONOR X 7a 5G 128GB BluePay Monthly 5GBFree EU RoamingFree Roaming up to 30GBHONOR X 7a 5G 128GB Blue5GBdataUnltdminutesUnltdtexts24month contract£89.00upfront cost£7.99per month(monthly price will increase every April by the Consumer Price Index rate of inflation + 3.9%)Visit NowMobiles.co.uk
HONOR X 7a 5G 128GB BluePay Monthly 5GBFree EU RoamingFree Roaming up to 30GBHONOR X 7a 5G 128GB Blue5GBdataUnltdminutesUnltdtexts24month contract£89.00upfront cost£7.99per month(monthly price will increase every April by the Consumer Price Index rate of inflation + 3.9%)Visit Nowe2save
HONOR X 7a 5G 128GB BlackPay Monthly 5GBFree EU RoamingFree Roaming up to 30GBHONOR X 7a 5G 128GB Black5GBdataUnltdminutesUnltdtexts24month contract£89.00upfront cost£7.99per month(monthly price will increase every April by the Consumer Price Index rate of inflation + 3.9%)Visit Nowe2save
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5G mobile phones

In this guide

  1. What is 5G?
  2. Which mobile phones support 5G?
  3. What to look for in a 5G mobile phone
  4. What is 5G network coverage like in the UK?
  5. Which providers offer 5G mobile phone deals?
  6. Frequently asked questions

5G has been talked about for a long time and while coverage isn't exactly widespread at the moment, there is now an exciting range of 5G mobile phones available. The likes of Samsung, OnePlus and Huawei have been producing 5G-ready phones for a while, but now Apple has joined the party it feels like the 5G market has really opened up.

There's actually so much choice that you may need a bit of help to work out what's going to be the best deal for you. Don't worry, we're here to help. We'll take you through the best 5G mobile phone options, look at the providers offering 5G deals and we'll start by setting out exactly what 5G is.

What is 5G?

5G is the fifth generation of mobile network technology. Like previous generations, it features advances in technology that open up new possibilities. 3G ushered in the era of smartphones and mobile internet while 4G gave us faster speeds and the ability to stream videos on the move. 5G promises to deliver not only much faster speeds, but also vastly increased capacity – allowing more devices to get online at the same time – and reduced latency, making browsing, gaming and everything else you do online far more responsive.

As well as bringing noticeable benefits to smartphone users, 5G's greater capacity will accelerate the growth of smart devices while its low latency will allow for better communication between vehicles as the development of driverless cars continues.

How does 5G work?

Like other generations of mobile networks (3G, 4G, etc), 5G is broadcast on specific frequencies of a radio spectrum. In the UK, it uses frequency bands of between 700 MHz and 3.8GHz, enabling it to transmit information with speed across long distances.

5G technology is still in its relative infancy and thus is seeing frequent improvements and upgrades. Many things, including the spectrum range, may change as time goes on.

How fast is 5G?

5G is really fast. Vodafone – one of four mobile network operators rolling out 5G coverage in the UK – says users can expect it to be about 10 times faster than 4G. Voda says its 5G network is designed to work at average speeds of 150-200Mbps with peak speeds hitting 1,000Mbps, or 1Gbps. Compare this to average 4G speeds of between 23 and 35Mbps. To put 5G speeds into perspective, Vodafone uses the old favourite of telling us how long it would take to download a HD movie (about three minutes on 5G, about 15 minutes on 4G).

Rootmetrics has tested 5G networks in the UK and found median download speeds to be well in excess of 100Mbps. It has also recorded some impressive top speeds on 5G, including a speed of 450.9Mbps on EE in Birmingham. Network testing by Umlaut in London found average download speeds of 215.2Mbps for Vodafone, 182.8Mbps for EE, 147.1Mbps for O2 and 109.2Mbps for Three.

Which mobile phones support 5G?

There is now a pretty wide range of mobile phones available that support 5G. You'll often see these phones described as being '5G-ready' – this is because 5G coverage isn't yet available in all areas and when the phone isn't connected to 5G, it'll use 4G. In the past 12 months or so there's been a shift in the industry from 5G phones being something of a novelty to practically all of the new models supporting the network.

Let's take a (by no means exhaustive) look at some of the 5G mobile phones available right now.

  • Apple iPhone 13 – Apple has been later to the 5G party than some of its rivals, but with 5G networks still in their infancy, it matters little. The latest flagship iPhone has a 6.1-inch OLED display, up to 512GB storage, a dual camera system, and the powerful A15 Bionic chipset.
  • Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max – The iPhone 13 Pro Max is the most advanced iPhone currently. It offers a 6.7-inch display, a whooping 1TB storage, 6GB RAM, and a quad camera system.
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 – The S22 supports 5G connectivity alongside other desirable features like 256GB memory, a 50MP wide camera, a 6.1-inch display, and Qualcom's powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset.
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra – The S22 Ultra is an improvement on the S22, with advanced features such as a 108MP camera and 1TB storage.
  • Samsung Galaxy A90 – It's not only the top-end Samsung phones that support 5G now. The A90 will be less of a punch in the bank balance but still comes with features like a 6.7-inch Super AMOLED screen and a 48MP camera as well as supporting 5G
  • Huawei P40 lite 5G – This offering from Chinese manufacturer Huawei comes with a 64MP quad-camera system, a 6.5-inch LCD display and a powerful Kirin processor. It'll come in a fair bit cheaper than most of the Apple and Samsung handsets on this list
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 20 – Like its predecessors, the Note20 comes with an S-Pen stylus and premium features. These include a 64MP camera, a 10MP selfie camera and a 6.7-inch Super AMOLED Plus display
  • Huawei Mate 20X 5G – Released back in 2019, the Mate 20X 5G has a massive 7.2-inch screen, a 40MP wide angle camera and a 24MP selfie camera on the front. It is compatible with the Huawei M-Pen stylus but that is sold separately
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 – And now for something completely different. The innovative Z Fold2 has a 6.2-inch screen when folded and operates as a fully functioning smartphone. Open it up and you've effectively got a 7.6-inch square tablet on your hands
  • OnePlus 8 Pro – The latest from OnePlus has a 6.78-inch QHD+ display and 120Hz refresh rate, as well as a 48MP quad camera. Ideal if you're looking for a premium phone but aren't a fan of the major brands
  • Moto G 5G Plus –A budget-friendly way to get on board the 5G train from Motorola, the G 5G Plus has a 48MP quad camera system, a 6.7-inch CinemaVision screen and claims to have two days of battery life
  • Google Pixel 6 – Another phone that comes in a fair bit cheaper than Apple and Samsung's premium offerings, the Pixel 6 has a 6.4-inch AMOLED screen, a 50MP main camera and 256GB storage.

What to look for in a 5G phone

It can be hard, when there are so many choices, to narrow down your options when looking for a new phone. With some of the flashy features available on 5G handsets, it becomes even harder. But we're here to help. Here are some of things we think it's important to look for when choosing a 5G phone.

Screen size

You'd be forgiven for thinking that bigger is necessarily better when it comes to screen size, but this is something that comes very much down to personal choice. There are some really massive phones on the market at the moment and only you can decide whether you'd rather have a big screen for streaming and gaming, or a smaller handset that fits more easily into your pocket and is generally easier to handle.

Camera

Cameras are getting ridiculously good on phones now. The way to differentiate between different phone cameras is to look at the amount of megapixels (often written as MP). This tells you the resolution of the camera, which doesn't necessarily translate into better photo quality but means the camera is capable of capturing more detail. The other thing to look it is the number of lenses – as well as a front-facing 'selfie camera' there is a trend for phones to have three or even four lenses on the back, each giving the camera different capabilities.

Price

An obvious one, but for most of us the price of certain handsets will rule them out of our considerations. Top-of-the-range Apple and Samsung phones will set you back a pretty penny but both offer more budget-friendly options and there are a number of manufacturers competing in the mid-range price bracket. It's also worth considering a refurbished phone as they come with a new battery and cost a fraction of the price of a new handset.

Operating system

This is the platform on which everything you do on your phone is built. Apple phones use an operating system called iOS, while pretty much every other manufacturer uses Android, although there are subtle differences between Android on, say, a Samsung phone compared to Android on a Sony or Huawei handset. Most apps are available on both platforms, so it really comes down to personal choice.

Battery life

You're going to want your 5G phone to last all day without recharging it, so look for a phone with a good battery life. Apple phones have a reputation for keeping their charge not only when they are brand new, but even when they are two or three years old. Having said that, battery life is improving across all phone brands.

Storage

This is important because it dictates how many apps, photos and videos you can store on your phone. Some phones allow you to add more storage by way of an SD card and it's always worth backing up important media and files to the cloud, but look for a phone with at least 32GB of internal storage as anything less is unlikely to be enough.

What is 5G network coverage like in the UK?

All four of the UK's mobile network operators – EE, Vodafone, O2 and Three – are currently rolling out 5G coverage across the UK. But it's not a quick, easy or cheap process so it's going to take a while. All four are focussing on major cities to start off with because the increased capacity of 5G is going to be most useful in the areas that have a lot of people trying to get online at the same time.

EE

EE had rolled out 5G to 160 cities and large towns in the UK at the time of writing, including major ones like Bolton, Edinburgh, Portsmouth, London, Glasgow, Liverpool, and Leeds. We can’t list all the cities here, but it’s likely in yours or one close to you.

A city or town being on EE's list doesn't necessarily mean coverage is widespread in that area. Rootmetrics tested the 5G coverage of the four big mobile operators in 16 British cities in the second half of 2021 and found EE's coverage varied between cities. Testers got a 5G connection 53.3% of the time in Birmingham but only 31.6% of the time in Glasgow. EE did, however, have the highest 5G availability in 10 cities and the fastest 5G median download speed in 8 markets.

Vodafone

Vodafone says it has rolled out 5G to over 140 towns in the UK as well as 200+ towns across Germany, Spain, Italy and Ireland.

In the second half of 2021, Rootmetrics found Vodafone's 5G network covered all 16 cities it tested, including a record 59.6% ability in Liverpool.

O2

O2 claims to be in "most major UK towns and cities" as well as a number of smaller towns and villages. It increased its 5G availability in 15 out of 16 markets that Rootmetrics tested in the second half of 2021, including a record 18% jump in Hull.

Three

Three says its 5G mobile network is available in "selected postcodes". Rootmetrics found increased 5G availability in 12 out of 16 cities it tested in the second half of 2021, with median download speeds above 200Mbps.

Which providers offer 5G mobile phone deals?

The limited amount of 5G coverage has not put mobile phone provider off from offering great deals on those shiny new 5G-ready handsets we mentioned earlier. Prices vary, with the iPhone 13 and Samsung Galaxy S22 generally sitting among the more expensive 5G phones. Look for Motorola, Huawei or even the Google Pixel 6 for a cheaper option.

  • EE – EE offers a good range of 5G handsets with loads of inclusive data and the option to choose a free 'smart benefit' – choose from Apple Music, BT Sport, BritBox, Amazon Prime Video, a video data pass or free roaming in the USA, Australia and beyond
  • Vodafone – Vodafone has a pretty good range of phones including quite a few budget 5G options. Pay monthly plans come with a three-month trial of Secure Net and some come with the choice of YouTube Premium, Amazon Prime Video or Spotify
  • O2 – O2's 5G-ready handsets come with a list of streaming extras to choose from including Disney+, Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Music Unlimited and Audible. Choose an eligible Apple phone and you'll also get a year of Apple TV+ for free
  • Three – 5G phones from Three come with an assortment of extras including headphones and phone cases, depending on the handset you choose
  • Sky Mobile – Sky, which uses the O2 network, has mostly Apple and Samsung 5G phones on offer. Some come with double data. Sky is also offering free 5G connectivity for Sky VIP members, but obviously you will still need a 5G-ready handset
  • Tesco Mobile – Tesco also runs its services on the O2 network. It is offering 5G pay monthly deals on a number of Apple, Samsung and Motorola handsets. Tesco Mobile customers get Clubcard points for purchases and pay monthly customers can use Clubcard vouchers to save on their package
  • BT Mobile – BT Mobile, which uses the EE network, isn't selling pay monthly 5G handset plans at the moment but is doing 5G-ready SIM-only deals, so if you are thinking of buying a handset outright, this is an option

You can also get a range of 5G-ready phones from giffgaff, Virgin Mobile and iD Mobile,which now all offer 5G connectivity.

Frequently asked questions

Can I use 5G when roaming abroad?

Yes, as long as you're using a 5G-ready phone and you're in an area with 5G coverage. Most providers offer free roaming in a number of countries so before you go, check that your destination is covered.

Should I buy a 5G phone in 2022?

5G coverage isn't perfect at the moment, so ensure you live in an area with solid connectivity before getting a 5G phone. That said, many of the top new phones are 5G-ready so if you were going to upgrade anyway, there's no harm in having a phone that's ready to go when 5G coverage does reach your area.

Will 5G work on a 4G phone?

No, you need to have a 5G-ready phone and a 5G SIM in order to connect to a 5G network.

What is the cheapest 5G phone?

Prices are always changing and there are always new deals being offered by providers, but some of the cheaper options are likely to be an 'A' range Samsung Galaxy, a Motorola or a Huawei handset.