The Top 5G Smartphones to Buy in 2021

There has never been a better time to purchase one of the top 5G smartphones, as Black Friday phone discounts provide you with the opportunity to save money on some of the greatest smartphones available. Even among low-cost smartphones, it’s becoming increasingly typical for a phone to launch with 5G connectivity rather than without it. If so, does this imply that it is now appropriate to purchase a 5G-capable phone for your next device? However, since carriers are continuing to build their 5G networks to raise speeds and extend coverage, buying a new phone almost certainly means you’ll get 5G compatibility — and perhaps at a very competitive price, as well.

However, once you have one of the top 5G phones in your possession, the real question is what you can anticipate from it. You will, without a doubt, experience quicker speeds, albeit not quite as quickly as the 5G proponents predicted when 5G networks went live in 2019. Check out our 5G timeline to find out when 5G will be available in your area. Our top 5G phones, on the other hand, provide far more than simply faster downloads. The top 5G phones are distinguished by their excellent cameras, large screens, and massive batteries. Samsung and Google have increased the number of 5G phones available, while Apple’s iPhone 13 range adds four more models to the mix with the iPhone 13. The consequence is that there are some newbies at the top of the list of the best 5G smartphones.

What are the top 5G smartphones available?

The iPhone 13 Pro Max takes the top spot on our list of the best 5G phones rankings, owing to a large battery that allows for far longer battery life than previous generations. However, the super-sized iPhone comes with many advantages, including even stronger 5G compatibility than last year’s iPhone 12 series and a display that refreshes quickly. When it comes to the best 5G phone, any of the new iPhones would be a great pick since all four models are compatible with a wide range of 5G networks worldwide. With a starting price of $799, the iPhone 13 is a particularly enticing option. Regarding Android smartphones over iOS devices, we’d pick the Galaxy S21 Ultra, which works with every kind of 5G network and has a large OLED display.

Google Pixel 5a or Pixel 6 are two options for 5G phones with one of the best-performing cameras available. The latter offers additional features, but both phones are pretty priced. On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy A32 5G illustrates that you don’t have to spend much money to obtain a 5G connection on your phone when it comes to pricing.

The best 5G smartphones are available for purchase right now.

1. iPhone 13 Pro Max with OLED display

The iPhone 13 Pro Max, which has replaced our previous top selection, the iPhone 12 Pro Max, is the most incredible 5G phone currently available. However, even while that phone was excellent, the iPhone 13 Pro Max outperforms it in every vital manner, including those critical for 5G. The iPhone 13 Pro Max, like its predecessor, has a large amount of 5G connectivity. However, thanks to the larger battery, the new Apple phone lasts far longer on a single charge — more than 12 hours in our tests, making it one of the longest-lasting smartphones now available. Even though Apple included a dynamically changing display, the iPhone 13 Pro Max manages to live that long, which is a power hog on previous models. The iPhone 13 Pro Max performs well in this environment, thanks to the high-performance A15 Bionic processor.

Although it is somewhat heavier than Apple’s previous generation, the new phone is still relatively light. However, with all of the enhancements and extended 5G capability, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is a gadget that 5G lovers will like.

2. Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

The Samsung Galaxy S21 series is the first in the world to have Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 888 system-on-chip, which means that any of the three new phones — the Galaxy S21, Galaxy S21 Plus, and Galaxy S21 Ultra — will be able to connect to any of the country’s five-gigabit wireless networks. We like the Galaxy S21 Ultra not just because it costs $200 less than the previous year’s equivalent S20 model but also because it has a long battery life and can be used for extended periods.

According to Samsung, even with its screen set to a 60Hz refresh rate, the Galaxy S21 managed approximately 11.5 hours of battery life in our battery test. Of course, turning on the feature that allows the phone to alter its refresh rate dynamically consumes some battery life, but even with that feature enabled, the S21 Ultra outlasted the ordinary smartphone. That’s a desirable feature in a 5G phone, as is the S21 Ultra’s large screen and S Pen functionality, both of which are included.

3. iPhone 13

Apple’s iPhone Pro versions have more advanced capabilities, but the entry-level iPhone 13 is a terrific way to acquire a quality 5G phone for a lower price. Improved features throughout the iPhone 13 family, including a larger battery, a smaller notch, and more widespread 5G compatibility than ever before, are on exhibit here, but for a low starting price of $799. Unlike previous generations, you do not need to give any storage space. The iPhone 13 comes with 128GB of storage space in its basic model, double the amount of space previously provided by Apple. Because of the significant gain in battery life over the iPhone 12, this is an excellent 5G phone.

4. Google Pixel 5a

Because the cost of 5G phones has decreased, you’ll be able to discover cheaper alternatives to the $449 Pixel 5a. However, there aren’t many mid-range smartphones that can compete with Google’s current mid-range phone for mobile photography. For the first time since the Pixel 4a and Pixel 3a, the Pixel 5a has two rear cameras, one with a 16MP ultra-wide lens and the other with a 12.2MP primary camera. That provides the new phone more versatility, and when paired with Google’s computational photography capabilities, you can be confident that you will get some outstanding images from this sub-$500 phone. The Pixel 5a in the United States is compatible with both sub-6GHz and mmWave-based 5G networks, which means you should be able to use the phone on any network. In addition, Google has integrated a larger battery, which means you’ll be able to travel longer between charges than you would have with prior Pixel models.

5. iPhone 13 mini with a curved screen

Most of the most incredible 5G phones are on the large side, but not the iPhone 13 mini, which is on the petite side. The iPhone 13 mini, like its predecessor from a year ago, is a portable device that weighs less than 5 ounces and is designed for portability. Despite this, it has sufficient 5G functionality to function with bands on all major carriers. Apple doubled the battery capacity of this phone clone compared to the iPhone 12 mini, allowing it to run longer on a single charge. Apple’s A15 Bionic chipset has a concise battery life compared to other smartphones, but few other smartphones have a processor as strong as Apple’s A15 Bionic.

6. iPhone 13 Pro with Face ID

Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro is an excellent alternative for consumers who want the most significant features available in Apple’s phone lineup but do not want to spend the higher price for the iPhone 13 Pro Max or do not like the massive size of the iPhone 13 Pro Max. The iPhone 13 Pro models are almost identical this year, which means you can have all of Apple’s best features in a phone with a 6.1-inch screen that costs $100 less than the $1,099 iPhone 13 Pro Max. Due to a larger battery and the high power efficiency of Apple’s At15 Bionic processor, iPhone 13 Pro customers will be able to take advantage of broad 5G functionality while still enjoying extended battery life. Additionally, you will have a dynamically updating display that can scale up to 120Hz as necessary for smoother watching. All of this is contained in a 7-ounce package that is lightweight and convenient to carry everywhere.

7. OnePlus 9 Pro

The OnePlus 9 Pro boasts two features that typically reduce a phone’s battery life: a 5G connection and a display with a 120Hz refresh rate, allowing smoother browsing and more intense gaming experiences. However, both devices may be somewhat draining when it comes to battery consumption, although that wasn’t the case when we tested the OnePlus 9 Pro and its 4,500 mAh battery. Even with the faster screen refresh rate enabled, the phone lasted for more than 10.5 hours on a single charge. This is since the OnePlus 9 Pro has a dynamically refreshing display that lowers its refresh rate down to 1Hz for static tasks, only achieving 120Hz when you benefit from a more rapid refresh rate. Moreover, when it comes to charging, the OnePlus 9 Pro sets the bar high for fast recharging, both wirelessly and through a wired connection.

The OnePlus 9 Pro’s performance is on par with any other Android phone thanks to its Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor and RAM. The phone will be available on T-5G Mobile’s network, which will be the first time it has done so. The OnePlus 9 Pro has also been approved by Verizon for usage on its 5G network, with the phone being able to connect to both the national and Ultra-Wideband networks; the less expensive OnePlus 9 is only compatible with nationwide 5G and not with faster Ultra Wideband connections. The OnePlus 9 Pro begins at $969, but the only version presently available in the United States is the $1,069 edition, which comes with more RAM and storage (12GB/256GB) than the basic model’s 8GB/128GB configuration.

8. Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus

The Galaxy S21 Plus, released earlier this year, took the world by surprise with its capabilities. The S21 Plus, which costs $200 less than its predecessor, ticks many boxes for the price. It’s a vast, stunning phone with a brilliant 120Hz display and the Snapdragon 888 chipset, which is the most acceptable Qualcomm processor to date. Starting at $999 for the 128GB variant, the Galaxy S21 Plus is a force to be reckoned with, even though it misses some of the significant capabilities found on the Galaxy S21 Ultra. On the other hand, as a 5G phone, you get the newest Qualcomm X60 5G modem, which allows you to access any 5G bands you need. In addition, any of the three carriers, including Verizon’s mmWave network, will provide the service. Alternatively, the standard Galaxy S21 is an excellent choice if you want a smaller phone. It’s essentially the Galaxy S21 Plus in a smaller form factor, and it costs $799.

9. Samsung Galaxy A32 5G

5G is available for as little as $300. One such gadget is the Samsung Galaxy A32 5G, a large phone that can be used with any carrier and yet receive sub-6GHz service. You may purchase the Galaxy A32 via AT&T or T-Mobile, or you can bring an unlocked phone to Verizon to use as a replacement. And at $280, you may be tempted to take advantage of the opportunity. If we had to single out one considerable criticism of the Galaxy A32, we’d say it’s the 720p LCD screen, which is far from satisfactory. If you look closely, you can see that the pixel density is poor at 6.5 inches, and you can see it clearly if you look closely. However, the A32’s two primary cameras perform well for a device at this pricing range, performing far better than the A32’s direct competition, the OnePlus Nord N200 5G. If you’re looking for the most affordable 5G phone available, go no further than the Galaxy A32. It isn’t going to blow you away, but it does its job well.

10. The Samsung Galaxy A52 5G

Several 5G-ready smartphones have been added to Samsung’s mid-range Galaxy A portfolio, bringing the total cost of a 5G phone ownership down to less than $100. The Samsung Galaxy A52 5G, which has a display with a refresh rate of 120Hz, is the most suitable choice for most consumers out of the bunch. There is a manual setting required for this function.) In terms of performance, the phone is excellent, and its primary camera catches some very arresting images. The Galaxy A52 5G’s battery life was more than 12 hours on our battery test, indicating that the 5G connection does not significantly impact it. While that result was achieved with the screen’s refresh rate set to 60Hz, even when we turned on the faster refreshing display, we could still get more than 10 hours of battery life — a more than satisfactory result.

Customers of Verizon will want to look at the Galaxy A42 5G, which is compatible with the carrier’s mmWave-based tower network. However, if you’re a customer of AT&T or T-Mobile, the Galaxy A52 5G provides a cost-effective option to join the 5G throng without spending much money on your phone.

11. Google Pixel 6

The Google Pixel 6 is an appealing 5G alternative since it provides a reasonable price — it begins at $599 while preserving premium features. In addition, it is available in a variety of colors and sizes. The phone is powered by Google’s new Tensor processor, which drives a slew of machine learning-driven features, and here is your first chance to get your hands on Android 12 on a brand new device. There are significant limitations, notably in terms of 5G coverage. In addition, a phone that works on the faster networks of AT&T and Verizon will need you to purchase the Pixel 6 straight from those carriers, which will cost you more than the $599 Google and T-Mobile are asking for the phone. There’s also an outdated modem in the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, which we believe is causing the battery life to be less than optimal. But the Pixel 6 provides you the option to connect with 5G in a phone that is inexpensive and loaded with cutting-edge functionality. That will be sufficient to make up for some of the drawbacks of 5G.

12. iPhone 12 mini

As with the iPhone 13 mini, the iPhone 12 mini demonstrates that a 5G phone does not have to be colossal to accommodate all of the antennas required to connect you to a next-generation network, as the iPhone 13 mini does. Even though it is smaller than Apple’s own iPhone SE, the iPhone 12 mini has a tiny 5.4-inch OLED display and can connect to any form of 5G network — including Verizon’s mmWave-based 5G towers — despite its smaller size. When you purchase the iPhone 12 tiny, you will get Apple’s still-powerful A14 Bionic CPU, as well as the same camera arrangement as found on the iPhone 12. As a result, Apple’s smallest iPhone is capable of taking excellent photos in low light. In addition, even though the 5G connection puts a significant strain on the battery within the iPhone 12 mini, the device’s starting price is cheap enough that you can enjoy the benefits of 5G without spending much money. And now that the iPhone 13 models are out, the price has been reduced to $599, making this a better deal than before.

How to choose the most appropriate 5G phone for your needs

Consider which wireless carrier will be offering your mobile phone service when searching for a 5G phone while shopping for one. In their 5G rollouts, various service providers are using a variety of different techniques. Companies like Verizon prioritized mmWave-based technology in the beginning, so if you intend on receiving your phone service from Big Red, you’ll want to be sure that your 5G phone is capable of connecting to mmWave towers as well. Additionally, although T-Mobile and AT&T have a few millimeter-wave (mmWave) installations, the great bulk of their network depends on sub-6GHz technology during the first several years of operation. So even though it’s not quite as fast as mmWave, it covers a larger region.

Although not every third-party testing agency agrees with this assessment, T-Mobile is now ranked as the top 5G network by OpenSignal. Global Wireless Solutions rates AT&T as the most incredible 5G network, while RootMetrics compliments the speed of AT&T’s network and the availability of 5G on T-network. Mobile’s. Aside from whether or not a phone supports 5G networks, the criteria for selecting a 5G phone are much the same as they would be for choosing any other smartphone. Take into consideration the CPU, screen size, cameras, and other options available. The battery is particularly crucial since 5G may use much power, and you’ll want a phone that can withstand the additional demands placed on it.

Price is still a significant differentiator, and it will become much more so once lower-cost 5G phones become available later this year. In 2019, you should expect to spend anything from $700 to $1,200 for a high-end 5G smartphone. For example, although the Galaxy Z Fold 3 costs $1,700 — a price that has more to do with the device’s foldable shape than with its 5G capabilities — the price range for 5G phones has started to narrow, with more 5G models now available for less than $500.

Zainab is a content creator & a passionate blogger. She is a professional tech blogger & an avid reader. She loves to explore topics related to tech.