If you don’t know what 5G is or if you’ve been following closely, it’s the next big wireless breakthrough to hit our world in a major way. 5G is the fifth generation in wireless technology that promises to deliver peak speeds of up to 20 Gbps with a mind-blowing low latency of just one millisecond. It’s virtually an instantaneous connection to the world around you and will interconnect every 5G enables device to empower a new era of cutting-edge applications and services.
5G has been making its world-debut in small parts of the world since 2018, but it’s about to hit the U.S. with a major splash in 2020. If you’re interested in learning what cities 5G is currently available in, check out a list broken down by carrier here. (Link to FAQ post Where is 5G available?) In order to use the latest and greatest 5G network, you’ll need to upgrade your device to access it. Let’s review which 5G phones and hotspots are currently available now.
Verizon currently has the most 5G capable smartphones available.
The retail price starts at $1,299.99 for the 256GB and $1,399.99 for the 512GB or you can opt for monthly payments. For the 256GB phone you’re looking at $41.66/mo. for 24 months or $27.78/mo. for 36 months. The 512GB phone it would be $58.33/mo. for 24 months or $38.88/mo. for 36 months.
Retail starts at $1,299.99 for the 256GB or you can breakdown by monthly payments of $41.66/mo. for 24 months. The 512GB retails at $1,399.99 or you can pay $58.33/mo. for 24 months.
This is the most affordable 5G phone Verizon has, the retail price is $999.99 for at 128GB phone, or $41.66/mo. for 24 months.
You can upgrade your phone to 5G speeds when you use the moto mod. Retail price starts at $499.99 or pay $10.00/mo. for 24 months.
AT&T has one 5G-capable phone available, but looking to add more in 2020. Customers on AT&T’s Unlimited Extra or Unlimited Elite plans can access AT&T’s 5G network, in addition to select customers with a Business Unlimited Preferred plan.
Customers on the select unlimited data plans can purchase the phone starting at $1,299.99 for a 256GB device, or pay in installments of $43.34 per month.
Customers on the Business Unlimited Preferred plan can purchase the 256GB through their AT&T account reps for $999.99.
AT&T has promised to deliver more 5G capable phones, either the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 or the Samsung Galaxy Fold.
Sprint has a few 5G capable phones to choose from, with a wider selection and price range compared to other carriers. As of October 2019, the FCC has approved the merger of Sprint and T-Mobile into one network, so that both can work together to create their 5G network.
For the 256GB phone it retails at $840.00 or you can make monthly payments using Sprint Flex and you can lease it at $20/mo. for 18 months, return it and upgrade to a new device.
The 128GB retails for $999.99 or you can use the Sprint Flex plan and lease the phone for $19/mo. for 18 months, return and upgrade for a new device.
The most expensive 5G capable phone Sprint has, the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G retails at $1299.99 or you can purchase through the Sprint Flex plan at $30/mo. for 18 months. Like all of Sprint’s phone plans, you can upgrade or return it at 18 months.
T-Mobile has two 5G phones on their network, with plans to launch more as their 5G services roll out in late 2019, early 2020.
This is currently the only “working” phone on T-Mobile’s 5G network. A 256GB phone is $1,099.99 for full retail value, or $31.25/mo. for 24 months.
OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren Edition
This 5G capable phone is exclusive to T-Mobile and is expected to launch in late 2019. Pricing and availability for this product has not yet been released. You can sign up for news and updates here.
Pending the merger of Sprint and T-Mobile, DISH is the newest carrier to enter the wireless space. There is currently no information regarding any phones that will be on the Dish 5G Network, but we’ll update as soon as we get the news.
One popular phone you may have noticed that is missing from the list is the Apple iPhone. Apple has yet to release any information on a 5G phone, but it’s rumored that at least one of their phones will support 5G in late 2020.
Most of the 5G phones on the market don’t support the full bandwidth that 5G has to offer. While you’ll find speeds far beyond what you’re used to on 4G LTE, these early rollouts of 5G devices will only get better as the market, manufacturers and services mature.
As 5G begins to make its way across the U.S., you’ll see more 5G capable phones become the industry standard. Even if 5G isn’t available in your location yet, you can still use a 5G capable phone on a 4G network. And vice versa, if you have a 4G phone it will not become a brick and make it obsolete. 5G piggybacks on the 4G network so they will coexist together. As 5G deploys around you, you will notice improved speeds and lower latency on your current devices, it just won’t be the raved about 5G speed and latency.
Carriers are still working to finalize their spectrum plans that are currently influx, forcing chipmakers and manufacturers wait until their plans are finalized. Unless you’re the early adopter type and even more, living in a city with 5G service, there’s absolutely no rush to go out and purchase a 5G phone. Each of the major carriers, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T and Dish Network will all have 5G capable phones, we’ll just all be waiting patiently until 5G coverage rolls on through our neighborhood.
Updated on 11/25/2019 to include updates to AT&T.