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The best 5G phones in 2022

best 5g phones
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There's good news if you want to get one of the best 5G phones with your next phone purchase — you no longer have to pay up for the privilege of owning a phone capable of working with speedy 5G networks.

In part that's because nearly all of the best phones available these days come with 5G compatibility. And that includes less expensive options like the currently available iPhone SE (2022) and Galaxy A53 or upcoming arrivals such as the Google Pixel 6a.

Why so many 5G phone options? Because 5G networks have gotten more expansive. T-Mobile leads the way with a nationwide 5G network covering 315 million people, but Verizon and AT&T have launched new C-Band 5G networks that bring super fast speeds to a wider audience.

Our favorite 5G phones offer more than just speedier downloads. The best 5G phones feature outstanding cameras, big displays and super-sized batteries. Best of all, you don't even have to buy the priciest phone out there these days to get 5G, as compatibility is now standard on midrange and even budget handsets. 

Here are the best 5G phones available right now, at a wide range of prices.

What are the best 5G phones?

The iPhone 13 Pro Max heads our list of the best 5G phones rankings, thanks to a big battery that helps fuel longer battery life than before. But the super-sized iPhone offers other benefits like even better 5G support than the iPhone 12 lineup provided, along with a fast-refreshing display.

Any of the new iPhones would be a good choice if you're looking for the best 5G phone, as all four models support a lot of different 5G networks. The iPhone 13 is particularly appealing, thanks to its $799 price. If you prefer Android to iOS devices, Samsung's Galaxy S22 Ultra leads the charge for the electronic giant's latest trio of flagship phones. 

If you want one of the best performing cameras on a 5G phone, consider the Google Pixel 6, especially now that the Pixel 5a will soon be replaced by the Pixel 6a. Other low-cost options include the Galaxy A53 and iPhone SE (2022), both of which are available for less than $450. Of course, if you need an even cheaper 5G phone, then check out the OnePlus Nord N20.

The best 5G phones you can buy right now

best 5g phones: iPhone 13 Pro Max reviewtom's guide top pick

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
The best 5G phone you can buy

Specifications

Screen Size: 6.7 inches
Processor: A15 Bionic
Size / weight: 6.3 x 3.1 x 0.3 inches / 8.5 ounces
Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 12:16
5G networks supported: AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent battery life
+
Brighter display with fast refresh rate
+
Superior performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Pretty bulk
-
Battery could charge faster

The iPhone 13 Pro Max is the best 5G phone available after replacing our previous pick, the iPhone 12 Pro Max. As good as that phone was, the iPhone 13 Pro Max improves upon it in every significant way, including ones that are important to 5G.

Like its predecessor, the iPhone 13 Pro Max offers extensive 5G support. But a bigger battery means the new Apple phone lasts longer on a charge — more than 12 hours in our testing, which is among the longest lasting phones currently on the market. The iPhone 13 Pro Max lasts that long even though Apple added a dynamically adjusting display, which has proven to be a power drain on other devices. Here, with the help of the efficient A15 Bionic chipset, the iPhone 13 Pro Max thrives.

The new phone weighs a little bit more than Apple’s older model. But with all the improvements and the extended 5G support, the iPhone 13 Pro Max is a device 5G enthusiasts will love.

Read our full iPhone 13 Pro Max review.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is one of the best 5g phonesEditor's Choice

(Image credit: Future)
Best 5G phone for Android users

Specifications

Screen Size: 6.8 inches
Processor: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
Size / weight: 3.1 x 6.4 x 0.4 inches /8.1 ounces
Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 10:18
5G networks supported: : AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon

Reasons to buy

+
Extensive 5G support
+
Super bright display
+
Cameras offer better low light performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Less RAM than previous model
-
Shorter battery life than S21 Ultra

Samsung’s top-of-the-line Galaxy S model is the device to get if you want the very best 5G phone for Android. The Galaxy S22 Ultra has a vast 6.8-inch screen with a fast refresh rate that’s been refined from last year’s model. The screen is brighter, too, and very easy to see even in direct sunlight.

The U.S. version of the Galaxy S22 Ultra uses a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, offering a modest performance boost over the Galaxy S21 Ultra. (In other markets, Samsung uses an Exynos 2200 chipset.) We wish that battery life was better — the S22 Ultra has taken a step back from the S21 Ultra in our testing — but Samsung has improved the phone in other key areas, such as cameras.

With the phone available from every major carrier, you won’t have any trouble connecting to 5G with the Galaxy S22 Ultra. It’s a worthy addition to Samsung’s lineup.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review.

best 5G phones iphone 13

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
A more affordable 5G iPhone

Specifications

Screen Size: 6.1 inches
Processor: A15 Bionic
Size / weight: 5.8 x 2.8 x 0.3 inches / 6.4 ounces
Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 10:33
5G networks supported: AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon

Reasons to buy

+
Much improved battery
+
Extensive 5G support
+
Brighter display

Reasons to avoid

-
Lacks 120Hz display
-
Slower charging than rivals

Apple’s iPhone Pro models get the fancier features, but the standard iPhone 13 is a way to enjoy a great 5G phone for less. Improvements throughout the iPhone 13 lineup — a bigger battery, a smaller notch, and wider 5G support than before — are on display here, but for a low $799 price.

Unlike past models, you don’t have to sacrifice storage. The iPhoine 13 features 128GB in its base model, double what Apple used to provide. That an a vast improvement in battery life over the iPhone 12 makes this an ideal 5G phone.

Read our full iPhone 13 review.

best 5g phones: Samsung Galaxy A53

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
The best 5G phone for less than $500

Specifications

Screen Size: 6.5 inches
Processor: Exynos 1280
Size / weight: 6.28 x 2.94 x 0.32 inches / 6.7 ounces
Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 9:49 (120Hz), 10:38 (60Hz)
5G networks supported: AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon

Reasons to buy

+
Good display with 120Hz refresh rate
+
Expandable storage up to 1TB
+
Four years of software updates

Reasons to avoid

-
Macro and depth sensors are superfluous

The Pixel 5a isn't the only 5G phone that comes in at $449. That's the same price as the Samsung Galaxy A53, which is compatible with any 5G network in the U.S. It won’t rival flagship phones for performance, but it’s still a solid option with a handsome design — and it outmuscled the Pixel 5a in our benchmark tests. (Google's phone has the better cameras, though.)

Unlike many budget phones, the Galaxy A53 features a 120Hz refresh rate for its 6.5-inch display. That can have a little bit of impact on battery life, with the A53 turning in average time when you enable the faster refresh rate. The phone lasted longer when we kept its refresh rate locked at 60Hz.

You’ll find more fully featured options on our best 5G phones list, but the Galaxy A53 gives you a good performer that requires few compromises for its sub-$500 price tag.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy A53 review.

Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro side by side

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
A good 5G camera phone, with some caveats

Specifications

Screen Size: 6.4 inches
Processor: Google Tensor
Size / weight: 6.2 x 2.9 x 0.4 inches / 7.3 ounces
Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 8:13
5G networks supported: AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon

Reasons to buy

+
Unique design
+
Great price
+
Tensor chip powers excellent new experiences

Reasons to avoid

-
5G modem can drain battery faster than anticipated
-
The Pixel 6 Pro has a faster refreshing display and telephoto lens

The Google Pixel 6 is an attractive 5G option because it offers a relatively low price — it starts at $599 — while still retaining premium features. Google's new Tensor chip powers the phone, fueling a lot of machine learning-driven capabilities. It's also a terrific camera phone, especially with the Pixel 5a on its way out of Google's Pixel lineup.

That said, there are some caveats, particularly related to 5G coverage. If you want a phone that works on the higher-speed networks of AT&T and Verizon, you'll need to buy the Pixel 6 directly from those carriers — and it costs more than the $599 Google and T-Mobile are charging. There's also an older modem in the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, and we suspect that's hampering battery life.

Nevertheless, the Pixel 6 gives you the opportunity to connect with 5G in an affordable phone that offers cutting-edge features. That's enough to make up for some of the 5G shortcomings.

Read our full Google Pixel 6 review.

best 5G phones: iphone 13 mini

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Best compact 5G phone

Specifications

Screen Size: 5.4 inches
Processor: A15 Bionic
Size / weight: 5.2 x 2.5 x 0.3 inches / 4.97 ounces
Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 8:41
5G networks supported: AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon

Reasons to buy

+
Low price
+
Excellent A15 Bionic chipset
+
Outstanding cameras

Reasons to avoid

-
Battery life still below average for a phone
-
No fast refresh rate on display

Most of the best 5G phones tend be on the oversized side, but not so the iPhone 13 mini. Like its predecessor from a year ago, the iPhone 13 mini comes in a handheld size that weighs less than 5 ounces. Yet, it packs enough support for 5G to work with bands on all the major carriers.

Apple increased the battery size from the iPhone 12 mini, so the iPhone 13 mini lasts longer on a charge. Battery life is still below average relative to other phones, but few other phones run on a chip as powerful as Apple’s A15 Bionic chipset — at least until the new iPhone SE with 5G arrives.

Read our full iPhone 13 mini review.

best 5g phones Google Pixel 5a

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
The top budget 5G camera phone — for now

Specifications

Screen Size: 6.43 inches
Processor: Snapdragon 765G
Size / weight: 6.1 x 2.9 x 0.3 inches / 6.5 ounces
Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 9:45
5G networks supported: AT&T, T-Mobile Verizon

Reasons to buy

+
Stunning display for price
+
Excellent wide/ultrawide cameras
+
IP67 water resistance

Reasons to avoid

-
Older chipset
-
No U.K. availability

5G phones have fallen in price, so you'll find cheaper options than the $449 Pixel 5a. But you won't find many that handle mobile photography as well as Google's latest midrange phone.

Unlike the Pixel 4a and Pixel 3a, the Pixel 5a sports two rear cameras — a 16MP ultrawide lens and a 12.2MP main shooter. That gives the new phone added flexibility, and, when combined with Google's computational photography strengths, you can be assured of getting some excellent photos from this sub-$500 phone.

The U.S. version of the Pixel 5a works with both sub-6GHz and mmWave-based 5G, so you should be able to use the phone on any network. And Google has included a beefy battery so you'll go longer between charges than you did with previous Pixel models.

The only problem with the Pixel 5a is that Google has already announced a successor. The Pixel 6a arrives in July, and its cameras figure to be even better than what the Pixel 5a offers, as Google uses a Tensor chip in its new phone. And that should power new photographic capabilities, while also providing 5G connectivity for $449.

Read our full Google Pixel 5a review.

best 5g phones: iphone 13 pro

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
Apple's Pro features for less in a 5G phone

Specifications

Screen Size: 6.1 inches
Processor: A15 Bionic
Size / weight: 5.8 x 2.8 x 0.3 inches / 7.14 ounces
Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 11:42
5G networks supported: AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent battery life
+
Brighter display with fast refresh rate
+
Extensive 5G support

Reasons to avoid

-
Fast charging limited to 20W

Apple’s iPhone 13 Pro is a great choice for people who want the best features of Apple’s phone lineup but either don’t want to pay up for the iPhone 13 Pro Max or don’t like its large size. This year, there’s little difference between the iPhone 13 Pro models, so you can get Apple’s top features in a phone with a 6.1-inch screen that’s $100 less than the $1,099 iPhone 13 Pro Max.

That means iPhone 13 Pro owners will enjoy extensive 5G support and longer battery life, thanks to a bigger battery and the power efficiency of Apple’s At15 Bionic chipset. You also get a dynamically refreshing display that can scale up to 120Hz when needed for smoother screening. All that comes in a relatively slender 7-ounce design that’s easy to tote around.

Read our full iPhone 13 Pro review.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus best 5g phones

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
A great Samsung 5G phone for less than $1,000

Specifications

Screen Size: 6.6 inches
Processor: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
Size / weight: 6.2 x 3 x 0.3 inches /6.9 ounces
Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 9:46
5G networks supported: : AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon

Reasons to buy

+
Beautiful and very bright display
+
Powerful performance
+
Faster 45W charging

Reasons to avoid

-
So-so battery life

If you want a Samsung flagship that connects to 5G, but don’t want to pay the $1,199 cost of the Galaxy S22 Ultra, the Galaxy S22 Plus is a great alternative. It’s got a big screen in its own right, and that display is very bright, too. Like the Ultra, the Galaxy S22 Plus runs on a Snapdragon Gen 1 chipset, and while the cameras aren’t as advanced on this model, Samsung did make some welcome improvements to the zoom feature and the main lens.

Battery life is about the same as it was on the Galaxy S21 Plus, meaning only average times on our battery life test. But with support for every kind of 5G network, the Galaxy S22 Plus is a terrific big-screen option for enjoying faster connectivity. If you don't need that big of a screen, the compact Galaxy S22 offers the same performance and camera benefits as the Plus, but at a lower $799 starting price.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus review.

a photo of the OnePlus 10 Pro

(Image credit: Future)
Fastest-charging 5G phone

Specifications

Screen size: 6.7 inches
Processor: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
Size and weight: 6.42 x 2.91 x 0.34 inches / 7 ounces
Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 11:52 (120Hz), 12:39 (60Hz)
5G networks supported: T-Mobile

Reasons to buy

+
Beautiful 120Hz display
+
Excellent performance
+
Crazy fast wired and wireless charging
+
Great battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Won't work with AT&T 5G

5G phones come in all shapes and sizes nowadays, but the OnePlus 10 Pro lives large. Despite its size, we found the phone to be pretty comfortable to hold and use. It has a big 6.7-inch QHD AMOLED display, a 5,000 mAh battery, and triple rear cameras.

In our testing, the OnePlus 10 Pro is one of the best Android phones you can buy. The battery life is spectacular, the cameras are great, and the performance is top-notch. However, AT&T customers will need beware because there is no 5G support on AT&T for this phone. T-Mobile is the official carrier partner and OnePlus is working on Verizon certification.

Read our full OnePlus 10 Pro review.

best 5g phones: iPhone SE 2022 home screen front

(Image credit: Future)
Apple’s cheapest 5G phone

Specifications

Screen Size: 4.7 inches
Processor: A15 Bionic
Size / weight: 5.45 x 2.65 x 0.29 inches / 5 ounces
Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 9:05
5G networks supported: AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon (no mmWave)

Reasons to buy

+
Fastest performance for the money
+
Very good photo quality
+
Compact design

Reasons to avoid

-
Doesn't support mmWave 5G
-
Display is pretty small

Apple has brought 5G to the iPhone SE, meaning fans of compact phones can enjoy the faster speeds the new networking standard delivers. Even better, the iPhone SE (2022) is powered by the A15 Bionic chipset, the same silicon found in the iPhone 13 lineup. So as small as the iPhone SE may be, it doesn’t short-change you on performance.

5G support comes with one caveat, though. The iPhone SE (2022) won’t work with mmWave-based 5G. That’s not a huge deal-killer, as Verizon is moving away from mmWave in favor of C-Band 5G, which offers fast speeds at a wider range. Still, iPhone 13 models don’t compromise on which 5G networks they support.

The camera on the iPhone SE is a good performer, though we wish it supported a Night mode. Still, the $429 price is hard to beat, especially for people who prefer small phones and are ready to make the leap to 5G.

Read our full iPhone SE (2022) review.

the oneplus nord n20 is the best cheap 5g phone you'll find

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
The best phone under $300

Specifications

Screen Size: 6.43 inches
Processor: Snapdragon 695
Size / weight: 6.3 x 2.9 x 0.3 inches /6.1 ounces
Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 11:20
5G networks supported: : T-Mobile

Reasons to buy

+
Beautiful design
+
Good performance for the price
+
Solid battery life
+
Nice display

Reasons to avoid

-
Very underwhelming cameras

If you're strapped for cash, then be sure to check out the OnePlus Nord N20. This is a sub-$300 phone that looks like it'd cost way more. It has a beautiful AMOLED display, even though it's locked at 60Hz. There's also an in-display fingerprint sensor, not something you typically see on a phone this cheap.

Sure, the cameras are pretty underwhelming, but for $282, you can't expect too much. You do, however, get 33W fast charging, which outpaces even some of the top flagships like the Galaxy S22 Ultra and iPhone 13 Pro Max. That's saying something.

Obviously, there are better phones under the $500 mark, but if $300 is your cap, then the Nord N20 should be your top consideration if you're comfortable using T-Mobile's 5G network.

Read our full OnePlus Nord N20 5G review.

How to choose the best 5G phone for you

When looking for a 5G phone, you'll want to consider which wireless carrier will be providing your cell phone service. Different service providers are taking different approaches to their 5G rollouts.

Verizon, for example, has placed an emphasis on mmWave-based technology at the beginning, so if you plan on getting your phone service from Big Red, you had best make sure that your 5G phone is capable of connecting to mmWave towers, especially now that Verizon's Ultra Wideband network can reach 90 million people. Likewise, while T-Mobile and AT&T have a few mmWave deployments, the vast majority of their network relies on sub-6GHz technology for initial coverage. That's not as fast as mmWave, but it covers a wider area. (AT&T is expanding its mmWave-based coverage, though, for faster performance.)

In its January 2022 report (opens in new tab), OpenSignal ranked T-Mobile tops for 5G download and upload speeds as well as for availability and reach. Rootmetrics also highly rates T-Mobile's 5G performance and availability, though it ranks Verizon higher on 5G reliability.

Apart from what 5G networks a phone supports, the criteria for picking a 5G phone is about the same as it would be for any handset. Consider the processor, screen size, cameras and other features. Battery is especially important — 5G can draw some serious power, and you'll want a phone that's able to handle the added demands on its battery.

Price remains an important distinguishing factor, and it's going to get more so as lower-cost 5G phones roll out later this year. In 2019, you had to pay anywhere from $700 to $1,200 for a flagship 5G phone. Even with the Galaxy Z Fold 3 costing $1,700 — a price that has more to do with its foldable design than its 5G support — the price range for 5G phones has begun to fall with a rapidly increasing number 5G models available for $500 or less.

How we test 5G phones

To test phones with 5G connectivity, we take them out into the field to measure download speeds with the Speedtest.net app. When possible, we compare that speed to a comparable phone on the same wireless network to try and gauge the improvement that 5G has to offer. We also take note of how the phone performs when 5G coverage isn't available.

Because so much of that 5G performance hinges on the wireless network and not the phone itself, though, we give greater weight to the criteria by which we judge all phones. We run an array of benchmarks on every phone — both synthetic benchmarks as well as real-world tests like transcoding a 4K video to 1080p and timing how long it takes. Our lab also measures the brightness and color accuracy of each phone's display. Our proprietary battery test determines longevity on a charge by endlessly streaming web pages over an LTE network; we then recharge the tested phones to see how quickly they charge in 15-minute intervals.

To measure camera performance, we shoot images under a variety of conditions, comparing the results to photos produced by cameras in the same price range.

For 5G phones, we also consider the price of the device compared to comparable LTE handsets.

Jordan Palmer
Jordan Palmer

Jordan is the Phones Editor for Tom's Guide, covering all things phone-related. He's written about phones for over five years and plans to continue for a long while to come. He loves nothing more than relaxing in his home with a book, game, or his latest personal writing project. Jordan likes finding new things to dive into, from books and games to new mechanical keyboard switches and fun keycap sets. Outside of work, you can find him poring over open-source software and his studies.

  • ashleydent
    I like the Samsung Galaxy S20 plus, but I am also thinking that 4 G phones could not work properly. There is network issue almost all the time. What good 5G will do?
    Reply