The latest generation of wireless technology has brought with it an influx of new 5G cell phones. And as the major U.S. carriers continue to build their 5G networks, you can expect to see more and more brands offering 5G-capable phones throughout the coming year.
Let’s take a look at current 5G phones from Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint, as well as what you can expect from 5G phones over the course of the coming year.
Available 5G Phones
|Carrier||Available 5G Phones|
|Verizon||Samsung Galaxy S10 5G|
Samsung Galaxy Note10+ 5G
LG V50 ThinQ 5G
Motorola Moto z4 with 5G moto mod
|AT&T||Samsung Galaxy Note10+ 5G|
|Sprint||Samsung Galaxy S10 5G|
LG V50 ThinQ 5G
OnePlus 7 Pro 5G
|T-Mobile||Samsung Galaxy Note10+ 5G|
OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren
Information correct as of 2/5/2020
Each major U.S. carrier currently offers at least one 5G-compatible phone. The most widely offered 5G phone is the Samsung Galaxy Note10+ 5G, which you can find through T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T. Samsung’s 5G phones also extend to their Galaxy S10, currently available through Verizon and Sprint. Both carriers also offer the LG V50 ThinQ 5G.
OnePlus’ entry into the 5G game is a dual version of its 7 Pro model: the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G, offered through Sprint; and the limited-edition OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren 5G, a collaboration with—you guessed it—elite sportscar giant McLaren Automotive that’s available exclusively from T-Mobile. This phone includes colors, materials, design features, and apps all themed around the McLaren Speedtail hybrid hypercar.
While the phone itself doesn’t hold a 5G radio, the Moto Z series from Motorola is compatible with all of the brand’s “moto mods,” which are snap-on devices that help you customize your phone with features like enhanced speakers and batteries, video projectors, and more. The “moto 5G” mod includes a Qualcomm 5G antenna that allows the Moto Z to access Verizon’s 5G network. It also works on its own built-in 2,000 mAh battery.
Future 5G Phones
One major player noticeably missing from the current 5G lineup: Apple. The Fruit is notoriously secretive about its product launches, but the rumor mill has been churning furiously about a 5G-capable iPhone 12 arrival sometime in 2020, since the company ended its royalty dispute with Qualcomm.
Other options coming to U.S. carriers this year are the highly anticipated Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra launching in March, as well as the TCL 10 5G (no official launch date released). Rumored devices include a potential foldable 5G phone from Sony (possibly called the Xperia F), a 5G upgrade to the foldable Royole FlexPai, and a mysterious flagship smartphone from Nokia that the company claims will be the most affordable 5G offering yet—very likely the Nokia 8.2 5G.
Do You Need a 5G Phone?
If you want 5G speeds, yes. Because 5G technology operates on different broadband spectrums, your phone requires a 5G-specific radio in order to “talk” to the network’s antennas. Most current phones lack this radio, so you’ll need to invest in a new 5G phone if you want to ride the millimeter waves into the future of wireless communication.
In addition to a 5G-compatible phone, you’ll also need to be on one of your carrier’s 5G-eligible plans. For now, these are simply the same unlimited plans they already offer, with the lowest-tier unlimited plan usually excluded. However, some carriers have signaled the likely eventuality of 5G-specific plans, since the technology will almost definitely lead to higher data consumption.
At the moment, none of the carriers are charging extra for 5G access on their eligible unlimited plans. Verizon’s plans will eventually charge an access fee of $10/month, but the carrier is waiving that fee for a limited time as it continues to build its 5G network.
Now that you’ve picked out your 5G phone, it’s time to find an unlimited plan that gets you what you need. Check out the most popular plans from the top U.S. carriers and see what 5G has in store for you.