The best 5G phone in 2022

best 5G phone
(Image credit: Apple)

The best 5G phones are both the fastest and most future proof phones around. As long as you have a 5G signal (and the infrastructure is rolling out pretty quickly now), you'll be able to access faster mobile internet than we’ve ever had access to before. And if you have big files to download, or music or video to stream, that's going to save you a lot of time and frustration. (For more on this, read our article what is 5G?).

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Yes, the best camera phones (opens in new tab) are obviously about the camera, first and foremost, but 5G will inevitably improve the whole experience – especially with 4K video and high-resolution photos becoming an increasing part of our everyday imaging.

So read on, as we reveal the best 5G phones on the market today, to suit a range of budgets.

The best 5G phones 2022

Why you can trust Digital Camera World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, one of the best 5G phones

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli / Digital Camera World)
The best 5G phone overall

Specifications

Release date: February 2022
Rear cameras: 108MP f/1.8, 10MP f/2.4, 10MP f/4.9, 12MP f/2.2 ultrawide
Front camera: 40MP
OIS: Yes
Weight: 228 g
Dimensions: 163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9 mm
Storage: 128/256/512GB

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent cameras
+
Great telephoto 
+
S-Pen functionality

Reasons to avoid

-
Not as fast as iPhone 13 Pro Max

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, is the best 5G phone you can buy right now. For starters, it's got a brilliant camera setup. That's headed up by a 108MP main sensor, with an f/1.8 aperture, Dual Pixel AF, and an 85-degree field of view. The 12MP ultra-wide camera features an f/2.2 aperture and a 120-degree field of view. And there are two 10MP telephotos: one with an equivalent three times zoom (f/2.4) and another with a 10 times zoom (f/4.9). Even the front camera is a delight, with its 40MP resolution, f/2.2 aperture and 4K video capture.

The S22 Ultra also has S-Pen integration. Its fancy neural processor unit (NPU) makes it great for night video. And there's a nice juicy 5000mAh battery, too. For more details, read our Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review (opens in new tab).

Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max, one of the best 5G phones

(Image credit: Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)
The best 5G iPhone

Specifications

Release date: September 2021
Rear cameras: 12MP 13mm f/1.8, 12MP 26mm f/1.5, 12MP 77mm f/2.8
Front camera: 12MP, f/2.2 TrueDepth camera
Dual OIS: Yes
Weight: 240 g
Dimensions: 160.8 x 78.1 x 7.65mm
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB

Reasons to buy

+
Fast performance
+
Cinematic mode
+
Automatic Macro mode

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

The iPhone 13 Pro Max is the best phone Apple has to offer today. Its A15 Bionic processor offers blisteringly fast performance, better than any Android phone. Plus it has an excellent rear camera array with handy features such as the Macro mode that kicks in automatically when you get close to a subject, and the Cinematic mode, which simulates large-sensor shallow depth of field. It allows for focus adjustments after the image is captured. 

That said, you get the same cameras with the cheaper iPhone 13 Pro. Where the iPhone Pro Max differs is its bigger screen, (6.7 inches to 6.1) and slightly longer battery life (up to 28hrs video playback versus up to 22).

Like Samsung's flagship, it might be overkill for some, and it's certainly expensive, but it's undeniably one of the best 5G phones out there. For more details, see our Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max review (opens in new tab), and our comparison of iPhone 13 Pro vs Samsung S22 Ultra

Google Pixel 6, one of the best 5G phones

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli/Digital Camera World)
The best 5G phone from Google

Specifications

Release date: October 2021
Rear cameras: 50MP (82° FOV wide lens, f/1.85), 48MP (23.5° FOV telephoto, f/3.5), 12MP (114° FOV ultra-wide lens, f/2.2)
Front camera: 11.1MP f/2.2
OIS: Yes
Weight: 210 g
Dimensions: 163.9 x 75.9 x 8.9 mm
Storage: 128/256GB

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent image processing
+
Boosted camera hardware

Reasons to avoid

-
Fixed-focus ultra-wide lens
-
Can get hot in use

While we're waiting for the Google Pixel 7, the current model is well worth checking out. 5G smartphone. Competitively priced when compared with Apple and Samsung's premium models, it offers sophisticated imaging tech, sublime image processing, a gorgeous display and sleek physical design. 

There's no telephoto and so it's not the best phone for taking shots at a distance. But RAW capture is on offer, and the Android OS means there's no shortage of third-party camera apps. For more details, see our Google Pixel 6 Pro review (opens in new tab).

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G, one of the best 5G phones

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli / Digital Camera World)
The best mid-range 5G phone for value

Specifications

Release date: March 2022
Rear cameras: 64 MP, f/1.8 (wide); 12MP, f/2.2 (ultrawide); 5MP, f/2.4 (macro); 5MP, f/2.4 (depth)
Front camera: 32MP
OIS: Yes
Weight: 189g
Dimensions: 159.6 x 74.8 x 8.1mm
Storage: 128/256GB

Reasons to buy

+
Lovely screen
+
Large battery
+
Reasonable price

Reasons to avoid

-
Not for gamers

Dropping down in price, the Galaxy A53 5G is a mid-range photo with an awful lot to offer. For starters, there's the beautiful 6.5-inch AMOLED display, offering Full HD+ resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, and 800 nits of brightness. The camera setup's impressive too, based on a 64MP main sensor, with OIS and an f/1.8 aperture, along with a 12MP fixed-focus ultra-wide, 5MP depth sensor, and a 5MP fixed-focus macro.

All this, plus a premium super-thin design, represents excellent value. On the downside, we did find the interface a little laggy at times, so we wouldn't recommend it for gamers. For more details, see our Samsung Galaxy A53 5G review.

Poco X4 Pro 5G, one of the best 5G phones

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli / Digital Camera World)
This best 5G phone for those on a budget

Specifications

Release date: March 2022
Android version: 11
Screen size: 6.67 inches
Resolution: 1080 x 2400
Storage: 64GB / 128GB / 256GB
Battery: 5,000mAh
Rear camera: 108MP + 64MP + 8MP + 2MP
Front camera: 16MP
Weight: 205g
Dimensions: 164.2 x 76.1 x 8.1mm

Reasons to buy

+
Lovely screen
+
Powerful battery life
+
Good shooting modes

Reasons to avoid

-
Pricier phones have higher specs

Need to jump down in price further? Then Poco X4 Pro 5G gives a surprisingly premium specs for quite an impressively low cost.

They include a lovely 6.67-inch AMOLED screen, with 2400 x 1080 pixel resolution, a high 120Hz refresh rate, and a generous 5,000mAh battery. The camera is based on a 108MP main sensor, teamed with a 64MP wide, 8MP ultra-wide and 2MP macro sensor, along with a 16MP selfie camera. Shooting modes include 108MP, Short video, Panorama, Document, Slow motion, Time-lapse, Long exposure and Dual video. 

In terms of bang-for-buck, then, this is excellent value. To learn more, see our Poco X4 Pro 5G review.

Oppo A54 5G review

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli/Digital Camera World)
Another great budget option

Specifications

Release date: April 2021
Rear cameras: 48MP, f/1.7; 8MP, f/2.2; 2MP, f/2.4; 2MP, f/2.2
Front camera: 40MP
OIS: No
Weight: 190g
Dimensions: 162.9 x 74.7 x 8.4mm
Storage: 64/128GB

Reasons to buy

+
Good camera
+
Good battery life
+
Low price

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited storage

The Oppo A54 5G is another great budget buy if you're looking for a 5G phone. It offers a good set of cameras, including a 48MP main sensor, an 8MP ultrawide, and 2MP macro and depth lenses. There are also ample shooting modes, including Night, Video, Photo, Portrait, Slo-Mo, Time-Lapse, Expert (manual), Extra HD, Panorama, Text Scanner, Macro, and Sticker.

With a speedy Qualcomm chip and a huge 5,000mAh battery, this all adds up to excellent value for a 5G phone, though it's worth noting that storage of just 64GB is a bit limited. For more information, see our Oppo A54 5G review

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, one of the best 5G phones

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli/Digital Camera World)

7. Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Last year's Samsung flagship is still impressive

Specifications

Release date: January 2021
Rear cameras: 108MP f/1.8, 10MP f/2.4, 10MP f/4.9, 12MP f/2.2 ultrawide
Front camera: 40MP
OIS: Yes
Weight: 227 g
Dimensions: 165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9 mm
Storage: 128/256/512GB

Reasons to buy

+
Fantastic camera zoom
+
Beautiful display

Reasons to avoid

-
A little pricey
-
No microSD card slot

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is last year's model, but that will make it increasingly cheaper over time. And so if you manage to get one at the right price, it could be the best value 5G phone around.

This camera phone features four rear cameras, including a 108MP f/1.8 main camera, a 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera and two 10MP telephoto cameras – one with an f/2.4 aperture and 3x optical zoom and one with an f/4.9 aperture and a huge 10x optical zoom. 

The Dynamic AMOLED 2X display features a 120Hz refresh rate for smooth scrolling and gaming experiences, HDR10+ support, 1500-nit peak brightness and a 1440 x 3200 resolution. For more details, see our Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review (opens in new tab).

Read more:

• The best camera phones (opens in new tab) you can buy today
• Which is the best iPhone for photography (opens in new tab)?
• The best flip phones (opens in new tab) and fold phones
• The best add-on lenses for iPhone and Android phones  (opens in new tab)

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