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 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 2023
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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.
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, and our comparison of iPhone 13 Pro vs Samsung S22 Ultra.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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