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Best 5G phones to buy in 2022


Elite phones like the iPhone 13 series, Samsung Galaxy S22 range and the Google Pixel 6 naturally comes with the latest super-fast 5G data speeds – after all, that’s what you’re paying such high prices for. But it’s not just those expensive, high-end phones that give you access to those super-fast networks. There are plenty of budget options from Samsung, OnePlus, and Motorola that offer 5G connectivity, and even Apple’s cheapest iPhone SE is also 5G-capable.

However it will not replace 4G in its entirety, 5G is the next generation of mobile connectivity. 5G works fast and many industries can benefit from it of the upgraded network, including drones, self-driving cars and the Internet of Things. It’s been growing rapidly in the US, UK and the rest of the world, but it’s not quite everywhere yet, so make sure 5G coverage is available – or at least coming soon – in your area before spending money on a 5G-enabled Handset.

Remember that a 5G phone will still work normally on a 4G network (albeit at lower speeds), so don’t be afraid to buy a 5G phone like the S22 Ultra even if you’re not in a 5G area. It is good practice to prepare for the future; you may not be in a 5G area right now, but 5G may be coming to your area within about three years of having your phone, so at least you’ll be ready to take advantage of it when it arrives .

But with 5G handsets offered by all major phone makers, it can be difficult to figure out which one is right for you. We’ve done some of the hard work and put together our list of our best 5G-enabled phones you can buy right now.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Apple unveiled four iPhones last September, all of which were 5G phones. Leading the lineup is the iPhone 13 series, which starts at $729 and includes the A15 Bionic processor and dual rear cameras. If you’re looking for something smaller and cheaper, the iPhone 13 Mini is your best bet for a 5G-enabled phone. And if you want something more premium, the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max come with more features.

Read our Apple iPhone 13 review.

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At $899, the Google Pixel 6 Pro undercuts its price rivals while still including just as much value. It comes with a flagship camera setup, new AI features, a crisp display, and a distinctive design. If you only have $600 to spend, you get the low-end Pixel 6, which still sports the flagship cameras and a big screen.

Read our Pixel 6 Pro review.

Angela Lang/CBS

The Galaxy S22 Ultra is the best phone Samsung makes right now, offering everything you expect from an elite flagship phone. It has a large, vibrant display and an incredible rear camera setup (including a zoom lens unlike anything we’ve seen). It is absolutely packed with power. This Android phone isn’t cheap, but it’s the 5G phone to go for if you’re looking for the best of the best in an Android handset.

Patrick Holland/CNET

The iPhone SE may be the cheapest phone produced by Apple, but it still comes with super-fast 5G. While it lacks the camera prowess of the much more expensive iPhone 13 Pro, it runs the latest iOS 15 software and uses the same processor found in the higher-end models, making it a great phone for everyday use and light gaming.

Read our iPhone SE (2022) review.

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Samsung’s new Galaxy A53 5G has a lot to offer for the price. With a spacious 6.5-inch screen, a camera with cameras for wide, ultra-wide and macro shots, and long battery life, it’s easy to forget this phone only costs $450. $. That also makes it $50 cheaper than its predecessor, and the Galaxy A53 5G is guaranteed to get at least four generations of Android updates. It supports all three versions of 5G: sub-6 GHz, C-band, and millimeter wave.

Angela Lang/CNET

Want to get in on the foldable craze? The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 is the phone for you. It offers flagship performance, good cameras and decent battery life, all crammed into a small package that looks really, really cool.

Read our Galaxy Z Flip 3 review.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

The OnePlus 10 Pro scored well in our test thanks to its sleek design, powerful performance and lower price than its main rivals. It needs some improvements, especially in the camera area, which is good, but not great, but this flagship offers an excellent overall experience. If you’re looking for a high-end 5G phone that’s a little different from your friends’ iPhones and Galaxy phones, this is a solid option to consider.

Patrick Holland/CNET

While the Xperia 5 III isn’t a particularly affordable phone, its compact design, great interface and dual rear camera setup make it a good option to consider, especially if you’re familiar with Sony’s Alpha camera line.

Michael Sorrentino/CNET

The Moto G Stylus 5G (2022) for $500 is one of the best stylus-equipped phones you can get right now, especially for the price. You get Android 12, 5G connectivity, a large 6.8-inch display and a spacious 256GB of storage. Unfortunately, the phone is only promised one upgrade. software update and three years of security updates, which is much shorter than the four years promised by Samsung for the Galaxy A53.

Still, if you want a stylus-equipped phone, the next advanced option is the much more expensive Galaxy S22 Ultra at $1,200.

Read our Moto G Stylus 5G review.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

OnePlus’ Nord range is sold exclusively in Europe, so folks in the US will unfortunately have to look enviously at this capable, budget-friendly 5G phone. The Nord 2T has enough power for all your day-to-day essentials, handles games just fine, has a decent camera setup for the price, and comes with some extra features including 80W fast charging, 80W refresh rate, 90Hz and, yes, 5G speeds.

It’s a solid phone to consider if you’re looking for a flagship experience without spending high-end cash.

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