September 29, 2023

Most of Apple, Samsung and Google’s newest flagship lineups — together with the iPhone 14iPhone 14 Professional, the Galaxy S23 vary, the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Professional — are 5G-ready so as to ship the quickest knowledge speeds attainable throughout your wi-fi community. And whereas they are typically expensive, there are many inexpensive 5G choices just like the Google Pixel 6A and Apple’s most cost-effective 2022 iPhone SE. Relaxation assured, you need to be capable of discover a good 5G-ready telephone at a worth you are comfy with. 

Although it will not substitute 4G in its entirety, 5G is the following technology of cellular connectivity. 5G works quick, and many industries and merchandise can profit from the upgraded community, together with drones, self-driving automobiles and internet-of-things units. Its development throughout the US, the UK and the broader world has been quick, nevertheless it’s nonetheless not in all places fairly but, so ensure 5G protection is accessible — or not less than coming quickly — in your space earlier than you spend your money on a 5G-enabled handset. 

Keep in mind that a 5G telephone will nonetheless work as regular on a 4G community (albeit at decrease speeds), so do not be afraid of shopping for a 5G telephone just like the S23 Extremely or iPhone 14 even in case you aren’t in a 5G zone. It is good follow to future-proof your self; you will not be in a 5G zone proper now, nevertheless it might be that 5G will come to your space within the three years or so you have got your telephone, so not less than you will be able to reap the benefits of it when it arrives. 

With 5G handsets being supplied by each main telephone producer now, it may be troublesome to work out which is finest for you. We have finished a number of the arduous work and put collectively a listing of our prime 5G-enabled telephones you can go and purchase proper now.

What’s the finest 5G telephone proper now?

In 2023, there is not one particular telephone that stands conspicuously head and shoulders above the others. In the event you’re an iOS consumer the very best telephone you should buy is the iPhone 14 Professional. It has an A16 Bionic processor, a brand new fundamental digital camera with a bigger and better megapixel sensor, and the Dynamic Island, a show cutout that reveals system alerts and background actions.
In the event you’re on Android, our favourite telephone is the Google Pixel 7 Professional. We prefer it higher than the Samsung Galaxy S23 Extremely primarily as a result of, at $899, the Pixel 7 Professional prices $300 lower than the S23 Extremely. The Pixel has an upgraded digital camera, runs on Google’s Tensor G2 chip and comes with unique goodies like Photograph Unblur.

Greatest 5G telephones of 2023

A deep purple iPhone 14 Pro with three cameras pointing upward lies on a yellow background

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Apple’s iPhone 14 Professional and Professional Max introduce a wide range of modifications, just like the Dynamic Island as a substitute of the outdated notch, a brand new 48-megapixel digital camera system that is critically impressed us, and the brand new A16 Bionic processor. All these upgrades come collectively to make for an expertise that feels recent and quick in contrast with older generations.

It is the most costly iPhone you should buy, particularly in case you go for the bigger Max model, however in order for you the excessive efficiency and stellar digital camera high quality of Apple’s prime telephone, then the iPhone 14 Professional is for you.

Learn our Apple iPhone 14 Professional evaluate.


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Google’s Pixel 7 vary has critically impressed us with the mixture of a slick refreshed design, very good cameras and a clean total expertise which makes each these telephones a pleasure to make use of. At $599 the bottom Pixel 7 is an inexpensive possibility for these of you searching for a strong Android telephone for all your on a regular basis wants.

The Pixel 7 Professional has a bigger $899 price ticket, for which you get a bigger show and a extra fully-featured digital camera system that features a very good telephoto zoom lens. In any other case its processor and interface is similar because the cheaper mannequin, so it is value contemplating how essential the additional digital camera options are.

Learn our Pixel 7 Professional evaluate.

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Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

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The Galaxy S23 is so much, however in a great way. It is greater than most individuals want in a telephone, however that does not make it any much less spectacular. Samsung made enhancements to the digital camera’s decision (200 megapixels in comparison with 108 megapixels), shade tones and dynamic vary, whereas retaining the identical edgy design and big 6.8-inch display screen as its predecessor. There’s additionally a brand new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor that is been optimized particularly for Samsung’s telephones, which brings quicker efficiency in comparison with the Galaxy S22 Extremely. 

With a beginning worth of $1,200, it could be an understatement to name this telephone costly. However these keen to pay extra for an enormous display screen and a high-quality, versatile digital camera will not be disenchanted. Learn our full evaluate of the Galaxy S23 Extremely.

The back of Google's Pixel 6A phone

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The Pixel 6A is Google’s most inexpensive telephone, changing the Pixel 5A because the $449 machine in its lineup. CNET’s Lisa Eadicicco known as it the “finest Android telephone underneath $500” in her Pixel 6A evaluate, calling out the way it retains the identical Tensor chip seen within the $599 Pixel 6 and lots of of its options.

The telephone is barely smaller than the Pixel 6, that includes an 6.1-inch OLED show and a refresh fee of 60Hz. And it has an identical digital camera to the Pixel 5A, together with a 12.2-megapixel fundamental digital camera and a 12-megapixel ultrawide digital camera. However by together with the Tensor chip, images can profit from its Actual Tone pores and skin tone characteristic, Face Unblur, Evening Sight for darker images and the Magic Eraser for eradicating undesirable parts from a photograph.

Learn our Google Pixel 6A evaluate.

iPhone SE

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The iPhone SE would be the most cost-effective telephone Apple produces, nevertheless it nonetheless comes with superfast 5G. Whereas it lacks the digital camera prowess of the far more costly iPhone 13 Professional, it runs the newest iOS 15 software program and makes use of the identical processor discovered within the higher-end fashions, making it a fantastic telephone for on a regular basis use and lightweight gaming.

Learn our Apple iPhone SE (2022) evaluate.

The $700 OnePlus 11 is a robust telephone that is properly geared up to deal with gaming, video streaming and different frequent duties. In typical OnePlus style, this telephone can be cheaper than the Galaxy S23 and Pixel 7 Professional. The cameras aren’t the very best, however they’re tremendous for informal photographers that simply need to seize their subsequent trip or an evening out. What units the OnePlus 11 other than a lot of its rivals is its blazing quick 100-watt quick charging, which may replenish the battery in simply 25 minutes. (The US model solely helps 80-watt charging, however that is nonetheless an enchancment over the Galaxy S23 Extremely’s 45-watt charging). General, the OnePlus 11 is right for many who need a highly effective telephone that prices shortly and will not break the financial institution. Learn our full evaluate of the OnePlus 11.

Apple iPhone 13 Mini

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Though Apple’s new iPhone 14 vary did not deliver with it a brand new iPhone Mini, it has resulted in final 12 months’s iPhone 13 Mini being supplied at a decrease $599 beginning worth. In the event you’re somebody who prefers smaller, pocket-friendly units, it is a good possibility to think about. The 6.1-inch iPhone 13 Mini is straightforward to make use of with one hand and even matches into tight jean pockets. Whereas battery life is not as sturdy as others within the vary, this petite Apple iPhone does not sacrifice on digital camera capabilities or processing energy.

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

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Samsung’s new Galaxy A53 5G has so much to supply for the value. With a spacious 6.5-inch show, a digital camera with cameras for vast, ultrawide and macro pictures and lengthy battery life, it is simple to overlook this telephone prices simply $450. That additionally makes it $50 cheaper than its predecessor, and Galaxy A53 5G is assured to get not less than 4 generations of Android updates. It helps all three flavors of 5G: sub-6GHz, C-band and millimeter-wave.

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The Galaxy Z Flip 4 in Flex Mode in someone's palm

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The Z Flip 4 is a telephone that folds in half to grow to be a smaller telephone. When it is open, this Samsung Galaxy telephone has a giant 6.7-inch show, however fold it in half and it turns into a small sq. that is straightforward to slip right into a denims or jacket pocket. This newest technology of Samsung’s compact folding telephone brings varied refinements to the desk together with a extra sturdy hinge and improved cameras. 

The worth for these quirky foldables continues to be greater than a daily smartphone, so that you’re definitely paying a hefty premium for that folding novelty. Nonetheless, in case you love the thought of getting cutting-edge bendable cellular tech in your pocket, the Z Flip 4 is without doubt one of the finest choices to go for proper now.

Learn our Galaxy Z Flip 4 evaluate.

Moto G Stylus 5G

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The Moto G Stylus 5G (2022) for $500 is without doubt one of the finest stylus-equipped telephones you will get proper now, particularly for the value. You get Android 12, 5G connectivity, a big 6.8-inch display screen and a spacious 256GB of storage. Sadly, the telephone is simply promised one software program replace and three years of safety updates, which is a a lot shorter timeline than the 4 years promised by Samsung for the Galaxy A53.

But in order for you a stylus-equipped telephone, the following step-up possibility is the considerably dearer Galaxy S22 Extremely at $1,200. Learn our Moto G Stylus 5G evaluate.

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OnePlus’s Nord vary is bought completely in Europe, so individuals within the US must look on envy at this great-performing, price range 5G telephone. The Nord 2T has energy sufficient for all of your on a regular basis necessities, handles gaming completely properly, has a good digital camera setup for the value and comes with further options together with 80W quick charging, a 90Hz refresh fee and, sure, 5G speeds. 

It is a strong telephone to think about in case you’re searching for a flagship expertise with out spending top-end ranges of money.

Learn extra in regards to the OnePlus Nord 2T.

How we take a look at telephones

Each telephone on this record has been completely examined by CNET’s knowledgeable evaluations group. We truly use the telephone, take a look at the options, play video games and take images. We assess any advertising and marketing guarantees that an organization makes about its telephones. And if we discover one thing we do not like, be it battery life or construct high quality, we inform you all about it. 

We look at each side of a telephone throughout testing:

  • Show
  • Design and really feel
  • Processor efficiency
  • Battery life
  • Digital camera high quality
  • Options

We take a look at all of a telephone’s cameras (each back and front) in a wide range of circumstances: from outside underneath daylight to dimmer indoor locales and evening time scenes (for any out there evening modes). We additionally examine our findings towards equally priced fashions. We now have a sequence of actual world battery exams to see how lengthy a telephone lasts underneath on a regular basis use.

We take note of further telephone options like 5G, fingerprint and face readers, styluses, quick charging, foldable shows and different helpful extras. And we, in fact, weigh all of our experiences and testing towards the value so you understand whether or not a telephone represents good worth or not.

Learn extra: How we take a look at telephones

5G telephone FAQs

Are 5G telephones dearer?

Sure. As an increasing number of telephones are launched that help 5G connectivity, the costs of these telephones have sometimes gone greater. A part of the rise in worth is for the 5G modem. And whereas the vast majority of telephones now embrace 5G connectivity, not each telephone’s worth has risen. The iPhone 14 Professional nonetheless has the identical $999 worth that the 13 Professional, 12 Professional, 11 Professional, XS and iPhone X had when every was launched.

Is a 5G telephone higher than a 4G telephone?

Technically, no. A smartphone’s mobile connectivity does not actually decide whether or not a telephone is healthier than one other. Having 5G help on a telephone does assist future-proof it as carriers proceed to roll out and improve their towers to 5G. For the reason that majority of telephones now include 5G help, there actually is not a solution to examine them to 4G ones. For instance, the iPhone 14 Professional helps 4G and 5G. There is not a 4G-only model within the US.

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