5G is finally here! The first networks will be open to the public by the end of the year. And for those who want to take the plunge, we have selected the most interesting 5G phones of the moment.
All major manufacturers now offer several 5G compatible models. The new generation of mobile network promises a lot and is on the verge of becoming a reality in France. If you want to be one of the first people to own a 5G smartphone, these are the devices you should look to.
5G smartphones marketed in France
SFR was the first operator to launch its 5G smartphone range in France from the start of the 2019 school year. At the start of 2020, the four major operators are now engaged in the technology race and they all offer 5G phones in their shops.
The best 5G smartphones at a glance
The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is the latest high-end smartphone from the South Korean brand, released in August 2020. Productivity boosted to its maximum, immense diagonal, luxurious technical sheet… It has it all, and that’s for that we do not hesitate to recommend. Only downside: its price is enormous. To acquire this premium smartphone, you must not limit your budget.
Lovers of large screens will be served with its 6.9-inch diagonal, which will provide unparalleled comfort to enjoy all its content. The Dynamic AMOLED screen offers a refresh rate of 120 Hz, double the Galaxy Note 20 which remains blocked at 60 Hz. Samsung therefore grants impeccable display quality and fluidity to its Note 20 Ultra, all the more that the definition can go up to QHD + with 3200 x 1440 pixels. Usually, the main drawback of large screens is the difficulty that one can have in using them with one hand.
On the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, the One UI 2 interface adapts to this large diagonal, for example by lowering certain elements on the screen, or even by providing the phone with a ” a hand “. The S Pen is still in the game, but with significant improvements, starting with a reduced latency rate to 9 ms. The fluidity is clearly superior to that which could be found on the Note 10 range, whose latency rate climbed to 42 ms. The comfort of writing and drawing with the stylus will always be essential.
On the photo side, the module is reminiscent of the Galaxy S20 Ultra and offers excellent versatility with a 108-megapixel main sensor, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle and a 12-megapixel x5 telephoto lens. We may regret the protuberance of this photo module on the back of the smartphone, a little annoying when it is placed flat on a table. But we will console ourselves with the beautiful images captured and their high level of detail. Another good point, and not the least: the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is capable of filming up to 8K at 30 fps.
The performance of this high-end smartphone is ensured by an Exynos 990 chip, accompanied by 12 GB of RAM to run all applications in an ultra-smooth manner. On the autonomy side, its 4500 mAh battery allows it to last a whole day, as we noted in our test. But by lowering the refresh rate to 60 Hz instead of 120 Hz, the autonomy will be much more reassuring.
Finally, note that the phone is compatible with the 5G network on sub-6 GHz frequencies and on millimeter waves which will be used later in France. To find out more, take a look at our full review of the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.
So of course our tests are still in progress (you can already watch our unboxing !), but it’s impossible not to mention Apple’s latest addition in this selection. The iPhone 12 is indeed the first phone from the Apple brand to offer compatibility with 5G networks.
Apart from 5G support, the main feature of the iPhone 12 is the adoption of a new, more angular design reminiscent of the iPhone 5. The rest of the changes are more of a smooth evolution than anything else. : an A14 Bionic processor 30% more efficient than its predecessor, a slightly more sophisticated photo module and a MagSafe function to make wireless charging safer. We will come back very soon for a full test, but in the meantime if you are a customer of the Apple brand looking for 5G we can’t find better. Find here our summary of the keynote iPhone 12.
Positioned between the OnePlus 8 and the OnePlus 8 Pro, the 8T has the delicate mission of being interesting without (too much) stepping on the beds of its predecessors. An exercise that he succeeds brilliantly thanks to first-rate services at a contained price.
The Snapdragon 865 thus brings top-notch performance while the screen competes carefree with phones twice as expensive in terms of display quality and brightness. The 120 Hz even achieves the feat of not hampering the autonomy since we reach the two days of use without forcing. Among the very rare compromises, we note the absence of any wireless charging. The version available in our regions does not display certification guaranteeing its resistance to water and dust.
It is on the side of the photo that the 8T compares less well with the flagships competition. Not that it is bad, on the contrary, but the results are sometimes uneven. We thus notice some fantasies about color management, especially in low light. The video stabilization is particularly disappointing, generating a lot of artifacts.
At a time when the rise in the price of smartphones seems endless, the OnePlus 8T succeeds in offering a real “flagship killer” without exploding the bill. Find here our test of what is unequivocally one of the best smartphones of the year.
With its OnePlus North, the OnePlus brand has concocted a mid-range with good value for money. Clearly, the OnePlus North does not have too much to be ashamed of the performance of the manufacturer’s other more premium models.
With its 6.4-inch Super AMOLED screen, this smartphone sits pretty well in the hand. The panel has a refresh rate of 90 Hz and a Full HD + definition, which is very respectable on this price range. The OnePlus Nord naturally has the OxygenOS interface, which is quite simply one of our favorites. Thanks to this OS, which also benefits from Android 10, the user experience will be very fluid and optimized. And above all, this interface allows you to customize a large number of elements to create a smartphone in your image, in every way.
Like the majority of current smartphones, the OnePlus Nord also has a quadruple sensor with a main 48 megapixel, an ultra wide-angle of 8 megapixels, a depth sensor of 5 megapixels and a macro lens of 2 megapixels. Unsurprisingly, the photos in daylight are of very good quality, which may not be the case in low light. For this price, we will forgive him, especially as the rest of his performance on the photo side will be quite satisfactory on a daily basis.
With its Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G chip, OnePlus wanted to bet on a rather gaming-oriented identity (hence the letter G, do you have it?). By playing in 30 fps mode, the fluidity of the images of your games will be there. On some games, you will be able to enjoy high level graphics without a hitch. For the rest, this configuration will meet daily needs, such as browsing the web or watching videos on YouTube. With a 4,115mAh battery, the runtime won’t hit record highs, but you should be able to last a day away from the charger.
Finally, the OnePlus Nord will be compatible with the 5G network on sub-6 GHz frequencies, but not on millimeter waves (not yet used with us). For even more information, do not hesitate to take a tour of our complete test of the OnePlus North.
Little brother of the Mi 10 and Mi 10 Pro, the Mi 10 Lite strikes an excellent balance. To begin with, it has the merit of being 5G compatible, which is still quite rare on the mid-range. We also appreciate the design of the device which gives pride of place to the glass on the rear face and a sober and efficient front face with a notch ” water dropWhich, although out of fashion, is well integrated.
On a more technical level, there is a 6.57-inch Amoled Full HD screen, very bright, but with not quite optimal color accuracy. Inside is a Snapdragon 765G processor with amply sufficient performance. For example, they allow you to play Fortnite in “epic” quality almost without a hitch. The photo part, built around 4 sensors, is above average for the price, but we would have liked to have a telephoto lens for the optical zoom.
Last strong point: autonomy. The 4160 mAh battery can last two days on a single charge in everyday use. The fast charge at 20 W, allows it to recover 50% of the battery in about 30 minutes of charging. The MIUI 11 interface, which gave pride of place tobloatwareits since the release was replaced by a version 12 much more mastered.
If you do not find what you are looking for in this selection, do not hesitate to take a look at our guide to the best smartphones, but beware, all the phones presented there are not necessarily 5G compatible.
When is 5G in France?
France is clearly behind compared to other countries, but things are finally moving! The allocation in October of frequencies to operators comes with contractual obligations. The first commercial offers should therefore be available by the end of the year in a few large cities, with a gradual ramp-up in the years to come. The announcement of infrastructure sharing between Orange and Free gives us hope that coverage is progressing relatively quickly.
Will 5G plans be more expensive?
Yes ! If we do not yet have the precise launch date, the operators have not hesitated to publish their new price lists and they intend to charge 5G at a high price. So at Orange it will cost no less than 40 euros per month for a data envelope of 70 GB, ie an increase of 5 euros per month. A trend that can be found among the 4 operators. As for “low cost” operators like Sosh, RED or B & You, we are limited for the moment to simple 4G.
Will 5G drain my battery?
This is one of the major weaknesses of the technology at the moment: it consumes significantly more energy than 4G. The cause is a constant switch between the 4G modem (for calls and SMS) and 5G (for data). For the latest iPhone 12s, activating 5G results in a loss of around 20% of battery life.