The best 5G phones 2022 on Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, or unlocked - PhoneArena

The best 5G phones 2022 on Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, or unlocked

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The best 5G phones 2022 on Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, or unlocked
The move from the previous 4G LTE generation of mobile connectivity to the current 5G era is marked by a transitional period much shorter than the move from 3G to 4G. Pandemics aside, it took just a year for Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile to roll out their nascent 5G networks in earnest, and call it a revolution.

That infrastructure push stems from the fact that, unlike 4G, the 5G rollout is on such a wide range of bands, that each carrier is creating their own unique network, and 5G phones have to work on all of them, raising the number of antennas, modem filters, and 5G-related costs to sights unseen. To help navigate the glut of 5G devices on Verizon, T-Mobile, or AT&T, we are rounding up the best ones you can buy.

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The best 5G phones to buy right now


OnePlus Nord N200 5G
8.2

OnePlus Nord N200 5G


The Good

  • Gorgeous, lightweight design
  • Large, clear 90Hz display
  • Excellent battery life
  • 5G on a budget

The Bad

  • Mediocre cameras
  • Occasional performance hiccups
  • No mute switch like on more expensive OnePlus phones


The best Verizon 5G phones


Here's the list of the best Verizon 5G phones:
    • Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
    • Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
    • Google Pixel 6 Pro
    • Samsung Galaxy S21 FE
    • Apple iPhone 13
    • TCL 10 5G UW
    • Samsung Galaxy A42 5G UW


    Verizon called dibs to 5G fame claims, initiating a commercial connection a few days before Korean carriers: "for the first time ever, customers can access a commercial 5G network with the world’s first commercially available 5G-enabled smartphone." Granted, at one lamp post near a Chicago stadium, and just with a Motorola Moto Z3 add-on, but who's counting.

    The millimeter wave networks like the current 5G one that Verizon uses, offer the fastest speeds and thus marketing bombast at their initial rollout, yet on the other hand mmWave spectrum has very low penetration rates. So low, in fact, that the signal can get easily dispersed by the phone's glass body, and it has trouble getting through your hands holding the phone, let alone trees, buildings, and even windows. 

    Thankfully, Verizon is also advancing with its Nationwide 5G efforts on the lower bands, which, however, produce speeds that are often slower than on its best-in-class 4G LTE network.

    The best АТ&T 5G phones


    Here's a list of the best AT&T 5G phones:
    • Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 
    • Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
    • Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
    • Samsung Galaxy S21 FE
    • Apple iPhone 13
    • Samsung Galaxy A52 5G
    • Google Pixel 4a 5G

    Verizon may have shouted "first" on the 5G connection switch, but AT&T was the one with the first commercially available 5G device a few months prior, albeit it was actually not a phone, but a "puck," the Netgear Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot.  Well, the carrier that delivered the "world’s first millimeter wave mobile 5G browsing session" has since added a lot of other gear and even a Nationwide 5G network on the low bands. 

    The best T-Mobile 5G phones


    Here's the list of the best 5G phones on T-Mobile:
    • Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
    • OnePlus Nord N200 5G
    • T-Mobile REVVL V+ 5G
    • OnePlus 9 Pro
    • Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
    • Samsung Galaxy S21 FE
    • Apple iPhone 13
    • Samsung Galaxy A52 5G
    • Google Pixel 4a 5G

      After its merger with Sprint, the new T-Mobile is very well positioned across the 5G spectrum, and the synergies of its 600MHz band with Sprint's 2500MHz, and whatever it can scrape off in the mmWave bands, are undeniable. There's barely a 5G phone under the sun that T-Mobile doesn't carry, but we've set our sights on a few deal-friendly ones to help your choice.

    The best unlocked 5G phones you can get in the US


    • Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
    • OnePlus 9 Pro
    • Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max
    • Samsung Galaxy S21 FE
    • Apple iPhone 13
    • Google Pixel 6 Pro
    • Samsung Galaxy A52 5G

    If you don't want to be tied to a carrier save for the cell phone plan, Samsung's unlocked Galaxies are usually the go-to choice in the US, as well as Apple's iPhones, Google's Pixels, and Motorola - all of these are made to work with any carrier although you do have to register them on Verizon, and make sure you've brought a model with a mmWave modem.

    In the end, what's the best 5G phone?


    Whether you are searching for the best Verizon 5G phones, the best phones on AT&T or the best T-Mobile phones, most of those will now be 5G models, sign of the times. Even the best budget 2021 phones are now 5G-capable, so whichever your favorite brand or carrier, you will be covered with the next gen network connectivity.

    As you can see, the Apple-Samsung duopoly has the lion's share of the best 5G phones in the US, but thanks to their value-for-money street cred, the OnePlus 5G phones are encroaching on their turf with the best phone displays at the moment. 

    If you are looking for the 5G phone with the best camera, though, look no further than the Galaxy S21 Ultra as it also has an adaptive refresh rate display, but also a stellar battery life and ultrafast charging. 

    These important criteria are rarely found together in any phone, so we can easily declare the Galaxy S21 Ultra to be the best 5G phone money can currently buy in the US. Unless you are in the iOS camp, of course, then the best 5G iPhone for you would be the iPhone 12 Pro Max. Given that both best 5G phones on iOS and Android are available on all carriers and with all sorts of deals and promos, there's no need to look for much else. Unless you are cash-strapped, of course, then our best budget 5G phones roundup is for you.

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