Best 5G-enabled phones

2021 is a great time to be looking for a 5G-enabled phone. 5G coverage is becoming more widespread in the UK, and manufacturers are finally starting to release phones that are 5G compatible. In this guide, we explain what it means for a phone to have 5G, and share the best 5G-enabled handsets you can get today from your favourite brands. 

Last updated: 4th Jun 2021 at 9:42am

What is 5G?

5G is the ‘fifth generation’ and most recent data technology, after 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G. Data allows you to access the internet without being connected to Wi-Fi, such as a home router or cafe hotspot. 

5G is reported to be around three to six times faster than 4G speeds, meaning that a 5G connection will load websites and apps more quickly, reduce latency and buffering while streaming vlogs, games and videos, and provide better overall coverage whilst you’re out and about. 
 

5G with Asda mobile 

If you’re looking for a 5G-compatible network you’re in luck! All of our £10+ bundles come with 5G compatibility as standard. Browse our monthly bundles to find the right plan for your 5G phone. 
 

The best 5G phones in 2021

Use our navigation below to check out some of the best features on the most powerful 5G-enabled phones available right now. 

Samsung  

Samsung is unanimously the most popular Android brand. They’ve been ahead of the manufacturing game for a while, being the first to introduce foldable phones to the world in 2018, and they’re probably the maker of the most 5G-enabled phones to date. Check out the impressive features on two models below. 

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

Release date: January 2021

Price: £769 - £1,149

6.8 inch screen is almost tablet-size, and the vividly detailed 3200 x 1440 pixel resolution makes it perfect for watching films, playing games, and reading eBooks

Powerful quad rear cameras: 108MP Wide, 12MP Ultra Wide, 10MP Telephoto (3x), 10MP Telephoto (10x), and extremely sharp 40MP front camera, and 8K video recording make the S21 Ultra one of the best models for photography fanatics

Large 5,000mAh battery life, capable of lasting for days (depending on usage) without rushing to the charging port 

IP68 water-resistant (capable of surviving water submersion up to 1.5m in depth for a maximum of 30 minutes at a time)

On Android 11, the most recent operating system to date, meaning the phone will be fast and efficient

Support of the S Pen stylus, which makes drawing digital art and other navigation much easier - good for people with possible dexterity struggles

Comes in five colours: Phantom Black, Phantom Silver, Phantom Titanium, Phantom Navy, and Phantom Brown
 

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G

Release date: September 2020

Price: £699 - £749

Large 6.5 inch screen is ideal for users who like to watch Netflix, play online games, and record videos

Decent 12MP Ultra Wide, 12MP Wide, and 8MP Telephoto rear cameras are more common amongst high-end smartphones, but the 32MP front camera is a stronger surprise. If you take more selfies than landscapes, the strength of the megapixels here will benefit you. 4K video recording is also included

4,500mAh battery life is capable of lasting all day without needing to be recharged. However, when it is time to charge again, it’s Qi compatible for fast and wireless charging  

Operates on Android’s newest OS, Android 11

Storage allows up to 1TB of memory with a microSD card, or 128GB without, which is usually more than enough space for the average phone user to store all of their photos, videos, apps, music downloads, and documents

Comes in six varying colours: Cloud Lavender, Cloud Navy, Cloud Mint, Cloud Orange, Cloud Red, and Cloud White

If you’re a fan of Samsung phones and want to see what else they have, you can read our guide on ‘Which Samsung smartphone is right for you?’

 

Apple 

Apple, well-known to be Samsung’s rival, are never left behind on new technological developments. Their most recent iPhone 12 series was released in October 2020 - with the iPhone 13 range expected in Autumn 2021. 

iPhone 12

Release date: October 2020

Price: £799 - £949

The 6.1 inch OLED screen, while smaller than some other models on offer, is the perfect size for someone looking for the best in-between display (large enough for all your activities, but still portable)

The dual rear camera, 12MP and 12MP, is not necessarily as powerful as some other devices on this list, but is a perfectly common megapixel strength that will cater to most average phone users. 4K recording will also ensure all video is clear and stabilised

The 2,815mAh battery offers 17 hours of video playback and 65 hours of audio, but can last longer with proper care. This model is also compatible with wireless charging

Apple phones often utilise cloud storage as the internal memories cannot be expanded with a microSD card slot, but the original, flagship 12 comes with three options: 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB

Has a waterproof rating of IP68, meaning it can withstand submersion under 1.5m of water for 30 minutes

The iPhone 12 series are also compatible with Apple’s newest technology, MagSafe, which provides a new way to charge wirelessly with the use of their cases and charging pads

Comes in six varying colours: Black, White, Product Red, Green, Blue, and Purple
 

iPhone 12 Pro Max

Release date: October 2020

Price: £1,099 - £1,399

The Pro Max is the largest of the iPhone 12 series, with a 6.7 inch screen and even clearer pixels at 2778 x 1284. Whilst it’s less portable, it’s great for gamers and vloggers who need that bigger display for their work or hobby

Triple 12MP cameras: Ultra Wide, Wide, and Telephoto, to capture every inch of an image. With 12x digital zoom, you can take photos from anywhere. Video records in 4K

The Pro Max holds the title for the second-largest battery on an iPhone (after the 11 Pro Max of 2019) with a capacity of 3,687mAh. This offers around 20 hours of video playback, plenty of time for your commutes or road trips

You have the choice of 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB of in-built storage, which is usually plenty of space 

IP68 waterproof rating to protect against water damage up to 1.5m for 30 minutes

Comes in Silver, Graphite, Gold, and Pacific Blue

All iPhone 12s operate on Apple’s most recent system, iOS 14. If the 12 range isn’t for you, there are a bunch of other iPhones out there for you to look at. 

 

Huawei 

Huawei are the leading phone manufacturer in China, and make some of the best Android smartphones on the market. If you want big screens and powerful cameras, check out our two recommendations for 5G models below. 

Huawei Mate40 Pro

Release date: November 2020

Price: £1,099

6.76 inch OLED edge-to-edge display provides an immersive experience for gamers and video fanatics alike, and the 2772 x 1344 pixel resolution won’t let you down on sharpness and clarity either

Powerful triple rear cameras: 50MP Wide, 20MP Ultra-Wide, and 12MP Telephoto, as well as a 13MP Wide-Angle front camera, and 4K video recording

4,400mAh battery capacity is made better by the compatibility with Fast wireless charging at a maximum of 50 W, so when your battery does eventually run out, you won’t have to wait too long before being able to use it again

IP68 water and dust resistant to protect the device against accidental submersion or neglect

NFC-enabled to allow for mobile contactless payments in shops and food establishments. Simply follow the steps to activate your debit or credit card on the app required for your device, and start paying without having to even reach into your wallet
 

Huawei P40 Pro

Release date: June 2020
Price: £699

6.58 inch screen is more portable than the rest, able to fit more easily into bags and pockets than some of the larger devices

High megapixel triple rear cameras: 50MP Wide Angle, 40MP Ultra-Wide, and 12MP Telephoto. The P40 Pro also has a rarer 32MP selfie camera and supports 4K video recording 

Big 4,200mAh battery life which supports Huawei SuperCharge charging at a maximum of 40 W, or 27 W wireless SuperCharge. It also supports charging in the car

Rated IP68 splash, water, and dust resistant

Available in three standard colours: Silver Frost, Black, and Blush Gold

If you’re interested in a Huawei model, you should know that none of the Huawei phones have Google services; they run on Huawei’s own services instead, due to a trade ban.

 

Xiaomi 

Xiaomi are currently the fourth largest brand for phones worldwide. Their popularity mainly stems from their affordability, which doesn’t diminish the incredible specs each phone is installed with. So if you’re on more of a budget, but don’t want to sacrifice the high-end quality and features, check out these two Xiaomi phones below. 

Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro 5G 

Release date: November 2020

Price: £599

6.67 inch display screen protected by ‘Corning Gorilla Glass 5’ makes for a large and durable phone that’s more like the size of a phablet. A bigger screen may be more helpful for people who are visually impaired

Triple rear camera with main 108MP (quite rare!), Ultra-Wide 13MP, and 5MP macro, and a 20MP front camera, with 8K video recording capabilities. For the avid photographer, these cameras will enable you to take sharp and rich images that are hyper-focused and balanced 

Whopping 5,000mAh battery is capable of easily carrying the user for up to two days without needing to be recharged, which you can do with 33 W fast charge

Choice of 128GB or 256GB built-in storage

NFC-enabled to allow the user to make mobile contactless payments with Google Pay (Apple Pay on iPhones, Samsung Pay on Samsungs)

Comes in three colours: Cosmic Black, Lunar Silver, and Aurora Blue
 

Xiaomi Mi 10

Release date: February 2020

Price: £799

6.67 AMOLED display instilled with TUV Rheinland low blue light mode to protect user’s eyes from too much screen time

Quad AI cameras: 108MP main, 13MP Ultra-Wide, 2MP depth, and 2MP macro for a thoroughly detailed image, capturing all angles and colours. The 20MP front camera and 8K video recording make this model an impressive option for just shy of £800

4,780mAh battery life which supports Triple Fast Charging

Choice between 128GB or 256GB, without the option to expand via microSD card, though you could always opt for cloud storage like Google Drive if you need more space for photos and files

NFC-enabled to support mobile payment like Google Pay

Upgradeable to Android 11, the most recent OS, for the fastest and most efficient functioning

For more of this brand, we have a whole guide dedicated to the best Xiaomi phones for you.

 

OPPO 

For a high-end smartphone, look no further than OPPO. This 2004 company have created some of the most affordable phones to date, with great cameras and speedy Qualcomm Snapdragon processors. Even better - they’re great value for the amount of high-end specs they offer. Check out the Reno4 family below to see if one of these 5G phones could be your next purchase. 

OPPO Reno4 Z

Release date: October 2020

Price: £250

6.57 inch screen, which is a nice balance between large and portable

Screen has 120Hz refresh rate, which means webpages and videos will load quickly, providing you with a speedy and buffer-less experience 

Quad rear cameras: 48MP, 8MP Wide-Angle, 2MP black-and-white portrait lens, and 2MP vintage portrait lens, to capture creative and unique images. The Reno4 Z also comes with a dual front-facing camera (which isn’t as common) with 16MP and 2MP, and 4K video recording capability 

4,000mAh battery life is common amongst high-end smartphones, but the affordable price of this phone makes this feature even more impressive

Supports NFC-enabled contactless payments so all you need is your mobile phone to make purchases at shops, restaurants, cafes, and more. Say goodbye to the days of clinking change and paper notes

Has a 3.5mm headphone jack as well as Bluetooth 5.0, so you can decide whether you want to listen to your audio wired or wirelessly
 

OPPO Reno4

Release date: August 2020

Price: £329

6.4 inch screen is one of the smallest on this list, but is by no means little - watch your favourites films and YouTube videos without having to squint

Triple rear camera (48MP, 8MP, and 2MP) and impressive dual front-facing camera with 32MP main and 2MP secondary - the strength of the front camera is almost unparalleled amongst other phones that are more expensive, so if you want great images for less, consider an OPPO model for the additional benefit of 4K recording 

4,000mAh battery life, which also supports Fast Charging to get your phone back to life in no time 

NFC-enabled for contactless payments

Bluetooth 5.0 and 3.5mm headphone jack for a greater choice of how you want to digest your audio, like radio stations and podcasts 

 

Google

It’s not surprising that Google, who develop the Android operating system, have their own line of smartphones too. They have two phones that are compatible with 5G technology, but if that’s not a priority, you can still look at their 4G-powered phones.

Google Pixel 4a with 5G

Release date: September 2020

Price: From £399

6.2 inch OLED display makes for an easily portable model that is also highly durable, courtesy of the Gorilla glass material it’s composed of

Dual rear cameras at 12.2MP and 16MP Ultra-Wide, with an 8MP front camera and 4K recording. Though these megapixels are smaller than the majority on this list, that doesn’t diminish how effective they can be, as the majority of Apple phones don’t go beyond 12MP either

3,885mAh battery life is a decent length capable of lasting all day if you only tend to browse social media, listen to music, and occasionally watch videos whilst connected to Wi-Fi. It also supports Fast Charging

IP68 waterproof rating, which means the 4a with 5G can survive water submersion of 1.5m for a maximum of 30 minutes without being damaged 

This phone comes with 128GB in-built storage, but on Google models, you also have access to unlimited storage with Google Photos, so you can save all of your favourite memories without having to pay to expand your phone’s internal storage

Compatible with hearing aids for those who are hard-of-hearing or deaf
 

Google Pixel 5

Release date: September 2020

Price: From £599

6-inch flexible OLED display. This is the smallest screen size on this list, but is perfect for people who don’t enjoy the scale of large smartphones being released nowadays, and would like to settle for a more travel-friendly, one-handed option instead

Dual rear 12.2MP and 16MP Ultra-Wide cameras, with 8MP front camera, and 4K video recording 

4,080mAh battery life is more aligned with the vast majority of other high-end brands, lasting a day or two depending on usage. The Pixel 5 also supports Qi wireless charging and Fast Charging so you can eliminate the need for cables everywhere and get back on your phone in no time

Certified IP68 waterproof and dust resistant to protect your new model from water damage and dirty environments

128GB internal storage, with unlimited access to Google Photos for all of your images and videos 

Launched on Android 11, the most recent version of Android’s operating system, guaranteeing fast speeds and up-to-date bug fixes 

Compatible with hearing aids so everyone can access audio
 

And that’s a wrap! We hope you’ve found your next 5G-enabled phone, or at least helped you narrow things down. So which is your favourite? Let us know on Twitter.
 

Other phone options

Many of these models are pricey, so if you’re on a budget, you can check out our lists of the best phones for under £100 and under £200

For phones that are more suited to older users or just people looking for an affordable, simple, and user-friendly brand, check out our other guides:

If you’re thinking of buying any of these 5G phones, why not pair your new device with an Asda mobile monthly bundle or a Pay as you go SIM?

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