It’s hard not to have heard of 5G. Criticized by some, awaited for several years by others, the new generation of mobile network finally arrived in France at the end of November. Problem, unless you have a recent smartphone, it is likely that your current equipment is not compatible with 5G. Which device do you turn to? Should we switch from 4G to 5G? 01net.com offers you a first selection.
When to switch to 5G?
Let’s be clear, we don’t recommend switching smartphones if you’re happy with your current device. 5G is only in its infancy and, as we explained to you during our tests of the SFR and Orange networks a few weeks ago, does not make much difference compared to 4G today. There is no rush to change your smartphone. On the contrary, it is better to wait a year or two to take advantage of devices that exploit the specific features of the 5G network even better.
Read also :
• We tested SFR’s 5G and our results are very promising
• First tests of Orange 5G: speeds as incredible as they are mysterious
On the other hand, if your device is at the end of its life and you expect to change your smartphone whatever happens, then 5G seems essential to us for two reasons:
- Accessing 5G now means accessing a network that is still infrequently used. Logically, it will therefore be less saturated than 4G. In a city center, you could therefore enjoy better connectivity than other people today.
- A smartphone usually keeps for a long time. By the end of 2021-early 2022, when 5G is better deployed, you might regret having bought an incompatible smartphone. It therefore seems important to us to verify that a device is 5G before purchasing it.
Our selection of 5 5G compatible smartphones
Rather than offering you a top 10, we have decided to present you five smartphones tested by 01net.com. All were greatly appreciated, which encourages us to recommend them to you.
Note that, in this selection, you will not find entry-level 5G smartphones like the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9T at 250 euros. Since we have not yet tested it, it seems premature to recommend it to you. In any case, on the entry level, there are still too few 5G compatible devices.
iPhone 12 and 12 mini: for Apple fans
Do we need to present the Apple iPhone 12? Available in two sizes (6.1 inches or 5.4 inches for the iPhone 12 mini), this device is intended especially for iOS enthusiasts, those who swear by the Californian ecosystem (or those who want abandon Android to discover or rediscover iPhone).
Equipped with a magnificent OLED screen, an excellent dual camera module, the supercharged A14 Bionic processor and, like its predecessor, a formidable autonomy, the iPhone 12 is undeniably one of the best smartphones of the moment. It is also Apple’s first 5G smartphone, along with the iPhone 12 Pro (which cost more, hence their absence in our general public selection). This device should enjoy a longer lifespan than many other smartphones, with Apple having a habit of updating its devices for more than 5 years.
Regarding more specifically 5G, know that iPhone 12 does not work in 5G if you use two SIM cards (Nano SIM + eSIM). For some reason we don’t know, Apple is forcing you to settle for 4G if you have two plans.
General note : 9,06/10
Manufacturer price: from 809 euros for the iPhone 12 mini, from 909 euros for the iPhone 12
Test : Read the full iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 review
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE: the smartphone of balance
Without being the best at anything, the Galaxy S20 FE impresses with its ability to be good at every level. Marketed for 759 euros in its 5G version, this smartphone is compatible with wireless charging, has a triple camera module almost identical to that of the high-end S20 and offers one of the best OLED screens on the market.
With this device, Samsung has found an almost perfect formula. Thanks to concessions made in the right place (plastic back), the Galaxy S20 FE enjoys one of the best value for money on the market. It is one of our favorites.
General note : 9,22/10
Manufacturer price: from 759 euros
Test : Read the full review of the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE 5G
Pixel 4a 5G: the best value for money
The Pixel 4a 5G is our favorite mid-range smartphone. Equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765G processor, this device from Google stands out from the competition by its competitive autonomy (7:02 p.m. in the 01net versatile autonomy test). Its camera, doped with artificial intelligence, is also one of the most magical on the market.
If your budget is under 500 euros, this is the device we would recommend by far. We also appreciate the presence of a jack, which is rare on the smartphone market.
General note : 8,77/10
Manufacturer price: 499€
Test : Read our full review of the Google Pixel 4a 5G
Xiaomi Mi 10 Lite: the cheapest of the top 5
If you are looking for a 5G smartphone at a discounted price, you will surely have to turn to Xiaomi.
As explained above, we have not yet tested the Redmi Note 9T (249 euros) and Mi 10T Lite (299 euros), the two most affordable 5G smartphones on the market. On the other hand, we tested the Mi 10 Lite at 379 euros and this smartphone really convinced us. Despite its low price, this mobile has an OLED screen and uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765G processor, which allows it to benefit from excellent performance. While we wait to see if Xiaomi’s entry-level 5G mobiles live up to it, it’s the device we would recommend for people on a budget.
General note : 8,56/10
Manufacturer price: from € 379
Test : Read our full review of the Xiaomi Mi 10 Lite
Google Pixel 5: our favorite
Finally, the Pixel 5 of our favorite. This small smartphone (5.8 inches) is an improved Pixel 4a 5G. We particularly appreciate its aluminum back (the 4a 5G is covered in plastic, which really gives it a unique appearance in a market where glass reigns. Its compatibility with wireless charging also allows it to claim a membership in the category. high-end smartphones while its photo quality, again, has something to impress the most demanding users.Let’s also talk about its formidable autonomy which allows it to be used for almost two days without going through the charger box. Moreover ?
Compatible with 5G (it also uses Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765G processor), this mobile is one of the most impressive on the market. Another advantage, like the iPhone, it should receive many updates. Google adds new things to it every month. At 629 euros, it also benefits from very good value for money.
General note : 9,09/10
Manufacturer price: 629 euros
Test : Read the full Google Pixel 5 review
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