- What is 5G?
- How fast is 5G?
- Are 5G phone deals more expensive?
- Will I get 5G coverage in my area?
- What is a 5G ready phone?
- Can I get 5G with any phone?
- Can I keep my number when switching to a 5G phone deal?
- What’s the best 5G phone deal?
- What’s the cheapest 5G phone deal?
- Are 5G phone deals worth it?
- Which networks offer 5G phone deals?
- Which manufacturers offer 5G phones?
- Can I use my 5G phone when roaming?
- Can I get 5G with an iPhone?
- What’s the fastest 5G phone network?
- Will a 5G phone use more data?
What is 5G?
5G is the next generation phone connectivity, and is the follow up to 4G.
5G is a considerable improvement over 4G, with faster speeds, lower latency and increased capacity.
With 5G, you will be able to stream video at the highest quality, have the best possible online gaming experience. You will also be more likely to receive a strong signal in crowded places.
As 5G is still a relatively new technology, coverage is currently not as extensive as 4G. On average, 5G can reach 50% of the UK population, compared to 99% with 4G.
However, new phone masts are being built at a rapid rate, with hundreds of new locations every month. Some networks are even converting their existing phone masts to support 5G.
How fast is 5G?
5G is very fast, and can reach speeds up to 20 times greater than 4G.
Currently, average 5G speeds in the UK hover around 200 Mbps, compared to 20 Mbps with existing 4G infrastructure.
5G is built and designed to be future proof, which means speeds will be able to reach up to 20 Gbps in the future.
The table below compares the download speeds between 5G and 4G.
|Activity||5G SIM||4G SIM|
|Download HD film||3 minutes||30 minutes|
|Download lossless album||12 seconds||2 minutes|
|Download app||2 seconds||20 seconds|
|Download high-quality photo||0.4 seconds||4 seconds|
Are 5G phone deals more expensive?
When 5G initially launched, the technology was considerably more expensive than 4G, with 5G phones charging a premium over their 4G counterparts.
In 2022 however, 5G is no longer seen as a niche or premium feature, with the cost of 5G becoming as affordable as 4G technology.
With 5G scaling rapidly in recent years, the technology has become ubiquitous, and has led to cheaper prices all around.
As a result, it’s common to see even budget phones equipped with 5G.
In conclusion, 5G phones are no longer more expensive than 4G phones, and are generally priced equally.
Will I get 5G coverage in my area?
If you live in a major town or city, you’re more likely to receive a 5G signal, as opposed to more rural or countryside areas.
You can check if you will receive a 5G signal from your location by entering your address into network coverage checker tools:
- Asda Mobile coverage checker
- BT Mobile coverage checker
- EE coverage checker
- giffgaff coverage checker
- iD Mobile coverage checker
- Lebara coverage checker
- O2 coverage checker
- Plusnet coverage checker
- Sky mobile coverage checker
- SMARTY coverage checker
- Talkmobile coverage checker
- Tesco Mobile coverage checker
- Three coverage checker
- Virgin Mobile coverage checker
- Vodafone coverage checker
- VOXI coverage checker
What is a 5G ready phone?
5G ready is an advertising term that was previously used before 5G became more widespread.
Before 5G was more widespread in the UK, networks still sold 5G phones, however the networks did not have wide coverage for 5G, with the maximum signal being 4G in most places.
This meant although 5G phones had the potential to receive a 5G signal, they were not able to, as the networks did not support the technology.
As a result, the term 5G ready was used, with the promise that future upgrades to the network would result in eventual 5G connectivity for 5G phones that were previously purchased.
However, as 5G is more widespread today, and is offered by all the major networks as default, the term ‘5G ready’ has become obsolete - similar to how you no longer hear the term ‘HD ready’ for TVs.
Can I get 5G with any phone?
No, in order to use 5G, you must purchase a phone that supports 5G technology.
Most flagship phone deals sold today support 5G, and is even common with the latest low to mid range phone deals.
If your phone does not support 5G, you can still use a 5G SIM, however 4G will be the maximum signal you will be able to receive.
Can I keep my number when switching to a 5G phone deal?
Yes, in most cases you will be able to use your existing SIM card with your new 5G phone, and still be able to receive a 5G signal.
If you’re purchasing a 5G phone deal on a different network, you must transfer your phone number by handing a PAC code to your new network. You can do this at the time of purchase, or after you have received your new 5G phone deal.
What’s the best 5G phone deal?
Both flagship devices are able to receive maximum 5G speeds, and are available to purchase from £0 upfront on most networks.
What’s the cheapest 5G phone deal?
With the cost of 5G technology decreasing, there are plenty of budget phone deals with 5G to choose from.
If you’re looking for the cheapest iPhone with 5G, look no further than the iPhone SE. The 3rd generation device from Apple is its cheapest ever 5G phone. It doesn’t have the largest screen or the thinnest bezels, however with a great camera and fast A15 chip, you can’t go wrong for £399.
Alternatively, if you want a large screen device, the perfect phone is the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 5G. With a huge 6.5 inch display, triple camera array and generous 5000 mAh battery, there’s not much more you can ask for at this price.
Another good shoutout is the latest OnePlus Nord 2T, which brings a mid to high-range Android phone with 5G to the masses, starting at just £369.
Are 5G phone deals worth it?
For most people, the benefits of 5G will be clearly visible in everyday usage.
With up to 20 times faster speeds over 4G, web pages will load almost instantaneously. You will also be able to stream all the latest TV shows and movies in high-resolution 4K.
Furthemore, with lower latency speeds, you will see considerably reduced delays when it comes to voice and video calling, over apps such as WhatsApp, Zoom and FaceTime. If you’re a frequent online gamer, you will also see a lower ping for quicker response times.
In addition, 5G has greater capacity. This means you’re more likely to receive a signal in crowded areas, such as stadiums and densely populated cities.
However, if you just use your phone casually, for occasional web browsing and social media, the benefits of 5G may not be as noticeable. Regardless, as 5G is now the default and generally costs the same as 4G, there’s not much reason to opt out.
Which networks offer 5G phone deals?
All the major networks in the UK sell 5G phone deals:
- Asda Mobile
- iD Mobile
- Sky Mobile
- Tesco Mobile
- Virgin Mobile
Which manufacturers offer 5G phones?
Most manufacturers now sell 5G phones, and is even common with low to mid range devices:
Can I use my 5G phone when roaming?
Although you can use your 5G phone when roaming abroad, the maximum signal you can currently receive is 4G.
However, Asda Mobile and Vodafone are the only 2 exceptions. You will be able to receive a 5G signal in popular locations within Germany, Italy, Spain and Ireland. Receiving a 5G signal when roaming will not cost any more over 4G.
In the coming years, we expect more networks to support 5G when roaming.
Can I get 5G with an iPhone?
Yes, as long as you have an iPhone 12 or later, you will be able to receive a 5G signal:
|iPhone 12 Mini||Yes|
|iPhone 12 Pro||Yes|
|iPhone 12 Pro Max||Yes|
|iPhone 13 Mini||Yes|
|iPhone 13 Pro||Yes|
|iPhone 13 Pro Max||Yes|
|iPhone SE (3rd generation)||Yes|
What’s the fastest 5G phone network?
According to independent tests by Ookla and RootMetrics, Three is currently the fastest 5G network in the UK.
For 3 years in a row, Three has been awarded the fastest 5G network by Ookla. The latest report in the first half of 2022 reported average download speeds of 248.16 Mbps, with median download speeds of 292.57 Mbps and median upload speeds of 13.44 Mbps.
|Network||Average 5G download speeds|
In addition to the fastest 5G speeds, Three also had good coverage, with 5G reaching 56% of the UK population at a total of 400 locations.
Will a 5G phone use more data?
No, a 5G phone deal will not use any more data compared to a 4G phone.
However, with 5G, you can download much more in shorter periods, which may inadvertently use more data.
For example, video streaming apps such as YouTube and Netflix automatically detect your download speed. If you have a high download speed, they may choose to automatically stream video to you in 4K as opposed to 1080p or lower. The higher the resolution, the more data is used.
Is 5G free?
Yes, 5G is free addition from all networks which offer it, and does not cost any more over 4G.
Are 5G phone deals more expensive?
With 5G technology becoming more ubiquitous and cheaper, 5G phones generally do not cost any more compared to 4G phones. You can even get low to mid range phones that support 5G.
What speeds can I get with a 5G phone?
Average UK speeds hover around 200 Mbps. A maximum of 20 Gbps will be achievable with future network upgrades.
On average, 5G is up to 20 fasters than 4G.