Best 5G Phones to Buy in 2022

Elite-level phones like the iPhone 13 series, Samsung’s Galaxy S22 range and the Google Pixel 6 naturally come with the latest superfast 5G data speeds — after all, that’s what you’re paying such high prices for. But it’s not just those expensive, premium phones that let you access these lightning-fast networks. There are plenty of budget-friendly options from Samsung, OnePlus and Motorola that offer 5G connectivity, and even Apple’s cheapest iPhone SE is 5G-enabled too.

Though it won’t replace 4G in its entirety, 5G is the next generation of mobile connectivity. 5G works fast, and many industries can benefit from the upgraded network, including drones, self-driving cars and the internet of things. Its growth across the US, the UK and the wider world has been fast, but it’s still not everywhere quite yet, so make sure 5G coverage is available — or at least coming soon — in your area before you splash the cash on a 5G-enabled handset.

Remember that a 5G phone will still work as normal on a 4G network (albeit at lower speeds), so don’t be afraid of buying a 5G phone like the S22 Ultra even if you’re not in a 5G zone. It’s good practice to future-proof yourself; you may not be in a 5G zone right now, but it may well be that 5G will come to your area in the three years or so you have your phone, so at least you’ll be ready to take advantage of it when it arrives.

But with 5G handsets being offered by every major phone manufacturer now, it can be difficult to work out which is best for you. We’ve done some of the hard work and put together our list of our top 5G-enabled phones that you can go and buy right now.

Patrick Holland/CNET
Apple iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max
$829 at Amazon
$800 at Best Buy
$829 at Apple
Apple unveiled four iPhones last September, all of which are 5G phones. At the helm of the lineup is the iPhone 13 series, which starts at $729 and features the A15 Bionic processor and dual rear cameras. If you’re looking for something smaller and cheaper, the iPhone 13 Mini is your best pick for a 5G capable phone. And if you want something more premium, the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max are decked out with more features. Read our Apple iPhone 13 review.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET
Google Pixel 6 Pro and Pixel 6
$899 at Google Store
$829 at Amazon
At $899, the Google Pixel 6 Pro undercuts rivals on price while including so much value. It comes with a flagship camera setup, new AI features, a crisp display and a distinctive design. If you only have $600 to spend, you get get the lower-end Pixel 6, which still sports the flagship cameras and a big screen. Read our Pixel 6 Pro review.

Angela Lang/CNET
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
$1,200 at Samsung
The Galaxy S22 Ultra is the best phone Samsung makes right now, packing everything you’d expect from an elite flagship phone. It’s got a big, vibrant screen and an incredible rear camera setup (including a zoom lens unlike anything we’ve seen). It’s absolutely stuffed with power. This Android phone doesn’t come cheap, but it’s the 5G phone to go for if you’re looking for the best of the best in an Android handset.

Patrick Holland/CNET
Apple iPhone SE (2022)
$429 at Apple
The iPhone SE may be the cheapest phone Apple produces, but it still comes with superfast 5G. While it lacks the camera prowess of the much more expensive iPhone 13 Pro, it runs the latest iOS 15 software and uses the same processor found in the higher-end models, making it a great phone for everyday use and light gaming. Read our iPhone SE (2022) review

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