The invention of 5G technology has made a huge difference this year. The first 5G networks came online in April last year, and 5G enabled mobile devices began rolling in later in the spring. The few 5G-enabled devices that were used initially were very expensive for users.
After several years of anticipation, 5G is finally here. We now have more mobile phones that are equipped with 5G technology, capable of connecting people with the next generation of network speeds. Chipmakers have also integrated 5G connectivity into their chipsets.
However, even though most people are eager for the next-level speeds that 5G provides, there are some things to consider before spending your cash and ditching your perfectly functional 4G-enabled smartphone now.
5G technology today
With more 5G phones hitting the market this year and 5G ads running everywhere, it is important to consider if you should upgrade to a 5G phone now or wait a little bit longer.
There are various 5G mobile phones on the market now from tech giants like Motorola, LG, OnePlus, Samsung, and TCL, and as far as we’re concerned, Apple will join the trend soon. Will it be worth it to jump over to 5G now?
Well, if you plan to spend nothing more than $500 on a mobile phone, then you can entirely ignore 5G. Even though 5G comes with some benefits, it’ll likely be on phones that are relatively expensive and 4G service will still be great for several years to come.
If you purchase a phone you intend to use for many years to come on Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon, 5G will be an ideal future-proofing. Even though you might not have a 5G network in your location now, but you’ll probably have it in the future, and phones today support the next few years of technologies of mobile carriers.
No matter your carrier, there’re little or no downsides to buying a smartphone that has 5G if it’s the phone you desire to have. Users can now buy Samsung Galaxy S20 series phones without 5G in some places! So, if you’re more attracted to some features on the phone, such as its 8K video recording or great screen, then you should get the phone based on that.
Are there benefits to upgrading to 5G today?
The biggest benefits of 5G technology are speed and low latency. 5G has download speeds of up to 20Gbps, over 300 times faster than that produced by 4G technology. It also has low latency, which is estimated to be at 1ms, resulting in zero lag. 5G technology is vital to enabling the Internet of Things.
All major carriers now provide 5G coverage in most locations; but how extensive that service depends on the carrier. You now have more options to choose from with 5G mobile devices, and some brands offer 5G on all their models.
While 5G phones are still expensive, you can still get some that cost less than $1,000 – a huge difference from the previous year, when most of the mobile phones cost four-figures.
Some factors to consider
Even though a lot of cities support 5G connectivity, people that don’t reside in one of these locations should check with their carriers. If your city doesn’t support 5G network, then there’s no rush upgrading. Other factors to consider include:
Today, 5G phones are mostly limited to flagship phones. For some people, this is not their regular upgrade because 5G-enabled phones are slightly more expensive.
Even though the Samsung Galaxy S10 launched at $899, the latest 5G-equipped Galaxy S20 costs $100 more – a premium price for the 5G modems enabled in the device. Spending a thousand dollars on a phone could be a bit expensive for some users, particularly if 5G isn’t available in their location.
This depends on what you want to use crazy speeds for right now. Despite the desire of most people to switch over to 5G, a survey involving 1,800 tech and business executives revealed that 53 percent said 5G would enable them to do just a few things that they already do with 4G technology.
Most experts say that the world of technology moves with Apple, as it was with a headphone jack and USB-C. This might be the case with a 5G network. Even though Android devices have rushed to integrate 5G technologies into their mobile phones, the wait-and-see tactic employed by Apple means that most consumers will only need to care about 5G, but the time Apple makes a move to this technology. This means that if you’re tied to iOS, waiting a little longer for 5G will be worth it.
If your contract is due for an upgrade, you might already need to buy the most recent flagship device anyway that’ll be equipped with 5G technology. In that case, you’ll have a future-proof device as long as you’re willing to pay extra for the new device.
Should you get 5G now?
With what we mentioned above, it is obvious that you don’t need 5G connectivity right now. Just as it was when we moved from 3G to 4G, the road to such a change is long, and might be expansive. Right now, mobile carriers are advertising 5G in a big way – and keep on doing so because the latest iPhone is expected to come with 5G connectivity.
You don’t need a phone that has 5G connectivity because there’s almost every city that has 5G will also have 4G. It’s safe to assume that you’ll never be in a place where the 5G phone of someone connects and your 4G phone doesn’t connect, especially if you use the same carrier. It’ll take a lot more time before we see smartphones with less than 5G.
Even though rare, we still have smartphones released today that have 3G connectivity and being unable to connect to 4G. For now, you’re safe to continue using your 4G smartphone.
The bottom line is that you can wait! There is no major benefit of buying a 5G-enabled phone now; you should therefore save the potential costs involved. If you get a good deal on a phone that seems cheaper because it lacks 5G connectivity, it’s still a good time to make that buying decision.
You can wait for a little longer before buying a 5G smartphone because your 4G data connection will not be shut down any time soon. It’ll take several years for this to happen.