The best 5G phones in 2022

·18 min read
 best 5g phones
best 5g phones

Finding the best 5G phones isn't nearly as tricky as it was a few years ago. These days, any phone worth its salt is going to include 5G compatibility with a variety of different networks. Even better,  you no longer have to pay up for the privilege of owning a 5G-ready device, as even budget handsets now work with the faster networks.

Why have 5G phone options become so plentiful? Because the 5G networks themselves have gotten more expansive. T-Mobile leads the way with a nationwide 5G network covering 320 million people, but Verizon and AT&T have launched new C-Band 5G networks that are bringing super fast speeds to a wider audience.

Our favorite 5G phones offer more than just speedier downloads. The best 5G phones feature outstanding cameras, big displays and super-sized batteries. Best of all, you don't even have to buy the priciest phone out there these days to get 5G, as compatibility is now standard on midrange and even budget handsets.

Here are the best 5G phones available right now, at a wide range of prices.

What are the best 5G phones?

Apple has revamped its phone lineup, and the jewel of the iPhone 14 series — the iPhone 14 Pro Max — takes over as the best 5G phone you can buy. Battery life is the best you'll find on an iPhone, and the expansive display adds new features like an always-on capability and a Dynamic Island that highlights notifications and alerts. We've tested three of the four new iPhone 14 models, and they all join the ranks of the best 5G phones.

If you prefer Android to iOS devices, Samsung's Galaxy S22 Ultra leads the charge for the electronic giant's latest trio of flagship phones. Meanwhile, the Google Pixel 6 provides one of the best performing cameras on a 5G phone (though the Pixel 7 enters the fray in October). Flagship phones too expensive? The Pixel 6a delivers good photos on a budget, easily outmatching other low-cost 5G options like the Galaxy A53 and iPhone SE (2022). Those phones cost less than $450, but if you need to go even cheaper, try the OnePlus Nord N20.

If you're looking for a foldable phone, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 is now available, offering 5G compatibility and a foldable design for less than $1,000. And the battery lasts longer on the new Flip, addressing our complaint about its predecessor.

The best 5G phones you can buy right now

best 5g phones: iPhone 14 Pro Max
best 5g phones: iPhone 14 Pro Max
Editor's Choice
Editor's Choice

1. iPhone 14 Pro Max

Best 5G phone you can buy right now

Screen Size: 6.7 inches | Processor: A16 Bionic | Size / weight: 6.3 x 3.1 x 0.3 inches / 8.5 ounces | Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 14:42 | 5G networks supported: AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon

Superb 48MP camera

Very smart Dynamic Island and handy always-on display

Best-in-class battery life

Limited to 20W charging

A bit bulkier than last year's model

The iPhone 14 Pro Max is the best phone overall, so naturally it should be the first place you turn when you’re looking for the best 5G phone. Apple’s latest flagship works with the 5G networks of all the major carriers, and a long-lasting battery will ensure that you get through the day and then some on a full charge.

Apple delivers big changes to the iPhone 14 Pro Max, starting with the Dynamic Island feature that replaces the notch, freeing up more space on the 6.7-inch display. An improved dynamic refresh rate also paves the way for an always-on display, a first for Apple’s phones. This edition of the iPhone also boasts the kind of improvements you’d expect from an annual update, like a faster processor and cameras that thrive in low-light conditions.

You can try and find a better phone than the iPhone 14 Pro Max, but you’re in for a lengthy search. This is the phone to get if you want a 5G device that does it all.

Read our full iPhone 14 Pro Max review.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is one of the best 5g phones
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is one of the best 5g phones
Editor's Choice
Editor's Choice

2. Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Best 5G phone for Android users

Screen Size: 6.8 inches | Processor: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 | Size / weight: 3.1 x 6.4 x 0.4 inches /8.1 ounces | Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 10:18 | 5G networks supported: : AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon

Extensive 5G support

Super bright display

Cameras offer better low light performance

Less RAM than previous model

Shorter battery life than S21 Ultra

Samsung’s top-of-the-line Galaxy S model is the device to get if you want the very best 5G phone for Android. The Galaxy S22 Ultra has a vast 6.8-inch screen with a fast refresh rate that’s been refined from last year’s model. The screen is brighter, too, and very easy to see even in direct sunlight.

The U.S. version of the Galaxy S22 Ultra uses a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, offering a modest performance boost over the Galaxy S21 Ultra. (In other markets, Samsung uses an Exynos 2200 chipset.) We wish that battery life was better — the S22 Ultra has taken a step back from the S21 Ultra in our testing — but Samsung has improved the phone in other key areas, such as cameras.

With the phone available from every major carrier, you won’t have any trouble connecting to 5G with the Galaxy S22 Ultra. It’s a worthy addition to Samsung’s lineup.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review.

best 5g phone iPhone 14
best 5g phone iPhone 14

3. iPhone 14

Best 5G iPhone for most people

Screen Size: 6.1 inches | Processor: A15 Bionic | Size / weight: 5.8 x 2.8 x 0.3 inches / 6.1 ounces | Battery life (Hrs:Mins): TBD | 5G networks supported: AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon

Excellent cameras

Vibrant display

Fast A15 Bionic performance

No telephoto lens

Screen refresh rate locked at 60Hz

Not everyone can afford to drop $1,000 or more on their next phone. Enter the iPhone 14, a $799 5G device that still delivers premium experiences, even if it doesn’t see the substantial changes Apple made to its Pro phones.

The iPhone 14 features an A15 Bionic system on chip, the same silicon found on last year’s iPhone 13 Pro models. While not as powerful as the A16 Bionic, the A15 is still a capable chipset that outperforms the silicon found in Android handsets. Camera improvements also improve the iPhone 14’s performance in low-light situations.

Read our full iPhone 14 review.

Google Pixel 6a review
Google Pixel 6a review

4. Google Pixel 6a

Outstanding 5G value

Screen size: 6.1-inch OLED (2400 x 1080) | CPU: Tensor | Size / weight: 6 x 2.8 x 0.4 inches / 6.3 ounces | Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 6:29 | 5G networks supported: T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon

Excellent cameras

Great display

Awesome performance for the price

Bad battery life in our testing

Feels a bit cheap

If you’re willing to overlook its disappointing battery life, the Google Pixel 6a is hard to beat as the best cheap 5G phone overall. Credit the cameras, which always stand out on Google’s budget devices.

Like its predecessors, the Pixel 6a’s cameras can challenge much more expensive phones. And unlike the iPhone SE (its closest competitor on the cheap camera phone front), the Pixel 6a supports a night mode. And it has an ultrawide camera for those sweeping landscape shots. You’ll also find a Tensor chipset powering the Pixel 6a. That’s the same silicon inside Google’s Pixel 6 flagships.

For $449, you get a lot of value with the Pixel 6a. It has support for sub-6GHz 5G networks.

Read our full Google Pixel 6a review.

best 5g phones: Samsung Galaxy A53
best 5g phones: Samsung Galaxy A53

5. Samsung Galaxy A53

A great budget 5G option from Samsung

Screen Size: 6.5 inches | Processor: Exynos 1280 | Size / weight: 6.28 x 2.94 x 0.32 inches / 6.7 ounces | Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 9:49 (120Hz), 10:38 (60Hz) | 5G networks supported: AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon

Good display with 120Hz refresh rate

Expandable storage up to 1TB

Four years of software updates

Macro and depth sensors are superfluous

The Pixel 5a isn't the only 5G phone that comes in at $449. That's the same price as the Samsung Galaxy A53, which is compatible with any 5G network in the U.S. It won’t rival flagship phones for performance, but it’s still a solid option with a handsome design — and it outmuscled the Pixel 5a in our benchmark tests. (Google's phone has the better cameras, though.)

Unlike many budget phones, the Galaxy A53 features a 120Hz refresh rate for its 6.5-inch display. That can have a little bit of impact on battery life, with the A53 turning in average time when you enable the faster refresh rate. The phone lasted longer when we kept its refresh rate locked at 60Hz.

You’ll find more fully featured options on our best 5G phones list, but the Galaxy A53 gives you a good performer that requires few compromises for its sub-$500 price tag.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy A53 review.

best 5g phones iPhone 14 Pro
best 5g phones iPhone 14 Pro
Editor's Choice
Editor's Choice

6. iPhone 14 Pro

Apple’s Pro features for less

Screen Size: 6.1 inches | Processor: A16 Bionic | Size / weight: 5.8 x 2.8 x 0.3 inches / 7.3 ounces | Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 10:13 | 5G networks supported: AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon

Dynamic Island is a good notch replacement

Excellent cameras

Beautiful display

No SIM tray on U.S. models

Everything you get with the iPhone 14 Pro Max — the Dynamic Island feature, always-on display and beefier A16 Bionic processor — you get with Apple’s iPhone Pro. Only with this device, you pay $100 less, making the iPhone 14 Pro a more affordable option for anyone who still wants a premium 5G phone.

The screen isn’t as large as the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s — you get a 6.1-inch display versus the massive 6.7-inch panel. But that also allows the iPhone 14 Pro to be relatively compact, making it a better choice for people who find big-screen devices too much to handle.

At $999, you can expect top-tier performance and big improvements to the iPhone’s already impressive cameras. The iPhone 14 Pro is tough for other 5G phones to beat.

Read our full iPhone 14 Pro review.

Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro side by side
Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro side by side

7. Google Pixel 6

A good 5G camera phone, with some caveats

Screen Size: 6.4 inches | Processor: Google Tensor | Size / weight: 6.2 x 2.9 x 0.4 inches / 7.3 ounces | Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 8:13 | 5G networks supported: AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon

Unique design

Great price

Tensor chip powers excellent new experiences

5G modem can drain battery faster than anticipated

The Pixel 6 Pro has a faster refreshing display and telephoto lens

The Google Pixel 6 is an attractive 5G option because it offers a relatively low price — it starts at $599 — while still retaining premium features. Google's new Tensor chip powers the phone, fueling a lot of machine learning-driven capabilities. It's also a terrific camera phone, especially with the Pixel 5a on its way out of Google's Pixel lineup.

That said, there are some caveats, particularly related to 5G coverage. If you want a phone that works on the higher-speed networks of AT&T and Verizon, you'll need to buy the Pixel 6 directly from those carriers — and it costs more than the $599 Google and T-Mobile are charging. There's also an older modem in the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro, and we suspect that's hampering battery life.

Nevertheless, the Pixel 6 gives you the opportunity to connect with 5G in an affordable phone that offers cutting-edge features. That's enough to make up for some of the 5G shortcomings.

Read our full Google Pixel 6 review.

Back view of Asus Zenfone 9
Back view of Asus Zenfone 9

8. Asus Zenfone 9

Best compact 5G Android phone

Screen size: 5.9 inches | Processor: Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 | Size / Weight: 5.8 x 2.7 x 0.4 inches / 6 ounces | Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 13:13 | 5G networks supported: T-Mobile, AT&T

Great battery life

Excellent performance

Good cameras overall

No Verizon support

Photos can be a bit warm

The Zenfone 9 proves that good things can come in small packages. WIth its 5.9-inch display, the latest phone from Asus packs a punch without overstaying its welcome. We definitely think it’s a great 5G phone, giving you all the performance you could want with excellent battery life to match.

Unfortunately, there’s no support for Verizon’s mmWave network. That would make this phone even better. However, you still get a great CPU, seriously long battery life, and solid cameras — even if the photos can be a bit too warm sometimes.

Read our full Asus Zenfone 9 review.

a photo of the OnePlus 10 Pro
a photo of the OnePlus 10 Pro

9. OnePlus 10 Pro

The best OnePlus 5G phone yet

Screen size: 6.7 inches | Processor: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 | Size and weight: 6.42 x 2.91 x 0.34 inches / 7 ounces | Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 11:52 (120Hz), 12:39 (60Hz) | 5G networks supported: T-Mobile

Beautiful 120Hz display

Excellent performance

Crazy fast wired and wireless charging

Great battery life

Won't work with AT&T 5G

5G phones come in all shapes and sizes nowadays, but the OnePlus 10 Pro lives large. Despite its size, we found the phone to be pretty comfortable to hold and use. It has a big 6.7-inch QHD AMOLED display, a 5,000 mAh battery, and triple rear cameras.

In our testing, the OnePlus 10 Pro is one of the best Android phones you can buy. The battery life is spectacular, the cameras are great, and the performance is top-notch. However, AT&T customers will need beware because there is no 5G support on AT&T for this phone. T-Mobile is the official carrier partner and OnePlus is working on Verizon certification.

Read our full OnePlus 10 Pro review.

best 5g phones: iPhone SE 2022 home screen front
best 5g phones: iPhone SE 2022 home screen front

10. iPhone SE (2022)

Apple’s cheapest 5G phone

Screen Size: 4.7 inches | Processor: A15 Bionic | Size / weight: 5.45 x 2.65 x 0.29 inches / 5 ounces | Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 9:05 | 5G networks supported: AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon (no mmWave)

Fastest performance for the money

Very good photo quality

Compact design

Doesn't support mmWave 5G

Display is pretty small

Apple has brought 5G to the iPhone SE, meaning fans of compact phones can enjoy the faster speeds the new networking standard delivers. Even better, the iPhone SE (2022) is powered by the A15 Bionic chipset, the same silicon found in the iPhone 13 lineup. So as small as the iPhone SE may be, it doesn’t short-change you on performance.

5G support comes with one caveat, though. The iPhone SE (2022) won’t work with mmWave-based 5G. That’s not a huge deal-killer, as Verizon is moving away from mmWave in favor of C-Band 5G, which offers fast speeds at a wider range. Still, iPhone 13 models don’t compromise on which 5G networks they support.

The camera on the iPhone SE is a good performer, though we wish it supported a Night mode. Still, the $429 price is hard to beat, especially for people who prefer small phones and are ready to make the leap to 5G.

Read our full iPhone SE (2022) review.

the oneplus nord n20 is the best cheap 5g phone you'll find
the oneplus nord n20 is the best cheap 5g phone you'll find

11. OnePlus Nord N20 5G

The best phone under $300

Screen Size: 6.43 inches | Processor: Snapdragon 695 | Size / weight: 6.3 x 2.9 x 0.3 inches /6.1 ounces | Battery life (Hrs:Mins): 11:20 | 5G networks supported: : T-Mobile

Beautiful design

Good performance for the price

Solid battery life

Nice display

Very underwhelming cameras

If you're strapped for cash, then be sure to check out the OnePlus Nord N20. This is a sub-$300 phone that looks like it'd cost way more. It has a beautiful AMOLED display, even though it's locked at 60Hz. There's also an in-display fingerprint sensor, not something you typically see on a phone this cheap.

Sure, the cameras are pretty underwhelming, but for $282, you can't expect too much. You do, however, get 33W fast charging, which outpaces even some of the top flagships like the Galaxy S22 Ultra and iPhone 13 Pro Max. That's saying something.

Obviously, there are better phones under the $500 mark, but if $300 is your cap, then the Nord N20 should be your top consideration if you're comfortable using T-Mobile's 5G network.

Read our full OnePlus Nord N20 5G review.

galaxy z flip 4 in pink
galaxy z flip 4 in pink

12. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4

The affordable foldable got better

Display: 6.7-inch FHD AMOLED (2640 x 1080) inner, 1.9-inch AMOLED (260 x 512) cover | CPU: Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 | RAM: 8GB | Storage / Expandable: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB / No | Battery life: 8:33 (Adaptive), 8:57 (60Hz) | 5G networks supported: T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon

Much better battery life

Great performance

Expansive 5G coverage

Minimal cameras upgrades

Display crease still prominent

When it comes to 5G Android phones, Samsung has some of the best compatibility with all of the major carriers. You can use the Galaxy Z Flip 4 on practically any network in the US, which is awesome because it’s a good little phone. With huge improvements to battery life and strong performance, this foldable is worth considering.

The display crease interrupts the otherwise beautiful 6.7-inch Super AMOLED display. The cameras didn’t see a huge bump hardware-wise, but the night mode got a big upgrade. If you want to join the foldable revolution, the $999 Galaxy Z Flip 4 might be the way to go.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 review.

How to choose the best 5G phone for you

When looking for a 5G phone, you'll want to consider which wireless carrier will be providing your cell phone service. Different service providers are taking different approaches to their 5G rollouts.

Verizon, for example, has placed an emphasis on mmWave-based technology at the beginning, so if you plan on getting your phone service from Big Red, you had best make sure that your 5G phone is capable of connecting to mmWave towers, especially now that Verizon's Ultra Wideband network can reach 90 million people. Likewise, while T-Mobile and AT&T have a few mmWave deployments, the vast majority of their network relies on sub-6GHz technology for initial coverage. That's not as fast as mmWave, but it covers a wider area. (AT&T is expanding its mmWave-based coverage, though, for faster performance.)

In its January 2022 report, OpenSignal ranked T-Mobile tops for 5G download and upload speeds as well as for availability and reach. Rootmetrics also highly rates T-Mobile's 5G performance and availability, though it ranks Verizon higher on 5G reliability.

Apart from what 5G networks a phone supports, the criteria for picking a 5G phone is about the same as it would be for any handset. Consider the processor, screen size, cameras and other features. Battery is especially important — 5G can draw some serious power, and you'll want a phone that's able to handle the added demands on its battery.

Price remains an important distinguishing factor, and it's going to get more so as lower-cost 5G phones roll out later this year. In 2019, you had to pay anywhere from $700 to $1,200 for a flagship 5G phone. Even with the Galaxy Z Fold 4 costing $1,799 — a price that has more to do with its foldable design than its 5G support — the price range for 5G phones has begun to fall with a rapidly increasing number 5G models available for $500 or less.

How we test 5G phones

To test phones with 5G connectivity, we take them out into the field to measure download speeds with the Speedtest.net app. When possible, we compare that speed to a comparable phone on the same wireless network to try and gauge the improvement that 5G has to offer. We also take note of how the phone performs when 5G coverage isn't available.

Because so much of that 5G performance hinges on the wireless network and not the phone itself, though, we give greater weight to the criteria by which we judge all phones. We run an array of benchmarks on every phone — both synthetic benchmarks as well as real-world tests like transcoding a 4K video to 1080p and timing how long it takes. Our lab also measures the brightness and color accuracy of each phone's display. Our proprietary battery test determines longevity on a charge by endlessly streaming web pages over an LTE network; we then recharge the tested phones to see how quickly they charge in 15-minute intervals.

To measure camera performance, we shoot images under a variety of conditions, comparing the results to photos produced by cameras in the same price range.

For 5G phones, we also consider the price of the device compared to comparable LTE handsets.