October 3, 2023

Most of Apple, Samsung and Google’s newest flagship lineups — together with the iPhone 14iPhone 14 Professional, the Galaxy S23 vary, the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Professional — are 5G-ready to be able to ship the quickest knowledge speeds doable throughout your wi-fi community. And whereas they are usually dear, there are many inexpensive 5G choices just like the Google Pixel 6A and Apple’s least expensive 2022 iPhone SE. Relaxation assured, it is best to be capable of discover a good 5G-ready cellphone at a worth you are comfy with. 

Although it will not exchange 4G in its entirety, 5G is the following era of cell connectivity. 5G works quick, and many industries and merchandise can profit from the upgraded community, together with drones, self-driving vehicles and internet-of-things gadgets. Its development throughout the US, the UK and the broader world has been quick, nevertheless it’s nonetheless not in every single place fairly but, so be certain that 5G protection is on the market — or at the very least coming quickly — in your space earlier than you spend your money on a 5G-enabled handset. 

Keep in mind that a 5G cellphone will nonetheless work as regular on a 4G community (albeit at decrease speeds), so do not be afraid of shopping for a 5G cellphone just like the S23 Extremely or iPhone 14 even for those who aren’t in a 5G zone. It is good follow to future-proof your self; you might not be in a 5G zone proper now, nevertheless it could be that 5G will come to your space within the three years or so you might have your cellphone, so at the very least you may be able to benefit from it when it arrives. 

With 5G handsets being provided by each main cellphone producer now, it may be tough to work out which is finest for you. We have completed among the laborious work and put collectively a listing of our high 5G-enabled telephones which you can go and purchase proper now.

What’s the finest 5G cellphone proper now?

In 2023, there is not one particular cellphone that stands conspicuously head and shoulders above the others. In case you’re an iOS person the very best cellphone you should buy is the iPhone 14 Professional. It has an A16 Bionic processor, a brand new predominant digicam with a bigger and better megapixel sensor, and the Dynamic Island, a show cutout that reveals system alerts and background actions.
In case you’re on Android, our favourite cellphone is the Google Pixel 7 Professional. We prefer it higher than the Samsung Galaxy S23 Extremely primarily as a result of, at $899, the Pixel 7 Professional prices $300 lower than the S23 Extremely. The Pixel has an upgraded digicam, runs on Google’s Tensor G2 chip and comes with unique goodies like Picture Unblur.

Finest 5G telephones of 2023

A deep purple iPhone 14 Pro with three cameras pointing upward lies on a yellow background
Stephen Shankland/CNET

Apple’s iPhone 14 Professional and Professional Max introduce quite a lot of modifications, just like the Dynamic Island as an alternative of the outdated notch, a brand new 48-megapixel digicam system that is critically impressed us, and the brand new A16 Bionic processor. All these upgrades come collectively to make for an expertise that feels recent and quick in contrast with older generations.

It is the most costly iPhone you should buy, particularly for those who go for the bigger Max model, however if you’d like the excessive efficiency and stellar digicam high quality of Apple’s high cellphone, then the iPhone 14 Professional is for you.

Learn our Apple iPhone 14 Professional evaluate.

Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Google’s Pixel 7 vary has critically impressed us with the mix of a slick refreshed design, excellent cameras and a easy general expertise which makes each these telephones a pleasure to make use of. At $599 the bottom Pixel 7 is an inexpensive choice for these of you on the lookout for a strong Android cellphone for your entire on a regular basis wants.

The Pixel 7 Professional has a bigger $899 price ticket, for which you get a bigger show and a extra fully-featured digicam system that features a excellent telephoto zoom lens. In any other case its processor and interface is identical because the cheaper mannequin, so it is value contemplating how vital the additional digicam options are.

Learn our Pixel 7 Professional evaluate.

You are receiving worth alerts for Google Pixel 7 Professional and Pixel 7

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
James Martin/CNET

The Galaxy S23 is so much, however in a great way. It is greater than most individuals want in a cellphone, however that does not make it any much less spectacular. Samsung made enhancements to the digicam’s decision (200 megapixels in comparison with 108 megapixels), shade tones and dynamic vary, whereas retaining the identical edgy design and large 6.8-inch display screen as its predecessor. There’s additionally a brand new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor that is been optimized particularly for Samsung’s telephones, which brings quicker efficiency in comparison with the Galaxy S22 Extremely. 

With a beginning worth of $1,200, it could be an understatement to name this cellphone costly. However these prepared to pay extra for an enormous display screen and a high-quality, versatile digicam will not be upset. Learn our full evaluate of the Galaxy S23 Extremely.

The back of Google's Pixel 6A phone
Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

The Pixel 6A is Google’s most inexpensive cellphone, changing the Pixel 5A because the $449 system in its lineup. CNET’s Lisa Eadicicco known as it the “finest Android cellphone underneath $500” in her Pixel 6A evaluate, calling out the way it retains the identical Tensor chip seen within the $599 Pixel 6 and lots of of its options.

The cellphone is barely smaller than the Pixel 6, that includes an 6.1-inch OLED show and a refresh price of 60Hz. And it has an identical digicam to the Pixel 5A, together with a 12.2-megapixel predominant digicam and a 12-megapixel ultrawide digicam. However by together with the Tensor chip, pictures can profit from its Actual Tone pores and skin tone function, Face Unblur, Evening Sight for darker images and the Magic Eraser for eradicating undesirable parts from a photograph.

Learn our Google Pixel 6A evaluate.

iPhone SE
Patrick Holland/CNET

The iPhone SE could be the least expensive cellphone Apple produces, nevertheless it nonetheless comes with superfast 5G. Whereas it lacks the digicam prowess of the rather more costly iPhone 13 Professional, it runs the most recent iOS 15 software program and makes use of the identical processor discovered within the higher-end fashions, making it a terrific cellphone for on a regular basis use and light-weight gaming.

Learn our Apple iPhone SE (2022) evaluate.


The $700 OnePlus 11 is a strong cellphone that is properly outfitted to deal with gaming, video streaming and different frequent duties. In typical OnePlus trend, this cellphone can also be cheaper than the Galaxy S23 and Pixel 7 Professional. The cameras aren’t the very best, however they’re advantageous for informal photographers that simply wish to seize their subsequent trip or an evening out. What units the OnePlus 11 aside from lots of its rivals is its blazing quick 100-watt quick charging, which may replenish the battery in simply 25 minutes. (The US model solely helps 80-watt charging, however that is nonetheless an enchancment over the Galaxy S23 Extremely’s 45-watt charging). Total, the OnePlus 11 is right for individuals who need a highly effective cellphone that prices shortly and will not break the financial institution. Learn our full evaluate of the OnePlus 11.

Apple iPhone 13 Mini
Patrick Holland/CNET

Though Apple’s new iPhone 14 vary did not convey with it a brand new iPhone Mini, it has resulted in final yr’s iPhone 13 Mini being provided at a decrease $599 beginning worth. In case you’re somebody who prefers smaller, pocket-friendly gadgets, this can be a good choice to contemplate. The 6.1-inch iPhone 13 Mini is simple to make use of with one hand and even suits into tight jean pockets. Whereas battery life is not as sturdy as others within the vary, this petite Apple iPhone does not sacrifice on digicam capabilities or processing energy.

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Samsung’s new Galaxy A53 5G has so much to supply for the value. With a spacious 6.5-inch show, a digicam with cameras for broad, ultrawide and macro pictures and lengthy battery life, it is simple to neglect this cellphone prices simply $450. That additionally makes it $50 cheaper than its predecessor, and Galaxy A53 5G is assured to get at the very least 4 generations of Android updates. It helps all three flavors of 5G: sub-6GHz, C-band and millimeter-wave.

You are receiving worth alerts for Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

The Galaxy Z Flip 4 in Flex Mode in someone's palm
Angela Lang/CNET

The Z Flip 4 is a cellphone that folds in half to develop into a smaller cellphone. When it is open, this Samsung Galaxy cellphone has an enormous 6.7-inch show, however fold it in half and it turns into a small sq. that is simple to slip right into a denims or jacket pocket. This newest era of Samsung’s compact folding cellphone brings varied refinements to the desk together with a extra sturdy hinge and improved cameras. 

The worth for these quirky foldables continues to be increased than a daily smartphone, so that you’re actually paying a hefty premium for that folding novelty. Nonetheless, for those who love the concept of getting cutting-edge bendable cell tech in your pocket, the Z Flip 4 is likely one of the finest choices to go for proper now.

Learn our Galaxy Z Flip 4 evaluate.

Moto G Stylus 5G
Michael Sorrentino/CNET

The Moto G Stylus 5G (2022) for $500 is likely one of the finest stylus-equipped telephones you will get proper now, particularly for the value. You get Android 12, 5G connectivity, a big 6.8-inch display screen and a spacious 256GB of storage. Sadly, the cellphone is just promised one software program replace and three years of safety updates, which is a a lot shorter timeline than the 4 years promised by Samsung for the Galaxy A53.

But if you’d like a stylus-equipped cellphone, the following step-up choice is the considerably dearer Galaxy S22 Extremely at $1,200. Learn our Moto G Stylus 5G evaluate.

You are receiving worth alerts for Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G (2022)

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

OnePlus’s Nord vary is bought completely in Europe, so folks within the US should look on envy at this great-performing, finances 5G cellphone. The Nord 2T has energy sufficient for all of your on a regular basis necessities, handles gaming completely properly, has a good digicam setup for the value and comes with additional options together with 80W quick charging, a 90Hz refresh price and, sure, 5G speeds. 

It is a strong cellphone to contemplate for those who’re on the lookout for a flagship expertise with out spending top-end ranges of money.

Learn extra concerning the OnePlus Nord 2T.

How we take a look at telephones

Each cellphone on this record has been totally examined by CNET’s professional critiques crew. We truly use the cellphone, take a look at the options, play video games and take pictures. We assess any advertising and marketing guarantees that an organization makes about its telephones. And if we discover one thing we do not like, be it battery life or construct high quality, we inform you all about it. 

We study each facet of a cellphone throughout testing:

  • Show
  • Design and really feel
  • Processor efficiency
  • Battery life
  • Digital camera high quality
  • Options

We take a look at all of a cellphone’s cameras (each back and front) in quite a lot of situations: from outside underneath daylight to dimmer indoor locales and evening time scenes (for any accessible evening modes). We additionally examine our findings in opposition to equally priced fashions. Now we have a sequence of actual world battery assessments to see how lengthy a cellphone lasts underneath on a regular basis use.

We consider extra cellphone options like 5G, fingerprint and face readers, styluses, quick charging, foldable shows and different helpful extras. And we, after all, weigh all of our experiences and testing in opposition to the value so you already know whether or not a cellphone represents good worth or not.

Learn extra: How we take a look at telephones

5G cellphone FAQs

Are 5G telephones dearer?

Sure. As an increasing number of telephones are launched that help 5G connectivity, the costs of these telephones have sometimes gone increased. A part of the rise in worth is for the 5G modem. And whereas nearly all of telephones now embrace 5G connectivity, not each cellphone’s worth has risen. The iPhone 14 Professional nonetheless has the identical $999 worth that the 13 Professional, 12 Professional, 11 Professional, XS and iPhone X had when every was launched.

Is a 5G cellphone higher than a 4G cellphone?

Technically, no. A smartphone’s mobile connectivity does not actually decide whether or not a cellphone is best than one other. Having 5G help on a cellphone does assist future-proof it as carriers proceed to roll out and improve their towers to 5G. For the reason that majority of telephones now include 5G help, there actually is not a method to examine them to 4G ones. For instance, the iPhone 14 Professional helps 4G and 5G. There is not a 4G-only model within the US.

Extra cellphone recommendation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *