5G Phones - The Future Of Phones Is Here
T3 Magazine|September 2019

The future of phones is here – which of these technological marvels is your next smartphone powerhouse?

Matt Bolton, Aaron Brown

The new big thing in tech is undoubtedly 5G. There have been huge promises about it changing everything from mobile working to the very nature of how we manage cities, but right now we’ll just settle it making everything we do online zipper than ever.

But with the first wave of 5G phones how here, which is worthy of your upgrade? We’ve got the three best lined up for testing – they all bring some serious high tech to the table in addition to their already advanced 5G-ness, which we’ve not been able to trial at length in the real world.

You should note, though, that currently most phones are exclusive to one network or another: the Oppo Reno 5G and OnePlus 7 Pro 5G we’ve got here are only available on EE at the time of writing, while the Samsung S10 5G is on both EE and Vodafone. Three is launching its network during August, but hadn’t confirmed which handsets would be offered at the time of writing. We’d wager the S10 5G will be in that list too.

It’s often said that you should avoid the first generation of products pioneering a new kind of tech, but we have to say that we’ve had no teething problems with any phones working on 5G so far – it’s ready to jump right in with these phones (provided you’ve actually got coverage).

Our thanks to EE for its help with putting together this feature.

WHAT’S ON TEST…

1 Oppo Reno 5G

Huawei’s absence from the first round of 5G phones leaves a gap for Chinese rival super-brand Oppo to sneak in with this aggressively priced but very well-specced phone. £Contract only, oppo.com

SPECS

SCREEN 6.6-inch 1080x2340 OLED

OS Android 9.0, ColorOS 6

PROCESSOR Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 sTOrage 256GB (+microSD)

CAMERAS Pop-up 16MP wideangle front; 48MP wide-angle, 13MP 5x telephoto, 8MP ultra-wide rear

BATTERY 4,065mAh DimensiOns 162x77.2x9.3mm WeighT 215g

2 Samsung Galaxy S10 5G

The top phone in Samsung’s range, this takes the brilliant S10+, makes the screen even bigger, and adds even more camera smarts. You’ll pay for all these features, though… £1,099, samsung.com/uk

SPECS

SCREEN 6.7-inch 1440x3040 OLED, HDR10+ support

OS Android 9.0, One UI

PROCESSOR Samsung Exynos 9820

STORAGE 256GB

CAMERAS 10MP wide angle, 3D sensor front; 12MP wide-angle, 12MP 2x telephoto, 12MP ultrawide, 3D sensor rear

BATTERY4,500mAh

DIMENSIONS 162.6x77.1x7.9mm WeighT 198g

3 OnePlus 7 Pro 5G

OnePlus’ most expensive phone ever is the normal 7 Pro with added 5G vitamins. That means a pop-up front camera, world-first 90Hz OLED screen, and more. £Contract only, oneplus.com

SPECS

SCREEN 6.67-inch 1440x3120

OLED, HDR10+ support, 90Hz

OS Android 9.0, OxygenOS 9.5.5

PROCESSOR
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855

STORAGE
256GB

CAMERAS Pop-up 16MP wide-angle front; 48MP wide-angle, 8MP 3x telephoto, 16MP ultra-wide rear

BATTERY 4,000mAh

DIMENSIONS 162.6x75.9x8.8mm

WEIGHT 206g

The Reno 5G is one of the most affordable 5G phones available on contract – not that you’d know it from the build quality. It’s exactly the same hardware as the catchily-named Oppo Reno 10x Zoom, but now with added 5G. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with that approach, but it does seem a little underwhelming given that Samsung designed an entirely new handset from scratch for its 5G connectivity. However, the Reno 10x Zoom is a great smartphone and, therefore, so is Oppo Reno 5G.

The triple-camera system is especially welcome. The 10x hybrid zoom capability is genuinely useful and lets you capture photos you simply would not be able to get with your old phone. Pictures from the primary 48MP main shooter and 8MP ultra-wide-angle camera are solid. Oppo has also fitted a small ceramic node to the back called the O-Dot, which raises the phone enough to stop the triple-camera making contact with whatever surface you’re resting the handset on. It’s a nifty addition, and a never-ending well of cheap gags.

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