Will you get a 5G phone in 2020?

Quick answer: yes, you probably will.

A quick look at our blog archives tells me that I’ve been talking about 5G since early 2017. Of course back then it was just a theory. Nothing had been worked out yet at all.

Today, real 5G is here and with it come the kind of unimaginable speeds we were hoping for. 5G is here, it’s real, it’s blazing fast. But, you probably don’t use it. That’s all about to change this year.

Where we are today

Today, there is really only one 5G phone: the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus 5G. It’s a great phone, but it’s not cheap. It’s a premium device for premium users. And in this case when I say premium, I mean like $1,500. That’s a lot to lay down for a phone that you’ll be tired of in two years.

It’s also an Android phone, which leaves iPhone users out in the dust. Even though iOS users only have about 10% of the market, it seems like a lot more. Why? Because when it comes to the “techie” market, Apple’s devices are still very strong. A lot of Androids are lower-end units that are used for prepaid cellular. Add to that, iOS users are notoriously style-conscious and revel in laying that precious iPhone on the table for all to see. I’m not pointing fingers, other than pointing one at myself.

But, there’s no 5G iPhone, not yet. That’s going to change, though.

iPhone 12 is “it.”

I made fun of Apple pretty badly when iPhone 11 was introduced. And then I admitted that it didn’t matter, I was getting an iPhone 11 anyway. The latest iPhone is a great device. It’s still probably overkill and it isn’t cheap, but it is certainly nice. I, like a lot of other tech bloggers, complained that it didn’t support 5G, But this year’s iPhone, possibly called iPhone 12, is expected to.

This isn’t super surprising, right? Apple is always a year behind when it comes to networking. The very first iPhone had 2G (yes 2G!) when other phones had 3G. Apple’s taken a step back with every cellular and Wi-Fi standard since.

They won’t be alone

Expect to see a dozen or more 5G phones this year. 5G will become the default choice for any phone that sells for $500 or more, that’s my guess. The chips will come down in price and you’ll see 5G everywhere. It won’t make it into budget phones this year, but by ’21 you should expect it. 3G is dead, my friends; 4G is on the way out. LTE is the new minimum and 5G is where it’s at.

And by 5G I mean…

…I mean low band 5G. There are really two levels of 5G. AT&T and other carriers are concentrating on 5G in the cellular bands between 600 and 900MHz. This kind of 5G is easier to implement because it uses hardware that cell companies understand. AT&T’s 5G will be in the 850MHz band which is even supported by some cell boosters. 5G on these frequencies is just a matter of using the right chips.

It’s still going to be a while before we see the top-end 5G, which is referred to as “millimeter-wave” 5G. This is 5G communication in the radio bands previously used only for satellite. It takes a lot more power and a lot more tower to make millimeter-wave 5G happen. It’s possible that it will really only blossom in cities where there are a lot of users within the same square mile. It could also work for apartment complexes instead of cable internet.

Millimeter-wave 5G will work eventually, once some of the issues with battery technology work themselves out.

Where to get 5G when it arrives

The best way to get 5G phones and service is to call the experts at Signal Connect. Signal Connect is an AT&T Preferred Dealer and we’re ready to get you set up with the latest phones and the latest service. Don’t lag back with “2010s” technology, instead get the speeds you truly crave with a great AT&T Unlimited plan. Call us at 866-726-4182 or if it’s after East Coast business hours, fill out the form below and you’ll get a call back from a real professional.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.