5G

toast0

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 26, 2010
Messages
1,217
As with any cell phone technology it depends. Does the specific phone work with the specific network you're on. Meaning, will it use 5g on the frequencies your carrier uses in the areas you are in. You'll presumably have the phone for 1-2 years, so you kind of have to guess about what frequencies your carrier will actually deploy on; but what I've been seeing in random comments is some carriers are deploying 5G on existing frequencies in some of their footprint, and wikipedia has some lists of bands, so it might actually be happening. That should get you better wireless efficiency, but that only helps if there's backhaul capacity and previous network upgrades have shown that doesn't always come online at the same time. There's maybe some new spectrum in/near traditional spectrum; but this only helps if your phone can talk 5g on those bands and your carrier has equipment using those bands in range of you.

The new spectrum at 24+GHz (mmWave) stuff is unlikely to be useful soon, if at all, IMHO; it might be deployed in locations with lots of people in close proximity, but COVID has reduced the number of events with lots of people in close proximity, and if you're at a ball game, maybe watch the damn game instead of staring at your phone.

If your current phone works fine, I wouldn't buy a new one with 5G now. Maybe later when deployment is more complete and later phones may have support for more useful bands. It looks like the big 3 US carriers all have acquired C-band spectrum intended for use with 5G but that's not available for deployment until after this December (or even later for T-Mobile). C-band won't have good building penetration, but might be decent outside or near windows. If your current phone needs to go, and you keep your phones for a long time, 5G might be worth the premium now.
 

vegeta535

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jul 19, 2013
Messages
6,531
I don't see the need for 5g honestly. 4g is plenty fast for all streaming. Honestly most unlimited data plans force lower res streaming anyway. I just want cheap data cap free data plans. If you buying a new phone right now sure get 5g capable phone. Not worth upgrading for if your current phone is fine.
 

T4rd

Fully [H]
Joined
Apr 8, 2009
Messages
18,649
I think 5G is more about supporting more devices in a congested area (esp. the mmWave garbage) than it is about improving speeds in general. For the most part, it's not necessary or even wanted in some devices that don't have the 5G modem integrated into the SoC since it uses considerably more power/battery to use and most would probably be better off disabling 5G in those devices.
 

Supersnake

Gawd
Joined
Dec 23, 2007
Messages
953
If a 5G phone has the option to select 4G LTE in the network settings - and you set it for 4G LTE - does that mean (a) there is no 5G entering the phone, or (b) 5G frequency waves will still be entering the phone but they will not be utilized.
 

toast0

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 26, 2010
Messages
1,217
If a 5G phone has the option to select 4G LTE in the network settings - and you set it for 4G LTE - does that mean (a) there is no 5G entering the phone, or (b) 5G frequency waves will still be entering the phone but they will not be utilized.
What I see in my phone (not 5g) is 'preferred network type', it's possible that the phone may use 5G if that's the only network available despite your preference. However, let's assume preferences will reliably turn off 5g. In that case, your phone wouldn't send or receive with 5G encoding or on 5G only frequencies, however, if there are any 5G towers or 5G phones around you, there will be 5G waves.

For the most part, most of the 5G usage is going to be on existing spectrum currently used for 2/3/4G, although some will be on spectrum repurposed from terrestrial TV and satellite tv. You've been immersed in waves on these frequencies for quite some years, although not with this specific data encoding, and not with transmitters in your pocket and for C-band, at much less power levels than I'd expect with towers. This part of 5G really shouldn't be objectionable, because we'd already be dead or maimed if these frequencies were harmful. Actually, this part of 5G might be better, because the new encoding sends the same data in a shorter time and/or less power, so that reduces the amount of RF energy being sent from your pocket, which would tend to reduce any tail risks, IMHO.

The mmWave stuff is new, previously not really used spectrum, and like if you want to object to 5G, I guess this part makes the most sense. However, at these frequencies, basically anything will block the signal, you need unobstructed line of sight, and it's really only going to be deployed at event centers and maybe some parts of ultra dense downtown environments like NYC. Industry pundits can fap all they want about 5g on every lamppost, but a lot of people don't even have lampposts, and nobody is actually going to deploy that much stuff, it costs too much, and the utilization will be near zero because not enough people or devices are within line of sight. Anyway, if you're worried about that, don't go places where large amounts of people are expected.
 

Aurelius

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 22, 2003
Messages
3,276
It's pretty simple: 5G support is a nice feature to have, but don't buy a phone explicitly with 5G in mind. Mind you, at this point it's difficult to buy even a mid-tier phone in North America that doesn't have 5G.
 

///AMG

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 19, 2012
Messages
3,574
Makes a difference for me in Houston. Also the lower latencies help a lot when I am tethering.
 

criccio

Fully Equipped
Joined
Mar 26, 2008
Messages
13,842
No difference over LTE for me just north of Philly (iPhone 12 Pro) on TMobile. I really don't use mobile data that much, however. I'm on Wifi at home and work and I guess I never really go anywhere so for my use case, not really necessary.
 

kirbyrj

Fully [H]
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
28,482
I don't see the need for 5g honestly. 4g is plenty fast for all streaming. Honestly most unlimited data plans force lower res streaming anyway. I just want cheap data cap free data plans. If you buying a new phone right now sure get 5g capable phone. Not worth upgrading for if your current phone is fine.

I'm thinking you'd get worse battery life with a 5G phone if it were enabled all the time.

Edit: I have a Pixel 4a (non-5G). I don't feel like I'm missing anything by not having 5G. I also have a smaller phone and decent battery life. If anything, I'll upgrade to a 5G phone by default, not because I'm looking for a 5G phone.
 

criccio

Fully Equipped
Joined
Mar 26, 2008
Messages
13,842
I'm thinking you'd get worse battery life with a 5G phone if it were enabled all the time.

Edit: I have a Pixel 4a (non-5G). I don't feel like I'm missing anything by not having 5G. I also have a smaller phone and decent battery life. If anything, I'll upgrade to a 5G phone by default, not because I'm looking for a 5G phone.
With that logic though we might as well disable 4G. Hell disable 3G while we're at it.

EDGE only! Or wait should we disable that too?

I have zero use for 5G and whatever it brings but my iPhone 12 still lasts forever with it enabled.
 

kirbyrj

Fully [H]
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
28,482
With that logic though we might as well disable 4G. Hell disable 3G while we're at it.

EDGE only! Or wait should we disable that too?

I have zero use for 5G and whatever it brings but my iPhone 12 still lasts forever with it enabled.

Not necessarily because 3G and below has essentially been disabled by carriers. There is definitely a difference between 4G LTE and 3G/EDGE, etc.

"lasts forever" could mean anything and is definitely user specific.
 

criccio

Fully Equipped
Joined
Mar 26, 2008
Messages
13,842
Not necessarily because 3G and below has essentially been disabled by carriers. There is definitely a difference between 4G LTE and 3G/EDGE, etc.

"lasts forever" could mean anything and is definitely user specific.
What i mean is its not something I worry about. As time goes on like it did with 3G and 4G, it just isn't a concern or something you need to think about. At least for us normal people. If you're hyper obsessive over battery life and have seen the data that shows it'll make a difference, knock yourself out.
 

kirbyrj

Fully [H]
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
28,482
What i mean is its not something I worry about. As time goes on like it did with 3G and 4G, it just isn't a concern or something you need to think about. At least for us normal people. If you're hyper obsessive over battery life and have seen the data that shows it'll make a difference, knock yourself out.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT211828

There's literally an Apple support page for the fact that the iPhone turns off 5G to save battery life. It burns through battery 20% faster. That's could be the difference between all day battery or not.

I mean I guess if your phone sits on a charger all day so be it, but some of us use our phones in the real world and battery life is important.
 

Mchart

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Aug 7, 2004
Messages
4,409
The way iOS handles it is really good. It’ll use 5G if you’re doing something that needs the higher bandwidth. Otherwise it’ll just use LTE for everything else. It’s a good compromise to save battery.
 

radeon962

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Mar 13, 2008
Messages
1,255
AT&T 5G+ at the Tampa Airport earlier this week. Apparently the 5G+ is their mmWave so it is fast.

Useful for anything more than I normally do, not really but impressive speeds.

974A9A6B-FBAF-44E4-A300-BA0A8797EDE1.png
FE673603-28F0-4894-AA34-B9F7D371CE65.png
 

Mchart

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Aug 7, 2004
Messages
4,409
It’s super fast right now, but I think once more phones are 5G capable the speeds are going to go to shit as the load is moved off of LTE. Enjoy having all the bandwidth while it lasts.
 
Top