Don’t Buy a 5G Smartphone, at Least, Not for a While

Megalith

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Ars’ latest feature supports the theory that being an early adopter rarely pays off: while 5G has the potential to offer a “10x improvement” in mobile network speeds, the first devices won’t be blessed with an SoC, but separate, larger components such as a discrete modem and multiple antenna modules. Critics suggest poor battery life and weak 5G reception are therefore inevitable, as additional hardware will result in a smaller battery, and multiple RF modules highlight how easily a user’s hands could block a signal.

In a year or two, mmWave hardware should be more mature and more integrated. A big sign to look for is if Qualcomm's 2020 SoC has an integrated 5G modem, which would bring back many of the single-chip advantages that 4G has today. The immaturity of 5G won't stop the coming advertising blitz, though. Soon you'll start seeing the launch of the first 5G phone on network X, and every carrier on Earth will be advertising 5G as the best thing since sliced bread. Don't believe the hype. For the near future, if you can buy a 4G version of a phone, you probably should.
 

viscountalpha

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Depends on what you need. Some people actually needed 5g speeds yesterday. Some people have more money then sense.
 

ManofGod

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I am not buying a smart phone until my Essential Phone dies. Either that or cannot be used anymore. So, my phone should be good until at least 2022.

I would rather build a computer with the money.
 

lightsout

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Reminds me of this treat, battery dead by 10 AM. :D
 

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viper1152012

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getting a good 5G signal, huh?
Don't be ridiculous .

But if I drop from 88% to 50% battery at the end of the day for gigabit or better speeds I won't cry.

Besides I got this equipment for an amazing deal. So having 5g early isn't a boon
 

Mega6

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Aug 13, 2017
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Whenever it does come T Mobile is going to do it right.
Yep, iPhone 8 doesn’t receive the 71 band T owns and the LTE signal sux from them as my phone is only partially compatible. Newest models do. Had to get an AT&T / Verison sim for two bars instead of one or none. Bottom line Do your research as different carriers own different bands. The 71 spec pushed out after the iPhone 8 was finalized. We are in the middle of reallocating old tv broadcast bands to cell. Using straighttalk and an unlocked phone allowed me to change the carrier via sim change for a buck. Straight talk leases signaling from multiple companies.
 
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Rathor

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Mar 21, 2018
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If you buy a 4G phone in 2018 you are an idiot! Just no one buy a phone till 2020/2022
 

GT98

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Figure my iPhone X should last me til 2021-hopefully have the bugs ironed out by then.
 

eclypse

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I'd expect apple would make sure you'd want to upgrade load before then with there awesome os updates that will cripple the phone.. gota keep that stock price up somehow when people don't normally want to upgrade every year.
 
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