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When you shouldn't buy a cheap 5G mobile


5G is the future of mobile telephony, but for now it is not always a good option nor is it for everyone ... We will tell you why!

It has been a long time since the 5G connectivity is among us, and yet already in our first experience back in the course of 2019 we warned that there was a long time to see a fully functional 5G network with all its promises ahead, something that still continues 'in construction' while some industry players are already talking about 6G and an almost incredible future for the next decade.

For now, the reality is that 5G mobiles will be the majority very soon, as state-of-the-art chipsets and modems are democratized, but at this time neither 5G is for everyone nor It is also not a good idea to anticipate buying any 5G mobile no matter how economical or promising it may be.

The prices of 5G terminals will start to fall this year

In one year, it is estimated that almost half of the mobile phones on the market will already be compatible with 5G.

5G connectivity is a key in today's mobiles, a very differentiating aspect especially in basic ranges where photography is less important, but we are going to help you choose with the best criteria because not everyone is ready for the future and not everyone is worth it in a scenario where we still use 5G non-standalone over previous generation hardware.

And yes, the first thing you should look for when you buy an affordable 5G smartphone is its compatibility with 5G SA / NSAbecause 5G standalone will come soon to fulfill all those promises by skipping to 5G non-standalone, that for now take an intermediate step improving only speeds and latencies, reusing for this the network infrastructures already available and previously implemented.

5G networks have always promised us a future where mobile connectivity would equal the performance of an optical fiber, but for now the truth is that not all mobiles, much less the cheapest ones, are prepared for it ... Don't buy anything just because it puts 5G on it!

The best 5G mobiles on the market that you can buy right now

In most of the world, 5G networks are still in their infancy

It is not a secret that operators are still deploying their 5G networks in practically all markets, and in most countries such as Spain, only some cities have 5G connectivity and with very limited coverage penetrations.

In fact, this need to hopping between 5G and 4G almost all the time is sometimes bad for the battery of our smartphones, since it requires more signaling if the environments do not have adequate coverage in the best technology.

In addition, most operators are deploying 5G for now non-standalone, which means that 5G connectivity will be used but through 4G LTE network hardware, improving latencies and speeds but without yet offering the best possibilities of the new generation.

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Check that you buy a mobile compatible with all bands and with 5G NSA and SA

The previous section brings us to this, since most of the cheapest 5G mobiles from previous years were only compatible precisely with 5G NSA -non-standalone-, staying half and unprepared for a later rollout of 5G SA -standalone- with all the possibilities of 5G technology.

The best thing you can do is look at the connectivity sections of the desired model to check supported bands and technologies, and you must look for those mobiles that can connect to 5G SA / NSA networks and in all the bands available in your countries.

In fact, in some countries such as the United States, millimeter frequency bands (mmWave) around 100 GHz or more, while in Europe for example 5G is being deployed in bands Sub-6 below 6 GHz after various digital dividends with new spectrum “packages” up for auction.

Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 5G

The new Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 chipset, high performance and cheaper price with new generation 5G modem.

Cheaper 5G mobiles may compromise other specs

I commented previously, that the low implementation of 5G networks is sometimes detrimental to autonomy of our smartphones, but not only that, and it is that chipsets with late-batch 5G modems are quite expensive greatly increasing the final price of the terminals.

So that, a budget cut 5G smartphone is likely to forget about other specs, some surely key such as the NFC or the fingerprint reader for mobile payments, surely looking to compensate for that price increase chipset and your 5G modem.

Manufacturers like Qualcomm have already launched options that limit their price a bit by lowering performance and power, but You must pay attention to the fact that the datasheet of your smartphone is well compensated and do not bet everything on 5G leaving you lame in other sections.

changes of operators

Be careful with the rates of your operator, because some do not include 5G connectivity at maximum speed.

Also be careful when choosing a tariff, some operators do not offer 5G with all their plans!

Last but not least, speaking of offsetting the costs of enjoying next-generation connectivity, It is important that you take a look at the conditions and the catalog of your operatorNot all of them offer 5G networks and connectivity to begin with.

In fact, some offer this 5G connectivity at full speed only at the most expensive rates, leaving customers who do not need 4G on 4G gigabytes unlimited or other options that increase the price of the fare. We recommend you review it before buying a 5G mobile and that your operator does not let you go up from 4G due to rate conditions.

In my case, for example, I had in addition to the price plan change that replace the SIM with a newer one, since the one that was already several years old did not support registration on 5G networks. This also has an additional cost, in my operator 5 euros.

As you may have seen, not everything is rosy with the arrival of 5G, and in a year like this in which countless devices of all ranges will arrive announcing their support for the latest generation networks, it is important that you verify that you are ready for the future before shelling out your $$$.

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Related topics: 5G, Mobile, Technology