5G Phones Australia: Which phones have 5G?

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5G is officially live in Australia — albeit it in very limited areas. Telstra’s 5G network has been switched on in selected locations in all major cities, while Optus has began offering its own 5G home broadband services to eligible customers along with a selection of phones. Vodafone is trailing behind, having only launched its own network to the public in early 2020.

If you’re lucky enough to live or work in a 5G-enabled area, you’re probably eager to give the next-generation mobile technology a good try. However, your existing smartphone, tablet, or broadband device won’t be able to support the frequencies that 5G runs on; instead, you’ll need to upgrade to a 5G-capable model.

5G Phones in Australia

Not sure which 5G phone is right for you? Below you’ll find the details you’re after on the best 5G phones.

In this guide we’ll also cover:

The best 5G phones in Australia

5G phones are fast becoming the norm in Australia, although there isn’t one ‘best’ 5G smartphone. Rather, all smartphones have their advantages and disadvantages, including features, size, price and camera quality.

There are many 5G smartphones and Wi-Fi devices available to buy, which are typically available on 5G phone plans from Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, along with Woolworths Mobile, Southern Phone and TeleChoice (although some of these providers lack 5G access). The following 5G phones and devices are currently available in Australia (note: some devices may be missing):

Samsung was one of the first manufacturers to offer 5G phones. With its 2020 S20 Galaxy phones, Samsung offered the devices as both 4G and 5G versions, with 4G devices saving you a bit on your plan fees, however with the 2021 release of the Galaxy S21 series, all three devices were released as 5G phones with no 4G variant. OPPO and other manufacturers also released 5G phones starting in 2019 and carrying on into 2021, while Apple and Google both introduced their first 5G-compatible phones in the second half of 2020.

To start using the Telstra, Optus or Vodafone 5G networks, you’ll need to pick up a 5G-compatible phone. Read on for more info on some of the most popular 5G-capable phones on the market, including pricing and plans.

Apple iPhone 5G phones

iPhone 13 Pro series phones in four colours
Source: Apple

Apple was a bit behind the race for 5G only releasing its first 5G phones, the iPhone 12 series, late in 2020. The 2021 range of iPhones, the iPhone 13 series, all include 5G compatibility by default. There are four devices to choose from: the iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max.

The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini have many of the same features, including dual 12-megapixel wide angle and ultra wide cameras with 2x zoom, a 12-megapixel TrueDepth camera with Portrait Mode, along with the A15 Bionic Chip and MagSafe and QI wireless charging. While both devices have a Super Retina XDR display, the iPhone 13 Mini is 5.4 inches, while the iPhone 13 is 6.1 inches. Battery capacity is also slightly different: the 13 Mini has up to 17 hours video playback, while the 13 has slightly more battery capacity with up to 19 hours video playback. Both devices come in the same range of colours and 128GB, 256GB and 512GB storage sizes.

While the iPhone 13 and its mini counterpart have plenty of quality features included, if you do want a more premium 5G iPhone experience, the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max might be what you’re after. There are similar features to the 13, including the powerful A15 Bionic Chip, the MagSafe and QI wireless charging, as well as the same front-facing 12-megapixel TrueDepth camera with Portrait Mode, but you’ll get ProRes video mode on the Pro and Pro Max. The rear camera setup is the big difference, with both devices including a triple 12-megapixel wide angle, ultra wide and telephoto cameras with the inclusion of macro mode.

Both devices come in the same four colours as well as 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB storage sizes. The iPhone 13 Pro has a 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR display with ProMotion, while the larger iPhone 13 Pro Max has a 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR display with ProMotion. As for battery capacity, the 13 Pro offers 22 hours of video playback, while the 13 Pro Max is up to 28 hours video playback.

The following table shows a range of 24-month plans for the 128GB iPhone 13 as published on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our phone plan comparison tool to compare plans from a range of providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

The following table shows a range of 24-month plans for the 128GB iPhone 13 Pro as published on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of standard monthly cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our phone plan comparison tool to compare plans from a range of providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Samsung 5G smartphones

Samsung Galaxy S21 series phones in black, purple and pink
Samsung Galaxy S21 series, Source: Samsung

Samsung was the first smartphone manufacturer to release a 5G phone in Australia with the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G. 2020 saw a big step forward with the release of even more 5G-compatible Galaxy devices across a wide range of price points. If you’re looking for a 5G Samsung phone, you won’t be limited to selecting a more expensive, premium device.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 series, released early in 2021, adopted 5G across all of its models. Samsung’s other phones released in 2020, such as the Galaxy Z Fold2 and the Galaxy Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra, have 5G variants, meaning you could get models either with 5G or without it, keeping costs down.

As for more affordable 5G devices, Samsung has the Galaxy A71 5G as part of the more budget-friendly Galaxy A series of phones.

If you’re looking at the Galaxy S21 phones, each of these devices comes in a different size — the S21 is 6.2 inches, the S20+ is 6.7 and the S20 Ultra is up at 6.8 inches. All three use a Dynamic AMOLED display, include a 64-bit Octa-Core processor and run on Android 11. The S21 and S21+ come in 128GB and 256GB, while the S21 Ultra comes in 256GB or 512GB.

For a bigger screen, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 5G phones offer some upgrades to the S20 series from 2020. The Galaxy Note 20 5G features a 6.7-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, 256GB of storage, a 4,300mAh battery with PowerShare, and an Exynos 990 Octa-Core processor. You’ll also get a triple rear camera setup (64MP, 12MP, 12MP), plus a 10-megapixel camera in front. If you’re looking for a bigger phone, consider the Note 20 Ultra – you’ll get a 6.9-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display, 256GB or 512GB storage (512GB device available with 5G compatibility only), a 4,500 mAh battery with PowerShare, and an Exynos 990 Octa-Core processor. You’ll also get a quad-rear camera setup (108MP, 13MP, 12MP, laser autofocus) plus a 10MP front-facing ‘hole punch’ camera.

If you’re after a cheaper phone, consider the Galaxy A72 5G phone. It includes a 6.7-inch Infinity-O Super FHD+ AMOLED Plus display, Octa-Core processor, 8GB of RAM, and your choice of 128GB or 256GB storage capacity (plus expandable Micro SD memory up to 1TB) along with a 5,000 mAh battery. As for cameras, you’ll get a quad rear-camera setup (64MP, 8MP, 12MP, 5MP) and a 32MP front-facing camera.

Many of the devices listed above are available from a range of providers including Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Woolworths Mobile. While Woolworths Mobile has 5G Samsung devices available on a plan, you won’t be able to access the 5G with your plan. Telstra, Optus and Vodafone are all rolling out their own 5G mobile networks, with availability and coverage varying between telcos.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plans

The following table shows selected published 24-month plans for the Samsung Galaxy S21 5G on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our tool for mobile phone plan comparison to see a wider range of plans from other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Samsung Galaxy S21+ Plans

The following table shows selected published 24-month plans for the Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our tool for mobile phone plan comparison to see a wider range of plans from other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra Plans

The following table shows selected published 24-month plans for the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our tool for mobile phone plan comparison to see a wider range of plans from other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

OPPO 5G smartphones

the OPPO Find X3 Pro
The OPPO Find X3 Pro, Source: OPPO

OPPO doesn’t release as many phones as Samsung, but 5G has been a bit of a priority since 2020. If you’re after a 5G OPPO phone, there are a few to choose from, including the OPPO Find X3 Neo, Find X3 Lite and the Find X3 Pro, along with the more recent devices in the A series, the A54, and the A74, which are also some of the cheapest 5G phones on the market. Not all of these devices are typically stocked by Aussie telcos, so you may need to buy your device outright elsewhere.

The OPPO Find X3 Pro is one of the more recent OPPO devices to include 5G connectivity. The Find X3 Pro has a 6.7-inch curved OLED display, a 4,500 mAh battery and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor. Three models are available which include 256GB storage and 8GB RAM, 256GB storage and 12GB RAM, and 512GB storage and 16GB RAM. As for cameras, you’ll have a triple rear-camera setup (50MP, 13MP, 50MP, 3MP) along with a 32MP front-facing camera.

The following table shows a selection of published 24-month 256GB OPPO Find X3 Pro 5G plans from Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of advertised standard cost, lowest to highest, then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Compare mobile plans from a wider range of offers from other providers using our comparison tool. This is a selection of products which may contain links to a referral partner.

Google 5G smartphones

Google is one of the latest smartphone manufacturers to release its first 5G devices. The Google Pixel 5 and Google Pixel 4a 5G are the first 5G Google phones and were released late in 2020. The Google Pixel 5 is available from retailers with an RRP of $999 AUD,  and it’s also available on a plan from select telcos.  If you’re interested in a 5G Google phone, the Pixel 5 includes a 5.96-inch FHD+ Flexible OLED display, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G with Octa-Core processor, 4,080mAh battery and wireless charging. You’ll also get a 8MP front-facing camera and a dual-rear camera setup with a 12MP and 16MP ultra-wide camera.

If you’re interested in a more budget-friendly device, the cheaper Pixel 4a 5G was released in November 2020, with an RRP of $799. It sports a 5.81-inch OLED display, 6GB RAM and a Snapdragon 730G processor, along with 128GB of storage capacity. Its battery capacity is 3,140mAh, and the device comes with a single back camera (12.2MP wide), along with a single selfie camera (8MP).

5G smartphones from other manufacturers

Apple, Samsung, OPPO and Google might be the biggest names when it comes to 5G-compatible phones, but there are plenty of other manufacturers also coming out with their own 5G-compatible smartphones.

Motorola has its Motorola Edge, which is available to buy outright from retailers at the RRP of $999 AUD and the more affordable Moto G 5G for $499 AUD RRP.

Nokia joined the 5G phone game with the Nokia 8.3 5G. This particular device has been designed with longevity in mind and is compatible with a wide spectrum of 5G networks, so you’d be able to use it in various countries with 5G networks.

Huawei, one of the bigger known manufacturers, has dropped in popularity due to the lack of integrated Google apps, but it too has released a 5G phone with the Huawei P40 Pro+ now available in Australia.

LG was one of the earlier manufacturers to release a 5G phone in 2019 with its LG V50 ThinQ 5G phone, while 2020 saw the company release the 5G-compatible LG Velvet at the outright price point of $899 AUD RRP, however, LG has decided to pull the plug on smartphones so these devices will soon be unavailable.

These aren’t the only phone manufacturers that have 5G-capable phones in Australia. ASUS, TCL, Vivo, and Xiaomi also have 5G phones you can buy in the country, so don’t think the phone companies we have mentioned are the be-all and end-all.

No matter your price point or preferred manufacturer, the good news is that as mobile technology improves, more smartphone companies are releasing 5G-compatible devices, so there are plenty of options to choose from if you’re looking for a new 5G smartphone.

The following devices are older 5G devices which are no longer available from telcos:

Telstra 5G Phone Plans

Below are the month-to-month 5G Telstra Upfront plans you can pair with any of the above 5G devices, not including your device payment. These are published plans from Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of monthly cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our comparison tool for mobile phone plans to see offers from other mobile providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Vodafone 5G Phone Plans

While Vodafone lags behind Optus and Telstra in 5G coverage, its network is still on track to cover 85% of the population in Australia’s ten largest cities by the end of 2021. If you have a 5G-ready phone and live in an area with Vodafone 5G coverage, you can access the network on any of the telco’s five postpaid plans, including the newly-launched unlimited fast data plan available for $85 per month.

Below are the month-to-month Vodafone postpaid plans you can pair with eligible 5G devices, not including your device payment. These are published plans from Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of monthly cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our mobile phone plan comparison tool to see offers from a larger range of mobile providers.

Optus 5G Phone Plans

Optus is continually rolling out its 5G mobile network with many sites live in capital cities and more populated areas. If you want a 5G phone plan from Optus, the telco currently does not charge extra on its postpaid phone plans for 5G access. The telco was also the first to offer access to its 5G mobile network to smaller providers.

Below are the month-to-month Optus postpaid plans you can pair with eligible 5G devices, not including your device payment. These are published plans from Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of monthly cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. Use our mobile phone plan comparison tool to see offers from a larger range of mobile providers.

Telstra 5G Wi-Fi Pro hub

Telstra first launched its 5G home internet offerings with an HTC 5G Hub, however in 2020, the telco released its newest 5G device, the mmWave-ready 5G Wi-Fi Pro. This hub has been designed for use with Telstra’s 5G mobile broadband plans to deliver you 5G and 4GX networks at your home, plus, it will be compatible with the next upgrade of 5G technology with its mmWave support.

The Telstra 5G Wi-Fi Pro is available to order from Telstra on two-year mobile broadband device payment plans at $49.91 per month over 12 months or $24.95 per month over 24 months. This excludes the cost of your mobile broadband plan — how much you pay each month depends on which plan your choose to bundle with.

Below are the month-to-month Telstra mobile broadband plans you can pair with the 5G Wi-Fi Pro, not including your device payment. These are published plans from Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of monthly cost, from the lowest to highest. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.

Telstra Mobile Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of published Telstra mobile broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Telstra Logo

Extra Small

  • SIM only plan – pay upfront via AutoPay
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • No 5G access
  • Share your data with up to 10 plans across your account

min. cost $15 over one month

5GBMax Data**/billing period $15Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Telstra Logo

Small

  • SIM only plan – pay upfront via AutoPay
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • No 5G access
  • Share your data with up to 10 plans across your account

min. cost $25 over one month

30GBMax Data**/billing period $25Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Telstra Logo

Medium

  • SIM only plan – pay upfront via AutoPay
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • 5G access included
  • Share your data with up to 10 plans across your account

min. cost $55 over one month

75GBMax Data**/billing period $55Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Telstra Logo

Large

  • SIM only plan – pay upfront via AutoPay
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • 5G access included
  • Share your data with up to 10 plans across your account

min. cost $85 over one month

400GBMax Data**/billing period $85Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Using Telstra’s 5G network

Right now, Telstra’s 5G network is free to use on the telco’s Medium, Large and Extra Large postpaid phone plans with an accompanying 5G-compatible device. If you’re on a Small Telstra plan, you’ll need to upgrade to a larger tier to access 5G on your smartphone.

The same applies to 5G home broadband customers using the 5G Wi-Fi Pro. 5G is included free on Medium and Large mobile broadband plans, but not available to Small and Extra Small customers: again, you’ll need to upgrade your plan in order to use Telstra’s 5G network.

Once you’re up and running on Telstra 5G, you can expect speeds significantly faster than the telco’s current 4G network. We’ve personally seen speed test results of more than 1,000 megabits per second with the 2019 release of the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G in Sydney, and Telstra has reported up to 1,900 megabits per second with the OPPO Reno 5G in 2019.

If you do fall under Telstra’s 5G umbrella, expect a serious boost in speeds and reduction in lag when using your 5G device. If you’re still waiting on 5G — as most of us are — you can still use any of the above devices on Telstra’s fast and efficient 4G and 4GX network, which is available across Australia.

Optus 5G home broadband

Optus had initially set its 5G sites live in very selected locations, and launched the first Australian 5G home broadband plan – although customers had to have a compatible Optus device, the Nokia FastMile 5G modem. Currently, the telco is rolling out 5G broadband into selected areas, with eligible residents now able to enjoy unlimited 5G broadband for just $75 per month.

The following table shows selected published Optus 5G home broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Optus Logo

Optus 5G Home Broadband (24 months)

  • 50Mbps satisfaction guarantee
  • Includes the Optus supplied Nokia modem
  • Special offer: one month free

min. cost $1,680 over 24 months

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $70Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Optus Logo

Optus 5G Home Broadband (month-to-month)

  • 50Mbps satisfaction guarantee
  • Includes the Optus supplied Nokia modem
  • $200 setup fee
  • Special offer: one month free

min. cost $270 over first month

UnlimitedMax Data**/billing period $70Advertised Cost^^/billing period
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

During Optus’ initial invite-only 5G rollout, the plan was available in limited suburbs, including Glendenning, Minchinberry, Niagara Park and Bonnyrigg in NSW, as well as Cook in the ACT and Kenmore in Queensland. Since then, Optus announced that its 5G network is now live in limited areas of Auchenflower, Castle Hill, Kallangur, Kenmore Hills, Kingsford, Macquarie Park, Rosebud, and Strathpine.

You can check your suburb on Optus’ website to determine if your address is 5G-ready. Optus has confirmed plans to send over 1,200 5G sites live in 2020 – but for now, you may need to be patient if you’re outside of a 5G-covered area.

Optus’ 5G broadband plans include the new Nokia FastMile 5G modem, plus the Optus 50Mbps Satisfaction Guarantee. If you’re not happy with your plan speed or 5G signal, and you’re not regularly achieving speeds of 50Mbps or faster, Optus will cancel your service and waive all cancellation fees.

 

If you want to explore more phone plan options while 5G rolls out across Australia, Canstar Blue allow you compare mobile phone plans from over 30 providers to help you find the best mobile phone plan for you.

 

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