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Quick Question: why do I want a 5G phone when 5G hardly exists anywhere

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by Steven58, Apr 30, 2020.

  1. Steven58

    Moderator Thread Starter

    Can someone enlighten me as to why I want a 5G phone when 5G hardly exists anywhere? Asking for a friend.
     



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  2. You probably don't. Especially since 5G standards are not yet universal and the so-called 5G phone you buy today may not give you true 5G service in the future. A case in point is that as a result of the T-Mobile/Sprint merger, Sprint customers who bought 5G phones will have to replace them before long in order to use T-Mobile's 5G network.
    Not to mention that even in areas that have had some form of 5G rolled out, the coverage is far from widespread and can drop out from one block to the next reverting to standard LTE, plus it doesn't penetrate into buildings very well or at all.
    So I wouldn't bother at this time. If you're shopping for a new device, 5G needn't be on your must-have list.
     
    puppykickr, Davdi, Rob and 3 others like this.
  3. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    The only reasons I can think of are:

    1) because the phone they want has 5G anyway
    2) because they don't intend to buy another phone for several years and so want to be as future proof as they can be
    3) because the feel they have to have the latest thing regardless of whether they have a use for it

    The first 2 make some sort of sense to me.
     
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  4. Steven58

    Moderator Thread Starter

    Here are my reasons:
     
  5. ocnbrze

    ocnbrze DON'T PANIC!!!!!!!!!

    i bought the 5g note 10+ with verizon becuase of one thing. when 5g arrives here i bought the plan that will make use of 5g when it arrives. the deal is that when it gets here i do not have to pay (i believe) $20 more for 5g. it gets grandfathered in for me......this was the only reason why i did it. i'm sure they will have other incentives later on down the line, but at least i do not have to worry about paying extra.
     
    Dannydet, MoodyBlues and Steven58 like this.
  6. mikedt

    mikedt 你好


    Don't know about the US. But one might be in a country where 5G is widely rolled-out, like where I am.
     
  7. Steven58

    Moderator Thread Starter

    Do you have it? If so, what is it like compared to 4g?
     
    ocnbrze likes this.
  8. Bearsyzf

    Bearsyzf Android Expert

    I'm not sure my 5G even works and I'm on AT&T.
     
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  9. MoodyBlues

    MoodyBlues Compassion is cool!
    VIP Member

    Yeah, so tell your 'friend' that maybe he wants it for the same reason I want a new phone: just because! :D
     
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  10. Trom

    Trom Android Enthusiast

    5g is a gimmick. It will become useful in stem fields where processing power isn't an issue, but for the guy with a smartphone, it doesn't matter. 5g is like an iPhone, fanboys just gotta have it for no apparent reason. If the speed limit is 75, and you buy a car that can do Mach 3, what's the point, other than being able to say you have it?
     
  11. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    What is the usage in STEM fields?
    BTW working in a STEM field, processing power is one of the big limitations for me, along with bandwidth, storage and power/cooling. Of course I'm not talking about phones here ;).
     
  12. Trom

    Trom Android Enthusiast

    Ability to share massive amounts of data in (almost) real time.
     
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  13. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    Optical links exceed the capabilities of 5G by a factor, and you can pack many more of them in a limited space with higher reliability. So if you have a genuinely high-bandwidth application 5G isn't the answer.

    I can actually imagine uses, but it has to be in an area where you need mobility and don't need what I would consider to be very high-bandwidth data transfer.
     
    #13 Hadron, May 2, 2020
    Last edited: May 2, 2020
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  14. Unforgiven

    Unforgiven ...eschew obfuscation...
    Moderator

    That's why I have 5G.
     
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  15. Trom

    Trom Android Enthusiast

    I think where 5g comes in is where optical links may not be available to both remote parties. A doctor at his lakehouse vacation home in Puerto Montt for instance.
     
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  16. My personal input is to STAY AWAY from the next generation of mobile equipment for at least 18 months to two years after full scale deployment.

    The first 3G and 4G phones ran hot. Units after that were fine. Past history often is a good prediction for future behavior.
     
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  17. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    If she is on vacation he shouldn't be on call - I'd put a "winky" there except it's a more serious point than it sounds.
    And she certainly shouldn't be doing anything that requires 5G bandwidth (directing a robot operation remotely? Actually I don't think even that requires such bandwidth, but I'd personally prefer not to use wireless networking for that). LTE is quite sufficient for a video consultation, and the fastest 5G has short range and poor building penetration so I'd not count on it in a remote area.
     
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  18. I agree. 5G has many positive things about it but it's currently very young technology and not yet well proven.

    It certainly does have a bright future but I would do some proof of concept implementations before putting everything on it.
     
    ocnbrze likes this.
  19. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    I don't have a 5G phone myself. But I have friends that do have them, and they seem to be happy.
     
    ocnbrze likes this.
  20. mikedt

    mikedt 你好


    I remember pretty much the same thing been discussed about 4G tech on AF, and other tech sites. "4G is a gimmick.." etc.

    And of course now in 2020, just about everyone has a 4G capable phone and carrier service.
     
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  21. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    Oh yeah, in a few years we'll all have it. Of course it will depend on where you are and how your carrier rolls out its network whether you will see all of the promised benefits.

    For now though it's not a priority for me. If I had to buy a phone today I'd probably prefer some 5G capability since I prefer to keep phones for 4-5 years, but I'm expecting there to be better options by the time I next buy one (like none of that "separate 5G chip" nonsense).
     
    ocnbrze likes this.
  22. greegom

    greegom Newbie

    Seems like if you want a flagship phone with most brands, you don't have a choice but to get 5G with it and pay the price. Then hope that where ever you are has compatible 5G bands.
     
  23. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    It also depends on the country, e.g. there is a non-5G s20 in the UK but not in the USA (as I recall).
     
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  24. dontpanicbobby

    dontpanicbobby 100% That Guy
    VIP Member

    You are an Early-Adopter and you've got the Blues. @Steven58
     
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  25. This appears to be correct, US S20 models are all 5G.
    With the currently limited selection of 5G capable phones, most or all being quite expensive, and the non-universal standards at this time it really makes little sense to jump on that bandwagon now. Eventually true millimeter-wave 5G will be more widely deployed and be integrated into more mid- and lower-level models.
    T-Mobile/Metro (and soon Sprint) 5G is NOT actually millimeter-wave but uses their existing 600MHz spectrum. This was done so it could be rapidly and more widely deployed, with the downside being lower maximum data speeds and compatibility limited to only their branded devices. But it does work inside buildings and doesn't rely on having microcells all over the place.
    Just like when 4G rolled out, not everything was true 4G. Now we don't even think about it.

    I'm on Metro and 5G is available where I am, but Metro only has one compatible device. T-Mobile has a few and those could be used on Metro as well, but they're all $$$ pricey. My S9 is plenty fast on the existing 4G network and I'm quite happy with it so I'm not thinking about this at all. If I do decide to upgrade any time soon it would not be to any of those.
     
    #25 Fox Mulder, May 4, 2020
    Last edited: May 4, 2020
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