July 18, 2020

READ THIS before you buy a 5G phone

5G may boast some of the fastest speeds but Danie sheds light on some unprecedented downsides too.

READ THIS before you buy a 5G phone

We wrote about how 5G is gonna change to change things BIG TIME before. About it’s grand use in things like driver-less cars and medicine but what if I told you, you could wield that kinda power in the palm of your hand.

You can get the 5G enabled Samsung Galaxy S20 series on Circles.Life now! Source

5G phones have started trickling onto our shores with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S20, OnePlus 8 Pro, Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus, Oppo Find X2 Pro & Nubia Red Magic 5G popping up to name a few. Samsung in particular has gained widespread popularity after a successful launch in South Korea. Within a year, 85 out of the 100 cities in Korea (90% of the population) now enjoy 5G coverage; with 5.9 million users accessing the network through 5G enabled devices.

Singapore going in hard on this 5G business. Source

What about 5G in Singapore? Is getting a 5G phone overkill right now since an actual network is some 5 years away. Given how COVID-19 has likely shifted back the launch timelines of many networks and the steep cost of including 5G tech in phones, lead some experts to believe 5G phones are more of a novelty.

To recap, 5G is the 5th generation mobile network. 5G succeeds 4G by enabling a new kind of network that is designed to connect virtually everyone and everything together including machines, objects, and devices. Apart from this interconnectivity,  5G is good because it enhances mobile broadband, mission-critical communications, and expands the massive Internet of Things.

Simply put, it's hella fast at connecting more things.

The most simplified diagram we could find of how networks work. Source

Diving into the technical side of things, 5G technology can be split into 2 broad categories sub-6 band 5G technology and also mmWave 5G.  Both are currently supported in USA but our little red dot, will solely utilise the latter. mmWave is said to support the speed of up to 6.5Gbps which is even faster than our current fibre broadband of 1Gbps.

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) recently announced in April 2020, that the 5G proposal was given to SingTel and also Starhub & M1 which form the Joint-Venture Consortium (JVCo). However, they also stated that Singapore will only have nationwide coverage by end 2025 , with initial rollouts to begin January 2021.

After the whole Jada and Will Red Table drama, 5G towers causing sickness should be next. Source

Which then begs the question: Is a 5G phone really worth it?

Honestly in my opinion no. From a purely cost perspective, any phone that bears the 5G moniker would be more costly than it's 4G counterpart. Take the iPhone 12 for instance that might ship for the same price or more than the iPhone 11 despite not including a charger or EarPods. The jump in price can almost be solely attributed to Apple's decision to ship the phone with full 5G capabilities.  

I’ve stated above also that currently we have no concrete 5G plans as of yet. So, unless you've got the cash to spare, I suggest getting a non-5G variant. We might not have the ungodly speed of 5G but if you want 98% islandwide coverage you can always hop on Circles.Life.

This article was contributed by Circles.Life user: Danie Alexander Raymond

Be sure to check out our last post from the "Is it worth it?" series on whether you should get a iPhone SE (2020). Feel free to drop an email to blog@circles.life on what we should review next.