5G has a curious reputation. Some believe it’s the next innovation in the future of technology, and others burn down its cell towers because they think it was the cause of a global pandemic.
Now, 5G is back in the headlines after Apple announced the coming of the first 5G enabled iPhones.
But is paying more for a 5G phone really worth the hype?
What Exactly is 5G?
5G is the next generation in wireless internet. It’s supposed to be faster than 4G, the current network many devices use.
The idea is 5G has faster loading speeds and a greater capacity to handle more devices.
There are two types of 5G: sub-6 and mmWave.
Sub-6 isn’t much different from 4G LTE, with the same advantages being it reaches farther than before.
MmWave is what people talk about when they mention 5G’s incredible speeds.
The advocates for 5G praise it’s groundbreaking efficiency, but in reality, it’s not really that good.
You see, network providers, like At&t, Verizon, and T-Mobile, are responsible for installing cell towers that provide the 5G connection, but the type of network used varies depending on your service provider. Verizon is known to use mmWave 5G, which really is worth the hype, but it’s not widely used.
The New iPhone
On Tuesday, Apple announced its newest smartphone release, the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini. One of the innovative features that Apple boasts is the iPhone 12 is 5G enabled. Apple claims “you can download movies on the fly. Stream higher-quality video. Or FaceTime in HD over cellular. With lots less lag.”
But the same was said of Android smartphones when they first got the 5G update. And nothing really changed. In fact, some reported that it was slower than the current 4G.
The widely used sub-6 5G has not lived up to its reputation in the latest nationwide test. That’s not to say 5G isn’t the next best thing. It’s just not there yet.
As for the iPhone 12, there are plenty of cool features that separates it from other iPhones. For instance, it’s the first iPhone with an A14 Bionic chip, the most advanced Apple chip to date. Along with that, the iPhone 12 comes with an edge-to-edge OLED display and a night mode camera, so you can take better pictures in low lighting.
The ceramic shield lining the sides ensure that there will be less screen shattering. But now it will be easier to hold because it is lighter, thinner, and smaller than the last generations.
There are many good things the new iPhone offers. The concern is that customers will drop their old phones and splurge on a new product just for the promise of this miracle 5G that doesn’t exist yet.
Some may say getting a 5G phone now is an investment for when the connection catches up, but realistically, that’s years away. By then, your new phone will be old news.
Just be smart about your purchases, and weigh your options.