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5G phones prove to be 4 times faster than 4G: Are you missing out?


Despite offering faster speeds, many Australians are reluctant to make the switch to 5G.

Ookla, the company behind popular speed testing tool, has just released its latest 5G speed test report comparing the real-world speeds of users across different 4G and 5G mobile handsets.

Breaking it down to the 2 most popular phone brands, here are the median speeds of the fastest 4G Samsung phones:

  1. Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: 58.08Mbps
  2. Samsung Galaxy Note9: 52.24Mbps
  3. Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition: 47.8Mbps

That seems decently fast, on par with most NBN 50 connections. But then if you look at the median speeds of the Samsung 5G phones, things get a little more impressive:

  1. Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G: 148.64Mbps
  2. Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G: 108.33Mbps
  3. Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G: 104.99Mbps

This shows that 5G gave people who upgraded a roughly 2–3 times boost in speed.

While the results aren't too surprising, it's nice to have the data to back you up in any potential discussion about whether the 5G upgrade is worth the cost of admission.

iPhone users being served even better speed

The difference was even more stark for iPhone users. The Ookla test only compared 2 models of the iPhone, but the upgrade easily proved its worth.

  • The 4G iPhone 11 had a median speed of 54.52Mbps
  • The 5G iPhone 13 had a median speed of 258.82Mbps

That's more than 4 times the speed, which is huge for people who rely on their mobile data a lot for work and play.

  • Good to know: Technically, 4G download speeds should go up to 100Mbps, while notionally 5G can go beyond 3,000Mbps in ideal circumstances. But ideal circumstances are rare, so it's helpful to know what the real world has in store for 5G users.

So, why are Australians so resistant to upgrading to 5G?

A Finder survey of 824 respondents back in June showed that only 19% had access to a 5G service, despite Telstra at that time offering 5G coverage to 75% of the population.

Surprisingly, while 30% of mobile customers who didn't have 5G access did want it, 45% of mobile customers didn't want 5G at all. And 6% didn't know what 5G was.

It's hard to tell if this lack of interest comes from ignorance, conspiracy theories, people being happy with their speed or handset or a combination of those reasons.

But if you've been on the fence about 5G and have the need for speed, perhaps these numbers might help with your decision.

Are you now keen to get your hands on a new 5G handset without having to pay outright? Compare plans from Telstra, Optus and Vodafone to see which one's offering a better deal.

Latest mobile plan deals on Finder

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