With 5G bringing in so many benefits, including lower latency, lots more bandwidth, and new safety features, it’s no surprise that many people are eager to upgrade to a sweet new 5G phone. That’s why many Apple users were excited when the iPhone 12 lineup became the first to offer 5G compatibility, followed by the iPhone 13, and so on. However, there’s just one small problem: switching to 5G may not be a good idea just yet. In fact, you may want to wait a couple of years before making the jump. Continue reading to learn why upgrading your iPhone solely for 5G isn’t a great idea.
5G Speeds Aren’t Super Fast (Yet)
5G still has infrastructure problems. Headlines like to talk about 5G towers going up, but in reality, only a few towers have been upgraded to support 5G, primarily in urban areas. And those hardware upgrades are only adding bits and pieces of 5G support at a time. This allows carriers to advertise that they have 5G and make claims about hypothetical 5G speeds, but on the ground, users probably aren’t seeing much of a difference from their previous LTE performance. The good news is that’s slowly changing. As more advanced 5G tech gets added to cell towers, we’re starting to see big upgrades (Verizon and T-Mobile are doing the best at this so far). But it’s a process, and that process won’t be completed for major carriers until well after the iPhone 14 in many cases. That’s especially true if you don’t live in a big city, in which case you may never encounter 5G for years, or you’ll find plenty of spots when your phone automatically drops back to 4G LTE because 5G isn’t currently available.
5G Currently Uses a Lot More Battery
5G does a lot more than 4G, but it also hogs more battery life. Switching to 5G currently means you can expect a drop in battery life. Continuing 5G advancements and new ways of using phone batteries are slowly improving this, but it’s still going to be an issue for a couple of years. It’s worth waiting for a phone with battery upgrades designed to handle 5G without it being such a drain.
Bumping Up to 5G Probably Costs More
While plans can vary, few things stop telecoms from charging more whenever they can – and 5G isn’t an exception, especially after those first-year discounts end. The bottom line is that the earlier you switch to 5G, the more you might have to pay for your phone plan. And since many 5G benefits aren’t in place yet – especially with companies like AT&T that have been slower with their upgrades – you aren’t getting many advantages for paying more. Your wallet may appreciate it if you wait for a while.