Apple bringing 5G to their iPhone 12 lineup is apparently coming for real. Rumors have it that the tech giant should reveal about the more advanced phone by September. Some rumors are even hinting Apple will allow users to choose between 4G and a more expensive 5G version. Whether this rumor is true or not, a Youtuber behind the channel Max Tech pointed out an interesting question that every iPhone user should ask: "Do I really need 5G?"
The Youtuber went on to discuss the real-world benefits he noticed using a 5G phone compared to a 4G iPhone. He also talked about what other people think of 5G and, ultimately, how much it should affect consumers' buying decision. He also explained the difference between There's sub six 5G and millimeter-wave (mmWave) 5G that everyone should understand prior to shifting to 5G phones. More importantly, the Youtuber who even switched to the Galaxy S20 ultra a couple of months ago so that he could give it a proper review, gave insights into the success of two popular smartphone brands that have recently switched to 5G.
Below are some of the interesting points Max Tech has raised:
Samsung Galaxy S20
Ever since they launched the S20 lineup, it's been rumored that sales of Samsung's S20 phones were way down compared to last year's Galaxy S10, in which shipments were dropping by 32.6 percent. While the drop coud be blamed partly on the pandemic since the entire smartphone industry went down, Max Tech pointed that one thing is for certain: the addition of 5G made the S20 line very expensive at a thousand dollars for the entry-level model.
Android Authority ran a poll asking people why they didn't upgrade to the S20, and about 71 of the people said that it was just too expensive, and then the other 11 said that they don't need 5G. "That basically means that the addition of 5G just wasn't worth the extra price for all of those people." he said.
And to further prove the point, it's been rumored that Samsung is exercising caution on the Note 20 parts to try to keep the price down. There was even a mention that this was specifically for the Galaxy Note 20 5G model since 5G makes it much more expensive.
One Plus 8 Pro
Now the OnePlus 8 Pro had a ton of hype, thanks to the exciting leaks and the success of the previous OnePlus 7 Pro. But there were a lot of people that were disappointed by the high price
About a week before launch, 9to5Google made a poll asking users how much would they be willing to spend on the OnePlus 8 pro, and almost half of them said 700. The price turned out to be from 900 to a thousand dollars, which only about 10 said that they are willing to pay, according to the poll. And of course, the high price was mostly attributed to the addition of 5G.
The point that the Youtuber is trying to make is that 5G is causing phones to get much more expensive than people expect.
There are now rumors pointing to the iPhone 12 being priced at least $50 more expensive than the iPhone 11 prices despite not having ear pods or a charger in the box.
Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max
So now, the question is, if Apple does give you the choice of getting a 5G model, should you pay the extra price?
"I've been using apple's iPhone 11 Pro max for almost a full year now, which obviously uses 4G. So, I'm going to give you guys my experience of this iPhone compared to the Galaxy S20 ultra, which is the most expensive mainstream 5G phone. I currently use T-mobile here in Spokane, Washington and 4G has mostly worked fine for me for everything, from web browsing to using apps," the youtuber said.
He went on adding that he noticed a couple of issues with connectivity. The main issue so far, he said, is occasional hiccups when he was trying to stream Youtube videos.
"There's also the fact that I start to lose service going further away from the city and sometimes in certain dead zones of the city. Other than that, the only other issue is that reception isn't that great when I'm inside of larger buildings like my church, for example," he said.
As for his experience with 5G, since he has T-mobile, he doesn't have access to the ultra-fast mmWave 5G in his city, just the sub-6 5G. That's because right now, there are only a small amount of cities that actually have millimeter 5G towers.
To get great speeds, he said that you actually have to be very close to those towers. That's because it works using a very specific part of the radio frequency spectrum between 24 gigahertz and 100 gigahertz, which have a very short wavelength. This basically allows more bandwidth or data to be transferred.
But the issue, he noted, is that it doesn't travel very far and it doesn't penetrate walls well at all, and this is also a type of 5G which is the most controversial with many people concerned about the health impacts of the shortwave radio frequency
Sub-6 5G Experience
Now sub-6 5G, on the other hand, has a lot more in common with 4G than it does with mmWave 5G, he explained
For example, the youtuber said that the T-mobile was able to upgrade its cell towers to sub six relatively quickly and easily all across the United States. According to him, since it uses a much longer wavelength, mmWave 5G requires a lot more work and a fiber optic internet connection, which is why it's taking so long to implement it.
"So, even though the Galaxy S20 ultra supports both sub six and millimeter wave, I only have access to T-mobile sub six here in Spokane. So here was my experience with it. It wasn't fantasti," he said.
"There were a few spots where I typically had just one bar, and data was pretty much unusable, and in those cases, the S20 ultra with sub-6 5G would give me two bars at times, maybe even three, and it would work just fine. Browsing the web was super snappy, and it could consistently playback Youtube videos at 1440p with no buffering or hiccups."
On top of that, the youtuber said that in areas with a good signal, his data speeds were about double the speed testing it at the same location at the same time just pulling the sim from one and putting it into the other and during congestion. That's up to six times faster as can be shown below:
According to him, after the S20 ultra, most people probably won't get much use out of that mmWave 5G for at least a couple of years. So if you're thinking about buying the Pro model iPhone 12 just for that reason, it probably doesn't make sense, he said. He added that sub six 5G is definitely worth it since it gives you better reception overall, faster speeds and it allowes you to stream Youtube without a hiccup, even at 1440p.
"In my opinion, I still think Apple needs to add 5G to all of the phones this year. I don't think it makes sense to have multiple versions of the phones at different price points. Now they could wait another year, but then they will be really way behind the competition," the youtuber said.
So, as long as Apple can keep the price of their phones the same, he advised that they should switch to 5G and be done with it. Luckily most rumors are pointing to the price staying very close, and that's probably because Apple will likely no longer be shipping ear pods and even a charger in the box, which in my opinion is a worthwhile trade-off.
"Realistically even if we don't need 5G this year, most iPhone users keep their phones for three years or more now, so it would be really nice to have it be future proof. if so we could end up with another iPhone 6s situation where it is so good that it becomes the standard long term for a lot of people," he added.
Watch the whole video below: