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Should you buy a 5G phone in 2020?

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Best answer: Yes, nationwide 5G is available on all of the big three carriers, with many prepaid carriers are also offering support. 5G isn’t available for everyone just yet but by now, there’s a good chance you’ve got some coverage or can find it.

  • 5G as standard: Samsung Galaxy S20 (From $1,000 at Samsung)
  • The best of the S20 series for less: Samsung Galaxy S20 FE ($700 at Amazon)

Get the right 5G phone

Pretty much every flagship phone released in 2020 has 5G support and it’s no surprise that most of the best Android phones you can get right now have 5G. Verizon phones are a bit of a different story and may require a software update to access Verizon’s nationwide 5G network. There’s no timeline for when or if this update will come to unlocked phones though it’s possible.

For most people, the most important thing is to make sure your phone supports the sub-6 5G bands your carrier uses. AT&T and Verizon phones should have support for band n5 while T-Mobile phones should support both n41 and n71. If you want the fastest possible connection you can get a phone that also supports mmWave for the few places that have mmWave coverage.

If you’re getting a pre-owned phone or just an older phone like the Galaxy S10 5G, there’s a good chance that it won’t support all of the bands in use by your carrier, and in the case of Sprint phones, may not work with 5G at all anymore. The only 5G Sprint phones you should get right now are in the Galaxy S20 series.

It’s also worth remembering that an AT&T phone that advertises itself as 5G Evolution ready actually doesn’t have any 5G support at all. AT&T’s 5Ge network is simply LTE rebranded.

5G coverage is finally here

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All three major carriers now have some sort of nationwide sub-6 5G network. Sub-6 5G has much greater coverage than the mmWave 5G deployed early on by AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon. This 5G now covers hundreds of millions of Americans.

Each carrier has been consistently adding additional coverage to its 5G network and will likely see the majority of the network improvements going forward. The speeds on sub-6 5G won’t be anything special compared to a mature LTE network but as more spectrum is able to be dedicated to 5G, the speeds should catch up and surpass LTE in the coming years.

Make sure you get the right plan

Luckily, sub-6 5G is included with most plans you can sign up for right now. On AT&T, 5G access is included with all unlimited plans though many of the older data plans won’t get support. This is different from both T-Mobile and Verizon with nationwide 5G working on all plans as long as you’ve got a supported phone.

Many prepaid carriers also included 5G on some or all of their plans. Visible, for example, has announced that it will offer 5G on Verizon’s nationwide 5G network in 2020. T-Mobile-based carriers like Mint Mobile already offer 5G on all plans.

With support on most new phones, plans, and carriers, it’s finally worth it to choose 5G when you buy your next new phone.

5G as standard

Samsung Galaxy S20

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$1000 at Amazon
$1000 at Best Buy
$1000 at Walmart

Sub-6 5G and great hardware

Samsung put 5G in every Galaxy S20 series phone bringing faster speeds, a 120Hz display, and some of the best cameras ever put in a phone.

5G for less

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

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$700 at Amazon
$700 at Best Buy
$700 at BB&H

A more affordable 5G Galaxy

Samsung’s Galaxy S20 FE brings the best of the S20 to a more affordable package with a great camera, a fast 120Hz display, and great battery life.

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Amazfit Bip U review

Recently, I reviewed the Amazfit Band 5, a capable little fitness band at an affordable price. Today, I have the Amazfit Bip U, another fitness band from Huami with a larger display and a slightly higher price.DesignThe Amazfit Bip U uses a similar design to the Apple Watch with a square 1.43-inch display. While I’m not a big fan of square watch displays, it is highly effective, giving you plenty of screen real estate to view all the information that matters to you.I found the display to be bright, colorful, and easy to read. At the same time, the Bip U was extremely lightweight and comfortable to wear. All in all, as far as a fitness tracker goes, it does a fantastic job of being comfortable and providing a large display for viewing information. It also has a 5 ATM water-resistant rating making it possible to wear in the pool for tracking swimming.Plus, there’s a button on the side that can be used to turn on the screen or quickly open up the exercise tracking. That’s something I wish the smaller Amazfit Band 5 also had.User ExperienceThe Bip U is able to monitor your heart rate, blood oxygen level, stress level, steps, 60+ exercises, calories burned, and track your sleeping. Out of all of those, it monitors your heart rate and stress levels 24 hours a day, and automatically tracks your steps or when you’re sleeping.It appears the only measurements you have to manually initiate are exercise tracking and the blood oxygen readings. I wish it automatically tracked your blood oxygen levels throughout the day, but that’s only a minor complaint considering everything else it does.Additionally, the Bip U can show you the weather, control music playback on your phone, and view notifications. However, the notification support is rather limited only showing a few words and not allowing for any interaction such as replying or dismissing it from your phone.When using the Amazfit Band 5, I had to manually enable a lot of the 24-hour tracking of all of this data. I didn’t have to do that with the Bip U and I assume that’s because the app was already set up from my previous review of the Band 5. Just be aware that you may have to go in and manually enable all of this on yours, including toggling on app notifications and which apps you want to be notified by.Now that it’s tracking all this information, you’re going to need a way to view it. The large 1.43-inch display is perfect for showing you all of your stats, and there is a wide selection of watch faces to choose from, nearly 50 in the store. I settled on one called Sports Rainbow which is reminiscent of the Apple Watch and gives you a nice overview of most of your data.You can get an even better look at your data by using the Zepp app which you’ll need to set up the watch.AppI had a bit of a love/hate relationship with the Zepp app in the Amazfit Band 5 review. This was mostly because it was a huge pain to set everything up. The app isn’t organized all that well and some of the English translation is a little off.However, with everything already set up from the Band 5, using the Zepp app this time around was a lot more pleasurable. That’s because after you get everything set up, you mostly stick to the main page for checking your stats.When that’s all you’re using the app for it works great. It’s easy to check your most vital stats, tapping on them gives you a more in-depth look, and additional useful information. This is a big reason I loved the Zepp app, for the way it presents your health data and the insight it provides about the information.Battery LifeHuami rates the Amazfit Bip U for up to nine-days of usage off a single charge. In my experience, I was getting closer to 5-6 days after a single charge.Surely, it’s possible to get nine days of usage off a single charge, but if you’re like me, then you want to enable all the sensors and get full use out of the watch. If that’s the case, you’ll be charging it up once a week to keep it running.Final ThoughtsThe Amazfit Bip U is an impressive little fitness band. It lacks the Alexa integration of the Band 5 I reviewed, but the larger display makes it much nicer to use. When comparing it to the Wear OS watch I typically use, I only found myself missing two main features, the always-on display and better notification support.If you’re not interested in having an always-on display or being able to read more of your notifications and reply to them, then the Bip U would be a fantastic choice. It is a device that helps bridge the gap between basic fitness bands and a full-blown smartwatch at a price that’s more than reasonable.Right now you can pick the Bip U up for $60 on Amazon or on sale for $50 from the Amazfit website.Buy from Amazon Buy from Amazfit

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