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Should I Buy 4G or 5G Phone UK Edition [2022]

Written by, Nikola Dimovski

Updated March, 29, 2023

Since the first 5G phones debuted in 2019, mobile manufacturers have slowly moved to produce phones that are compatible with 5G networks. Although the world didn’t move as quickly as expected, 5G phones eventually eclipsed their 4G counterparts.

But, is our current world a 5G world? Should I buy 4G or 5G phone in 2022?

Let’s find out.

What Is the Difference Between 4G and 5G in the UK? 

4G and 5G are terms used to describe the type of wireless technology that phone companies use to support data usage.

4G is the fourth generation of mobile phone technology (superseding 3G and preceding 5G). It offers significantly excellent data speeds and bandwidth and allows for faster download and streaming speeds, compared to 3G.

5G is the fifth generation of mobile phone technology that is built on super-high-frequency airwaves, also called high-band spectrum. Although it launched back in 2019 and has seen great development since then, the 5G landscape hasn’t fully evolved yet.

Still, it delivers great numbers.

The average 5G speed in the UK is currently between 100 Mbps and 200Mbps, but the UK 5G speeds are expected to increase as the 5G rollout continues over the next few years.

What are the main differences between 4G and 5G?

The main difference between 4G and 5G in the UK is that 5G is faster, offers higher bandwidth, and has lower latency (or lag time).

How much faster? That largely depends on your carrier, but 5G speeds in the UK are expected to be 100 times faster than 4G. With those speeds, you could download a two-hour film in fewer than 10 seconds, a task that would take about seven minutes on 4G.

Should I Get a 4G or 5G Phone in 2022?

Whether you should get yourself a 5G or a 4G phone depends on your plans. 

The truth is it’s not a 5G world yet. 5G is here and is available but not for everyone and not everywhere. it’s also a far cry from the promise of 100 faster speeds than 4G, at least for the time being, though, it is faster than its predecessor. 

If you’re buying a phone, for now, 4G still seems like the better choice simply because of its reliability. 4G networks are widely available and you’re unlikely to lose connection, even in areas with a small coverage. 

On the other hand, a 5G phone, though more expensive, is the obvious choice over time. The technology is new and is developing, which means that eventually, everyone will move to 5G networks.

When will 5G be nationwide in the UK?

The 5G network in the UK is expanding rapidly, but it hasn’t reached every corner of the UK. However, it is expected to be available in most places in the UK within the next few years.

For now, 5G coverage in the UK is limited to several cities and areas. EE was the first operator to launch 5G in the UK, followed by Vodafone, Three, O2, and many MVNOs. 

Is 4G being phased out?

Many carriers, including 5G providers, believe that 5G’s widespread availability will mark the end of 4G networks. But, that’s unlikely to happen anytime soon. 

What’s more, 5G was not created to take 4G’s place; it was built to work alongside it.

What Are the Benefits of 5G?

5G networks are an improvement on 4G not only in the sense of speed and latency but they’re also expected to solve the problem of network congestion.

Here are the main benefits of 5G:


The next-generation network is expected to have more capacity than 4G. That means no more buffering and connection issues at big games and concerts since many more people will be able to connect their devices to the Internet.

Reduced latency

Latency refers to the delay between sending and receiving data. 4G networks have very low latency and 5G is expected to bring it down to virtually zero. This will help gamers in different parts of the world be on the same page at the same time when gaming, but it will also be essential to other technologies, like self-driving cars.

Improved battery life

5G reduces battery usage because it is faster. It takes less time and less power to transmit the same amount of data.

Enhanced security

5G boasts many security wins, mostly related to spoofing and anti-tracking features that make it harder for bad actors to manipulate and track your device. Not only does 5G encrypt more data, but it also relies on software and cloud-based systems more than previous networks, which will allow for better monitoring of potential threats. 

Which Phones Have 5G?

Most of the major smartphone manufacturers now offer 5G support. That includes most of Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones, as well as the newest iPhone 12 and iPhone13 models, the OnePlus 8 (and newer), Google Pixel 4A 5G (and later), and a few other phones on the market.

If you are looking for 5G data plans, you should check with your mobile network provider to see what plans are available in your area. Most providers offer a variety of 5G plans in the UK, including unlimited data plans, so you should be able to find one that fits your needs.

Will a 5G phone work on 4G?

5G phones are compatible with all previous cellular network technologies. They support 4G/3G/2G networks. 

Bottom Line 

Should I buy 4G or 5G phone in 2022? 

4G will probably be good enough for most people in 2022 (unless you’re trying to keep up with the Joneses). Still, if you’re buying a new phone, chances are it will support 5G networks since most manufacturers started making next-gen phones since the 5G debut.

My name is Nikola, and I’m an SEO Specialist and a tech enthusiast. I graduated from the Faculty of Economics, the department of E-Business Management. My experiences go from implementing ERP Solutions, CRM practices, and finally, on-page and off-page SEO. I take pride in staying ahead of the curve when it comes to SEO and keeping up with the latest changes to search algorithms. I love experimenting with new strategies and testing the results to see what works best. Outside of work, I enjoy tinkering with new tech gadgets and exploring the latest apps and software programs.