When it comes to 5G, Verizon isn’t wasting any time. The second largest carrier in the US has been aggressively rolling out their next generation 5G network in more places across the US, so it’s just a matter of time before Verizon 5G shows up in your city or town. In other words – you’ll want to be ready when Verizon 5G is finally available in your area.
What is Verizon 5G?
Verizon Wireless currently takes advantage of three different network types: 5G (low-band and Ultra Wideband), 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution), and 3G (CDMA). A simple definition of 3G, 4G, and 5G is that they refer to the “generation” of wireless technology being employed.
With 3G CDMA almost fully retired, and 4G LTE dominating most of the country (covering roughly 98% of the US), Verizon is now looking ahead to the next generation of wireless broadband: 5G low-band and Ultra Wideband.
As the name suggests, Verizon’s 5G network is faster and more powerful than their previous 4G LTE network. This is because, in most cases, Verizon 5G operates at a much higher frequency than current 4G LTE. This makes it capable of delivering faster data speeds, and handle more traffic during heavily congested hours of operation or large sporting events and conventions where you have lots of people sharing the same network tower.
Early tests have shown Verizon’s 5G gigabit network already capable of delivering 1.13 Gbps data speeds, with peak speeds promised to hit 10Gbps in the future. Of course, this is Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network, which is still severely limited in range and coverage. To help combat these shortcomings, Verizon will also rollout 5G across their low-band spectrum. While 5G low-band data speeds and latency won’t be quite as dramatic as Ultra Wideband, it’s still a big improvement over 4G LTE.
Does 5G work on 4G phones?
Make no mistake: you will absolutely need a 5G compatible phone in order to connect to Verizon’s 5G network. That means Verizon 5G will not work on the vast majority of today’s 4G LTE phones, no matter how premium or high-end. This is simply because most phones lack the necessary hardware — a 5G modem — to connect.
However, there are a handful of phones that currently support Verizon 5G, although that number is still very limited. We expect most major handset manufacturers will have 5G-ready phones by the end of 2020 (although Apple is still remaining silent on plans for a 5G iPhone). With updated processors and modems, you can expect most will be compatible with Verizon’s 5G. Keep in mind Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband still has a few technological hurdles to overcome before it’s ready for prime time, so it can be awhile before we see Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband available everywhere.
Where is Verizon 5G available?
Verizon promised to bring 5G to over 30 cities by the end of 2019, and they made good on that promise, hitting 31 cities just before the end of last year. This is only the beginning. We can expect an even more aggressive rollout in 2020 as Verizon competes with AT&T, T-Mobile for 5G dominance. For a full list of Verizon 5G available cities and sporting arenas, check out the blog post Verizon 5G progress, availability, and updates.
Verizon 5G phones available now
|Retail price||Swappa price|
|Apple iPhone 12||$799||TBD|
|Apple iPhone 12 Pro||$999||TBD|
|Google Pixel 5||$699||TBD|
|Google Pixel 4a 5G||$499||TBD|
|Samsung Galaxy S20+ 5G||$1,199||$620+|
|Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G||$1,399||$775+|
|Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ 5G||$1,299||$515+|
|Samsung Galaxy S10 5G||N/A||$399+|
|LG V50 ThinQ 5G||$999||$299+|
|Motorola Moto Z4 (5G Moto Mod req’d)||$499||$197+|
|Motorola Moto Z3 (5G Moto Mod req’d)||N/A||$128+|
|Motorola Moto Z2 Force Edition (5G Moto Mod req’d)||N/A||$132+|
As previously mentioned, in order to connect to Verizon 5G, you first need a phone that’s compatible with their next gen network. Anyone looking for a comprehensive list of current Verizon 5G enabled phones, Swappa is here to help. The chart above shows the current prices — both new and used — so you can see at-a-glance current prices for Verizon 5G phones.
Best Verizon 5G phones
Verizon got an early start with 5G phones thanks to Motorola’s Moto Z lineup, all of which feature optional attachments — called “Moto Mods” — that add 5G connectivity. It wasn’t until the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G and LG V50 ThinQ 5G that we saw our first official Verizon phones coming with native 5G functionality. More recently, the Samsung Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra rounded out Verizon’s 5G phones for 2020, with a special Ultra Wideband (mmWave 5G) version of the standard Samsung Galaxy S20 5G and the LG V60 ThinQ 5G UW coming soon.
Below you’ll not only find a list of the best Verizon 5G phones currently available, but also links to their respective pages on Swappa. Although the number of listings isn’t very high for some newer devices, you’ll want to keep checking back as new Verizon 5G phone listings arrive in the marketplace.
Best Verizon 5G phone: iPhone 12
The iPhone 12 was officially released on October 23, and marks the 14th generation of Apple’s illustrious iPhone line. A followup to the previous generation iPhone 11, the iPhone 12 adds a handful of upgrades, the biggest being a new design, OLED display panel, MagSafe charging, and the addition of 5G.
The iPhone 12 supports all flavors of 5G (low-band, mid-band, and high frequency ultra-wide band), making the phone future proof for years to come. As Verizon continues to roll out their 5G nationwide network (low band) across the US, you can rest assured that whenever Verizon 5G arrives in your city, your iPhone 12 will be ready for it.
Prices for a new iPhone 12 start at $799 (64GB), but if you want the best deal, you’ll want to wait for gently used models to start showing up on Swappa. By the time you read this, there’s a good chance there will already be a few available in the marketplace, so head on over to find the best iPhone 12 deals.
Best premium 5G phone: iPhone 12 Pro
The iPhone 12 Pro takes everything people love about the 12 — new design, OLED displays, MagSafe charging, and 5G — but ups the ante with more RAM, a telephoto camera, and brighter screen. Other features include a LiDAR Scanner that enables Night mode portraits and faster autofocus in low light conditions, and improved AR. The iPhone 12 Pro also adds support for the Apple ProRAW image format, which is great for photo editing. Other than that, it’s very similar to the iPhone 12, in fact, they have the exact same dimensions with cases that fit both.
Prices for the iPhone 12 Pro start at $999 — a full $200 more than the regular iPhone 12 — but you should be able to save some money once used models begin making their way to Swappa. To start shopping iPhone 12 Pro deals, use the Swappa widget below to see how much you can save.
Best Android 5G phone: Google Pixel 5
Like most major phone manufacturers in 2020, Google finally entered into the 5G race with the release of the Pixel 5 in September. It’s a followup to the previous year’s Google Pixel 4, and adds a handful of improvements while including arguably the most future-proof feature of all: 5G. The Pixel 5 offers support for both millimeter-wave 5G (high band) and sub-6GHz 5G (low band), making it fully compatible with 5G from all US carriers.
Retailing at $699, the Pixel 5 is the highest end phone Google currently offers, with features that include a 6-inch FHD+ display, Snapdragon 765G processor, 8GB of RAM, regular and wide-angle cameras, wireless charging, water resistance, and a silky smooth 90Hz display. Really, if you can do without the more premium build, wireless charging, water resistance, and the 90Hz display — you could save $200 by going with the Pixel 4a 5G.
Best cheap 5G phone: Google Pixel 4a 5G
The Pixel 4a 5G is a followup to the Pixel 4a that launched back in August, but if you think the only differences between the two phones is the addition of 5G — you’d be dead wrong. The Pixel 4a 5G is an entirely different phone, featuring a larger 6.2-inch display, faster Snapdragon 765G processor, a bonus ultra-wide camera, and larger 3,885 mAh battery. Oh yeah, and there’s also full compatibility with all 5G networks in the US.
When compared against the more “premium” Pixel 5, the Pixel 4a 5G is missing wireless charging, less RAM, water resistance, and a 90Hz display, but it does have something that Pixel 5 doesn’t — a 3.5mm headphone jack. Along with an even larger display, the lower entry price is another big plus.
Priced at $499, the Pixel 4a 5G is a full $200 cheaper than the Pixel 5, making it a better deal considering you get mostly the same performance, in a phone that offers 90% of the features as its higher-end sibling. If you’re looking for an even better deal on the Pixel 4a 5G, you can find gently used devices at a nice discount. Keep checking back, or subscribe for alerts to be notified when new models arrive in the marketplace.
Best all-around 5G phone: Samsung Galaxy S20+ 5G
The Samsung Galaxy S20+ was officially released March 2020 on Verizon Wireless. Although we’ve seen special “5G” variants of other handsets (like last year’s now discontinued Galaxy S10 5G), all Galaxy S20 models are labeled as 5G, but there’s more to unpack here…
When it comes to the two different flavors of 5G — low-band and mmWave — all Galaxy S20 models support 5G low-band, but only the larger Samsung Galaxy S20+ and Galaxy S20 Ultra also support Ultra Wideband (mmWave) 5G. Verizon did mention that a special Galaxy S20 5G would be launching on their network later this year that also supports mmWave 5G, but it’s not available yet.
As Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband rollout continues, the Galaxy S20+ 5G will satisfy the needs of most customers. With a beautiful combination of high-end hardware, software features, and price — the Samsung Galaxy S20+ is the best overall Verizon 5G phone you can buy. The fact that it also supports low-band 5G is also a plus, should Verizon decide to go this route in the future.
Price for a new Galaxy S20+ 5G is $1,199 (128GB) at Verizon, but you can find the best deals when shopping for a gently used model on Swappa. Prices for a used Galaxy S20+ 5G start at $620 on Swappa — that’s almost 50% off the new retail price — so don’t waste any time and start saving by hitting the button below.
Best big-screen 5G phone: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G could easily be seen as the “XL” model in the lineup in more ways than one. Compared to the S20+, the Galaxy S20 Ultra has an even larger 6.9-inch display and higher capacity 5,000mAh battery. But more than that, it also represents the most premium hardware experience currently offered by Samsung and is the reason why it’s the best premium Verizon 5G phone you can buy.
Upgraded hardware includes 45W fast charging (vs 25W on the cheaper models), a 16GB RAM option, an upgraded 108MP primary camera with 48MP telephoto 100X zoom lens, as well as a 40MP front facing camera. At the time of writing, you simply can’t find a phone that matches that spec sheet.
And like the Galaxy S20+, the Galaxy S20 Ultra is also compatible with both low-band and mmWave 5G networks. Honestly, the downside to the phone is the price, with the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G retailing for $1,399 (128GB) on Verizon. For those keeping count, that’s $200 more than the Galaxy S20+, and $400 more than the Galaxy S20.
Of course, you can find Verizon Galaxy S20 Ultra prices starting at $778 on Swappa. That’s about $600 off, and almost the same price as the lowest priced Galaxy S20. But don’t let someone snatch your deal. Hit the button below to start shopping on Swappa today.
Best cheap 5G phone: LG V50 ThinQ 5G
LG V50 ThinQ specs
- 6.40-inch QHD+ OLED display
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor (w/ X50 5G Modem)
- 128GB storage
- 6GB RAM
- 5 camera system: 3 rear (16MP standard, 12MP telephoto, 12MP wide angle), 2 front (8 MP standard, 5MP wide angle)
- 4,000mAh battery
- Headphone jack (w/ Quad DAC)
- IP68 water resistance
- 159.2 x 76.1 x 8.3mm, 183g
I know. It may sound crazy to consider the LG V50 ThinQ 5G the best value 5G phone for Verizon, when it’s still being sold for $999 — but on Swappa, you can find used LG V50 models as low as $299. Not only is that a huge discount on the LG V50, but it’s a price point dramatically lower than most existing Verizon 5G phones.
The best Verizon deals
Although somewhat limited at present, 2020 will be a big year as Verizon continues with their 5G rollout in new markets. Expect most flagship phones to either come with 5G out-of-the-box, or have a special 5G variant.
While you could always pay full price for a Verizon 5G phone, you can save hundreds of dollars by shopping for a gently used phone on Swappa. Our safe and reliable marketplace makes it easy to find cheap phones that you can purchase locally, or have shipped directly to your doorstep. And if you’re looking for something new, the Swappa Deals page makes it easy to shop for the best carrier and phone deals in simple, easy-to-read format. Hit the button below to start shopping the best Verizon deals today.