It’s all happening in the telco space with the next generation of networks rolling out across the country and Telstra is at the head of the pack with both their network roll-out and their publicity around 5G.
There are three 5G handsets on-sale in Australia, as well as one home-hub device from HTC.
We’ve got the three handsets here in the EFTM office, but with 5G coverage no-where in sight for our local area, I took to the streets late last night to see if I could track down some 5G and put the network, and the phones to the test.
Looking at the very basic maps available on the Telstra website, I hunted down some 5G towers.
My first stop was at a car-park in the CBD. With easy access to the roof, this was my best chance to almost stand next to the 5G cell.
Unfortunately, it appears that particular cell was down, allowing a device to latch on and show “5G” coverage, but with no network throughput.
So I moved to another location just west of the CBD itself. The LG V50 which the SIM card was in was showing 5G and I was now able to get a speed test result via the Telstra website. Impressive stuff.
But I’m told that 5G network results can vary based on your proximity to the cell tower moreso than 4G in that it’s range is lower, and of course that today’s coverage is very small with very few adjoining cells.
So – I drove around looking for something better.
Having found a hot-spot, I took the time to get the official Speed Test app on each of the three phones, and put them to the test.
This is a rough look at some of the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G results:
And here is how the LG V50 fared.
Clearly much higher numbers, though perhaps not as consistent.
Using the Oppo Reno 5G returned the strongest overall result in both peak speed and overall average.
And yes, look closely, that’s a 700Mbps result on the Oppo Reno 5G.
Honestly, these results surprised me. I didn’t expect a variance between the devices, and my tests – while not lab based scientific, reflect the kinds of tests and performance in the real-world.
They were performed in the same location, with the same phone position, using the same Telstra Speedtest servers.
There’s no doubt in my mind that the Oppo Reno 5G is the fastest 5G handset you can buy today, with the LG V50.
Make no doubt about it, The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G is a cracking great phone – and in the real-world when the network’s fill with users the performance would most likely even out – let alone the completely unlikely scenario that would see you noticing the difference between a 350Mbps speed and a 550Mpbs speed in regular use.
Just to round it out, I tested all three phones down on the Harbour with a night time photo – here’s how they showed up:
Samsung Galaxy S10 5G:
Oppo Reno 5G:
For comparison, iPhone XS:
At a glance, I’d give that one to the LG and Samsung.
Overall, all three 5G phones are impressive, you can’t fault Oppo’s full-view screen at the front that is notchless and cut-out free with it’s pop up front facing camera.
Design wise it’s a dream, speed is amazing, the camera is great – and while many hate the way Oppo overlay onto the Android Operating System, if you’ve never used an Android phone it’s actually really great to use – if you have used Android it’s just different icons and settings in new locations.
All three phones are on sale at Telstra now, and while the 5G coverage is patchy at best today, it is rolling out fast, and if you’re an early adopter it’s a fun thing to be part of.
Be warned though – these speed tests can chew up date. I think I used 40GB last night:)
Trev is a Technology Commentator, Dad, Speaker and Rev Head.
He produces and hosts two popular podcasts, EFTM and Two Blokes Talking Tech. He also appears on over 50 radio stations across Australia weekly, and is the resident Tech Expert on Channel 9’s Today Show each day and appears regularly on A Current Affair.
Father of three, he is often found down in his Man Cave.