Is it a good idea to buy a 5G smartphone in India?

Is it a good idea to buy a 5G smartphone in India?

Is it the right time to buy a 5G smartphone or do we wait further, is a question we are often asked these days in India. There is still no clarity about when the latest network connectivity will be available in the country, even though at least two telecom operators Reliance Jio and Airtel, have confirmed that they are working on the same.

In fact, telecom major Bharti Airtel had demonstrated a live 5G service on a use case basis over a commercial network in Hyderabad on 28th January this year, while billionaire Mukesh Ambani has publicly committed that Reliance Industries (RIL) will be ready for India’s ‘5G revolution’ in the second half of 2021.

The 5G Evolution

5G is the 5th generation of the mobile network that can deliver ultra-fast speeds, low latency, blazing-fast download speeds, increased network availability in areas with poor connectivity and much more. It is a new global wireless standard, which replaces 4G.

5G mobiles in India started launching in early 2020 even though 5G services have not been rolled out in the country yet. 5G smartphone shipments crossed 3 million in 2020 that accounts for 2% of all smartphones purchased. Market intelligence firm CyberMedia Research (CMR) has predicted that overall 5G smartphone shipments in 2021 will account for 10% of the total phones purchased, which is around 11 million.

Brands like Realme, Xiaomi, OPPO have jumped onto the bandwagon and started making 5G phones extremely price-friendly in India already. The Realme Narzo 30 Pro, released in February 2021, is currently the most affordable 5G mobile one can buy in India. It costs only Rs.16,999 and comes with a 5000 mAH battery, 6 GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage, MediaTek Helio G95 Chipset and triple camera setup. Motorola also took everyone by surprise by launching the Moto G (5G phone) at Rs.20,999 with HD & IPS LCD panel, 6 GB RAM and a 5,000mAh battery that supports 20W fast charging and three rear cameras. 6 GB RAM mobile provides great performance and reliability.

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Should you buy a 5G smartphone?

As with many choices, there are some pros and cons associated with buying a 5G smartphone which we will discuss more below:

Pros:

  • If you want to future-proof your phone, then opting for a 5G mobile phone could be a wise choice. It gives you the flexibility to easily use a 4G SIM card if a 5G network is not available. Once the network is available, you can seamlessly switch over to it.
  • Owning a 5G phone is no longer considered out of reach when 5G phones today are so affordable. The Realme X50 Pro and iQOO 3 were both launched in February 2020 and priced over Rs. 40,000 for the 5G variant. However, since then, things have changed a lot. With Realme, Xiaomi, Oppo competing aggressively, it won’t be hard to purchase a 5G phone in the sub 25000 segment nowadays. In fact, in the upcoming months of 2021, one can also expect to see 5G mobiles in the under 15000 segments.
  • There are plenty of options already available under 5G as compared to last year. And you won’t be compromising on any phone specifications in your pursuit of a decent 5G handset.

For instance, the Xiaomi Mi 10i is an attractive 5G compatible mobile loaded with a robust spec sheet. A powerful 8GB RAM, 4,820mA with 33W fast-charging, 128 GB internal storage, Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G processor and impressive 108MP primary camera makes it one of the best 5G phones under Rs. 25000.

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Cons:

  • Commercial 5G networks are live in 61 countries worldwide. Unfortunately, the 5G rollout plans in India have been delayed due to ongoing challenges for telecom companies and the delay of spectrum allocation by the government.
  • Since the proper 5G roll out in India may take time, you can expect devices with better chips meant for 5G to be made available at affordable prices.
  • The 5G adoption is relatively new in India. Hence, you may end up paying a slight premium for a 5G handset however gain no access to the 5G network at this point. 

To conclude:

Buying a 5G phone is entirely up to one’s personal preference and there is no right answer at this point. However, 5G should not be the dominant reason to buy a phone. If you are looking to upgrade your phone, you should also look at other factors such as display, design, battery, camera, performance and price.

At the Bajaj Finserv EMI Store, you will gain access to the latest 5G phones from the leading brands and be able to compare features and specifications. Once you have finalized on your handset, just use the Bajaj Finserv EMI Network card at checkout.  The purchase cost will be divided into easy EMI’s at no additional cost for a maximum tenor of 24 months. You can also foreclose the loan at no additional cost.

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