It is war as 5G phones race to the bottom, enticing users to buy 5G at almost unsustainable prices. New Gen 3 5G models are coming soon – the focus is on well-featured models at the lowest cost.
Samsung will announce a new A-series on 17 March. It will highlight the A-52 5G that has been the subject of extensive leaks out of Europe. It won’t be the cheapest (estimate around A$700), but it may be one of the best with a 6.5”, FHD+ 120Hz AMOLED, Qualcomm SD750G, 64+8+5+2 quad camera and 25W fast charge. People buy Samsung because it is ‘safe’ and are willing to pay a premium. There will also be an A72 5G and others in the A-series 4G range.
Xiaomi has had a limited Australian presence and will soon announce a Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G somewhere around $350. It has top specs with a 6.67”, FHD+, 120Hz, IPS, Qualcomm SD750G, 64+8+2+2 quad-camera and 33W fast charge. Meanwhile, it is running out the Gen 2 Redmi Note 9T 5G for $349.95 – excellent value.
OPPO just released the Find X3 5G series (Pro $1699, Neo $1199 and Lite $799) that are spectacular performers with high-level Qualcomm 7-and-8-series Snapdragons.
We are equally keen to see the new OPPO Reno5 mid-range series, which propelled it to the #1 Smartphone and #2 5G maker in China. There are three models – Reno5, Reno Pro and Pro+ at estimated prices from $599/650/750. These have 6.43”/6.55” 90Hz AMOLED screens, Qualcomm SD765G/MediaTek Dimensity 1000+/Qualcomm SD865 processors, quad cameras and 65WE fast charge.
OPPO will also release an entry-level A53 5G expected to be around $299. It has a 6.5” FHD+, IPS screen, MediaTek Dimensity 720, and a tri-camera.
Realme was the first Gen 3 cab off the rank in February with its realme 7 5G at $499. Its due to update that soon. Look forward to the V11 5G ($250), and V15 5G ($299) and possibly the Ford GT inspired GT 5G ($699). We are really hoping the GT come here – a Qualcomm SD888, 6.42, 120Hz, FHD+ AMOLED screen, tri camera and the works!
Motorola has yet to announce its new lower-cost 5G offerings. For now, it is Motorola G 5G plus is walking off the shelves at $499. Its great value.
5G phones race to the bottom without sacrificing specs. If you have heard of the marketing term ‘red ocean’, you will understand that all attention is now on the lower cost 5G phones (that also do 4G). Here the slightest difference in specification can mean winner of loser. With its Reno5 series and AMOLED screens, OPPO is likely to be the big winner if only because it has become a trusted brand and winner of three Canstar most satisfied customer awards.
My retail spies say the top-selling 5G smartphone at present is the OPPO Reno4 Z, driven by a run-out price of $499. Followed by the OPPO Reno4 5G at $649. Another bargain is the Samsung Galaxy 20 FE at $849, but they are concerned that higher specified phones at lower prices may stop its stellar sales.
Whatever the case – we will be reviewing most of these new phones very soon.