What speed to expect from your 5G device

Written by Kevin Liew on 05 Jun 2021
30,562 Views • Mobile News

So you finally pulled the trigger on that flagship phone you have been eyes all this while. And if you are like a lot of users out there, the final push was that very hype feature.

Yeap, I am talking about 5G. Unless you have been living under a rock all this while I’m sure you should have heard a bit about it. But you have passed the research phase and now have your device in your hands. It’s time to see if it lives up to all the hype. 

One of the key selling points of 5G technology is its speed. You want to be able to stream 4K content on the go, Listen to lossless audio (if your device can support that), and do several things that mobile speeds have just not been able to accomplish so far. My fellow mobile gamers have been waiting forever for this.

But not all 5G locations, or devices for that matter, are created equally. This is because 5G comes in three flavors. Low, mid, and High(mmWave) bands. 

What’s the difference between the bands?

Let’s start off with the low band spectrum 5G. Think of it as a blanket layer for nationwide coverage. It transmits on the same frequency that was once used for TV broadcasts —this means that it has a wide coverage area and is usable for rural areas.

Just because this is the lowest tier of the 5G stack doesn’t mean you are losing out. This is because it still has a 20% increase in speed over traditional 4G LTE.

Following this, you have the mid-band 5G which gives us a whole 6X speeds over 4G LTE, this is because while it covers a smaller radius, it allows for better allocation of resources. So you are more likely to find this around a major city. 

But when it comes to pure performance, low latency, and fast speed in the 5G arena, we can only go with mmWave High Band. With approximately 10X speeds over 4G LTE networks, millimeter-wave 5G enables messages to transmit almost immediately, but you will have to be pretty close to a tower to make use of it.

For those of you who wish to take a deeper dive into this, you can get more details on the various 5G channels and frequencies here.

How do I check my 5G Speeds?

Now that we have covered a bit of background we can get down to some actual grunt work. Figuring out what speeds our shiny new device can get and why. For this, we will need a test service. This is either a mobile app or website that allows us to test the speeds we get from our given location and device.

There are a few out there that are perfect for this but for this article, we will be using SpeedCheck. Simply because it’s easy to use and shows the results in an intuitive way. However, it is not the only option. If you know of another service you can use that too. Google speed test works just fine. All you have to do now is click on the start test button, very hard to miss, and you are off to the races. 

There are three things that will be tested, the first being Latency, then Download Speed and finally Upload Speeds.

  • Latency here is the time it takes to send a piece of data between two points. In most cases, this is between you and the test server.

  • Download speed, we all know this one. How much data we can crunch into our system over a second.

  • Upload Speed. This is a reverse of download speed and is a measure of how much data we can send over a second.

To see the difference between what you were getting on 4G LTE, i would recommend you run the test both in 4G mode and 5G mode. As an added bonus here is a link to see where your 5G speeds rank up Worldwide.

And now you know. Time to sit back and enjoy that sweet sweet speeds that only 5G can give.

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