More and more phones offer support for 5G networks, and this also increasingly applies to midrange and budget phones. For now, however, the benefit for consumers is still very limited and the 5G networks are hardly any faster; in some cases it even turns out to be more sluggish. If you want to disable 5G to prevent that or to save your battery, follow the steps in this article.
5G on Android phones
With the recent introduction of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 and Snapdragon 690, chipsets from the midrange and budget segment, the supply of 5G phones will increase rapidly in the coming year. For high-end phones released in the past year – and certainly also this year – 5G support is always available. Exceptions to this are Samsung’s Galaxy S20 devices with the Exynos 990 without the extra 5G modem, or OnePlus phones that are marketed with 5G, but do not work with 5G networks at Dutch providers.
Advantages of 5G include higher speeds and lower latency – with a much lower latency it should be possible to game with less delay and thus also play competitively via mobile networks. Latency is namely the time between the execution of an action and the arrival of the action on the servers of the game agency.
Limited 5G Effects
In practice, little of these improvements has come to fruition for the time being. This problem is twofold – on the one hand, the backbone infrastructure is often not yet optimized for 5G, and on the other hand, you can only rake in 5G in the Netherlands at low frequencies below 2000 MHz. On those frequencies, the advantage of 5G is very limited, sometimes with a slightly faster connection. At the same time, 5G may use more energy; especially now that it is still relatively new, the modems are sometimes still inefficient and it can have an impact on your battery life.
If you find that your battery is draining faster after you start using 5G, it may pay off to turn 5G off. The same is true if network speeds have dropped. Below you can read how on Android phones you can choose to receive only 2G, 3G and 4G and thus exclude 5G.
This is how you disable 5GG
Below we describe the steps that apply to Samsung phones and to devices that basically look more like a Pixel phone. Disabling 5G support for your Android phone will probably be similar to either step. Always look for the option to indicate network preferences in the settings menu.
Step-by-step plan for Samsung:
- Open it settings menu
- Navigate to Connections
- Click below Connections on Mobile networks
- Then click Network mode
- Select 4G/3G/2G (auto connect)
Step-by-step plan for other Android phones:
- Open it settings menu
- Navigate to Wi-Fi and network
- Click below Wi-Fi and network on SIM and network
- Then click Preferred Network Type
- Select LTE (or 4G) as preferred network
If available, your Android phone now ‘prefers’ 4G networks and you will no longer be automatically connected to a 5G cell tower. As indicated earlier, steps may differ per Android phone, or certain menus are given a different name. Are you planning to (temporarily) disable 5G on your phone? Be sure to let us know in the comments at the bottom of the article.