As Malaysia continues its rollout of the 5G mobile network, it’s perhaps understandable that for your next smartphone, you’re going to want to ensure it’s 5G-capable so that it can make use of it. While we do know that the 5G situation right now isn’t great—only Yes currently has 5G-enabled mobile plans—there is hope that it will take flight sooner rather than later. Celcom for example has already begun trialing its 5G network, while Penang also recently just got 5G coverage.
To help you pick out your next 5G smartphone then, we’ve come up with a list of some the smartphones you should consider if you’re looking for one with 5G support. Now there are some caveats of course, with the most obvious one being that it has to actually support our 5G network. As such, all of the smartphones listed here are ones listed as officially supported by Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB). Furthermore, we’ve only included smartphones that were released this year onwards, so that you will be getting the most out of your device both in terms of software support and new features.
5G smartphones below RM1,000
Starting off with the most budget-friendly category, here are the top 5G smartphones under RM1,000. Now at this price point, there aren’t actually that many options as with 5G still being a somewhat new feature, having 5G support does oftentimes mean a higher price point. That being said, there are still some smartphones at this budget that you could definitely consider.
Poco M4 5G
The first smartphone on our 5G list then is none other than the Poco M4 5G. It’s quite literally the cheapest 5G smartphone you can get brand new right now, starting at just RM699 for one with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, rising to RM899 for one with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. It packs a MediaTek Dimensity 700 under the hood, which is a rather entry-level processor. You also get a 6.58-inch FHD+ LCD display with a 90Hz refresh rate, a 13MP+2MP rear camera setup and a 5MP selfie shooter as well as a 5,000mAh battery.
Redmi Note 11s 5G
Next up, we have the Redmi Note 11s 5G, the most affordable Redmi Note device with 5G support. Priced at RM999, it has a slightly more capable MediaTek Dimensity 810 with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage along with a 6.6-inch FHD+ LCD display with a 90Hz refresh rate. The most notable improvement here is in the camera department, where it packs a 50MP main camera, an 8MP ultrawide camera and a 2MP macro sensor, along with a 13MP selfie shooter. You also get stereo speakers and a 5,000mAh battery.
Honor X8 5G
If you’d rather go with a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip, there’s also the Honor X8 5G which is also priced at RM999. However, it comes with a less powerful Snapdragon 480+ processor, mated to 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. You’ll also need to make do with a 6.5-inch, 720p display instead of the FHD+ one on the Redmi Note 11s 5G. The Honor X8 5G comes with a 5,000mAh battery, a 48MP+2MP+2MP rear camera setup and an 8MP selfie camera too.
Honourable mention: Realme 9 Pro 5G
Lastly, we have an honourable mention for the Realme 9 Pro 5G, which just only misses out on officially making the cut by being priced at RM1,099. Nevertheless, for just RM100 more, you are getting a much more capable Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 processor with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, with an 8GB+128GB version also available at RM1,199. You’ll also find a 6.6-inch FHD+ LCD display with a 120Hz refresh rate, a 5,000mAh battery and a 64MP main camera flanked by an 8MP ultrawide camera and a 2MP macro lens, along with a 16MP selfie camera.
5G smartphones below RM1500
Vivo T1 5G
Moving up the budget to RM1,500, we’re starting with the Vivo T1 5G. It retails for RM1,299 and packs a decently powerful Snapdragon 778G with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, the same processor found in the likes of the Samsung Galaxy A73 5G. There’s also a 6.44-inch FHD+ AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate, a 64MP main camera flanked by an 8MP ultrawide camera and a 2MP macro sensor as well as a 16MP front facing camera. Powering it all is a 4,700mAh battery with 66W fast charging.
Samsung Galaxy A33 5G
Another notable option is the Samsung Galaxy A33 5G. It’s recently had its price tag lowered to RM1,349 and comes with an Exynos 1280 processor, with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. You’ll also find a 6.4-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate, a 48MP main camera with an 8MP ultrawide camera, a 5MP macro lens and a 2MP bokeh sensor along with a 13MP selfie camera as well as a 5,000mAh battery. This is perhaps a solid alternative to the Vivo T1 if you’re already accustomed to Samsung’s easy-to-use One UI 4.1, and if you take care of it well should be great for the next couple of years too as it gets three major OS upgrades and up to four years of security patches.
OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G
OnePlus fans meanwhile could also consider the OnePlus Nord CE 2 5G. Packing the midrange MediaTek Dimensity 900 processor with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, it can be yours at RM1,499. It has a 6.43-inch FHD+ AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate with a 16MP camera for selfies located inside a cutout on top, while on the rear there’s a 64MP main camera, an 8MP ultrawide angle camera and a 2MP macro lens. Powering it is a 4,500mAh battery with 65W fast charging.
Realme 9 Pro+ 5G
Other notable mentions here include the Realme 9 Pro+ 5G that starts at RM1,399. It packs a 6.4-inch, FHD+ Super AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate, while under the hood is a MediaTek Dimensity 920 with up to 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage. You’ll also get a 50MP rear camera using the Sony IMX766 sensor, an 8MP ultrawide angle lens and a 2MP macro camera too, while on the front there’s a 16MP selfie shooter. The Realme 9 Pro+ 5G has a 4,500mAh battery keeping the lights on with 60W fast charging too.
5G smartphones below RM2,000
If you can bump your budget up ever so slightly to RM1,599, you probably have your most bang-for-buck option already in the form of the Poco F4. You’ll get a Snapdragon 870 processor under the hood mated to 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, with an 8GB+256GB option also available for RM1,699. Its display is a 6.67-inch, FHD+ AMOLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate, while the biggest upgrade over the Poco F3 meanwhile is probably its cameras. The Poco F4 has a 64MP main camera with OIS, flanked by an 8MP ultrawide camera and a 2MP macro lens, with a 20MP camera up front. Its battery meanwhile has a 4,500mAh capacity with 67W fast charging.
Realme GT Neo 3T
Another Snapdragon 870 option you could shortlist in this category is Realme GT Neo 3T, which retails at RM1,799. It has a 6.65-inch FHD+ AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, with a Snapdragon 870 processor under the hood mated to 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. For the display, Realme kitted it out with a 6.62-inch FHD+ AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, while for cameras it gets a 64MP main camera, an 8MP ultrawide shooter and a 2MP macro lens with a 16MP camera for selfies up front. You’ll also find a 5,000mAh battery with 80W fast charging.
Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
Samsung fans meanwhile might opt for the Galaxy A53 5G instead. Just like the Galaxy A33, it too has been given a price reduction down to RM1,699. There’s an Exynos 1280 processor under the hood mated to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, with a 6.5-inch FHD+ Super AMOLED display capable of a 120Hz refresh rate. On the back is a 64MP main camera flanked by a 12MP ultrawide camera, a 5MP macro lens and a 5MP bokeh sensor while for selfies there’s a 32MP camera up front. Powering it meanwhile is a 5,000mAh battery with 25W charging.
OnePlus Nord 2T
Also fitting this price bracket is the OnePlus Nord 2T, which goes for RM1,899 for the model with an upper midrange MediaTek Dimensity 1300 with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, though a bumped up 12GB+256GB option is also available for RM2,099. The display is a 6.43-inch, FHD+ AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate, while for cameras you get a 50MP main camera with the Sony IMX766 sensor next to an 8MP ultrawide camera and a 2MP mono lens too. In front meanwhile is a 32MP front facing camera for selfies. Keeping the lights on is a 4,500mAh battery with 80W fast charging.
Xiaomi 12 Lite 5G
Lastly, another 5G smartphone you might want to consider at this budget is the Xiaomi 12 Lite 5G. Priced at RM1,699 you’ll get a Snapdragon 778G-powered device with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, which you can bump up to 256GB for RM1,899. It has a 6.55-inch, FHD+ AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, with perhaps the best camera selection of the bunch here. The Xiaomi 12 Lite 5G has a 108MP main camera using the Samsung HM2 sensor flanked by an 8MP ultrawide shooter and a 2MP macro lens along with a 32MP selfie shooter. You’ll also find a 4,300mAh battery with 67W fast charging.
5G flagship smartphones
Finally, we get to the list of smartphones to get if you want 5G support and a flagship experience. Your budget will have to be a lot more than before of course, but we’ll still start with one of the cheapest 5G-supported flagships available in Malaysia.
Poco F4 GT
The Poco F4 GT is one of the most affordable flagship-class smartphones in Malaysia, priced at just RM2,299. It offers a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 under the hood, with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, while for RM2,499 you can bump that up to 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. You’ll also get a 6.67-inch, FHD+ AMOLED display pushing a 120Hz refresh rate and also pop-up mechanical shoulder buttons which should be of interest to the mobile gamers among you. In the camera department meanwhile is a 64MP main camera, an 8MP ultrawide shooter and a 2MP macro lens with a 20MP selfie shooter in front. Powering it all is a 4,700mAh battery with 120W fast charging.
If you’d prefer a smaller, more compact 5G smartphone, you could also consider the Xiaomi 12. It has a 6.28-inch, FHD+ AMOLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, while under the hood is a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor with 8GB of RAM and up to 256GB of storage. In the camera department, you’ll find a 50MP main camera using the Sony IMX766 sensor flanked by a 13MP ultrawide camera and a 5MP telemacro lens along with a 32MP selfie shooter. The compact form factor does mean a slightly smaller 4,500mAh battery though with 67W fast charging. The Xiaomi 12 starts at RM2,899 for the 128GB model, while for RM2,999 you can get the 256GB option instead.
Realme GT 2 Pro
At the other end of the scale is the Realme GT 2 Pro. It has a large 6.7-inch AMOLED display with a sharper WQHD+ resolution and adaptive 120Hz refresh rate. Under the hood meanwhile is a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. On the rear is a 50MP main camera with the Sony IMX766 sensor, a 50MP ultrawide angle camera and a 3MP micro-lens with 40x magnification, as well as a 32MP front facing camera for selfies. There’s also a 5,000mAh battery with 65W fast charging and a pretty unique look, having been designed by Japanese designer Naoto Fukasawa and made of biopolymer material derived of renewable sources. The Realme GT 2 Pro retails at RM2,999.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
If you want one of the best Android options out there though, you’ll of course also want to consider the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. A Galaxy Note in everything but name, you’ll find a huge 6.8-inch QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X curved edge display with an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate and a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 under the hood with up to 12GB of RAM and up to 512GB of storage. You’ll also find a very good 108MP main camera on the rear with a 12MP ultrawide camera, a 10MP 3x telephoto shooter and a 10MP 10x telephoto shooter, while the front has a 40MP selfie shooter. Powering it all is a 5,000mAh battery with 45W fast charging. It’s certainly not cheap starting at RM5,099 but if you’re keen on getting one, you can also check out our review of it here.
There’s been quite a bit of hoo-ha about how much more efficient the newer Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor is though, so if you’re in the market for a 5G smartphone with that, you can take a look at the OnePlus 10T. Priced at RM3,199 for one with 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, the OnePlus 10T has a 6.7-inch FHD+ OLED display with a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate. For cameras meanwhile there’s no Hasselblad branding but still offers a decent 50MP main camera with an 8MP ultrawide camera and a 2MP macro lens, with a 16MP selfie shooter too. You also get a 4,800mAh battery with an absurdly fast 150W fast charging.
Asus ROG Phone 6
Lastly, we also have the Asus ROG Phone 6, another Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1-powered smartphone. While it might be labelled as a gaming smartphone, having reviewed the ROG Phone 6 Pro it’s actually pretty decent all around, though I’m recommending the base model ROG Phone 6 instead here because they’re essentially the same phone except the Pro has an additional screen on the back. You get a notch-free 6.78-inch FHD+ AMOLED display with a ridiculous 165Hz refresh rate, a 50MP main camera flanked by a 13MP ultrawide and a 5MP macro lens along with a 12MP selfie camera up front. It also has the largest battery among the ones listed here yet, at 6,000mAh with 65W fast charging. It’s priced at RM3,599 for one with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, with RM4,399 for one with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage.
What about the iPhone?
One big name missing from this list though is perhaps the Apple iPhone. Unfortunately, at time of writing, none of the iPhone models are supported by DNB for 5G connectivity and so we couldn’t include them here. DNB does however have them placed under ‘upcoming devices’ for 5G support, so iPhone users could maybe see them connected to the 5G network soon. If you’re curious as to why the iPhone isn’t supported, you can click here to read YTL Communications CEO Wing K Lee talk more about the issue but the TL:DR is that Apple only supports 5G via their telco partners, which Yes—the only 5G operator in Malaysia right now—isn’t.
Going back to our list of 5G supported devices to get, there’s of course other options available that we didn’t cover. If you have a smartphone that on paper at least has 5G connectivity, you can click here to see if it’s part of the official list of supported devices by DNB. Otherwise, if you plan to change your device in the coming months, hopefully this list can help you find the right smartphone to enjoy 5G speeds soon.