Which iPhones Have 5G? A Simple Guide…

By Richard Goodwin •  Updated: 03/09/22 •  7 min read

If you’re an iPhone user and you want 5G, you are limited to a select few models right now – here’s everything you need to know about which iPhones have 5G…

Apple was fairly late to the 5G party. In 2019, we saw a slew of 5G-ready Android phones hit the market. Samsung had a few. OnePlus did too. And LG and Xiaomi. Apple gave 5G a miss in 2019, however, with its iPhone 11 lineup.

Even 2020’s iPhone SE 2020 release didn’t come with 5G. Instead, it relied on 4G LTE for mobile data, just like the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Apple didn’t believe the USA’s 5G networks were ready. It also felt the wider rollout of 5G in key markets like Europe and Asia wasn’t quite there either, so it held off on 5G until 2020, with the release of its iPhone 12 range.

Which iPhones Have 5G?

When it comes to 5G-ready iPhones, you only have a few, select options right now: either the iPhone 12 series, the iPhone 13 range and the cheaper iPhone SE 3; this includes all models in each range too – from the Mini and Standard models up to the Pro and Pro Max models.

  1. iPhone SE 3
  2. iPhone 13
  3. iPhone 13 Mini
  4. iPhone 13 Pro
  5. iPhone 13 Pro Max
  6. iPhone 12
  7. iPhone 12 Mini
  8. iPhone 12 Pro
  9. iPhone 12 Pro Max

And that’s it. Literally. The iPhone 11 range does not support 5G, not even the Pro and the Pro Max. Is the iPhone 11 still worth buying in 2020? I think so, and I’ve argued why here.

iphone 13 worth buying
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iPhone 13 Pro Max

But if you want 5G, you’re stuck with the iPhone 12 lineup. And they’re more expensive than the iPhone 11 range too. But they do all have OLED displays, 5G, and Apple’s new A14 CPU.

In 2021, all of Apple’s new iPhone 13 models will ship with 5G. And so too will the new iPhone SE, although that phone isn’t expected until mid-way through 2022.

Apple struggled with its implementation of 5G on the iPhone 12 series; the battery life was affected massively by 5G, resulting in the iPhone 11 lasting around four hours longer on a single charge than the iPhone 12.

With the iPhone 13 range, Apple is said to be fitting the new iPhones with bigger batteries in order to improve the battery life of all models. This means battery performance on the iPhone 13 range will likely be similar to what we got on the iPhone 11.

Does iPhone 11 Have 5G? No – Here’s Why…

The iPhone 11 – this includes all models – launched in 2019 and were extremely popular between 2019/20. The base model iPhone 11 was the last major iPhone release to ship with an LCD panel. After the release of the iPhone 12, all of Apple’s iPhones started using OLED panels of varying quality – the Pro models have better display tech.

But another major omission inside the iPhone 11 range was the fact that all three phones hit the market WITHOUT 5G support. Apple didn’t add in support for 5G until the release of the iPhone 12 series. After 2020, all of Apple’s new releases – including the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 14 – will come with 5G as standard.

But if you want to save some money and buy an iPhone 11 in 2022, you will not be able to access 5G data on it. None of Apple’s iPhone 11 models, including the Pro and Pro Max, support 5G. The reason for this is simple: Apple didn’t feel the USA’s 5G networks were up to the task, so it omitted the feature for another 12 months.

This makes sense too. The first generation of 5G phones were pretty terrible with respect to battery life – 5G modems were a massive power drain. Since then, things have moved on. Qualcomm has created some amazing new 5G modems that are now way more efficient, so running 5G on an iPhone is now fairly power efficient.

What Kind of 5G Does Apple’s iPhone 12 Run?

All of Apple’s iPhone 12 models run 5G, but if you’re in the US you’ll be able to access the even-faster millimetre wave 5G which was developed by Verizon. Outside the US, in the UK for example, Apple’s iPhone 12 run on the sub-6GHz frequencies, primarily between 3.4 and 3.6GHz.

What is Millimetre Wave 5G?

As with most things related to radio waves and the dissemination of mobile data, the technology required to deploy millimetre wave 5G is super complex – too hard to convey accurately in words (especially since I am no engineer). Instead, here’s a visual guide to what millimetre wave 5G is and how it is different from other forms of 5G.

Is 5G Dangerous?

A lot of people are wary of 5G, following tons of bunk science being posted on social media and web forums. The claims, some of which are utterly bonkers, like the idea that 5G is being used to infect people with COVID, are, once again, examples of the internet running away with itself.

The simple fact you need to know about 5G is that the radiation it gives off is non-ionising. What does this mean? Well, ionising radiation – the type of radiation emitted by the sun and found in gamma rays – can and will damage DNA and causes cancer.

The radiation associated with 5G is non-ionising which means it does not have the required energy to damage DNA. Furthermore, both the WHO has and many other public bodies have signed off on 5G and mobile phones, in general, as perfectly safe for use.

People are understandably concerned over whether they might elevate their risk of cancer, but it’s crucial to note that radio waves are far less energetic than even the visible light we experience every day – Dr David Robert Grimes, physicist and cancer researcher, speaking to the BBC.

What about the 2018 report that showed rats developing cancers after prolonged exposure to radiation? It happened, yes, but these rats were literally bathed in high doses of radio-frequency radiation for nine hours a day for two years.

Not only that but some rats in the study were exposed while still in their mother’s bellies.

And that kind of exposure, over such a long period of time, will obviously cause some issues. Bizarrely, it didn’t seem to affect female rats negatively and all the rats that were exposed to the radiation lived longer than those in the control group.

The study’s lead concluded that, based on the findings, the level of radiation emitted by mobile phones – which is magnitudes lower – posed ZERO threat to human health. Even with prolonged use.

Supported iPhone 12 5G Bands in USA

Supported iPhone 12 5G Bands in UK

Which iPhones Have 5G? Wrapping Up…

As of right now – so, late-2021 – the only iPhones that support 5G are the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Pro Max, the iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 13 Pro, and the iPhone 13 Pro Max.

If you’re in the market for a new iPhone, and you’re currently using an iPhone 11 or older, go with the iPhone 13 – any of the models. They’ll be a massive update over what you’re currently using.

As for the iPhone 12 series, if you’re running an older iPhone and want to save a bit of cash, you can now get plenty of really good deals for Apple’s iPhone 12 range. For instance, an iPhone 12 Pro Max will cost you about the same as an entry-level iPhone 13.

And the iPhone 12 Pro Max has a vastly superior camera setup and more RAM. If you like bargains, buying a year-old iPhone flagship is one of the best ways to ensure you get yourself a great deal.


Apple’s iPhones and Macs are expensive. So are its iPads. But did you know you could save around 40% on ALL of Apple’s products by buying a refurbished model? If you don’t mind running slightly older hardware, like the iPhone 11 or a MacBook from 2018, you will save a fortune – find out more here.

which iPhones have 5G?
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Richard Goodwin

Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.

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