I've been using a 5G mobile for two weeks as the personal mo and this has been my experience

I've been using a 5G mobile for two weeks as the personal mo and this has been my experience

5G is already a reality. Vodafone has been the first operator to deploy this new network in Spain in the band of 3.7 GHz in cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Valencia, Seville or Mlaga, the coastal city where I live.

Vodafone and Xiaomi have lent us Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 5G to be able to test your network, see how it behaves and, of course, conclude if there are differences with respect to using a 4G device on a daily basis.

I've been using the Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 5G for two weeks as my daily phone, one week forcing the 4G connection and another week activating the 5G. In both cases, I used the phone as personal, that is, messenger, mail, social networks, browsing and consumption of multimedia content.

In addition, I have done some synthetic tests to see download speed and compare it with the speed of 4G, also of Vodafone. These have consisted of downloading movies and series on Amazon Prime Video, playlists on Spotify, heavy applications from Google and speed tests. These tests have been run at different points in Mlaga to see if there are variations.

First thing: a couple of notes on Vodafone 5G

The 5G of Vodafone is 5G NSA, that is, "5G Non-Standalone". That means that the 5G network, in part, is supported by the current 4G infrastructure. Therefore, we have a maximum thermal speed of 1 Gbps, but a lower upload speed, similar to what we would have using the 4G network. Basically, the current 5G is a kind of appetizer of what is to come.

The 5G NSA is a higher download speed, higher network capacity, less latency and Mobile Edge Computing capabilities. That is, it is a faster and less saturated network, but not until the arrival of 5G SA (with all that that implies in terms of infrastructure and investment) when we can access all the advantages.

The 5G is still in the NSA phase, so, for practical purposes, we will only notice an improvement in download speed

Also, it should be noted that Vodafone 5G is only available at unlimited rate (the one with unlimited data) and prepaid plans. For that matter, we have been able to access a SIM card with the first one, so consumption has not been a problem.

On the other hand, the mobile we have used is the Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 5G, which is the same as the standard version only that has the Snapdragon 855 and the Qualcomm X50 modem. As they point out from Vodafone, "the current 5G terminals that Vodafone sells can be used with the 5G SA network by updating their software."

The test results: it is faster, and now

5G speed test results

That said, let's talk about the test results, which were done in different places of Mlaga. The downtown area and the Caleta (the promenade) stand out for having the best coverage, so it is through this area that we have moved. They are not the only ones, but the busiest areas.

Not all applications are optimized to download using 5G, which is why it can be seen that, in some cases, download times do not change radically despite having more speed. From Vodafone they told us that among the optimized are Vodafone TV, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, Ookla (the speed test) and Hatch, a mobile gaming platform in streaming.

The speed is up to 10 times higher than what we can get using the 4G network

It is obvious that The download speed is much higher than when we use 4G, up to 10 times, although we have never been able to access, in any test, that Gbps that Vodafone 5G is able to offer. The highest we have achieved are 522 Mbps, half. However, the upload speed does not change so much. In fact, it is curious that in most cases we have had an equal or higher speed using 4G. Remember that we talk about 5G NSA, not 5G SA.