Answering this in Lay man’s terms, each generation of cellular connectivity has been different in the way it functions and yes, it requires Hardware compatible with it.

Remember when 4G came out and you searched the same.

Newer phones support older generation cellular connectivity ( back compatibility) , but not the other way around.

So, No, your 4G phone doesn’t support 5G, let’s understand why?

5G is a completely new technology, and it demands for a different set of hardware, mainly due to the frequency band it works on and the amount of data flowing between the network.

What is needed to run 5G?

There are two components which essentially make way for any cellular connectivity:

  1. Processor
  2. 5G adaptor


Keeping it easy to understand, with newer generations of connectivity, the amount of data being transferred increases and if the processors cannot keep up with the transfer rates, it will lead to bottle-necking, which practically wont make sense.

Understanding the current scenario, the latest generation of processors don’t only have to deal with data flow and processing, but also Artificial Intelligence.

With such high barrier for processing power, there are quite a few newer processors that support 5G connectivity.

Processors supporting 5G:

  1. Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 + Qualcomm X50
  2. Kirin 980


Adaptor is the part of hardware which sends and receives the data, each technology needs a different adaptor. Adapters are different for 3G, 4G and 5G and also different for sub generations.

Adaptors are responsible for data transfer rates.

Only if your phone has both the processor and adaptor compatible with 5G connectivity, is when your phone will be able to run 5G.

I know your phone isn’t compatible with 5G, are you thinking of buying a new 5G phone? let me know.

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