It doesn’t feel like a long time since Samsung introduced its first device featuring 5G, the Galaxy S10. Flash forward to today, and you’ll find 5G connectivity across many Samsung phones, from the newly launched S21 range to the midrange A71 5G and A51 5G models.
Although support for 5G is being rolled out across more locations, there are still plenty of places where it isn’t yet available — so those accelerated connection speeds remain out of grasp, for now. Connectivity depends not only on your carrier, but your location too — Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T all offer 5G nationwide in the U.S., but coverage is best around major cities and metro areas. Still, choosing a phone that supports the next-generation network is a sure-fire way to future-proof your new device.
Your need for 5G all depends on how you use your phone. If you game online or download movies and TV shows, the faster connection speeds might be a boon, and on Samsung phones, it’s easy to customize your options. On most phones with 5G connectivity, it’s on by default, but you can easily change this. We’ll show you how to turn off 5G on a Samsung phone.
Turning off 5G on a Samsung phone
These instructions will work on most Samsung phones with 5G connectivity.
Step 1: Go to Settings > Connections.
Step 2: Tap on Mobile Networks.
Step 3: Tap on Network Mode.
Step 4: Select LTE/3G/2G (Auto) from the list, or one of the other non-5G options to prevent the phone from using 5G. It’s easy to switch it back on whenever you want.
Depending on your network, you may find there are only two options available under Network Mode, Manual and Automatic. If this is the case, you might be unable to turn off 5G.
Why turn 5G off?
Unless you live in a small, rural town, it’s probably best to leave the 5G Auto setting enabled, so you can take advantage of faster speed where it’s available and conserve (some) battery life where it’s not. But if extra speed isn’t critical, or you’re concerned about battery life, just leave your 5G off for now.
It’s worth pointing out that turning off 5G won’t necessarily save a significant amount of battery. Your phone isn’t constantly searching for a 5G tower — it knows when 5G is available. When you’re connected to a 4G network, if that tower also supports 5G, it will “hand off” your phone to the 5G signal. On some networks, the same antenna may be used for both 4G and 5G, and on other networks, you won’t even be switched over to the faster connectivity until you start using data.
Don’t feel compelled to turn off 5G for the sake of battery life, unless you’re frequently traveling between areas that have 5G and those without, which could affect your battery life. The default 5G settings are designed to work for most people — but remember, if you decide to turn them off, it’s easy to switch them back on again.
Always double-check with your carrier to ensure your plan supports 5G, or whether you’ll need to adjust your plan or possibly even replace your SIM card to accommodate the next-generation technology.