Cheapest 5G smartphones in South Africa — starting from R3,500

South Africans have a wide range of 5G smartphones to choose from for less than R7,000.

While there would have been little incentive to buy into the cutting-edge network technology in the past, the country’s two biggest mobile network operators — Vodacom and MTN — have rapidly expanded their 5G networks since launching in mid-2020.

That means there is now 5G coverage across significant sections of big metros, small cities, and towns across South Africa’s nine provinces.

When looking at the networks’ coverage maps, MTN’s growth appears to be particularly impressive.

The operator recently reached 1,000 active 5G sites, offering coverage in 38 towns and metros.

It plans to cover at least 25% of the population with 5G connectivity by the end of the year.

The maps below show where Vodacom and MTN’s 5G networks are available around Gauteng and surrounding towns and cities.

Vodacom 5G — 3 August 2022
MTN 5G network — 3 August 2022

The increased availability of 5G makes buying a smartphone for its ability to support faster network speeds more sensible than before.

In addition, the prices of 5G smartphones have come down significantly since the first models were introduced in South Africa.

The first 5G smartphone in the country — the Huawei P40 series — started at a price of R16,999 at launch in May 2020.

When MyBroadband looked at the prices of the most affordable 5G-capable smartphones in South Africa around a year later, the cheapest was Samsung’s Galaxy A32 5G at R5,494.

Another year and four months later, we have found several models available in the country for cheaper than R5,000.

Samsung once again held the crown for cheapest 5G smartphone in the country, but this time its most affordable model was the Galaxy A22 5G at R3,499.

This budget-oriented smartphone boasts modest specifications compared to flagship devices, including a 6.6-inch LCD with FHD+ resolution, 64GB storage, and a 5,000mAh battery supporting 15W fast charging.

Other manufacturers offering affordable models with 5G included Honor, Huawei, Nokia, Poco, and Xiaomi.

Below are the ten cheapest 5G smartphones you can buy in South Africa at the start of August 2022.


Samsung Galaxy A22 5G Single SIM — R3,499

Samsung Galaxy A22 5G Single SIM
OS Android 11
Display 6.6-inch 1,080 x 2,400 LCD with 90Hz refresh rate
CPU MediaTek MT6833 Dimensity 700
Storage 64GB
RAM 4GB
Rear camera 48MP + 5MP + 2MP
Front camera 8MP
Connectivity 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0
Ports USB-C, 3.5mm audio jack
Cellular 5G
SIM Single SIM
Biometrics Side-mounted fingerprint reader
Battery 5,000mAh
15W wired fast charging
Dimensions and weight 167.2 x 76.4 x 9mm (203g)

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 5G — R4,199

Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 5G
OS Android 11
Display 6.5-inc 1,080 x 2,400 LCD with 90Hz refresh rate
CPU MediaTek MT6833 Dimensity 700
Storage 128GB
RAM 4GB
Rear camera 48MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front camera 8MP
Connectivity 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0
Ports USB-C, 3.5mm audio jack
Cellular 5G
SIM Dual SIM
Biometrics Side-mounted fingerprint reader
Battery 5,000mAh
18W wired fast charging
Dimensions and weight 161.8 x 75.3 x 8.9mm (190g)

Nokia G50 5G — R4,899

Nokia G50 5G
OS Android 12
Display 6.82-inch 720 x 1,560 LCD with 60Hz refresh rate
CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon 580 5G
Storage 128GB
RAM 4GB
Rear camera 48MP + 5MP + 2MP
Front camera 8MP
Connectivity Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0
Ports USB-C
Cellular 5G
SIM Dual SIM
Biometrics Side-mounted fingerprint reader
Battery 5,000mAh
18W wired fast charging
Dimensions and weight 173.8 x 77.7 x 8.9mm (220g)

Poco M4 Pro 5G — R4,499

Poco M4 Pro 5G
OS Android 11
Display 6.6-inch 1,080 x 2,400 with 90Hz refresh rate
CPU MediaTek MT6833P Dimensity 810
Storage 128GB
RAM 6GB
Rear camera 50MP + 8MP
Front camera 16MP
Connectivity 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.1
Ports USB-C, 3.5mm audio jack
Cellular 5G
SIM Dual SIM
Biometrics Side-mounted fingerprint reader
Battery 5,000mAh
33W wired fast charging
Dimensions and weight 163.6 x 75.8 x 8.8mm (195g)

OnePlus Nord CE 5G — R5,659

OnePlus Nord CE 5G
OS Android 11
Display 6.43-inch 1,080 x 2,400 OLED with 90Hz refresh rate
CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G 5G
Storage 128GB
RAM 8GB
Rear camera 64MP + 8MP + 2MP
Front camera 16MP
Connectivity 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.1
Ports USB-C, 3.5mm audio jack
Cellular 5G
SIM Dual SIM
Biometrics Under display fingerprint reader
Battery 4,500mAh
30W wired fast charging
Dimensions and weight 159.2 x 73.5 x 7.9mm  (170g)

Honor Magic4 Lite 5G Single SIM — R5,949

Honor Magic4 Lite 5G Single SIM
OS Android 11
Display 6.81-inch 1,080 x 2,388 LCD with 120Hz refresh rate
CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G
Storage 128GB
RAM 6GB
Rear camera 48MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front camera 16MP
Connectivity 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.1
Ports USB-C
Cellular 5G
SIM Single SIM
Biometrics Side-mounted fingerprint reader
Battery 4,800mAh
66W wired fast charging
Dimensions and weight 166 x 75.8 x 8mm (189g)

Samsung Galaxy A33 5G — R5,979

Samsung Galaxy A33 5G
OS Android 12
Display 6.4-inch 1,080 x 2,400 OLED with 90Hz refresh rate
CPU Exynos 1280
Storage 128GB
RAM 4GB
Rear camera 48MP + 8MP + 5MP + 2MP
Front camera 13MP
Connectivity 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.1
Ports USB-C
Cellular 5G
SIM Dual SIM
Biometrics Under display fingerprint reader
Battery 5,000mAh
25W wired fast charging
Dimensions and weight 159.7 x 74 x 8.1mm (186g)

Huawei P40 Lite 5G Single SIM — R5,999

Huawei P40 Lite 5G
OS Android
Display 6.5-inch 1,080 x 2,400 LCD with 60Hz refresh rate
CPU Kirin 820 5G
Storage 128GB
RAM 6GB
Rear camera 64MP + 8MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front camera 13MP
Connectivity 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.1
Ports USB-C, 3.5mm audio jack
Cellular 5G
SIM Single SIM
Biometrics Side-mounted fingerprint reader
Battery 4,000mAh
40W wired fast charging
5W wired reverse charging
Dimensions and weight 162.3 x 75 x 8.6mm (189g)

Nokia X10 5G — R6,299

Nokia X10 5G
OS Android 12
Display 6.67-inch 1,080 x 2,400 LCD with 60Hz refresh rate
CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon 480 5G
Storage 128GB
RAM 6GB
Rear camera 48MP + 5MP + 2MP + 2MP
Front camera 8MP
Connectivity 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0
Ports USB-C, 3.5mm audio jack
Cellular 5G
SIM Dual SIM
Biometrics Side-mounted fingerprint reader
Battery 4,470mAh
18W fast charging
Dimensions and weight 168.9 x 79.7 x 9.1mm (210g)

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G — R6,999

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
OS Android 12
Display 6.5-inch 1,080 x 2,400 OLED with 120Hz refresh rate
CPU Exynos 1280
Storage 128GB
RAM 6GB
Rear camera 48MP + 8MP + 5MP + 2MP
Front camera 13MP
Connectivity 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.1
Ports USB-C
Cellular 5G
SIM Dual SIM
Biometrics Under display fingerprint reader
Battery 5,000mAh
25W wired fast charging
Dimensions and weight 159.6 x 74.8 x 8.1mm (189g)

Now read: Samsung versus Apple — battle of the smartphone brands

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Cheapest 5G smartphones in South Africa — starting from R3,500