It’s been over a week since the official 5G launch in India and telecom players Airtel and Jio are spearheading the next-gen network services in India right now. While Airtel has launched its NSA (Non-standalone) ‘5G Plus’ service in eight cities, Jio is following up with 5G trials in key regions and is expected to officially launch the network around Diwali this month.
However, a number of users with 5G ready devices in these supported Tier-I regions have still not been able to use 5G on their phones as of yet. The reason is a software-oriented lock on the phones that prevent them from accessing 5G networks. Such locks are often placed on devices on launch when the corresponding features are not yet available. Brands typically roll out updates to remove the locks.
With 5G support many prominent brands are yet to release such updates to enable 5G use. These include Apple, Samsung and OnePlus, among others. But others like Xiaomi, Vivo and Oppo appear to be ready for the mobile network, according to Airtel’s detailed list.
Ahead of the government pushing brands for quicker updates, here’s where every major 5G phone-maker in India stands right now on the rollout of 5G updates
The entire lineup of Apple iPhones that support 5G is yet to receive an update, which means all 5G-enabled iPhones in India are currently stuck on 4G networks. This includes the entire lineup of the iPhone 12, iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 series, as well as iPhone SE 2022 (Gen-3).
Apple has said in a statement that the company is working on the update, and plans to launch it by December in India, meaning iPhone users will likely not be able to use 5G for nearly two months since the launch of the next-gen network.
“We are working with our carrier partners in India to bring the best 5G experience to iPhone users as soon as network validation and testing for quality and performance is completed. 5G will be enabled via a software update and will start rolling out to iPhone users in December,” Apple said in a statement.
While newer Samsung phones like the Galaxy S22 series and the Galaxy A33, Galaxy M33, Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Galaxy Z Fold 4 are 5G ready already, older 5G phones by the South-Korean phone-maker are yet to receive an update to enable the same. In a new statement, Samsung has now said that the updates for these older phones that will make them 5G-ready will roll out to supported devices by mid-November 2022.
“Samsung has pioneered 5G technology development since 2009 and took the leading role in standardizing 5G technology globally. In India, Samsung has the widest portfolio of 5G devices. We are working closely with our operator partners and are committed to rolling out OTA updates across all our 5G devices by mid-November 2022, enabling Indian consumers to experience 5G seamlessly,” said a Samsung India spokesperson in a statement.
Nothing currently has just one phone on the market – the Nothing Phone (1) and the device is 5G ready right away, and will not require an update to access 5G networks.
While some Airtel users have started receiving 5G in select cities, others will have to wait for the network’s mass roll out to experience 5G
For Jio, Nothing will be pushing out a software update before Diwali to help you upgrade your handsets
— Manu Sharma (@buildingnothing) October 9, 2022
If you are on Airtel and are eligible to use 5G while in a supported region, you can simply switch 5G ‘on’ on your Phone (1) by heading to Settings> Network & Internet> SIMs> and changing the preferred network type from 4G to 5G. You can also enable the other options here – Smart 5G and 5G standalone to better your 5G experience in spotty connectivity. For Jio’s standalone networks, the brand will be launching an update to support Jio 5G before Diwali.
While OnePlus has launched a number of 5G phones for over a year now in the country, its lineup remains a mixed bag of devices that directly support 5G, or are waiting for an update. There are some older phones like the OnePlus Nord that are 5G ready straightaway, while the OnePlus Nord 2, its successor, still awaits a 5G-ready software update. Indianexpress.com has reached out to OnePlus for an update on when users can expect a 5G-ready update for supported phones. We will update once we get a statement.
The OnePlus phones that need a software update to use 5G are as follows: the OnePlus 8, OnePlus 8T, OnePlus 8 Pro, OnePlus Nord 2 and OnePlus 9R. Other OnePlus devices support 5G right away.
Amongst Google’s range of Pixel phones, the only 5G-enabled Pixel to have launched in India is the Pixel 6a which was made available earlier this year. The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro which launched earlier this month will also support 5G. While Google has confirmed that a 5G update is coming for these devices, a timeline has not been mentioned. “Pixel 7, 7 Pro and Pixel 6a are 5G capable devices. We are actively working with the Indian carriers to enable functionality at the earliest,” a Google spokesperson said.
Note that things may be different for non-India Pixel 5 and Pixel 6-series devices that have been imported in the country from abroad and it is unknown if these devices will need an update to function with 5G. This includes devices like the Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro as well, which were not officially launched in India.
A number of Motorola’s 5G smartphones await an update to become 5G-ready. These include the Edge 30-series phones, Edge-20 series phones and other devices like the Moto G 5G and the Moto G51, G17, G62 and G82. Motorola has revealed that it has already started releasing its 5G updates for some phones and others will get the update by November 5 this year.
“We have already started the roll-out of OTA software updates for enabling 5G across both SA (Reliance Jio) and NSA (Airtel & Vi) 5G modes, simultaneously on Motorola devices, enabling consumers to experience seamless 5G across operators. Our updates on the recently launched Motorola edge 30 ultra and edge 30 fusion have already been rolled out and other Motorola 5G devices will be receiving the updates in subsequent weeks, targeting completion by the first week of November 2022,” Prashanth Mani, Executive Director, Motorola Asia Pacific said.
Brands like Xiaomi, Redmi, Poco, Realme, Oppo, Vivo, iQOO and Infinix, all have 5G-ready software already installed on all supported phones, and need not wait for an update. Xiaomi has also mentioned that it will release updates for Jio’s SA (standalone) networks by Diwali.
Meanwhile, some 5G phones by manufacturers like Asus, Honor, LG, Nokia and Tecno have no official statement on when 5G updates will roll out to supported phones.
Places of Worship Act: Validity of Act ‘may not be covered’ by SC opinion in Ayodhya case, says solicitor general