Home Tech Features We tried using 5G in the Philippines here's how it went

We tried using 5G in the Philippines here’s how it went

When you think about it, slow internet is quite the same as getting stuck in rush-hour traffic. It saps your productivity, kills your creativity, and is a massive headache especially if you just want to get something done ASAP. And in the Philippines, unfortunately, we have both.

We’ve come to accept buffers and lags when streaming videos, downloading files, gaming, and generally browsing the net. But with the exponential development of 5G, there lies the hope of much faster network speeds more and more companies are bringing out their 5G enabled devices. And while I must admit that 5G in the Philippines is still in its baby steps (so don’t throw out your 4G devices just yet) it’s something that I’m excited to see to grow into its full potential.

I personally got to experience 5G in action during the launch of the Mate 30 Pro 5G last month. Aside from being the first 5G smartphone launched in the country, the Mate 30 Pro is a stunning DSLR-smartphone with a powerful chipset (I’m not even kidding with the DSLR part, this phone has shot short films, a documentary, and a music video) that easily topped our list of smartphone releases last year.

The Mate 30 Pro 5G retails at P55,990 and comes in a gorgeous orange vegan leather caseback. The Mate 30 Pro, on the other hand, retails at P50,990 while the Mate 30 retails at P34,990.

The Mate 30 Pro 5G
Globe Telecom initially launched 5G for their Platinum users

And today, I got to try it out in 5G using Globe Telecom’s 5G network in Bonifacio High Street, Taguig.

The Mate 30 Pro 5G has a dedicated 5G toggle aside from the mobile data setting

Speed Test

Using Ookla’s speed testing app, the download speed clocked at around 240 to 290 Mbps and upload speed at 21 to 35 MBps. This was pretty consistent, though the upload speeds sometimes went down to 19 MBps.

Streaming and Downloading

I was ready for lightning fast streaming and downloading on 5G but while using the hotspot of the Mate 30 Pro 5G to stream 4k videos on my laptop, there was still a short buffer that occurred every couple of seconds. (but of course, once you let it load a bit, it smoothens out)

Downloading a 1 GB file from the Huawei App Gallery also took much longer than I’d expected and on my laptop, download speed was at roughly 1 Mbps only.

Right now, 5G seems to still be quite inconsistent as the speed sometimes tapers down to 4G levels. It also reverted to 4G or 4G+ more than once during the testing duration.

Gaming

Playing Asphalt 9 on the Mate 30 Pro 5G though, was an absolute treat. On 5G, the phone’s powerful Kirin 990 5G chipset, and Mali G-76 GPU handled the game easily.

Our Opinion

I’ll be honest here and say that 5G in the Philippines still needs some of work before it’s truly ready for wide-spread public use—especially with consistency. Currently, Globe Telecom says that they’re looking to power up the central business districts around Metro Manila with 5G within the year and other key network providers are also firing up the 5G space, so let’s wait and see.

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