Caution! These 5G Phone Cases are Fake

fake 5G phone case

“2020 is the year 5G goes mainstream”, as the Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon declared at a conference. 2019 saw the start of the wide deployment of 5G, with a few hiccups. Everyone is excited to see how the fifth-generation mobile network will change the world. 5G cell phones from Samsung, Huawei, LG and other phone makers, have been flooding onto the market. And Samsung recently launched its newest flagship, the Samsung S20 series, which are 5G compatible, making the market even more competitive.

Samsung Galaxy S20 5G smartphones

The phone accessory industry has also been working on gadgets and accessories that will work with 5G devices, because 5G is quite different to 4G. Some companies are already selling 5G phone cases, but, if you look closer, you will find that there is no difference between these so-called 5G phone cases and the current 4G phone cases that you are using right now.

The question is, are they really 5G compatible? How can you tell if any of these cases actually work or not?

Are these so-called 5G phone cases real?

Even though the industry has not issued any standards or licensing rules for 5G phone cases, companies are already seizing the chance to make cases for 5G phones, whether they are compliant or not. Not long after 5G cell phones began to make a splash, the number of 5G phone cases mushroomed in a relatively short time. If you search “5G phone case” on Google now, you will get over 152 million results, that’s a lot of cases. These new cases are sold and branded by some phone case makers as 5G compatible, basically a marketing ploy to get you to buy a new case. For example, new cases for the Samsung S20 5G, were available for sale before the official launch of the actual phones themselves.

phone case with a 5G tag

Why are they fake?

Those 5G cases are using the same regular materials, such as plastic, wood, leather and silicone. There is no mention of any new techniques to address any problems that 5G might bring. The specs, product descriptions and compatibility lists, all look the same to that of other phone cases. It’s clear that these phone case makers just use the word “5G” to attract public attention because they know how curious people are about 5G, the latest technology trend.

difference between 5G cases and regular cases

What does a real 5G phone case look like?

When 4G was first introduced into the market, there wasn’t any revolution in the phone case industry. You could use the same case on your phone to connect to the 2G, 3G or 4G network. Now 5G is coming, do you need to change the case? If that is so, where can you find a real 5G case?

What is 5G?

5G, or the 5th generation mobile network, is the latest cellular mobile telecommunication technology. It’s set to improve data transfer rates, reduce latency, save energy, lower cost and enhance the application of large equipment. Simply put, 5G is another cellular network that is much faster and more powerful than anything you have seen to date. It works in the same way as 4G, communicating between your phone and the cell tower, except for one thing, the radio waves used for 5G are unique radio frequencies that 4G cannot use.

5G can work on any frequency spectrum, including low band, mid band and millimeter waves.millimeter waves (mmWave) are radio waves that lie within the frequency range of 30~300 GHz. 5G low or mid-band works similar as 4G, with around 100Mbps speed, or slightly faster. The 5G that people really want to experience is the 5G mmWave, the fastest of all, reaching up to 1000Mbps. The problem however is that millimeter waves have trouble passing through thick objects such as walls, likewise they can be crippled by small objects as well.  

5G mmWave 5G low band 5G mid band works on any frequency

How do regular phone cases work?

The 4G cellular network provides two-way communications. The radio antennas inside your phone send and receive signals via low frequency radio waves to communicate with the 4G cell towers installed on the top of buildings or lampposts. When your phone is too far from the nearest cell tower, or there are too many impediments between them, you will get a weak or zero signal. Regular phone cases that are made from common materials like wood, silicone, plastic, or composite materials, such as aramid fiber. They do not interfere with the radio waves used for 4G networks. And even the bulkiest phone cases, as thick as 5 inches, will do little to harm the 4G signal.   

regular phone case

Can you use a regular case on a 5G phone?

It all depends. If you are talking about the 5G low or mid-bands, the answer is that you can probably use a regular phone case without any problems, because they use a similar frequency range as 4G. However, for the 5G mmWave, a regular phone case, particularly a thick case or one made from conductive materials, will have a detrimental effect on the performance of the 5G mmWave. So, where is the 5G case that works well with the 5G mmWave?

Is there any phone case to work with the 5G mmWave?

On Jan.6, just a few days after we entered 2020, D30, the world’s leading materials company, announced a new material specifically made for 5G mmWave. The company has tested the material, D30 with 5G Signal Plus Technology, which is claimed to have 37% less signal loss than other materials on average, due to its unusual design – with numerous micro voids inside the case, allowing the fragile mmWaves to penetrate. According to D3O, their material not only provides maximum protection but also maintains a strong 5G reception. Gear4, a UK case maker working with D3O, has made their 5G cases from the new material provided by D3O, which could be the first real example of a 5G case on the market. But they didn’t seem to make much of a fuss. Why?

Gear4 5G phone case

Gear4 Hackney 5G

Is this the right time to buy 5G mmWave compatible phone cases?

Why people are buying fake 5G phone cases instead of the Gear4 5G case? Two reasons, firstly, concerns still exist regarding the reliability of the Gear4 5G cases, because the D3O 5G testing was not carried out to an official industry standard or protocol, even though their material is the only one to meet the 5G network benchmark set by Samsung. The second reason is that the 5G mmWave is far from being anywhere, therefore it is difficult for customers to do their own field testing of the 5G signal.

No 5G service on the smartphone

Having said that, you do not want to let your phone go naked, whether it’s a 5G cell phone or older.

What kind of phone case should you use to protect your 5G cell phone now?

You may not have access to a 5G network on your phone whilst moving around right now, but that doesn’t stop you from buying the Samsung Galaxy S20. 5G compatibility is just one of its many highlights. But the question is, what kind of phone case should you use to protect your 5G phone in readiness for when 5G becomes available?

Cases you should not use

Since 5G mmWave is highly sensitive, you are advised to use a thin case. It is still unclear how severe the impact is from utilizing regular case materials beside the D3O with 5G Signal Plus Technology, and you should definitely avoid cases made from conductive materials like carbon fiber and metal. It has been proven that conductive cases block the 4G signal, plus because 5G is far more fragile than 4G, they are unlikely to work with 5G.

Metal phone case bulky case

Recommended Cases

Some of you may be thinking that there are no 5G phone cases available right now because all materials affect 5G performance. Even though D3O has claimed that their new material is much better than other case materials, it still causes signal loss.

The case materials we use right now perform in different ways with 4G reception and no doubt it’s the same situation with 5G reception. What you need to do is choose the best one. And you have to decide which one to go in a 4G world since 5G is not fully established yet and there are no industry standards or rules in place for 5G case compatibility.

The Air Case is the one you can trust

The Air Case is one of the classic aramid cases from PITAKA. It is made for the latest flagship phones. Just as Samsung Galaxy S20 was announced, PITAKA was ready to launch its S20 magnetic phone case.

PITAKA Air Case S20 aramid case

The thinnest and lightest case

The thinner the case is, the stronger the 5G reception is. The Air Case is the thinnest and lightest case PITAKA has ever made, at only 0.60mm thin with a weight of just 10g. As thin as paper and as light as a feather, your phone feels naked even with it on.

PITAKA Air Case thin S20 aramid case

Military-grade and nonconductive material

The Air Case is made from 600D aramid fiber, a military-grade material widely used in aerospace, sporting cars and military applications. This Aramid fiber will protect your phone from scratches and erosions, and best of all, it does not conduct, so it barely has an effect on the 4G signal strength. As an authentic military-grade phone case, the Air Case is ideal for protecting your 5G phone whilst allowing you to surf the internet using the fast 4G network uninterrupted.

PITAKA Air Case 600D aramid fiber

In Conclusion

Do not be fooled by the bewildering choice of 5G phone cases available right now, most work just like any regular phone case. As you can now see, 5G, or 5G mmWave, is so fragile that it will be affected by your phone case.

However, this does not mean that everything will affect the 5G signal, different cases have different effects on 5G performance, just like 4G. So, if you want to protect your phone, you should choose a case that, at least, works best with 4G.

Don’t let your 5G phones go naked whilst you wait for the expansion of 5G infrastructure and the establishment of industry rules for 5G compatibility. Protect your phone with the Air Case now.

It is recommended for its premium material and excellent design. It could be your best investment in 5G, ready for when the big day finally arrives.

Claire

About the Author

Love of tea, movies, video games, and writing. I've been writing hundreds of online articles over the past few years, mainly about technology. If I'm not writing, you can probably find me reading or playing video games.

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