Earlier today, I applied the March 2021 update to my Google Pixel 5. After the phone rebooted, I have started to notice some instances of where the phone will be connected to the 5G network, but it is not consistent.
The Mobile Data icon says 5G.
The Status Bar icon says LTE.
The speed test, when the Mobile Data icon indicates 5G, still seemed to indicate LTE connectivity. At the beginning of the test, the Status Bar icon indicated 5G, but switched back to LTE by the time the test concluded.
I spent 90 minutes chatting with Visible Support today to try to determine why my Google Pixel 5 would not properly connect to the 5G network. They had me do the usual steps:
I even stepped outside for a few minutes to see if reception was better outside. During all the testing, the phone would connect to the 5G network for a little while, and then disconnect. When it would connect, I was only getting download/upload speeds in the 5-10 Mbps range, which was only marginally better than what I would get on LTE.
At this time, Visible Support is escalating my issue, and I should have another update later in the week.
I would assume that since Visible support is working an active ticket, it is in General Availability (GA) for my phone. I am in a solid coverage area as designated by the Verizon Coverage Map, and Visible support agrees that I should not be having problems acquiring a 5G signal, especially when I am outside.
I just received the following update from Visible Support:
"The Google Pixel 5 became compatible starting on the 1st of March, but Visible is still working to make it stable. The Google Pixel 5 should be completely supported by 10th of March 2021."
In summary: Your mileage may vary. I ran another speed test from outdoors this morning and achieved slightly better results than yesterday. 5G reception indoors is still spotty unless near a window.
I have my doubts 5g without mmwave is going to be much better than 4g LTE in most instances. I think if you are in a major city with a phone that supports mmwave, you are probably going to see what 5g is capable of. Otherwise, I do believe many of us will simply have to wait till the technology matures and devices get better.
I haven't checked the Pixel 5 model but my 4a 5G model is not the MMW version that I purchased from Visible. So I'm assuming when they are doing everything on the software/network side. I'm even using the 4G sim card that came out of my iphone in my phone and it switches often. I will tell you it happens the same way on postpaid verizon as well if there isn't full 5G in the area and 4G is the backup. Give it time and it should sort itself out most likely.
That map is not of ultra wide band / mmWave ... Zoom in closer to see true mmWave, you'll see it as coverage in the street that cannot penetrate buildings.
I have the March 5th update, but the 5G I'm getting is either fake skinny garbage LTEA without native architecture, or extremely throttled... Probably the former.