The best 4G phones of 2013
EE was the first UK network to bring 4G mobile broadband to the UK – and 2013 will see O2, Three and Vodafone launch competing services. These familiar names won’t be the only companies to offer super-fast packages: Phones4u has launched a network called Life Mobile, which will provide 4G by the end of the year, and BT is rumoured to be returning to the consumer market.
The market is full of 4G-ready phones that can be used with these high-speed networks. We’ve rounded up the UK’s best 4G-capable handsets and, with iOS, Android and Windows Phone options, there’s a huge amount of choice.
The HTC One has a tough time on its hands against the Samsung Galaxy S4, so it’s handy that HTC has produced the world’s best smartphone.
It’s a gorgeous, sturdy device hewn from a single block of anodised aluminium. Iit’s just as impressive on the inside; the Snapdragon 600 chipset is a benchmark-eating monster, and the rest of the specification includes dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, NFC and an infrared transmitter that’s used to control your TV.
The 1080p screen is fantastic, and makes HTC Sense look better than ever. The One has no real weaknesses – it’s the phone to buy if you want an Android handset without compromise.
Apple iPhone 5
The Apple iPhone 5 arrived in the UK before 4G, and eight months on it’s still one of the best handsets around. It’s slim, light and gorgeous, and the metal and glass chassis contains one of the best screens in the business: the Retina panel serves up colours that seem to leap off its surface.
The camera takes fantastic photos, and the Apple A6 processor makes iOS 6 run smoothly. And, talking of iOS, the big issue – poor mapping – has been negated by the arrival of Google Maps on Apple’s platform.
Samsung Galaxy S4
The Samsung Galaxy S4 is the firm’s new flagship – and it’s set to dominate the smartphone market in 2013. It has a 5in, 1080p display, which has become the new standard on high-end phones, and it leads the way in most other departments: a 1.9GHz, quad-core Qualcomm processor, 2GB of memory, and a powerful Adreno 320 graphics core.
Samsung has lathered the latest version of Android in new TouchWiz software improvements, the camera looks like it’s going to be one of the best around, and the external design has been improved – it’s more pocketable than the Galaxy S3 and, despite the plastic exterior, the new phone feels more luxurious than its predecessor.
Click here to read our first-look review of the Samsung Galaxy S4
The BlackBerry Z10 is the first phone to use the highly anticipated BlackBerry 10 OS, and the new software is packed with features. The BlackBerry Hub is a gesture-driven interface that handles all of your communication, and edge-swipe gestures are used extensively to unlock the phone, open the multitasking view, and load the app launcher.