The best 4G phones of 2013
BlackBerry Balance is used to divide home and work life, and BBM is still an integral part of the experience. The handset itself is a practical, minimally designed bit of hardware with a reasonable specification and eye-popping screen. It’s a confident return to prominence for BlackBerry, and worth a look if other operating systems don’t appeal.
Nokia Lumia 820
Windows Phone 8 fans don’t have to miss out on 4G thanks to the Nokia Lumia 820 – the current sweet-spot when it comes to Microsoft’s mobile OS.
It’s just as powerful as the flagship Lumia 920, but it’s more manageable thanks to a slimmer, lighter chassis. Build quality remains excellent, and the white exterior can be replaced with colourful shells. The 4.3in screen is superb, and the camera is good – even if it can’t quite match the images produced by the Lumia 920’s PureView shooter.
The Lumia 820 is one of the most striking phones on the market, and its smaller size means it’s a good option if flagship devices are too large.
Sony Xperia Z
The Sony Xperia Z looks sleek, but it’s one of the toughest smartphones we’ve reviewed. Its adherence to several IP Code standards means the Xperia is protected against dust ingress, and it will also survive being dunked in water for up to 30 minutes.
The Snapdragon S4 Pro chip helps the Xperia deliver some of the best smartphone benchmarks we’ve ever seen, and the 1080p screen helps games look their best.
The battery lasts longer than most rivals, and the 13-megapixel camera has good detail and colour accuracy. The Sony Xperia Z is a great handset if you need a little more protection from the elements.