4G it taking off in a big way, with EE bringing access to massive swathes of the UK, O2 and Vodafone hot on its heels and Three tempting customers with 4G access at no extra cost and that’s before we even consider the LTE-A networks that EE and Vodafone have started rolling out.
Not only is 4G now widely available but there’s an enormous selection of handsets that support it. In fact almost every smartphone made in the last few years does, covering everything from flagships to entry level phones.
Some handle it better than others though and they all have their own strengths and weaknesses above and beyond 4G, so we’ve made things easier for you by curating a list of the 10 best 4G handsets you can buy right now.
The Samsung Galaxy S5 is a year old now and has been superseded by the Galaxy S6, but it’s cheaper than Samsung’s latest flagship and actually has it beat in a number of ways.
Sure, it’s clad in plastic, but underneath that shell there’s a powerful 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor and 2GB of RAM, which ensures high-end performance.
Its big and bright 5.1-inch 1080 x 1920 Super AMOLED screen impresses too and it has a feature-packed 16 megapixel camera, a fingerprint scanner and a heart rate monitor, so it’s packed to the rafters with flagship tech.
That’s a great start, but things get even better when you consider that it’s water and dust resistant, which the Galaxy S6 isn’t. Its 2800 mAh battery also keeps it running longer than Samsung’s latest, giving it up to two days of life and unlike the Galaxy S6 it has a removable battery, which could be handy in an emergency or once the battery you get with it starts to wear out.
It’s also more affordable than ever, as you can now pick it up for around £320 SIM free if you shop around.
Sony has launched the Xperia Z3+ now, but for fans of small phones the Xperia Z3 Compact is still one of the best around.
It’s a little cheaper than Sony’s flagships and can currently be picked up from just around £285, yet it has a similar design and some impressive specs, including a 4.6-inch 720 x 1280 screen, a 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor, 2GB of RAM and a 20.7 megapixel camera.
The compact design makes it easy to fit in even small pockets and bags and to use one-handed, which is a refreshing change in a sea of oversized phablets.
It has 4G too of course or it wouldn’t be on this list, so you can get speedy mobile data on the move.
The HTC One M8 was released in early 2014 but it’s still one of the best phones around, despite the launch of the M9.
It’s immediately eye-catching thanks to a full metal body with a gently curved back, but it’s got more than just good looks. The HTC One M8 also has a lot of power thanks to a 2.3GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor and 2GB of RAM.
The 5.0 inch 1080 x 1920 Super LCD3 screen with a pixel density of 441 pixels per inch is a perfect window onto all your apps and media and it has an innovative 4 UltraPixel camera with a separate depth sensor, so it can take superb low-light shots and adjust the focus after the fact.
Audio quality from the M8 is surprisingly impressive too thanks to dual front-facing BoomSound speakers and its Sense interface is one of the most attractive Android overlays around.
It’s not quite the most powerful phone available but it’s not far off and with good looks and great features it’s one of the best 4G handsets you can buy. Plus it’s available from around £350 SIM free if you shop around.
The Sony Xperia Z3+ is Sony’s latest flagship and the only reason it doesn’t rank higher in our list is that it’s not a huge upgrade over the Sony Xperia Z3.
It’s still got a lot to shout about though, including a premium water and dust resistant metal and glass design, a powerful 2.0GHz octa-core Snapdragon 810 processor and 3GB of RAM.
There’s a pretty impressive 20.7 megapixel camera on the back too and it inherits many of the Xperia Z3’s other best features, including a long lasting 2930 mAh battery, Hi-Res audio support and PS4 Remote Play.
It’s super speedy on 4G as well, with Cat 6 support, for download speeds which can theoretically reach up to 300Mbps.
The LG G4 is an odd phone. For one thing it’s one of very few handsets which you can get with a leather back, which combined with its rear keys leaves it looking almost unique.
It’s verging on phablet sized with its 5.5-inch screen and what a screen it is at 1440 x 2560, for a pixel density of 538 pixels per inch.
The LG G4 also has a top flight 16 megapixel camera, packed full of modes and features, like 2160p video at 30fps, a laser autofocus, optical image stabilisation and a powerful 8 megapixel front-facing snapper.
With its 1.82GHz octa-core Snapdragon 808 processor and 3GB of RAM it’s not quite as much of a powerhouse as some rivals, but it’s not far behind and it’s certainly speedy on 4G, thanks to Cat 6 support.
Its 5.7-inch screen won’t suit everyone, but the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 is impressively high powered and full featured. For a start not only is that screen big but also high resolution at 1440 x 2560, giving it an amazingly crisp pixel density of 515 pixels per inch and as it’s a Super AMOLED screen the colours are also rich and bright.
It doesn’t disappoint when it comes to power either, with a 2.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 805 processor and 3GB of RAM making it one of the more powerful phones on the market.
Then there’s its 16 megapixel camera and a wealth of extra features, such as an S Pen stylus, split screen apps, a heart rate monitor, a fingerprint scanner and even a UV sensor. It really is probably the most full featured phone around and it looks good too, with a metal frame giving it an edge of quality that’s lacking from many Samsung handsets.
Better yet it’s one of a very small number of handsets that supports Cat.6 LTE for download speeds of up to 300Mbps. That means it’s fully prepared to make the most of LTE-A and more future-proofed than most of its rivals.
The iPhone 6 probably isn’t the best phone on the planet, but it’s definitely not far off.
It’s also definitely one of the best 4G phones that money can buy, as like the LG G3 and a growing number of others it supports Cat.4 LTE, which means it can deliver download speeds of up to 150Mbps, which is more than most areas of the UK even support right now. But that’s ok because it just means it will be more future-proof than some of the competition.
As well as extra fast data the iPhone 6 features a stunning new curved design with a metal shell and a super-thin 6.9mm thick build, making it one of the best looking phones money can buy.
It also has a bigger screen than past iPhone’s, bringing the size up to 4.7 inches but keeping a 326ppi pixel density thanks to a Retina HD 750 x 1334 resolution display.
It has a powerful and efficient A8 processor, an improved 8 megapixel camera, NFC for the first time ever and comes with iOS 8.4, so you can enjoy the latest version of Apple’s operating system.
We haven’t even touched on the M8 motion coprocessor or its Touch ID fingerprint scanner, but it goes without saying that this is the best Apple phone yet and one of the best 4G phones too. It’s not cheap, with prices starting at £539, but it’s worth it.
The Galaxy S6 Edge is Samsung’s most ambitious smartphone yet, combining all the great features of the Samsung Galaxy S6 with an innovative and eye-catching curved screen.
That screen is 5.1 inches and it has a QHD 1440 x 2560 resolution, for an impeccably sharp 577 pixels per inch. It’s also a Super AMOLED screen like most Samsung phones, so images are bright and vibrant.
That alone would make it just about the best smartphone screen around but it goes even further, as it’s also curved at each edge, which not only looks incredible but also adds new features, like the ability to have the edges flash in customised colours when certain contacts call you.
Beyond the screen there’s plenty of other stuff to get excited about. There’s its stylish metal and glass build, its insanely powerful 2.1GHz octa-core Exynos 7420 processor and 3GB of RAM, its refined 16 megapixel camera with optical image stabilisation for amazing blur free snaps, its improved fingerprint scanner and its fast charging.
Like the Galaxy Note 4 it also supports Cat.6 LTE, so it’s stunningly fast even when you don’t have a Wi-Fi connection. If you’ve skipped to the end of the list you’ll see that the standard Galaxy S6 has it beat, but that’s mostly down to the price, as at over £600 the S6 Edge is seriously expensive.
The HTC One M9 is the latest flagship from HTC and it’s almost certainly the most gorgeously built phone you’ll find, with a full metal body, a two-tone colour scheme and gentle curves.
There are other things to like about it too, such as its high-spec 2GHz octa-core Snapdragon 810 processor and 3GB of RAM which ensure it never fails to perform.
Some things haven’t changed from the HTC One M8, such as the 5.0-inch 1080 x 1920 screen, but it’s still more than up to the task of delivering big, sharp images.
Plenty has changed too, such as the camera. The 4 UltraPixel sensor from the HTC One M8 has been moved to the front of the phone allowing for brilliant selfies no matter the light, while the rear camera is now a 20.7 megapixel one capable of taking highly detailed photos.
BoomSound is back and better than ever, delivering loud, rich audio through the phones speakers and like other new flagships it supports Cat.6 LTE, allowing it to make the most of even LTE-A (marketed as 4G+ by EE).
It’s hard to know where to start when talking about the Samsung Galaxy S6 as there’s just so much to like. Perhaps the biggest improvement over the S5 is the build quality, as in place of plastic we get a metal frame and a glass back, all in an impossibly slim 6.8mm thick package.
The screen has had a major upgrade too. It’s still 5.1 inches and it’s still Super AMOLED, which means it’s capable of showing vibrant images that look like they could burst out into the real world, but now they’re delivered in a super-sharp 1440 x 2560 QHD resolution, for a pixel density of 577 pixels per inch.
The phone is a lot more powerful than its predecessor too of course, with a 2.1GHz octa-core Exynos 7420 processor and 3GB of RAM and even the S5’s already impressive camera has been improved on, with a new 16 megapixel sensor and optical image stabilisation.
The fingerprint scanner is far better this time around too, requiring a simple tap of the home button to work, much like Apple’s Touch ID.
And while the battery is a little on the small side at 2550 mAh, the Galaxy S6 supports both fast charging and wireless charging, so you won’t begrudge having to juice it up quite so much.
It’s a stunning phone. Probably the best phone money can buy and with incredibly fast Cat.6 4G support it’s also the best 4G phone.< Back
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