Just a few years ago 4G was a new concept, but now it's available across most of the UK on one or more networks. EE already has well over 90% population coverage and O2, Vodafone and Three are catching up fast, while offering innovative extras, like Three's 4G Super-Voice service.
In other words 4G has taken off in a big way, and not only is it 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
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 16MP 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 fullest featured phone around and it looks good too, with a metal frame giving it an edge of quality that’s lacking from many older Samsung handsets.
Better yet it’s one of a fairly 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 some of its rivals.
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 20.7MP 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).
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 16MP camera, packed full of modes and features, like 2160p video at 30fps, a laser autofocus, optical image stabilisation and a powerful 8MP 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.
Sony’s been playing things safe recently with its smartphones, delivering modest upgrades rather than radical reinventions, but that doesn’t stop the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact being one of the best small screen phones money can buy.
With an octa-core Snapdragon 810 processor and 2GB of RAM it’s got flagship power, while its 23MP camera is one of the best to yet grace a smartphone and its 4.6-inch 720 x 1280 screen is small but fairly sharp.
The Sony Xperia Z5 Compact also packs a fingerprint scanner into its slender shell and it’s water and dust resistant, so you needn’t be afraid to get it wet.
Like many Sony phones the Xperia Z5 Compact also has great battery life, feasibly stretching to two days of moderate use, so you can make use of 4G for longer.
The Sony Xperia Z5 is basically like a larger version of the Xperia Z5 Compact, but it places slightly higher on our list as its specs are a little better.
For example it has a 5.2-inch 1080 x 1920 screen and 3GB of RAM, along with a stylish metal and glass build, plus all the things we love about the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact, such as a 23MP camera, a fingerprint scanner, an octa-core processor, water and dust resistance and a seriously long lasting battery.
It’s Sony’s best all-round phone and while there are handsets with sharper screens you sacrifice battery life to get them.
At 5.5 inches the iPhone 6S Plus is one of the biggest phones Apple has ever made and the closest thing to a phablet you can get if you want to use iOS.
It’s also one of the best phones Apple has ever made, with a super slim and stylish 7.3mm thick metal shell, a crisp 1080 x 1920 display, a great 12MP camera, a speedy Touch ID fingerprint scanner and top tier performance.
Add in Apple’s fancy pressure sensitive 3D Touch screen tech, Apple Pay support and the intuitive iOS 9 interface and you really have a true flagship. Like any good flagship it also supports 4G.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+ is just about the most powerful phone Samsung has ever made, thanks to its octa-core Exynos 7420 processor and 4GB of RAM.
It’s also got a stunning 5.7-inch 1440 x 2560 QHD display, which until the Galaxy Note 5 arrives on these shores makes the S6 Edge+ the newest and best Samsung phablet you can get and arguably the best phablet full stop.
That screen has curves at each edge too, just like the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, in fact the phone is essentially an oversized version of that handset.
But that’s no bad thing as it shares its brilliant 16 megapixel camera, secure fingerprint scanner and stylish metal and glass build.
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 16MP 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 iPhone 6S plays it too safe to quite reach the number one spot on our list, but it gets very close.
Apple has delivered a carefully considered handset with a gorgeous metal shell, lots of power, a sharp 4.7-inch screen, a fingerprint scanner, its best camera yet, Apple Pay support, 3D Touch for pressure sensitive interactions and more besides.
The iPhone 6S isn’t cheap, but then Apple phones never are and it justifies its price tag as well as any other. It’s beautiful, powerful, innovative and full of features, with 4G among them.
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 16MP 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.
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