Top 6 New 4G Smartphones
You’ve probably seen the TV and other ad campaigns from the major U.S. carriers boasting about their 4G networks, but what exactly does 4G mean? My colleague Kent German provides an in-depth explanation of 4G in his On Call column here, but in short, it’s next-generation wireless technology that promises data speeds at least two times faster than today’s current 3G cellular networks. For you as a consumer that means you should experience faster Web browsing, quicker downloads, and other benefits on your smartphone.
Of course, you’ll need a compatible device to use on one of the carrier’s 4G networks, and fortunately the list of 4G phones is growing. Sprint led the charge by launching the first 4G smartphone in the United States, the HTC Evo 4G, in May 2010. Since then, Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T have released at least half a dozen new 4G phones, and Verizon is expected to launch its 4G handsets shortly. Here we’ve gathered some of the latest 4G smartphones we’ve reviewed lately, so check them out to see if one is right for you. Also, have a look at some of the upcoming 4G devices.
Samsung Galaxy S 4G (T-Mobile)
The good: The Samsung Galaxy S 4G has 4G connectivity, a front-facing camera for video calls, and a larger battery. Android 2.2 offers impressive data speeds and good call quality. Other highlights include a rich and vibrant Super AMOLED touch screen and a 5-megapixel camera with 720p HD video recording.
The bad: No camera flash. The Galaxy S 4G has less internal memory than the Vibrant. There was some slight sluggishness with some tasks.
The bottom line: The Samsung Galaxy S 4G is a fantastic Android smartphone for T-Mobile customers, delivering fast data speeds and other improvements, but Vibrant owners should be fine holding off for now.
Samsung Galaxy Indulge – black (MetroPCS)
The good: The Samsung Indulge has a responsive slide-out QWERTY keyboard, good call quality, and the distinction of being MetroPCS’ first 4G Android smartphone.
The bad: Poor battery life might make some buyers think twice, and the specs don’t stand up to higher-end Galaxy S phones. It’s also rather expensive.
The bottom line: With strong specs and good call quality, the Indulge is arguably MetroPCS’ best phone, but the weak battery life is a disappointment.
Motorola Atrix 4G (AT&T)
The good: The Motorola Atrix 4G features a dual-core processor and a sharp qHD (quarter HD) display. The Android 2.2 smartphone has a sleek design and a 5-megapixel camera, a front-facing camera for video calls, and an HDMI port.
The bad: No 1080p HD video recording or playback at launch. You can’t install non-Market third-party apps. We didn’t experience great HSPA+ 4G data speeds.
The bottom line: The laptop dock is a decidedly cool (and pricey) feature, but the dual-core Motorola Atrix 4G has plenty to offer on its own. The smartphone packs speed and high-end features into a sleek package and earns its place at the top of AT&T’s
HTC Inspire 4G (AT&T)
The good: The HTC Inspire 4G is affordably priced and boasts a large display. The Android 2.2 smartphone runs on AT&T’s HSPA+ network and offers mobile hot-spot capabilities. New HTC Sense provides faster boot time and other enhancements. It also has an 8-megapixel camera that takes excellent photos.
The bad: The smartphone is rather large and heavy, and the battery cover is difficult to remove. We didn’t experience great 4G speeds. AT&T blocks third-party apps. Lacks a front-facing camera.
The bottom line: Though dual-core phones are on the way, the HTC Inspire 4G stands as one of AT&T’s best, high-end Android electronic gadgets and is an incredible value.
HTC Evo Shift 4G (Sprint)
The good: The HTC Evo Shift 4G has a solid design with a comfortable physical keyboard.The Android 2.2 smartphone is 4G capable and can be used as a mobile hot spot.
The bad: Lacks a front-facing camera and HDMI port.
The bottom line: For those who crave a physical keyboard, the tech gadgets of HTC Evo Shift 4G are a kind of solid choice with a more wallet-friendly price than its 4G competitors, and it doesn’t sacrifice too many features.
T-Mobile MyTouch 4G (white)
The good: The T-Mobile MyTouch 4G electronic gadgets feature a thin and sturdy design.The Android 2.2 device supports the carrier’s HSPA+ network and offers Wi-Fi calling and mobile hot spot capabilities. The MyTouch 4G also has a 1GHz Snapdragon processor and a 5-megapixel camera.
The bad: Speakerphone volume is too low. We had numerous issues with video calls.The smartphone is a little on the heavy side.
The bottom line: Though video chat isn’t ready for prime time, there’s plenty to love about the T-Mobile MyTouch 4G, including its speed, sleek and sturdy design, and great call quality.
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