Gizmodo Smartphone Buying Guide: Australian 4G Phone List (October 2013)

With all the telcos on the market offering 4G, it's easy to get confused about which phone is the right one for you. Surely it's about spending the least amount of money for the most powerful phone, right? Not necessarily. We round up all the 4G smartphones on the market to help you find the right one for you.

The Basics

Before you start on your quest to buy a shiny, new 4G smartphone, it's worth considering the basics that should underpin all tech purchases:

Know Your Budget

Setting a budget and sticking to it is paramount when it comes to tech buying, and it's especially important when it comes to getting a phone on a contract. 24 months is a long time to be stuck with one device, and if it's beyond your means, you'll either be stuck paying too much for something you don't need or something you can't afford. Do a bit of maths, find a figure you can comfortably afford per month and stick to it. Don't let yourself be duped by slick talking mobile salesfolk. At the end of the day, it's always you left holding the bag.

Decide What You Need Above What You Want

Make a list of features you know you can't live without in your smartphone. Need an ace camera? Make sure there's a note of it. Desperate for customisation options? Android's the one for you. Need a certain amount of battery life? Write that down, too. Don't get sucked into a certain device because it's shiny and neglect everything you need day-to-day.

Check Your Coverage

Having 4G support on your device sure is fun, but you need to check if you're in a 4G coverage area first. No good getting your new phone home and figuring out you can't kick back with the full benefits of 4G. You can search for your address on Telstra's 4G maps here and Optus' here. MVNOs like Virgin Mobile run on the Optus network, but if you want to be sure, it has coverage maps also. Vodafone is a new entrant into the 4G race, and you can check out its coverage offerings right here.

Research Your Device

Once you have one or two devices in mind, hit your nearest search engine to see what people who own that device think about it. You might just find that it goes bang after a month with the device or it doesn't do something you hoped it actually did. You can read reviews that we and other tech sites write until the phone goes out of style, but we can't tell you what it's like to live with over an extended period of time like others can. Also, make sure you try before you buy. Even if it involves insisting that a salesperson powers up a phone for you to try before you sign on the dotted line.

Know Thy Telco

Here's a bit of information on the telco landscape right now. For more information on 4G in Australia, read our 4G Frequencies explained feature.

Optus

Optus now has 4G coverage in parts of Sydney, Newcastle, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Perth and Adelaide. Optus has also launched its ‘4G Plus’ network using 1800MHz spectrum aka FD-LTE (Frequency Division – Long Term Evolution). By having both an FD-LTE/1800MHz network and a TD-LTE/2300MHz network, Optus can ensure that customers are moved around the network efficiently, ensuring a better service experience for everyone. Right now the main phones in market supporting dual-band 4G are the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, the updated Samsung Galaxy S4, plus the new Galaxy Note 3, LG G2, Apple iPhone 5c and Apple iPhone 5s. [Optus]

Telstra

Telstra has a solid head-start on the number-two telco in Australia, meaning that it has managed to iron out more device exclusives. Telstra says it already has 66 per cent of the population covered — “growing to 85 per cent of the Australian population by December 2013.” More coverage means more places you can use your 4G coverage before you failover to Next G. Telstra is also reportedly testing super-fast 450Mbps 4G Network. [Telstra]

Vodafone

Vodafone has more spectrum available than any of the carriers, meaning its 4G is probably the fastest in a straight race between the big three, but it’s about two years behind the game when it comes to cities covered by the LTE coverage standard. Having said that, Vodafone revamped its 4G plans in August to make life a little more competitive.

Vodafone currently has Category 4 coverage enabled in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide, unlike Telstra which only has Cat 4 in Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide.

Category 4 refers to a specific speed profile on an LTE network that allows devices to pull down a theoretical maximum speed of 150Mbps. Category 3 devices are only capable of 4G speeds up to 100Mbps, but a Category 4 device charges that right up to 150Mbps down.

Vodafone now offers the HTC One mini and Samsung Galaxy S4 with 4G category 4.

Virgin Mobile

While Optus and Virgin Mobile share the same 4G network, Virgin often has cheaper prices on 4G handsets, often the same devices Optus is offering too.

More: Everything You Need To Know About 4G In Australia

Armed with that knowledge, let's get started...

All phones are in alphabetical order, click on the name to read the full review. Have we forgotten a phone model? Let us know (politely) and we'll add it in!


2013 Australian 4G Smartphones


Apple iPhone 5S

Apple has a new flagship iPhone. The iPhone 5S adds a fingerprint sensor in the home button, uses a brand-new 64-bit processor - the first in a phone - and has a new TrueTone LED flash that promises better photos in all lighting conditions.

The iPhone 5s will be available in Australia for a recommended retail price of $869 for the 16GB model, $999 for the 32GB model and $1129 for the 64GB model. Available to purchase in gold, silver or “space grey”.

Specs • Carriers: Telstra, Optus, Vodafone • OS: iOS 7 • CPU: Dual-core A7 (64-bit) • Screen: 4-inch Retina display 1136×640 (326ppi) • RAM: 1GB • Storage: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB • Camera: 8-megapixel rear, 1.2-megapixel front • Battery: 1440mAh


Apple iPhone 5C

The iPhone 5C is the fruit company’s new ‘cut-price’ iPhone, although it’s not a great deal cheaper than previous models. It’s basically the guts of the iPhone 5, in a new body with a plastic rear shell, which is available in blue, green, pink, yellow and white.

The iPhone 5C will be available in Australia for $739 (16GB) and $869 (32GB).

Specs • Carriers: Telstra, Optus, Vodafone • OS: iOS 7 • CPU: 1.2Ghz dual-core A6 • Screen: 4-inch Retina display 1136×640 (326ppi) • RAM: 1GB • Storage: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB • Camera: 8-megapixel rear, 1.2-megapixel front • Battery: 1440mAh


BlackBerry Z30

The BlackBerry Z30 is a powerhouse, not to mention the largest BlackBerry handset ever created.It’s a full touchscreen model measuring 5-inches diagonally, packing in a resolution of 1280×720 at 295ppi. Underneath that is a dual-core 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor with a quad-core Adreno 320 GPU for handing all your video and gaming needs.

Specs • Carriers: • OS: BlackBerry 10.2 • CPU: 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro • Screen: 5-inch (1280x720; 295ppi) • RAM: 2GB • Storage: 16GB flash; up to 64GB micro SDXC • Camera: 8MP rear; 2MP front • Battery: 2880 mAH


BlackBerry Q5

Blackberry’s new, low-cost smartphone takes most of the features of the Q10, but houses them in a less expensive body. If and when it’s released in Australia, it’ll be the cheapest way to get a smartphone with a physical keyboard.

Specs Carriers: Unknown • OS: Blackberry 10 • CPU: 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 • Screen: 3.1-inch SuperAMOLED 720×720 (360ppi) • RAM: 2GB • Storage: 8GB • Camera: 5-megapixel rear, 2-megapixel front • Battery: 2180mAh


BlackBerry Q10

BlackBerry is back with the QWERTY goodness in the Q10. It's the perfect phone for those who want 4G speeds and a great physical keyboard.

Specs • Carriers: Telstra, Optus • OS: BlackBerry 10 • CPU: 1.5Ghz dual-core A6 • Screen: 3.1-inch SuperAMOLED 720x720 (360ppi) • RAM: 2GB RAM • Storage: 16GB • Camera: 8MP rear • Battery: 2100mAh


BlackBerry Z10

The BlackBerry Z10 is the new flagship touchscreen device from an ailing Canadian giant. It's loaded with 4G and packed to the gills with great productivity tools to make getting stuff done even easier on your beautiful new phone.

Specs • Carriers: Telstra, Optus • OS: BlackBerry 10 • CPU: 1.5Ghz dual-core • Screen: 4.2-inch 1280×768 screen (356 ppi) • RAM: 2GB RAM • Storage: 16GB • Camera: 8MP rear • Battery: 1800mAh


HTC One mini

The One Mini is a downsized version of the original One, with a smaller screen but most of the same powerful specs. If you’re looking for a particularly portable phone, it should be near the top of your list.

Specs • Carriers: Telstra, Vodafone • OS: Android 4.2 Jelly Bean • CPU: 1.4GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 • Screen: 4.3-inch SuperLCD 1280×720 (341ppi) • RAM: 1GB • Storage: 16GB • Camera: 4-megapixel rear, 2-megapixel front • Battery: 1800mAh


HTC One

The HTC is the 2013 flagship that put the Taiwanese manufacturer back on the map when it comes to class-leading Android handsets. It's the epitome of the One series, and one of our favourite Android handsets right now. HTC has reworked the Sense UI to make it more attractive, while introducing funky new camera tech in Zoe and a cool new social news feed in Blinkfeed.

Specs • Carriers: Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, Virgin • OS: Android 4.1 Jelly Bean • CPU: 1.7Ghz quad-core • Screen: 4.7-inch 1080×1920 (469ppi) Super IPS LCD3 display • RAM: 2GB RAM • Storage: 16GB/32GB • Camera: 8MP rear • Battery: 2300mAh


HTC One SV

HTC can do no wrong with the One series. Born out of the company's need to focus on a smaller range of products, the One series is everything we love about HTC spanned across a range of price points.

The One SV is an Optus-exclusive handset, and packs dual-core power into a bright and beautiful body complete with a 4.3-inch display. This one is for those who want a good all-rounder capable of serious speed.

Specs • Carriers: Optus, Vodafone • OS: Android 4.0 • CPU: 1.2Ghz dual-core Snapdragon S4+ • Screen: 4.2-inch Super LCD2 (800x480, 217ppi) • RAM: 1GB RAM • Storage: 8GB • Camera: 5MP rear, 1.6MP front • Battery: 1800mAh


Huawei P2

The Huawei P2 is, at present, the fastest 4G phone in Australia by virtue of it being the only device compatible with Category 4 LTE on Telstra's 4G network. Category 4 handsets are able to achieve theoretical maximum speeds of 150Mbps down. Category 4 specification is (at the time of writing) only available in Adelaide and Brisbane, but it's rolling out to other centres now.

Specs • Carriers: Telstra • OS: Android 4.1 • CPU: 1.5Ghz quad-core Huawei processor • Screen: 4.7-inch in-cell display (315ppi) • RAM: 2GB RAM • Storage: 32GB • Camera: 13MP rear • Battery: 2420mAh


LG G2

The G2 boasts a blazing 2.26GHz, quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor — the first major handset to do so — and 2GB of RAM to power its 5.2-inch 1080×1920 IPS display. The G2 will support lightning-fast dual-band LTE in Australia, and has a specially moulded, extra-large-but-still-mightly-slim 3000mAh battery under the hood to try and maximise battery life even under all that strain. The dual-band, Category 4-capable LG G2 is exclusive to Optus for the rest of 2013 at least according to LG.

Specs • Carriers: Optus • OS: Android 4.2 • CPU: 2.26GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800 • Screen: 5.2-inch IPS display (1920x1080; 424ppi) • RAM: 2GB • Storage: 16 or 32GB • Camera: 13MP rear; 2.1MP front • Battery: 3000mAh


LG Optimus G

For the uninitiated, it’s worth remembering that Google chose this phone as the device it wanted to represent the latest generation of Android by making it into a Nexus device. The only real changes between the two is the slightly faster processor on the Optimus G, and the inclusion of 4G connectivity, which is excellent.

Specs • Carriers: Telstra • OS: Android 4.1 • CPU: 1.5Ghz Snapdragon S4 Pro • Screen: 4.7-inch (1280×768; 318pi) True HD IPS • RAM: 2GB • Storage: 32GB • Camera: 13MP front; 8MB rear • Battery: 2100m Ah


LG Optimus F5

A mid-range Android smartphone released in mid-2013, exclusive to Optus.

Specs • Carriers: Optus • OS: Android 4.1 • CPU: 1.2GHz dual-core • Screen: 4.3-inch (960x540) display • RAM: 1GB • Storage: 8GB internal, up to 32GB MicroSD • Camera: 5MP rear; 1.3MP front (no flash) • Battery: 2150 mAh


Motorola Moto X

The Moto X represents the shining new hope for a Motorola under Google, and powering that dream is a 4.7-inch AMOLED 1280×720 (316ppi) screen, a 1.7GHz dual-core Snapdragon processor, a new Adreno 320 GPU, 2GB of RAM and either 16GB or 32GB worth of storage. We’ve spoken to Motorola Australia about a possible release date of the Moto X, but there’s no news to share at this point. That either means “we haven’t been told” or “we’re not telling you”. Either way, we don’t know. It should come out in the states in the coming weeks.

Specs • Carriers: TBC • OS: Android 4.2.2 (mostly stock) • CPU: 1.7GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 Pro • Screen: 4.7-inch AMOLED (1280×720; 316ppi) • RAM: 2GB • Storage: 16GB or 32GB • Camera: 10.5MP rear, 2.1MP front • Battery: 2200 mAh


Nokia Lumia 1020

The Lumia 1020 is the biggest, best and most powerful phone that Nokia has ever made. It’s fairly standard Windows Phone fare, but turn the phone over and you’ll see the massive 41-megapixel PureView camera that makes the 1020 special.

Specs • Carriers: Telstra, Optus • OS: Windows Phone 8 • CPU: 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon • Screen: 4.5-inch 1280x768 (332ppi) • RAM: 2GB • Storage: 32GB • Camera: 41-megapixel PureView rear, 1.2-megapixel front • Battery: 2000mAh


Nokia Lumia 925

The Lumia 925 represents the growing-up of Nokia's Lumia line. It has shed its polycarbonate skin for more grown up, light-weight aluminium and packs more great tech under the camera than ever before.

Specs • Carriers: Telstra, Optus, Vodafone (32GB exclusive) • OS: Windows Phone 8 • CPU: 1.5Ghz dual-core • Screen: 4.5-inch 1280×768 • RAM: 1GB RAM • Storage: 32GB • Camera: 8.7MP w/ OIS rear, 1.3 front • Battery: 2000mAh


Nokia Lumia 625

Nokia’s follow-up to the mid-range-to-budget Lumia 620 has gone bigger than ever, taking Windows Phone to an Android-like 4.7 inches. Shame about the resolution.

Specs • Carriers: • OS: Windows Phone 8 • CPU: 1.2 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Krait • Screen: 4.7-inch IPS LCD (480x800; 201ppi) • RAM: 512MB • Storage: 8GB • Camera: 5MP front; 0.3MP rear • Battery: 2000 mAh


Samsung Galaxy Express

The Samsung Galaxy Express is the mid-market version of everyone's favourite Galaxy phone. Thankfully, it comes with 4G so you can see what life in the fast lane is like without breaking the bank.

Specs • Carriers: Optus, Vodafone • OS: Android 4.1 • CPU: 1.2GHz dual-core • Screen: 4.5-inch 800x400 (207 ppi) • RAM: 1GB RAM • Storage: 8GB • Camera: 5MP • Battery: 2000mAh


Samsung Galaxy S4

The Galaxy S4 is Samsung's new top-end flagship. It's bigger, thinner, better and faster than ever before. Samsung have managed to pack a larger, five-inch screen onto the Galaxy S4 while still keeping the footprint virtually the same. It did that by adopting a similar design principle to the Galaxy Note II: smaller bezel, thinner profile and tiny, oval home key centred on the bottom of the device.

Specs • Carriers: Optus, Telstra, Virgin, Vodafone • OS: Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean • CPU: 1.9Ghz quad-core • Screen: 5-inch Super AMOLED (1080x1920, 441ppi) • RAM: 2GB RAM • Storage: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB • Camera: 13MP rear, 1.9MP front • Battery: 2600mAh


Samsung Galaxy S4 Active

The S4 Active is the S4 we all know and love, only this time with a stronger case, three physical keys at the base and waterproofed to stop you from ruining your phone when you drop it in the toilet.

Specs • Carriers: Optus, Telstra, Virgin, Vodafone • OS: Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean • CPU: 1.9Ghz quad-core • Screen: 5-inch Super AMOLED (1080x1920, 441ppi) • RAM: 2GB RAM • Storage: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB • Camera: 13MP rear, 1.9MP front • Battery: 2600mAh


Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini

It's the Galaxy S4 you like, but the one for those of us with tiny hands!

Specs • Carriers: Optus, Telstra • OS: Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean • CPU: 1.7Ghz dual-core • Screen: 4.3-inch qHD AMOLED screen (read a low-ish res 960×540) • RAM: 1.5GB RAM • Storage: 8GB • Camera: 8MP rear, 1.9MP front • Battery: 1900mAh


Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Announced at IFA 2013, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is the Korean mobile giant’s latest take on the Note phablet form factor. Speed junkies will be impressed - it’s the fastest smartphone that Samsung has ever made.

Specs • Carriers: Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, Virgin • OS: Android 4.3 Jelly Bean • CPU: 2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 • Screen: 5.7-inch SuperAMOLED 1920x1080 (386ppi) • RAM: 3GB • Storage: 32GB, 64GB • Camera: 13-megapixel rear, 2-megapixel front • Battery: 3200mAh


Samsung Galaxy Mega

The 4G Galaxy Mega is an in-store exclusive from Samsung and JB Hi-Fi - you can’t buy it directly from any of the telcos. It’s a relatively cheap huge-screen smartphone, so if you want lots of display without a large price tag, the Mega is worth considering.

Specs • Carriers: None • OS: Android 4.2 Jelly Bean • CPU: 1.7GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon • Screen: 6.3-inch 1280x720 (233ppi) • RAM: 2GB • Storage: 8GB, 16GB • Camera: 8-megapixel rear, 2-megapixel front • Battery: 3200mAh


Sony Xperia SP

The Xperia SP is the mid-range Sony smartphone with all the perks of the top-end goodies for a very affordable price. Thankfully, it's also packing 4G.

Specs • Carriers: Virgin Mobile and Vodafone • OS: Android 4.1 • CPU: 1.7Ghz dual-core • Screen: 4.6-inch 1280×720 (319 ppi) • RAM: 1GB RAM • Storage: 8GB • Camera: 8MP rear • Battery: 2370mAh


Sony Xperia Z

Last, but certainly not least, the Sony Xperia Z is the embodiment of Sony's magic. It's waterproof, shockproof, dustproof and amazing.

Specs • Carriers: Telstra, Optus, Virgin, Vodafone • OS: Android 4.1 • CPU: 1.5Ghz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro • Screen: 5-inch 1920×1080 (1080p) • RAM: 2GB RAM • Storage: 16GB • Camera: 13MP rear • Battery: 2330mAh


Sony Xperia Z1

Another IFA 2013 showstopper, the Xperia Z1 is an incremental upgrade to the Xperia Z that we loved so much. It’s built around its oversized, 20.7-megapixel camera, which has a sensor as large as most compact cameras. It’s also just as rugged as it is powerful.

Specs • Carriers: Telstra, Optus, Vodafone • OS: Android 4.2 Jelly Bean • CPU: 2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 • Screen: 5-inch TRILUMINOS LCD 1920x1080 (441ppi) • RAM: 2GB • Storage: 16GB • Camera: 20.7-megapixel rear, 2-megapixel front • Battery: 3000mAh


Sony Xperia Z Ultra

The third IFA 2013 entrant, Sony’s Xperia Z Ultra uses a massive 6.4-inch LCD screen, and like Sony’s other new smartphones it’s waterproof and dustproof. Like other phablets, it’s probably a bit big to hold to your ear, but the phone comes with a Bluetooth module which you can attach a headset to.

Specs • Carriers: Optus • OS: Android 4.2 Jelly Bean • CPU: 2.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 • Screen: 6.4-inch TRILUMINOS LCD 1920x1080 (342ppi) • RAM: 2GB • Storage: 16GB • Camera: 8-megapixel rear, 2-megapixel front • Battery: 3000mAh


Older Australian 4G Smartphones


Apple iPhone 5

This is where we saw the new 4-inch, 1136×640 screen pumping out 326ppi, an Australia-compatible 4G antenna (finally), Bluetooth 4.0 and the new Lightning dock connector.

Specs • Carriers: Optus, Telstra, Virgin • OS: iOS 6 • CPU: 1.2Ghz dual-core A6 • Screen: 4-inch Retina display (1136x640, 326ppi) • RAM: 1GB RAM • Storage: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB • Camera: 8MP rear, 1.2MP front • Battery: 1440mAh


Telstra Easy Touch 4G

A rebadged ZTE Grand X T82 targeting entry-level Android users released in 2012.

Specs • Carriers: Telstra • OS: Android 4.0 • CPU: 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Krait • Screen: 4.3-inch (540x960; 256ppi) • RAM: 1GB • Storage: 4GB • Camera: 8MP rear • Battery: 1900 mAh


HTC Windows Phone 8X

The 8X was the first Windows Phone 8 handset to come out of HTC. It's packed with a massive screen, great specs and curves so sexy you'll think they were pulled off Scarlett Johansson.

Specs • Carriers: Telstra, Optus • OS: Windows Phone 8 • CPU: 1.5Ghz dual-core • Screen: 4.3-inch Super LCD2 (1280x720, 342ppi) • RAM: 1GB RAM • Storage: 16GB • Camera: 8MP rear, 2.1MP front • Battery: 1800mAh


HTC One XL

The HTC One XL was essentially just a 4G-version of the HTC One X. Even older than the Samsung Galaxy S III 4G.

Specs • Carriers: Telstra • OS: Android 4.0.3 • CPU: 1.5Ghz dual-core Snapdragon • Screen: 4.7-inch Super IPS LCD2 (1280x720, 312ppi) • RAM: 1GB RAM • Storage: 32GB • Camera: 8MP rear, 1.3MP front • Battery: 1800mAh


HTC Velocity 4G

The HTC Velocity 4G is the smartphone that started it all here in Australia. It was the first phone to hit the market with this new, fangled 4G technology on-board. As a result, it's longer in the tooth than even the HTC One XL.

Specs • Carriers: Telstra • OS: Android 2.3.7 (upgradable to Android 4.0) • CPU: 1.5Ghz dual-core • Screen: 4.5-inch qHD S-LCD (960x540 245ppi) • RAM: 1GB RAM • Storage: 16GB • Camera: 8MP rear, 1.3MP front • Battery: 1620mAh


Motorola RAZR HD

The RAZR has finally grown up into something you might want to live with for 24 months. With a massive 2530mAh battery, the RAZR HD really is something that could go all-day, paired with a powerful set of specs all wrapped up in a splash-proof and shock-proof body, it was a serious contender.

Specs • Carriers: Telstra • OS: Android 4.0 • CPU: 1.5Ghz dual-core Snapdragon S4 • Screen: 4.5-inch ColourBoost LCD (1280x720 312ppi) • RAM: 1GB RAM • Storage: 16GB • Camera: 8MP rear, 1.3MP front • Battery: 2530mAh


Motorola RAZR M

The RAZR M, while very similar to the RAZR HD, is slanted towards a content king rather than a road warrior. It's the first Motorola RAZR to feature an "edge-to-edge screen". In layman's terms, that just means it has a tiny bezel on the sides of the screen so that you get more real estate for your apps, movies, music and games. It's a slightly smaller device, but that doesn't stop it looking amazing, and it still has the same Kevlar-coating that makes it splash-proof and shock-proof.

Specs • Carriers: Telstra, Optus • OS: Android 4.0 • CPU: 1.5Ghz dual-core Snapdragon S4 • Screen: 4.3-inch ColourBoost LCD (960x540 256ppi) • RAM: 1GB RAM • Storage: 8GB • Camera: 8MP rear, VGA front • Battery: 2000mAh


Nokia Lumia 920

Selling out before it even hits store shelves, it's this season's must have smartphone. Among the standout features are the 8.7-megapixel camera with Optical Image Stabilisation, the absurdly crisp screen and a design that turns more heads than the tennis.

Specs • Carriers: Telstra • OS: Windows Phone 8 • CPU: 1.5Ghz dual-core • Screen: 4.5-inch IPS TFT (1280x768 332ppi) • RAM: 1GB RAM • Storage: 32GB • Camera: 8.7MP w/ OIS rear, 1.3 front • Battery: 2000mAh


Nokia Lumia 820

The Lumia 820 was the younger sibling of the show-stealing Lumia 920. The main differences between the two lie in the screen, both in size and resolution, the camera and internal storage. The 820 does pack expandable storage, however, which is a rare commodity on smartphones these days.

Specs • Carriers: Optus, Vodafone (non-4G) • OS: Windows Phone 8 • CPU: 1.5Ghz dual-core • Screen: 4.3-inch IPS TFT (800x480 217ppi) • RAM: 1GB RAM • Storage: 8GB • Camera: 8MP rear, VGA front • Battery: 1650mAh


Samsung Galaxy Note II 4G

The last time we saw the Galaxy Note, we were a bit put off by the size. We weren't really sure what it was for, and neither were Aussie telcos. That device went on to sell millions of units. The follow-up album, aptly named the Galaxy Note II, brings with it more power, a larger screen and of course the most important feature: the 4G antenna.

Specs • Carriers: Optus, Virgin (Telstra next year) • OS: Android 4.1 Jelly Bean • CPU: 1.6Ghz quad-core Exynos 4412 • Screen: 5.5-inch Super AMOLED (1280x760 267ppi) • RAM: 2GB RAM • Storage: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB • Camera: 8MP rear, 1.9 front • Battery: 3100mAh


Samsung Galaxy S III 4G

Months after launch in 2012, Samsung beefed up the original Galaxy SIII with a 4G radio to sweeten the deal. With a massive quad-core processor, more RAM than the computer you had as a kid and a big, bright 4.8-inch screen, the Galaxy S III 4G remains a phone for power users.

Specs • Carriers: Optus, Telstra, Virgin • OS: Android 4.1.1 Jelly Bean • CPU: 1.4Ghz quad-core Exynos 4412 • Screen: 4.8-inch Super AMOLED (1280x720, 306ppi) • RAM: 2GB RAM • Storage: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB • Camera: 8MP rear, 1.9MP front • Battery: 2100mAh


Samsung Galaxy SII 4G

The best phone of 2011 was updated in 2012 with 4G.The processor was bumped up to 1.5GHz compared to the original phone’s 1.2GHz model. The display creeps up to 4.5 inches compared to the original model’s 4.3 inches, although the resolution is stuck at 800×480 pixels. The battery has been pumped up to accommodate 4G capability, up to 1850mAh from the original model’s 1650mAh.

Specs • Carriers: N/A (had included Telstra, Virgin Mobile, Boost Mobile) • OS: Android 4.1.2 • CPU: 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Scorpion • Screen: 4.5-inch AMOLED (480x800) • RAM: 1GB • Storage: 16 or 32GB • Camera: 8MP rear; 2MP front • Battery: 1850 mAh (user-replaceable)


Lead image: Shutterstock

This 4G Phones Guide Updated October 2013


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