Verizon and AT&T are getting ready to raise the stakes to their competition with their 4G Android smartphones (HTC Inspire 4G and HTC Thunderbolt respectively). The four major US carriers will have at least one 4G Android-based smartphone and which makes it assuring that next generation of wireless technology has arrived. Having all these said, I think it is time to let you know about how the devices along with the carriers rate among their competition, and who will rule the mobile regime.
Smartphones with features such as dual-core processors, RAM , display and wireless capabilities are considered for the final decision. But, the 4G technology and the coverage/range provided by the carriers are also important. To make this decision, the carriers are considered with the 4G handsets provided by them. Read through to find out who comes out victorious.
Sprint was the first carrier in the US to launch their 4G network, and allowing Android devices such as HTC EVO 4G connect to 4G. Sprint is also the only carrier in the US who are still using WiMAX for deploying 4G to its customers, whereas LTE is the next big thing towards which the wireless industry are moving. On their 4G coverage website, they claim to have peak download speeds more than 10 Mbps with average turning out to be 3 to 6 Mbps. They do have some work to do with the coverage and speed but for now, they are one of the largest providers of 4G. Currently, Sprint provides three 4G handsets and they are news regarding new handsets for future releases.
HTC EVO 4G
This was the world's first Android-based smartphone to feature 4G technology and was a huge hit when it was released last year. Although it is bit old, it still stands up to the latest released Android smartphones in the market. The handset features 1 GHz Snapdragon processor, 4.3-inch screen and Android OS 2.2 . The HTC EVO 4G played a great role attracting customers for Sprint compared to its competitors.
HTC EVO Shift 4G
The latest addition to Sprint's 4G range of smartphones is the HTC EVO Shift 4G, which is also claimed to be the younger brother of HTC EVO 4G. The handset features 800 MHz processor, 3.6-inch screen and Android OS 2.2 along with HTC Sense. The device has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard which shows similarities to that of HTC Desire Z and T-Mobile G2.
Samsung Epic 4G
The Samsung Epic 4G was know as the first member of the Samsung Galaxy S line-up which had 4G support. Among the line-up, it was a unique device since it features slide-out QWERTY keyboard. The device features 1 GHz Hummingbird processor, Super AMOLED display and Android OS 2.1. Their software with TouchWiz interface could turn out to be quite annoying. Since the device is stuck at Android OS 2.1, Samsung seems to delay the upgrade to Android OS 2.2 which has created a sense of frustration among Epic 4G owners.
T-Mobile was the second carrier to release handsets which featured 4G technology. Having this said, there are claims that their network technology or coverage are not up to the figures and/or words shown in the advertising jargon. To stand up to the competition, their HSPA+ network seems to deliver speeds based on theory. AT present, their 4G smartphones are capped at 21 Mbps and are claiming that by the second half of the year the handsets would be capable of 42 Mbps. As for now, T-Mobile are providing two 4G smartphones and the Samsung Galaxy S 4G is releasing at the end of this month.
T-Mobile G2 is the successor of the first Android device, T-Mobile G1, and first 4G device for the carrier. The smartphone packs 800 MHz processor which is less compared to the standard 1 GHz processors in high-end devices. The T-Mobile G2 also features Android OS 2.2 and slide-out QWERTY keyboard. For Android fans and hackers/modders, this is known to be the favorite one.
T-Mobile myTouch 4G
Among the myTouch range of phones, the T-Mobile myTouch 4G is the next generation smartphone for the line-up. The device features 1 GHz Snapdragon processor but does not have stock Android OS 2.2. In the HTC Sense UI of the myTouch, there are buttons for voice commands and interactions. The best part of this latest model of myTouch is the front-facing camera which uses a special version of the Qik video conferencing software. This provides a consistent experience in video chatting over T-Mobile's 4G network.
Samsung Galaxy S 4G
This is the second Galaxy S handset in the line-up and also an upcoming 4G handset for the carrier. It was rumoured as Samsung Vibrant 4G. The device has the same hardware and design lines as the original except for some few additions. The first one would be the 4G radio which is designed for T-Mobile's HSPA+ network and the second one would be a front-facing camera for video chatting. The spark of this smartphone could be short-lived due to the announcement of the successor of Galaxy S, the Samsung Galaxy S2.
AT&T are planning to bring out 4G LTE network at the end of this year and into 2012. AT present, the company is directing itself towards HSPA+ network and knocking out 4G. The network should be similar in terms of speed when compared to T-Mobile's network. They have also given out figures relating to download speeds of nearly 6 Mbps in their support page. AT&T have lined-up their upcoming Android-based 4G phones.
HTC Inspire 4G
The HTC Inspire 4G will be AT&T's first Android-based 4G phone which will be launched in the coming weeks. The device features 1 GHz processor and 4.3-inch screen which seems to have same specifications as that of HTC EVO 4G. But the RAM is where it all changes with 768 MB. The most attractive part of the device is the low price deal which costs $99.99 on a two-year contract. The bonus part is that the phone will be the first Android device on AT&T will can install applications from outside the Android Market.
Motorola Atrix 4G
The Motorola Atrix 4G is the one that everyone is discussing and looking forward for the good stuff. It will be AT&T's first handset to feature a dual-core Tegra 2 chipset which is clocked at 1 GHz and also has 1 GB of RAM(still not sure). All this features makes it more powerful than a laptop. For this reason, Motorola and AT&T are providing a laptop dock which makes the smartphone to transform itself to a powerful netbook. The price for the combo pack is the problem which is $499.99 after the contract. By far, the device costs only $199.99 which seems to be better than the dock which still costs $499.99. The Atrix 4G seems to be the best in the lot and hard to find any competition.
Samsung Infuse 4G
The Samsung Infuse 4G is the second device which the carrier would be offering after the Samsung Captivate. There is no word on the release period of the Galaxy S-styled handset. The device features 1.2 GHz Hummingbird processor, a massive 4.5-inch display and to top it all, it also has Android OS 2.2 with the TouchWiz interface. The screen size is one of the main selling point for the handset.
They are the last carrier in the US to offer a 4G device (HTC Thunderbolt) which is releasing a a day later than AT&T's HTC Inspire 4G. The best part is that the carrier would be the first one to launch LTE network as its wireless technology. Our friends at Phandroid tested the speed and the results were quite impressive. They achieved a steady speed of 28 Mbps over LTE. The downlink figures could go down once when Verizon's 4G network gets busy due to heavy traffic. They are offering a number of 4G devices to stand up to the competition.
This will be Verizon's first 4G handset the HTC Thunderbolt which have resemblance to the HTC Inspire 4G provided by AT&T. The smartphone features 1 GHz processor, 768 MB RAM, and a 4.3-inch display. The device will be powered by Android OS 2.2 with the HTC Sense.The bonus part of the CDMA handset is the ability to at the same time. Since we are discussing about 4G technology, the handset does not look like Verizon's flagship although it has the potential.
The LG Revolution does not have the dual-core processor which the LG optimus 2X offers. There are not enough details on the device yet, but it does pack a 4.3-inch display along with front-facing camera for video chatting with Skype. The launch period for the device is around Q2 of this year.
Motorola Droid Bionic
The Motorola Bionic will be the answer to AT&T's Motorola Atrix 4G as a dual-core handset. This device features a dual-core Tegra 2 chipset and is clocked at 1 GHz which is similar to that of Motorola Atrix 4G. The Bionic will only have 512 MB RAM which is less compared to Atrix 4G's RAM of 1 GB. This is the only 4G handset to have the Droid branding and so would be known as Motorola Droid Bionic. The most appealing part of the Motorola Bionic is the 4G capabilities which makes this to top in Verizon's 4G range of smartphones and is due to launch this spring.
Samsung 4G LTE Smartphone
The Samsung 4G LTE Smartphone is not the official name of the device but does have similarities when compared to AT&T's Samsung Infuse 4G. The device features a 4.3-inch display and uses Super AMOLED Plus technology which provides amazing picture quality. It also offers the same Android OS 2.2 with TouchWiz interface which is the same as the Infuse 4G handset.
Best from the bundle
The real battle would be between Motorola Atrix 4G and Motorola Droid Bionic. Even though the devices are close enough to each other in terms of capabilities, the Motorola Atrix 4G would be one that we think has the potential. It has the possibility of being a powerful device compared to a laptop in terms of performance.At the CES, its docking ability was impressive which has a Linux-based desktop environment and features Firefox for web browsing. All this put together, we do believe that the device will be the direction towards which mobile computing will be benchmarked in the future. We recommend that you wait for this handset to release compared to HTC Inspire 4G and Samsung Galaxy 4G.
As per our analysis, we would like to pick the best from the carrier's range of smartphones:
- Sprint - HTC EVO 4G
- T-Mobile - Samsung Galaxy S 4G
- AT&T - Motorola Atrix 4G
- Verizon - Motorola Droid Bionic
The carrier which provides the best 4G line-up
As per our verdict, Motorola Atrix 4G does come victorious when compared to the Droid Bionic and the rest of the 4G lineup. But as a carrier, Verizon has taken the top spot its excellent 4G LTE technology and network.
There are loads of options available to you and it does create problems in decisions. There are difficult choices such as getting the Motorola Atrix 4G on AT&T but Verizon provides better coverage in the network regime. Same goes for the Sprint and T-Mobile when it comes to selection part. The HTC EVO 4G or the Samsung Galaxy S 4G?....
Please vote and let us know know your verdict on the handsets: