Now that UK mobile fans have access to 4G networking there are a growing number of smartphones which support this high speed standard. This means that you have to choose between competing handsets when you upgrade and hope that your decision was good enough to keep you happy over the course of a contract. If you are looking at Android vs BlackBerry 4G phones, there is no shortage of options. To narrow things down, here are five of the best devices on the market at the moment and the features they bring to the table.
Sony Xperia Z1
The Xperia Z1 is Sony’s current flagship Android phone and earns a place amongst the top handsets thanks to its five inch 1080p display, quad core processor and 20.7 megapixel camera. It is great for apps, gaming, web browsing and video streaming thanks to its hardware assets. It is also the only handset in this list which comes with a water resistant design, allowing you to splash it and even submerge it completely in liquid without causing the internal electronics to fizzle out. There is an epic 3000mAh battery on board which should give you a decent amount of 4G usage from a single charge, but unfortunately it cannot be removed so carrying a spare is not an option.
The Z10 runs BlackBerry’s answer to Android in the form of the BB 10 operating system. In combination with its 4.3 inch 720p screen this lets you enjoy a touch-optimised interface which is great for multitasking. A dual core processor and 2GB of RAM help to keep the platform running smoothly and although the Z10 does not yet have quite the app library of its Android rivals, it is quickly catching up thanks to investment from BlackBerry.
The screen is relatively large and has a decent resolution, which means it does a good job of handling web browsing and video playback. Like all of its Android rivals mentioned here, there is no physical keyboard, which might annoy long-time BlackBerry fans who are used to this feature being present.
Its premium chassis may not be as resilient as that of the Xperia Z, but the HTC One is hands down the best looking smartphone on sale at the moment. With a 4.7 inch 1080p screen it makes browsing a doddle and is also good for online gaming, thanks to the powerful quad core CPU that beats at its heart.
HTC’s Blinkfeed service is another feature worth using in conjunction with a 4G connection, since it is designed to aggregate content from a variety of social platforms and apps in a single interface and keep you on top of goings on in real time.
Samsung Galaxy S4
The Galaxy S4 is definitely the biggest seller in the list and is also one of the better equipped phones thanks to its 5 inch Super AMOLED 1080p display, 1.9GHz quad core processor and 13 megapixel camera. With such a big screen and a pixel-dense panel, it is really all about offering users a deep entertainment experience. Watching movies, even when the phone is being used in bright sunlight, is engaging and connected services like S-Voice will be better with 4G available to them.
The cheapest phone in this list is the Q5 from BlackBerry. Although it is the more affordable sibling of the Z10, it still has most of the same internal components and also runs the BB 10 platform. What makes the Q5 special is the fact that it has a physical QWERTY keypad, like its predecessors such as the BlackBerry Curve. This means it is great for people who want to rattle off social networking updates, tweets and emails when they are out and about. Because the keypad is placed prominently on the front of the phone, there is less room for the screen, which is why it is only 3.1 inches across the diagonal.
The display also has a square aspect ratio, rather than offering the wide-screen resolutions that are available on all of its more expensive rivals. This means video playback is hampered somewhat because you will have to watch widescreen content with black bars, or choose to stretch or zoom in on the content. So while you might be able to write an essay about a film on the Q5, it might not be ideal for actually watching one.
Having said that the BlackBerry Q5 on 4G contract offers makes an intriguingly affordable proposition for anyone who is looking to experience this high speed networking without breaking the bank.