Get ready for 4G in the UK: Four devices you can buy right now

Get ready for 4G in the UK: Four devices you can buy right now

Summary: After a long wait, 4G is finally around the corner in the UK — but it's hard to find handsets that use the UK's particular LTE spectrum. Here's a bunch you can buy to be ready for T-Mobile and Orange's 1800MHz switch-on.


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  • The HTC One XL, like all the devices on this list, has never been sold in the UK via the usual channels. However, it is available from some online retailers.

    The handset is the only one of the bunch that runs the Ice Cream Sandwich version of Android; it also comes with 16GB of internal storage and a 4.7-inch (1280 x 720 pixel) display. Under the bonnet there is a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and 1GB RAM. It has an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 1.3-megapixel forward facing camera for stills or video calling.

    More importantly, the handset's 4G LTE functionality is based in the 1800MHz and 2.6GHz bands, both of which will be used for 4G in the UK.

    The phone measures 134.8 x 69.9 x 8.9 mm, weighs 129 grams with the battery in, and is available to buy SIM-free for £399.

    Image Credit: HTC

  • While the Samsung Galaxy S3 is happily selling by the truckload at the moment, you'll struggle to find a 4G LTE variant. Fortunately, if you look hard enough, you can get your hands on a 4G version of its predecessor, the S II LTE 9210.

    Key specs are a 4.5-inch Super Amoled Plus screen (800 x 480 pixels), 8-megapixel camera and 16GB of internal storage. It also has a 2-megapixel forward-facing camera, and it will support microSD cards up to 32GB. 

    Perhaps the weakest part of this handset's spec list is the Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system.

    Connectivity wise, it comes with the smartphone staples of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0 and will support LTE networks in the 800Mhz, 1800MHz and 2.6GHz bands — all of which will eventually be used for 4G in the UK.

    Admittedly, these phones are tricky to track down from UK-based sellers, though models can be picked up from locals on eBay. However, if importing from abroad doesn't faze you, the SII LTE I9210 could still be an option — there are sites that price in pounds but ship from overseas. We found one on sale at £410.

    Image credit: Samsung

  • Next up is the LG Optimus True HD P936, which was originally targeted at the Far East but has since been confirmed to be heading for some European countries — but, alas, not the UK.

    However, a quick search of eBay will usually track one down, even if it needs to be imported from a seller in Hong Kong (we found one priced at £319 including shipping). Alternatively, there are online retailers that will import it, if you don't like the eBay route.

    Like the SII LTE, the weakest part of the LG's spec list is the Android 2.3 OS. That said, it will work with the 800MHz, 1800MHz and 2.6GHz LTE bands.

    Other specs include a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, a 4.5-inch 1280 x 720 pixel IPS display and 4GB of internal storage. It has support for microSD cards up to 32GB.

    The device measures 132.9 x 67.9 x 10.4 mm and weighs in at 135g. It is available to buy online for around £500.

    Image Credit: LG

Topics: 4G, Mobility, Smartphones, Tablets

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

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  • What's the point of paying a premiums .....

    ... for features that you won't be able to use for about a year??

    So buy a 4G device, that you can't use in 4G .... and have the pleasure of getting a crappy battery life ... just for the bragging rights???
    • Where does your "about a year" claim come from?

      The summary line starts with:
      "After a long wait, 4G is finally around the corner in the UK..."

      And the very first line of the article says:
      "Now that Everything Everywhere has been given the go-ahead to start offering 4G in the UK after 11 September..."

      So it looks like 4G will be available in the UK in a matter of weeks. What do you reckon the odds are that Mr Woods is resident in the UK too?
  • TV interference?.

    I would be interested in Mr. Woods experience of interfernece problems when the new 4G service starts in the recently vacated 800Mhz band?.