While the 4G LTE networks of Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint are all in various stages of rollout, all share one thing in common: they are (or, in the case of Sprint's own network, will be) fast. But for the sensible consumers, speed isn't enough unless its backed up by equally speedy and attractive hardware. So in the spirit of informed consumerism, here are some of the best 4G LTE devices that are either available now or will be in stores within the next few months.
It's hard not to cheer for the Lumia 900. Both a representative of the Icarian Nokia and Microsoft's impressive-but-struggling Windows Phone OS, the Lumia 900 is an solid, wonderfully designed phone that deserves all the accolades it's been getting.
Notable features: Attractive, unique design, 8-megapixel camera, Windows Phone OS
The cheapest of Sprint's 4G LTE options announced so far, the LG Viper will be a simple introduction to Sprint's fledging network when it gets off the ground later this year. Eco-friendly, the device is made from recycled materials -- a big feature for the more environmentally-conscious smartphone users out there.
The rapid sequel to the original Droid Razr, the Droid Razr Maxx improves on its predecessor in every way possible. Offering a significantly more sizable battery while somehow not sacrificing its svelte form, the Razr Maxx is the ideal device for those looking for 4G LTE speeds that don't come at the forfeit of battery life.
Notable features: Slim design, 3300mAH battery, Kevlar backing
With so few 4G LTE devices to call its own so far, Sprint could have done much, much worse than to add Samsung's Galaxy Nexus to its 4G LTE ranks. The device is the most recent flagship Android phone and one of the best devices around on any carrier.
Notable features: 4.5-inch HD Super AMOLED display, Android 4.0
While LG may not make the most popular Android phones, the company did a pretty good job with the Nitro HD, a $99 smartphone that comes equipped with 1.5 Ghz processor and 4.5-inch HD display.
Image credit: Josh Miller: CNET
Samsung has a pretty unfortunate habit of announcing more than its share of tablets, but that's not something AT&T is likely to care about in the case of the Galaxy Tab 8.9. The device is one of the three tablets AT&T currently offers on its 4G LTE network. That makes the tablet a rare commodity, and a viable alternative to the iPad, AT&T's more significant 4G LTE tablet.
Notable features: Thin profile 1.5Ghz processor
Released late last year, one of the bigger problems with the 8.2- and- 10.1-inch Xyboard tablets was that their prices made them pretty tough to recommend. Unfortunately, its a few months later and that hasn't changed. Still, if price isn't really an object or you are really intent on buying into Verizon's 4G LTE network, Motorola's Xyboards are pretty solid devices, price considerations very much aside.
Notable features: Attractive, durable design
The latest Sprint 4G LTE Phone to be announced, the EVO 4G LTE is a big deal for both Sprint and HTC. Possibly beating out Sprint's version of the Nexus S 4G, the EVO 4G LTE is a solid, attractive device that comes equipped with a swath of features that HTC hopes will differentiate it from its competitors.
Notable features: Fast, camera, dedicated camera button, kickstand, Beats Audio, HD voice
Have you heard of the iPad?
Apple's latest tablet made quite a splash when it appeared earlier this year with a 4G LTE radio stuffed inside it. Verizon and AT&T were, in a word, enthused.
Notable features: Brilliant design, Apple ecosystem, etc
Samsung's Galaxy Note may have been the butt of many jokes when it was first released, but the phone has quickly cemented itself as the ideal device for those looking for all the features of a smartphone with the feel of a more portable tablet. Also, stylus support.
Notable features: Large, bright screen, stylus