Best 4G phones 2014: 10 to choose from

Best 4G phones 2013: 10 to choose from
It's 4G, but the competition is growing

Australia is in a fairly fortunate position when it comes to LTE. While many countries around the world are still using 2G or 3G networks, the great southern land now has 4G available across all three mobile service providers.

Telstra was the first to launch LTE, way back in October 2011. Using the 1800MHz spectrum previously reserved for 2G, Telstra kicked off the 4G network arms race a full 12 months before Optus joined the fray.

Vodafone is the most recent telco to launch 4G flicking the switch in June this year to give users super fast data speeds through compatible 4G phones.

But now that all the major telcos have 4G networks running around the country, users are going to need to ensure they have compatible smartphones or mobile broadband modems to take advantage of those speeds.

Fortunately, the mobile networks are falling over themselves to stock new 4G-ready phones and updated versions of popular current models, with some of the best handsets from the top makers supporting the LTE bands. So here are ten of the finest smartphones that'll let you max out your 4G SIM from the moment it arrives.

Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung Galaxy S4

Samsung Galaxy S4 review

This year's Galaxy S series update was not without controversy. Its launch event was a bizarre music hall experience that some said was rather sexist, the phone's full of so much bloatware and additional Samsung software it's been complained about on TV, but none of these whinges have stopped the Galaxy S4 shipping in record numbers and making it the most popular Android phone around today.

The only model sold in Australia comes with a 4G-friendly radio inside it, so once you've got it, you've got the 4G power. And that's all you can ask for, really.

LG Optimus G

LG Optimus G

LG Optimus G review

LG seemingly disappeared from the smartphone market for most of 2012, only launching a series of affordable prepaid handsets.

And while the Optimus G made its debut in various markets around the world, it only hit Australia early this year.

The good news is that the Optimus G is a powerful 4G handset, laced with style and some useful software features that aren't just over-developed gimmicks.

Unfortunately for LG, the handset was released a week after its successor was announced at Mobile World Congress, which made it a hard sell. But regardless, it's still a highly functional, stylish addition to the LTE stable.

iPhone 5

iPhone 5

iPhone 5 review

Apple made a big mistake when it launched the third generation iPad, labelling it 4G despite the fact it didn't work on Australian LTE networks.

A slap on the wrist and a fine from the ACCC later, and Apple learnt its lesson. The iPhone 5 happily delivers 4G speeds to 4G customers across the country, regardless of what carrier they are with.

As for the phone itself, the iPhone 5 isn't an enormous update over the previous models, but Apple doesn't need to change things to appeal to its eager fans. It's still the mobile phenomenon it always has been.

BlackBerry Z10

BlackBerry Z10

BlackBerry Z10 review

If you want something a little more avant garde, BlackBerry's new Z10 is a nice key change from the iOS and Android handsets that make up the bulk of this list.

The first phone to run the company's new BB10 mobile OS, the Z10's software is a little quirky in places, but the powerful, feature-packed web browser and 4G connectivity makes it a decent contender for those after something fast and a little different.

Plus, with a relatively modest 4.2-inch display, it's one of the more pocketable modern smartphones and less of a slab than other big name models. Don't ignore it just because it's BlackBerry.

Having spent the past decade editing some of Australia's leading technology publications, Nick's passion for the latest gadgetry is matched only by his love of watching Australia beat England in the rugby.