The UK waited what seemed like an eternity for 4G connectivity to arrive. And when it did, we were bombarded with a lot of new, and sometimes confusing information. Making sense of it all is our guide to EE's upgraded network and what it means for consumers in the UK. But having got to grips with the announcement and its implications, you may now be asking what phones will actually be running on EE's spectrum.
Unfortunately, no models released before the 4G rollout will be compatible with the network. Even if they are new to the market and run on 4G networks elsewhere in the world, these phones can't be 'upgraded' to run 4G in the UK, so you'll have to pick up one of these new releases if you want high-speed data and a contract with EE.
Varying between 4G LTE-refreshed versions of existing phones and completely new products, here's a run down of the devices you can choose from if you're eyeing up a deal with Britain's newest mobile operator. Which one takes your fancy?
This Ice Cream Sandwich-running flagship from Samsung blew the market away this year. From the ridiculously overblown launch event at Earls Court to a record-breaking scramble for pre-orders, the Galaxy S3 has kept itself among the tech headlines for much of 2012. A beastly quad-core processor powers the phone and a giant 4.8in HD Super-AMOLED display should do your programme streaming and web browsing justice when surfing the super-fast 4G waves.
The new LTE model running on EE is expected in October but release date specifics and price details have not yet been confirmed. The 16GB S3 originally retailed for £499.99.
With some commentators charging this new WP8 phone with the task of single-handedly hauling Nokia out of its financial doldrums, the Lumia 920 will hit shelves carrying a sizeable burden. But the device looks up to the task with an impressive looking 4.5in HD display, PureView technology camera and that hotly-anticipated Windows operating system.
The phone’s release thus hinges on Microsoft and its own launch of the new software, mooted for late October. Digital-phone.co.uk is the first retailer to put the Lumia 920 on pre-order, priced at £469.99.
Taking some pressure off the 920 is its support act, the Lumia 820. Colourful and eye-catching, the 820 sports a 4.3in OLED screen. It also shares a number of strong features belonging to its older brother, including a camera with Carl Zeiss optics, a dual-core processor, and wireless charging (pictured).
Hopefully, being billed as the more accessible Lumia will see the 820’s price-tag come in a little lower than most high-end smartphones, which could make this one of the more affordable – but no less capable handsets on EE’s 4G network. In terms of release date, it’s the same as above for this Windows Phone 8 model.
The new iPhone has been the subject of some gentle mockery for not offering anything radically different from previous iterations (seen Samsung’s new ad campaign?), and its iOS 6 software has also received its share of flack, but experts and reviewers who’ve enjoyed some time with the device suggest Apple has still delivered an exceptional smartphone. The iPhone 5 is taller and slimmer with an enlarged 4.5in display, and has a flashy aluminium casing. Securing the device on its network was some coup for EE, and there will be plenty of takers when 4G contracts for the phone become available.
Though the iPhone 5 started selling last week, EE’s network has not yet been activated, so the operator is advising would-be iPhone 4Gers to take up a contract with subsidiaries Orange or T-Mobile on the new device, before switching to EE when the spectrum is switched on in a few weeks’ time. EE says this changeover will be made “easy” for customers, but it has not yet announced price plans for the Apple phone, or any other devices for that matter. On its own, the pricey iPhone 5 costs £529 for the 16GB model, £599 for the 32GB and £699 for the 64GB.
HTC’s flagship handsets have generally been well received in the tech press, and the One XL provides a small, but significant upgrade to the popular One X phone. Primarily, we have 4G connectivity confirmed as compatible with EE’s spectrum, as well as a jumbo 4.7 corning gorilla glass display, a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 8MP camera, and it runs Android’s second-newest OS - 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
Akin to most of its EE-ready counterparts, the HTC One XL hasn’t been given an official release date and price tag, but with the One X currently retailing for around £440, it will be interesting to see if HTC is brave (or foolish?) enough to put the XL as high as the £500 mark.
Huawei joins the EE 4G party by refreshing its Ascend P1, released this summer, with a refreshed LTE model. The Chinese manufacturer may not carry the same smartphone clout as many of its rivals on this list, but the Ascend P1 is a more than credible model and should be a fair chunk cheaper than the rest. The original model, which costs around £330, weighs just 110g, has a 4.3in Super AMOLED screen, a 1,5GHz dual-core processor, and runs Android Ice Cream Sandwich.
As with the rest of the confirmed EE 4G devices, we’ll be keeping tabs on official pricing and the release date for this model, sure to be confirmed soon.