The “Big Four” Wireless Carriers and the Devices They Offer
The U.S.’s top cellular providers are often referred to as the “Big Four.” They consist of Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile, and odds are, you’re one of their subscribers. If you’re in the market for a new smartphone, you probably already know that they don’t all carry the same devices, and if you’re stuck with a particular carrier, you might like to know which devices are the best they have to offer.
Verizon, or Big Red as it’s more amicably known, plays host to a wide variety of excellent smartphones. The best device it currently has to offer (or soon to offer, really) is the Samsung Galaxy S III. With a 4.8-inch 720p Super AMOLED display and 1.5GHz dual-core S4 processor as well as 4G LTE connectivity, this phone is sure to be one of the hottest sellers this summer.
Of course, the Galaxy S III isn’t the only good choice. The Motorola Droid RAZR is a high-quality, super slim phone with many of the same features. Its processor is slightly older and only runs at 1.2GHz; however, its price tag is an agreeable $99 with contract, though you might want to consider the Droid RAZR MAXX which features a much larger battery. A Droid RAZR HD is also due sometime in the near future with beefier specs and an HD display.
Another notable contender is the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, a phone built entirely on input direct from Google and running the purest, latest version of Android. And of course, you can’t forget the iPhone 4S, the latest of Apples iOS phones (though we suggest holding out for the iPhone 5 due later this year).
AT&T also has the Galaxy S III; however, it also has a very worthy alternative if you don’t want to wait for the newest Galaxy device to officially launch. The HTC One X is currently alaTest’s top rated phone, featuring a 4.7-inch 720p Super LCD2 display and the same 1.5GHz dual-core S4 processor found in the Galaxy S III. It also has a great 8MP camera and LTE 4G capabilities, and best of all, it’s actually available now.
AT&T also features the iPhone 4S for the iOS aficionados out there, but again, we suggest waiting for the iPhone 5.For WP7 fans, AT&T has the best WP7 device released to date – the Nokia Lumia 900. With its 4.3-inch AMOLED display, 4G LTE, and 1.2GHz processor, it’s the fastest most feature packed WP7 phone on the market, and it’s not even the most expensive.
Sprint, of course, will be getting the Galaxy S III as well, but, like AT&T, it has a variant of the HTC One X known as the HTC EVO 4G LTE. It’s really no different from the AT&T model with the exception of a slightly different look and the fact that it’s intended for Sprint’s network.
Sprint’s other great choices include the iPhone 4S and the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Unlike the Verizon Galaxy Nexus, Sprint’s is a little bit more true to the Nexus name with better Google Voice and Google Wallet integration.
The Galaxy S III will be coming to T-Mobile as well, but the magenta colored carrier doesn’t have as many compelling alternatives as some of its competitors. The HTC One S is its only device we can really recommend, but it really is a great phone (currently ranked 3rd on our top phones list). On the inside, it’s exactly the same as its big brother, the One X, and it even features the same 1.5GHz dual-core processor found in the Galaxy S III. The only difference is its smaller 4.3-inch display featuring a slightly lower resolution.