Expert guides

We rounded up the hottest 4G phones currently on the market. 

#5: T-Mobile G2

Not only is the T-Mobile G2 (Full Review) capable of HSPA+ speeds, but it’s got the most unconventional keyboard out of this lot. The G2’s long and compressed QWERTY lifts up and out via a 3-hinge system, adding to the phone’s style factor and uniqueness. Not to mention the fact that the keyboard layout has been improved, and the phone runs Android 2.2. Don’t be sour about the T-Mobile G2’s 800MHz processor either. It may seem inefficient in a land of 1GHz clockers, but the G2 was just as fast as any of them. The T-Mobile G2 brings Flash 10.1 support and a robust Google treatment.

#4: Samsung Epic 4G

Our top pick out of the first-generation Samsung Galaxy S lineup blazes at us with a full QWERTY keyboard, 720p HD video recording, a front-facing camera, and Android 2.1. Its 1GHz Hummingbird processor enabled us to flit about the TouchWIZ 3.0 UI at rapid speeds, and the keyboard offered ample real estate for texting fury. Sprint has gotten some killer phones this year, and the Samsung Epic 4G (Full Review) leads the pack when it comes to texters—the phone just happens to be one of the best 4G models on the market as well.

#3: HTC EVO Shift 4G

How do you follow up the most popular 4G phone of the year? Add a full QWERTY! Not only did HTC reduce the size of the HTC EVO Shift 4G and give it a nice keyboard, but they improved upon the image quality. In fact, the HTC EVO Shift 4G (Full Review) was one of the best camera performers in infoSync history for a cell phone. This is a jack-of-all-trades type of phone that won our Top 5 Road Warriors shootout for its exceptional speed, polished HTC Sense UI with Android 2.2, and overall versatility.

#2: HTC Inspire 4G

We were Inspired. The HTC Inspire 4G (Full Review) is not just a highly polished mobile device for AT&T.; The phone is a bargain in a half if we’re ever seen one. Sporting the latest HTC Sense UI with improved nuances, HSPA+ speeds, giant 4.3-inch WVGA capacitive touch screen, and an intimidating 8-megapixel camera, the HTC Inspire 4G is a lot of phone. But, it’s only 100 bucks with a two-year contract. How can that be!? Android 2.2, Flash 10.1 support, and new HTC Sense Cloud support make the Inspire something to aspire to for competitors.

#1: HTC EVO 4G

Yes, it’s early within the lifespan of 4G, but the HTC EVO 4G (Full Review) is still the current king at the moment. It was a minor revolution when it was released, and it is now a semi-legend. The phone that trounced the competition with a 4.3-inch 65,000-color display, front-facing camera, HD video recording, kickstand, HDMI terminal, Android 2.2, and a wicked fast processor. The HTC EVO 4G might not last throughout 2011 with the bumper crop of 4G phones that have been announced early on this year, but it’s a small milestone in the evolution of the smartphone.