NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Cell phones certainly have come a long way and they’re still evolving. The latest telecommunications technology is 4G — and if you think the phone you’re currently using has a bunch of bells and whistles, wait until you see what 4G can do.
You’ve seen the commercials introducing 4G. It’s the next generation of cell phones.
What exactly does 4G mean? Many of today’s typical cell phones have 3G, but in a side by side comparison of devices trying to download YouTube, it’s a one-horse race.
Currently, your typical smart phone is likely 3G. CBS 2’s Kristine Johnson watched a demonstration that showed how “old” technology compares to a new 4G phone. Both were downloading the same clip of video.
“The 4G loaded probably at least a third faster,” said Chris Nicoll of the Yankee Group, a technology review company. “I’ve got a high def picture here and then on 3G, I’ve got a standard def picture and it’s a little grainy, it’s much smaller.”
Experts say the 4G phone, which every major manufacturer is now rolling out, is all about speed –and lots of it.
“What 4G represents to you is a better wireless experience,” Nicoll said.
With 4G, video chatting is something we’ll all take for granted soon because it’s standard on this new mobile technology.
“This is the front-facing camera, which catches me and he’s seeing this image on the other phone,” Best Buy spokesperson Jennifer Rivers said while demonstrating.
And that’s not all — 4G will also allow you to hook up your high definition TV right to your phone, so you can skip the cable box — and the cable bills.
Experts say downloading popular shows — whether it’s to a 4-inch phone or a 50-inch TV screen — is just the start of 4G’s capability.
“You can hook up to anywhere between five to eight devices right from your cell phone, so you can hook up a laptop on it, a Playstation 3 up to it if you are taking a family trip somewhere, and hop on the Internet using your phone’s Internet,” Rivers said.
Out on the street, the general public seems excited about the technology.
“That’s something that would appeal to me because I am not always around my computer and there’s lots of things that I know that happen,” one person said.
“My brother is over in Afghanistan so I could talk to him,” another person said.
Consumers are excited about how much more they’ll be getting, but experts say they’ll pay more, too.
“If I am getting a 10-time improvement in speed, but I am paying maybe 15-20-25 percent more, to me, that represents a pretty good value,” Nicoll said.
Current 4G providers include T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint.
Can’t wait to hear about the latest gadgets and electronics? Dishin’ Digital/Talkin’ Tech Producer Rob Hawley is tweeting his latest, greatest finds from CES with the latest information. Follow him on Twitter!