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Here's how to activate 4G LTE on your Android smartphone

It doesn't take much to ensure that your phone is running on the most accessible 4G LTE networks.
By
April 1, 2022

Most phones rely on 4G LTE for the bulk of their service these days. Even the best 5G devices spend a good chunk of time on the older, more reliable network. What happens if 4G LTE isn’t working on your phone? Is there an easy way to fix the problem? Yes, here’s how to activate 4G LTE on your phone.

While 4G LTE should automatically activate on its own, in some cases, it doesn’t. Because some smartphones may have different ways to activate 4G, we are breaking down the specifics on how to access the faster network speeds for a few more popular phone makers.

Read more: What is 4G? | The difference between 4G and 4G LTE

QUICK ANSWER

Activate 4G LTE on stock Android 12 devices by going to Settings > Network & internet > SIMs > Preferred network type, and select 4G (or 5G, which also activates 4G).


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

Turn on 4G LTE on Google phones

Google Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro lying on autumn leaves
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

If you have a Google Pixel phone, this means you enjoy the simplest, cleanest Android UI experience around. Doing anything is simple, and so is turning 4G LTE on.

How to activate 4G LTE on Google phones:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go into Network & internet.
  3. Select your primary SIM in SIMs.
  4. Tap on Preferred network type.
  5. Pick 4G (or 5G, which also activates 4G).

Also read: The best Google products you can buy

Turn on 4G LTE on Samsung phones

Samsung Galaxy S22 rear panel angled oni book
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Samsung is one of the most popular smartphone manufacturers globally, so we know plenty of you will need help activating 4G LTE on these phones.

How to activate 4G LTE on Samsung phones:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go into Connections.
  3. Select Mobile networks.
  4. Tap on Preferred mobile networks.
  5. Select at least 4G/3G/2G.

Also: The best Samsung phones at multiple price points

Turn on 4G LTE on Sony phones

Sony Xperia 1 III camera 4
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Have you got yourself a Sony phone? These are very powerful phones, and usually very expensive, so let’s make the most of them with faster data speeds.

How to activate 4G LTE on Sony phones:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go into Network & internet.
  3. Select Mobile network.
  4. Tap on Preferred network type.
  5. Select at least 4G/3G/2G.

More: The best Sony Xperia handsets

Turn on 4G LTE on Asus phones

Asus ROG Phone 5 Ultimate Edition rear hero shot - How to activate 4G
Ryan-Thomas Shaw / Android Authority

Asus is the king of gaming phones, and it also offers some great value handsets. It would be best if you had good data speeds to match the great hardware.

How to activate 4G LTE on Asus phones:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go into Network & internet.
  3. Select Mobile network.
  4. Tap on Preferred network type.
  5. Select at least 4G/3G/2G.

Related: The best gaming phones in existence

Turn on 4G LTE on LG phones

LG Velvet screen standing stright up - How to activate 4G
David Imel / Android Authority

LG may have exited the smartphone market, but their latest phones are still great, and we’re sure many of you still have them around. Let’s help you keep your data speeds snappy!

How to activate 4G LTE on LG phones:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go into Network & internet.
  3. Tap on Mobile networks.
  4. Hit Network mode.
  5. Select GSM / WCDMA / LTE auto.

Here: Awesome LG phones still available

Turn on 4G LTE on OnePlus phones

OnePlus 10 Global Back One Hand - How to activate 4G
Harley Maranan / Android Authority

Let’s cover OnePlus devices, too!

How to activate 4G LTE on OnePlus phones:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Go into Wi-Fi & Network.
  3. Choose SIM & Network.
  4. Tap on Preferred network type.
  5. Pick at least LTE/3G.

Read: A OnePlus buying guide

Turn on 4G LTE on other phones

Best Smartphones 1 End of Year 2021 - How to activate 4G
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

If you didn’t see your specific phone manufacturer mentioned here, don’t fret. The chances are that the methods used on those phones should be pretty similar to the ones we have mentioned in this article. Your best bet is likely to follow the same steps you see in the Google Pixel section.


FAQs

As a standard, LTE can reach 100Mbps download speeds and 50Mbps upload speeds. LTE Advanced brings these numbers up to 1,000Mbps and 500Mbps, respectively. That said, manufacturers rarely offer these speeds. 4G LTE speeds usually don’t go past 50Mbps, with some exceptions existing.

5G speeds are significantly faster, but the technology is not quite ready for prime time in most of the USA. You might experience spotty 5G reception unless you live in a main city. If you feel like your phone struggles too much to keep a 5G connection, it might be best to turn it off. 5G tends to use more battery anyways. City dwellers might enjoy the faster speeds, though.

3G uses significantly less battery than 4G LTE and 5G, but it’s also considerably slower. 3G networks top off at about 7.2Mbps downloads, and 2Mbps uploads. Not impressive at all, but some people might be able to live with that for casual usage.


Are you trying to get the best data speeds possible? You should take a look at our list of the best 5G phones and the best 5G plans available in the USA.