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Thread: 3G, 4G, How to Tell?

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    3G, 4G, How to Tell?

    Hi guys,

    Could someone please tell me in rather plain English how to tell if an Android phone is capable of what download speeds when in "supposedly" T-Mobile 4G area? I'm sorry, but I just don't understand all the variables but get the impression that all "4G" phones are not equal. Do I look for HSPA or HSPA+ and what is the difference. For instance, what do I look for when there are multiple variations of a phone like Galaxy 3G, Galaxy S, Galaxy S2, - it's just so confusing for a novice. So, is there something I can look for in the specs that tells me what it's really likely to do? Thanks so much. I know this is second nature to some of you, but it's really confusing to me and I've read and read and read trying to understand it.

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    First of all, let's get something straight about Android phones. They come so fast and furious that it's hard to keep straight for just about ANYONE, not just a novice. There are so many variations .
    The easiest starting point would be Phonescoop.com's phonefinder.

    As for HSPA+, it is a very enhanced version of HSPA, a general umbrella term for 3g gsm systems like UMTS, etc.
    Because "true" 4G is now a relative term and thanks to further blurring by marketing depts. HSPA + is considered "4g" by some standardization groups.

    http://www.tmonews.com/2010/12/hspa-...ording-to-itu/

    Att considers 14.4 mbps (megabit per second) their definition of the 4G Hspa+ class. They have clearly labelled phones like the Veer 4G as such (14.4 mbps capable.). And checking out Tmobile, they appear to agree as their first 4G designated phones, the G2 and Mytouch 4G are both 14.4 types.

    The new Iphone 4s, gsm version for Att is rated as a 14.4 device so Att is lobbying Apple to let them label it as a 4G phone to maintain something of a lead against rival (but cdma) iphone carriers Verizon and now Sprint.

    Really, one shouldn't worry so much about 3g or 4g but more about how fast is it in real life? Does the network coverage give you the ability to use your device to its potential or does it fall back too much on older modes like 2G/edge or even (gasp) gprs ?

    Currently in prepaid, only the gsm carriers are venturing and offering anything labelled 4G. Primarily Tmobile and Simple mobile, it's mvno offspring. Att's mvnos are labelling their new heavy/unlimited data plans 4G too but so far we've seen that Att's version on prepaid is throttled while Tmobile's is not.

    Sprint and Verizon are still stuck in 3G land on their prepaid fronts.

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    What's the cheapest tetherable prepaid phone that will get us 4G data speeds?

    I.e., I'm getting close to the limit (3.5 down) on my optimus t but might like something that offers faster downloads.

    Thanks for any feedback!

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    G2 and Mytouch4G. Probably around or under 200 bucks used on ebay/craiglist, etc

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    I got the my touch 4g from eBay for 200. Has wifi hotspot out of the box. Speed 3.6 MB not quite 4g but better than boost.

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    Anyone get a 42mbps phone and test it please post. lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by fonezfonz View Post
    Anyone get a 42mbps phone and test it please post. lol
    My Galaxy S II pulls down 13.5mb at home late at night. Averages 5-7mb down, 0.5-1.5mb up. You don't realize how fast it is til you have it, believe me. I used to be happy with VM's 1mb down. T-Mo's 3G isn't much faster so I refused to add data to my line. Tried out the S II and I'm sold. I used 500mb in a couple days and now my billing cycle just restarted.

    Tried Verizon and their LTE network is smokin' fast (think 10mb down average, up to 17mb down) but I was running through 2gb too fast. Too expensive so I returned it. Tried Sprint but WiMAX sucks! Barely stays connected and gets 5mb down tops, sometimes it was slower than 3G!!

    T-Mobile is a good compromise between price and speed. I'm happy. Been with them since '01 and will probably stay til the ship goes down.. if the merger happens anyway.

    Sent via Android
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    Quote Originally Posted by shawnlg View Post
    I got the my touch 4g from eBay for 200. Has wifi hotspot out of the box. Speed 3.6 MB not quite 4g but better than boost.
    I have been eyeing this phone to replace my aging Mytouch 3G. How do you like it?
    Mytouch 4G is a 14.4 Mbps capable device. Your 3.6 Mbps speed is a reflection of your Tmobile local coverage.

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    Technically HSPA+ IS not 4G however what you really care about is speed. TMO's network is the 2nd fastest nationally behind Verizon's LTE service although ATT claims they will have a large LTE footprint in a few months. Check your local coverage before making a decsion. The great thing about HSPA is that network upgrades enhance data speed for the '3G' phones (subject to the phones limitations) since it is all the same technology. LTE / WIMAX requires a different technology altogether from AWS / WCDMA so CDMA 3g customers get no benefit from 4G network upgrades on Sprint/Verizon.

    For the money ($200) I dont think you can find a new phone with faster data (21mbps) than the Samsung Exhibit II at Walmart now and everywhere 11/02.

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    Actually the fastest cheaper phones are the Samsung (not the Exhibit 2 because it lacks the ST Ericsson modem w/ the Qualcomm SoC) phones

    The Galaxy S 4G, Sidekick 4G, Exhibit 4G - feature 21Mbps modems at lower prices. There is an increase in speed with 64QAM(21Mbps vs 14.4 which is 16QAM)
    Galaxy S II speed test in sig
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    But let's be honest are you going to see 21mbps? Never

    Sent from my LG-P999 using HowardForums

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThaKizzle View Post
    But let's be honest are you going to see 21mbps? Never

    Sent from my LG-P999 using HowardForums
    No, but on average I got 2Mbps more with a 21HSPA phone vs a 14.4HSPA phone, all varies depending on congestion. But on a tower that wasn't too busy, I got 4Mbps with my Exhibit and 2 with my Sensation back to back.

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    Kies, I stand corrected. Thanks for the informative post. So the Exhibit II cant match the other Sasung phones because "it lacks the ST Ericsson modem w/ the Qualcomm SoC"? TMO should not claim 21mbps for the Exhibit II. Can the firmware for the modem in this phone (or any TMO phone for that matter ) be updated / modified to allow faster data speeds?

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    It's a hardware limit. It's still considered "4G" by T-Mobile as most other "4G" T-Mobile phones only have 14.4 modems and only a handful have 21 or 42HSPA+ capability.

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    Would I get the same speed with a 14.4 phone as a 21 phone in the same area at the same time if I'm in a 14.4 area? Basically if I'm not in a 21 or 42 area, will the 21 capable device give me anymore speed over a 14.4 device?

    And is there any way to tell what speeds are available in a specific area, like 14.4, 21, or 42?

    Thanks.
    How is it that we give up houses, businesses and bank accounts when we want a divorce but can't part with a couple of hundred bucks to find cellphone bliss?

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