Back to Article

  • Spoogie - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    In spite of the hype, I’m also turned off by 4G but for different reasons than battery life, though it is also an important consideration.

    When I purchased a 4G modem in January from Verizon, the connection was intermittent. And it would be down completely while searching for backup 3G… totally unacceptable. Verizon claimed that it should be a good connection based on the geography (Bay Area). Tech support was no help.

    Recently I was in the market for a new phone, and while standing in the Verizon store admiring the Samsung Charge, low and behold the phone lost connectivity… while the 3G phones right next to it just hummed right along.

    This led me to do some further investigating, and others report similar experiences, such as PhoneDog, who claims he has spotty performance with 4G in Philly and believes it isn’t ready for prime.

    Although this doesn't exactly constitute a scientific study, I have no faith in it.
  • VivekGowri - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    I don't know, I haven't tested LTE anywhere other than Seattle, but I've got coverage basically everywhere I've gone here. Once you head up into the northern parts of the area, to Everett and such, I've lost 4G, but the EVDO handover works pretty seamlessly. Signal strength was usually pretty good too, I was impressed. Reply
  • Impulses - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    Sprint's Wimax may not boast LTE's impressive speeds across most markets, but at least you can seamlessly turn it off/on at the flick of a widget, right out of the box, which makes it easier to preserve battery life when you need to.

    I've got a question, do VZW LTE phones constantly poll the LTE radio even when outside of LTE markets or is there some software list that shuts them off completely outside LTE markets?

    I'm particularly curious because PR isn't likely to have true 4G for a while, yet the carriers sell the very same phones here... Sprint has started testing Wimax in some areas (which is curious since this isn't a Clearwire market), but it seems they're still a long way off before any kind of solid announcement.

    In the metro area they're literally just testing it on a handful of towers, and it isn't even on all the time... I guess it might be part of the procedure for their Vision deployment, even if there aren't any permanent 4G plans.
  • Impulses - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    Oops, just saw you mentioned the same thing about Wimax on the article... I had only read the first and last page when I posted the comment. My question about how LTE is polled or detected on a stock phone still stands tho.

    I know you can disable it thru service menus and there's probably an app or two that can make that easier, but not everyone that buys these phones outside LTE markets is gonna go looking for those.
  • wintermute000 - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    for now, good quality HSDPA+ is fine (Telstra user in Australia).

    Most modern droids can get theoretical 14M down, in practice being able to consistently pull down 1Mb+ almost anywhere, is good enough for anything but streaming. (I have to admit on some days, streaming podcasts cuts up a bit) but raw throughput is fine. '

    I'd rather go dual core now and get the LTE phones in a year or two for that price
  • jonup - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    Can we get these phones down to 100g? Everytime I pick up my coworkers' iPhones and Droids one thought comes to my mind "Why are you so fat when you hauling this brick all day"? Reply
  • vision33r - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    Everytime I see a Thunderbolt user on the train, it's usually for a hotspot and then I see them busting out the blackberry for emails.

    Right now these LTE devices are only for IT pros that have the need for the speed and the companies paying for them.

    They are like every new tech devices just the 1st to market but not ready for mainstream adoption until they fix the power consumption and size.

    2nd gen to 3rd gen will replace 3G devices they will take 5 years to happen.
  • antef - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    That speed is very impressive for a mobile broadband network but honestly who cares? No activity on your phone is going to make much use of anything beyond a few Mbps for things like streaming video. Can you provide a single instance where you'll notice 3 Mbps vs 18 Mbps except when running the Speed Test app? In addition to that, with Verizon's rumored upcoming 2 GB cap on $30 data plans, the speeds are even less appealing. What we need is better battery life, higher caps (or no caps), and reliable, good enough throughput anywhere you go (~3 Mbps or so), not absolute blistering speeds. Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    That's why you buy before the cap gets implemented. Reply
  • VivekGowri - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    Streaming video, mostly. LTE is so fast that we've gone back to smartphone browsing being limited by how fast the phones can render pages. Reply
  • antef - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    I believe even streaming video will not make use of anything > 5 Mbps or even less. HD Netflix on a PC only requires about 5-6 and I don't think you're getting that same 1080 resolution from the Netflix app on the phone. So I really don't see what good > 5 Mbps is on a phone unless you're tethering to a computer and doing downloads on that. Reply
  • name99 - Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - link

    I don't want to be cruel but, good god, you are stupid.

    What these devices enable is

    (a) substantially more CONSISTENT performance across a cell. Instead of the maddening variability of the current system, you should, much more often, get decent performance even at the edge of a cell.

    Unfortunately, the one place you'd most like to have this is with voice, and it seems that our oh-so-sophisticated cellular overloads can't get their act together enough to move their voice transmission onto 21st century technology. Perhaps if we're lucky, this will happen sometime before 2025.

    (b) somewhat better usage of the limited bandwidth available (ie a larger aggregate bandwidth for the entire cell), which in turn means that in places where, right now, data can be so slow as to be useless, data will now perform somewhat better.
    Once again, this likewise has implications for voice meaning, for example, that (once the cell companies get their act together) there will be less need to drop to the low bit rate (and really crappy sounding) codecs.

    One can understand why the cell companies talk up 4G speeds. The numbers are easily understood as meaning "better than now", and discussing them does not mean having to concede "yes, our current systems are inconsistent, frequently overloaded, and have crappy voice".
    There is rather less justification for why ARS obsesses about these peak speeds, rather than discussing the actual issues that 4G technologies improve --- aggregate bandwidth and signal consistency.
  • Omega215D - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    I have a stock Thunderbolt and I see better battery life than what's indicated here and I live in NYC. Moderate usage gives me 18 hours of life while constant internet pegging brings me down to 5 - 7 hours all on LTE. I've never experienced intermittent LTE signals when here or traveling (to other LTE cities) either.

    LTE makes sense for quick pull ups of sites when on the road, like restuarants/ eateries, or for my future plans of video calling my friends who are moving overseas while I make my move to the west coast.

    Also I am grandfathered into Unlimited Data in which I am happy that I got my T-bolt when I did.
  • PCTC2 - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    Just letting you know there's a typo. Nothing big.
    "Brian saw LTE speeds clustered around 10 Mbps down and 2-3 Mbps down."
    Isn't the second one supposed to say "up"?

    As for 4G, I would appreciate the speed even remotely close as I barely get 1 Mbps down, 0.2 Mbps up, but I guess I can't complain because 80% of my day is spent in WiFi coverage anyways.
  • VivekGowri - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    Fiiiiiixed :) Reply
  • Lolimaster - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    Now Anand, remove sysmark from your cpu benchmark, it's now a useless biased bench. We all know that except "some" sites.
  • bluelite - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    Wait. Isn't this the same engine as the one on my over year old Incredible ? And LTE is nice. IF it is available at your location. It's not available here. Suffolk County Long Island. Reply
  • Omid.M - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    I picked up a used Thunderbolt for $330. That included shipping, 5 batteries, two chargers, case & holster, and screen protector.

    Why did I do this? I dislike the phone itself but this was the fastest way to secure unlimited 4G before tiered plans come (likely early July). I will use the Bolt until a phone based on Krait comes to market. I hope HTC releases something like the Sensation for Verizon, based on Krait and with a qHD/SLCD display. I want the Galaxy S2 but I doubt it'll have LTE. There's just no way.

    Yes, I would buy my next phone off contract to avoid locking myself into a contract with new terms (i.e. tiered data plans).
  • Mr Perfect - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    Could you test out the camera's macro mode? One of the main things I use my phone's camera for is taking pictures of small parts and labels, things like product and serial numbers, connectors and those little bits that people always manage to break off of devices. My current phone is OK at best, usually requiring some trial and error with things like distance, flash and focus. Thanks! Reply
  • Impulses - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    "this is a huge peeve of mine with the HD7, iPod touch, and anything Samsung makes - bottom-mounted headphone jacks and side-located power buttons are stupid."

    Wow, I strongly disagree on both counts... I know a lot of people prefer the top mounted headphone jack because it's easier to hold the device this way with headphones plugged in, but I generally listen to music with the phone in my pocket... I also tend to slip it into my pocket upside down so that when I slide my palm over it and take it out the device is already right side up. However that's impossible to do with headphones plugged into a top mounted jack, unless the headphones have an L plug (and even then it's awkward).

    It might be a different story for people with thinner phones or pockets (i guess they'd pinch the screen or the sides to slide it out, which always felt precarious with my EVO)... It's a pretty personal thing I guess.

    The side power button isn't as personal a matter tho, imo. I've got fairly long fingers and after a year with an EVO I don't see why anyone prefers it up top on any 4.3"phone, no matter how you hold the phone it requires an awkward finger reach to press... Samsung's side mounted lock button seems like the way to go imo. Even better would be a front button that wakes up the device, I like capacitive buttons better but I do miss the ability to easily wake it while it's laying down (without gripping it to press a side button).

    Surely there's gotta be an ingenious solution that combines all the pro's and con's... At least most Android devices are coming with notification lights.
  • erple2 - Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - link

    <quote>The side power button isn't as personal a matter tho, imo. I've got fairly long fingers and after a year with an EVO I don't see why anyone prefers it up top on any 4.3"phone, no matter how you hold the phone it requires an awkward finger reach to press... Samsung's side mounted lock button seems like the way to go imo.</quote>

    I thought so to, but I have a Samsung Captivate. Unfortunately, with my long fingers, gripping the phone normally, I accidentally hit the power button all the time, which turns off the screen and locks the phone. I find that annoying.

    However, i do agree that head phone jack on the top of the phone is more convenient - holding it in my car, for example.
  • milan03 - Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - link

    still going strong, and level-wise competing with Cable Wideband connections: Reply
  • dlmartin53 - Wednesday, June 22, 2011 - link

    So how long be for the grandfathered unlimited plans get stopped. Just like the new plans, all the contracts say they have the right to make changes at any time to the plans. The wireless industry won't be able to carry all the demand for internet capacity even with 4G/LTE. Reply
  • nitink - Monday, August 01, 2011 - link

    this phone have a great potential unleach its power get full hd games with sd card

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now