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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default AT&T Comparison: Nexus 4 w/ HSPA+ vs. Phone w/ LTE?

    AC Team,

    Any chance you could do a side by side comparison of the Nexus 4 on AT&T HSPA+ vs. a phone with comparable specs on AT&T's LTE network? Specifically, test out going to web pages, stream from Google Music, etc.

    Reasoning ---
    I have a Pantech Flex (which I had to get when I lost my GNex, sad story), and it has LTE (I live in an AT&T LTE-enabled city). I absolutely love the Nexus line, and am 90% sold on buying it, but I want to see a side-by-side comparison of how much my connection will suffer downgrading back to AT&T HSPA+, which is most definitely not that fast.

    Also, this is a great test to (hopefully) soothe the worries of those of us on AT&T who don't have the luxury of T-Mobile's much faster HSPA+ network and are thus more concerned about the lack of LTE.

    Thank you!
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  2. #2  
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    Default Re: AT&T Comparison: Nexus 4 w/ HSPA+ vs. Phone w/ LTE?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dolfan058 View Post
    AC Team,

    Any chance you could do a side by side comparison of the Nexus 4 on AT&T HSPA+ vs. a phone with comparable specs on AT&T's LTE network? Specifically, test out going to web pages, stream from Google Music, etc.

    Reasoning ---
    I have a Pantech Flex (which I had to get when I lost my GNex, sad story), and it has LTE (I live in an AT&T LTE-enabled city). I absolutely love the Nexus line, and am 90% sold on buying it, but I want to see a side-by-side comparison of how much my connection will suffer downgrading back to AT&T HSPA+, which is most definitely not that fast.

    Also, this is a great test to (hopefully) soothe the worries of those of us on AT&T who don't have the luxury of T-Mobile's much faster HSPA+ network and are thus more concerned about the lack of LTE.

    Thank you!
    A Nexus with HSPA is going to be better than a Pantech Flex with LTE.
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  3. Thread Author  Thread Author    #3  

    Default Re: AT&T Comparison: Nexus 4 w/ HSPA+ vs. Phone w/ LTE?

    Quote Originally Posted by dwd3885 View Post
    A Nexus with HSPA is going to be better than a Pantech Flex with LTE.
    My question wasn't "is the Nexus going to be better than my Pantech Flex".

    I want to see a side by side comparison of a phone with comparable specs with LTE (such as the GS3, or HTC One X) to the Nexus 4 on HSPA+ on AT&T (not T-Mobile or any other carrier) so I can see exactly how different the web speeds are, or if maybe the Nexus 4 internals compensate enough that it's not noticeable.

    HSPA+ and LTE on AT&T are supposed to be noticeably different, I want to see if that truly is the case with the Nexus 4.
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    Default Re: AT&T Comparison: Nexus 4 w/ HSPA+ vs. Phone w/ LTE?

    I agree that would be interesting to see. I have the Gnex on At&t and had the Iphone 5. LTE is much faster, about five times faster in my area. On average I get 2-5 Mbps on HSPDA and 20-29 Mbps on LTE.
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    Default Re: AT&T Comparison: Nexus 4 w/ HSPA+ vs. Phone w/ LTE?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dolfan058 View Post
    My question wasn't "is the Nexus going to be better than my Pantech Flex".

    I want to see a side by side comparison of a phone with comparable specs with LTE (such as the GS3, or HTC One X) to the Nexus 4 on HSPA+ on AT&T (not T-Mobile or any other carrier) so I can see exactly how different the web speeds are, or if maybe the Nexus 4 internals compensate enough that it's not noticeable.

    HSPA+ and LTE on AT&T are supposed to be noticeably different, I want to see if that truly is the case with the Nexus 4.
    Right, I understand your question. Problem is, network speed is TOTALLY location specific. Also, unless you are going to be buying a One X or S3, YOUR comparison is Flex vs Nexus. I'm saying that no matter the network speed, the Nexus will be better..

    Let me tell you this, on AT&T in St. Louis, where I live, my LTE speeds with the S3 are anywhere from 35-45mbps. My HSPA speeds are usually between 3.5-5mbps.
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    Default Re: AT&T Comparison: Nexus 4 w/ HSPA+ vs. Phone w/ LTE?

    At my office (HSPA+) I get between 4-7 mbps. Just three miles away at my house I get LTE and typically get 12-18 mbps. Using a GS3. If I could get 7 mbps around my house and my office (on HSPA+) consistently I guess I'd be OK with the N4.
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  7. #7  

    Default Re: AT&T Comparison: Nexus 4 w/ HSPA+ vs. Phone w/ LTE?

    FWIW, my iPhone 5 gets 8mbps on HSPA+ and ~15-20mbps on LTE.
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  8. Thread Author  Thread Author    #8  

    Default Re: AT&T Comparison: Nexus 4 w/ HSPA+ vs. Phone w/ LTE?

    Quote Originally Posted by dwd3885 View Post
    Right, I understand your question. Problem is, network speed is TOTALLY location specific. Also, unless you are going to be buying a One X or S3, YOUR comparison is Flex vs Nexus. I'm saying that no matter the network speed, the Nexus will be better..

    Let me tell you this, on AT&T in St. Louis, where I live, my LTE speeds with the S3 are anywhere from 35-45mbps. My HSPA speeds are usually between 3.5-5mbps.
    Lol I shouldn't have mentioned the Flex.

    Admittedly, I'm pretty sold on getting the Nexus 4 regardless of HSPA/LTE, because yes, the Nexus is phenomenally better. But, if the speeds are really that noticeably different (I'm based in Miami, although I can't give exact LTE speeds since I'm currently in South America for the week), I could see myself suffering with the Pantech Flex until next year's Nexus refresh, which will almost assuredly have LTE by then (Qualcomm's all-in-one chip will be far cheaper by then).

    Why? Because if I buy the Nexus 4, I almost assuredly will be with that phone for at least 1.5 - 2 years, and that's a long time to go with a potentially slow HSPA+ connection, which is why a data test is pretty important to me, since my job means I'm on mobile data more often than not, so I use wifi hotspot and stream from Google Music quite a bit (I have a grandfathered unlimited plan through AT&T, so I can use and abuse without issue).
  9. #9  
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    Default Re: AT&T Comparison: Nexus 4 w/ HSPA+ vs. Phone w/ LTE?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dolfan058 View Post
    Lol I shouldn't have mentioned the Flex.

    Admittedly, I'm pretty sold on getting the Nexus 4 regardless of HSPA/LTE, because yes, the Nexus is phenomenally better. But, if the speeds are really that noticeably different (I'm based in Miami, although I can't give exact LTE speeds since I'm currently in South America for the week), I could see myself suffering with the Pantech Flex until next year's Nexus refresh, which will almost assuredly have LTE by then (Qualcomm's all-in-one chip will be far cheaper by then).

    Why? Because if I buy the Nexus 4, I almost assuredly will be with that phone for at least 1.5 - 2 years, and that's a long time to go with a potentially slow HSPA+ connection, which is why a data test is pretty important to me, since my job means I'm on mobile data more often than not, so I use wifi hotspot and stream from Google Music quite a bit (I have a grandfathered unlimited plan through AT&T, so I can use and abuse without issue).
    If data speed is your main concern, the LTE phones will be MUCH faster than HSPA on AT&T generally.
    Andrew Martonik likes this.
  10. #10  

    Default Re: AT&T Comparison: Nexus 4 w/ HSPA+ vs. Phone w/ LTE?

    You're going to be looking at 4-8mbps on HSPA+ vs. 10-20mbps on LTE.
    LG Nexus 5 / Galaxy S5 // T-Mobile / AT&T
  11. #11  

    Default Re: AT&T Comparison: Nexus 4 w/ HSPA+ vs. Phone w/ LTE?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dolfan058 View Post
    ...since my job means I'm on mobile data more often than not, so I use wifi hotspot and stream from Google Music quite a bit (I have a grandfathered unlimited plan through AT&T, so I can use and abuse without issue).
    Well what all do you need to do while tethered? Anything short of downloading/uploading large files will be completely fine on HSPA+. For normal web browsing, streaming and light downloading/uploading HSPA+ is fine. It really depends on what you need for usage while tethered.

    And you can stream Google Music even on EDGE, so that's not an issue to consider...
    LG Nexus 5 / Galaxy S5 // T-Mobile / AT&T
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  12. Thread Author  Thread Author    #12  

    Default Re: AT&T Comparison: Nexus 4 w/ HSPA+ vs. Phone w/ LTE?

    Quote Originally Posted by dwd3885 View Post
    If data speed is your main concern, the LTE phones will be MUCH faster than HSPA on AT&T generally.
    It is a concern, but I'm interested in actual time speeds, CNET gave an example, which I've attached an image of below (although the CNET example isn't comparing anything, just giving time factors to loading sites, etc, which is along the lines of what I want to see, but on a comparison basis b/w another phone with LTE).

    If, for example, loading sites and streaming from Google Music time differences are negligible (say a few seconds), then it's Nexus 4 all the way. If it's a difference of something like a few minutes, then we're talking a different story.

    Ideally, there'd be a video accompanying a test like this where we could visually see the load time differences, showing both accessing the same sites, both streaming, and whatever other relevant data tests. I understand location has a big factor in this, but it's not like the speeds would be WILDLY inconsistent with speeds elsewhere. At the end of the day, there's always going to be something of a 15-20 Mbps difference and I'd love to get some actual time speeds on a device like the Nexus 4 compared to a device of similar qualities that has LTE (heck, the Optimus G would be a PERFECT phone for this).

    Attachment 45321
  13. Thread Author  Thread Author    #13  

    Default Re: AT&T Comparison: Nexus 4 w/ HSPA+ vs. Phone w/ LTE?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Martonik View Post
    Well what all do you need to do while tethered? Anything short of downloading/uploading large files will be completely fine on HSPA+. For normal web browsing, streaming and light downloading/uploading HSPA+ is fine. It really depends on what you need for usage while tethered.

    And you can stream Google Music even on EDGE, so that's not an issue to consider...
    I understand that you CAN do these things on HSPA+ and EDGE and anything, but the question is ... how much longer will it take? It's easy to say "it's not going to take too much longer", but I'd love to see something like the below (in a much cleaner, prettier format the AC reviewers can do, of course):

    Loading AndroidCentral.com:
    - Nexus 4 -- 12 seconds
    - Optimus G -- 5 seconds

    Downloading/Streaming 1 song from Google Music:
    - Nexus 4 (load time from picking song to when it starts playing) -- 9 seconds
    - Optimus G -- 6 seconds

    Downloading a 20 MB app from Google Play:
    - Nexus 4 -- 3 min 4 seconds
    - Optimus G -- 1 min 2 seconds

    Again, I realize location plays a big factor so there has to be a grain of salt taken when analyzing a test like this, but at least this gives us something of an idea of the differences we'd experience downgrading from LTE, and determining whether it's enough of a factor to affect those of us making the switch.
  14. #14  

    Default Re: AT&T Comparison: Nexus 4 w/ HSPA+ vs. Phone w/ LTE?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dolfan058 View Post
    It is a concern, but I'm interested in actual time speeds, CNET gave an example, which I've attached an image of below (although the CNET example isn't comparing anything, just giving time factors to loading sites, etc, which is along the lines of what I want to see, but on a comparison basis b/w another phone with LTE).

    If, for example, loading sites and streaming from Google Music time differences are negligible (say a few seconds), then it's Nexus 4 all the way. If it's a difference of something like a few minutes, then we're talking a different story.
    If you're just streaming Google Music and browsing web pages, its not going to make a difference.

    Sitting at home here with my Galaxy Nexus on Straight Talk AT&T (very unscientific test, I know) streaming Google Music ("high quality" checked in Settings) on 1 bar of HSPA+ and browsing through several websites in Chrome. GMusic started playing in ~5sec from when I hit "play" on a streaming track. Webpages load in ~5 seconds. No LTE device to compare, but you already have one so you know how your experience is.

    If you're just browsing, the only real difference LTE makes is in ping times. The amount of data transfered just isn't big enough for LTE's bandwidth to be beneficial.
    LG Nexus 5 / Galaxy S5 // T-Mobile / AT&T
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  15. #15  

    Default Re: AT&T Comparison: Nexus 4 w/ HSPA+ vs. Phone w/ LTE?

    There's a difference in speed with hspa+ 24mbps and hspa+ 42Mbps. I in my house I get 42Mbps but I don't have a 1700mhz compatible device. I'll report my speeds when I buy the nexus 4

    Sent from my GT-N7000 using Tapatalk 2
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  16. #16  

    Default Re: AT&T Comparison: Nexus 4 w/ HSPA+ vs. Phone w/ LTE?

    I have a GS3 with AT&T and my LTE speeds range from 15 to 22 Mbps. HSPA+ in my area range from 3.5-6Mbps from my testing. Either way I'm sick of carrier BS and want the unlocked experience of Android from Google.
  17. #17  
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    Default Re: AT&T Comparison: Nexus 4 w/ HSPA+ vs. Phone w/ LTE?

    Do you have to be on AT&T? If T-Mo's reception is fine, then the speeds might be faster since their HSPA+ network supports 42Mbps. Also keep in mind that w/ the iPhone 5 now on LTE, the speeds might decrease for LTE. Example, a couple months ago, I averaged roughly 25MBs down on my Skyrocket here in San Francisco. Now, it's about 9Mbps down. Not bad, but may not be much better than T-Mo's relatively uncongested HSPA+ network.
  18. Thread Author  Thread Author    #18  

    Default Re: AT&T Comparison: Nexus 4 w/ HSPA+ vs. Phone w/ LTE?

    Quote Originally Posted by jedah View Post
    Do you have to be on AT&T? If T-Mo's reception is fine, then the speeds might be faster since their HSPA+ network supports 42Mbps. Also keep in mind that w/ the iPhone 5 now on LTE, the speeds might decrease for LTE. Example, a couple months ago, I averaged roughly 25MBs down on my Skyrocket here in San Francisco. Now, it's about 9Mbps down. Not bad, but may not be much better than T-Mo's relatively uncongested HSPA+ network.
    AT&T is a must. Grandfathered unlimited data plan, which I also have my family on. Not interested in losing that plan.

    I understand and appreciate your suggestion, but not everyone can just switch to T-Mobile. Some of us want/need AT&T (also need it for work) and thus a test like this would help in our decision-making process
  19. #19  

    Default Re: AT&T Comparison: Nexus 4 w/ HSPA+ vs. Phone w/ LTE?

    it seems to me that download speeds on hspa+ (especially with decent tmo coverage) are perfectly acceptable for every day day use. LTE's big difference maker is upload speed and pings. My question is what does this mean in practical terms? If this equates to nothing more than a few extra seconds to upload pictures to Facebook then I could care less. Am I missing anything?
  20. #20  

    Default Re: AT&T Comparison: Nexus 4 w/ HSPA+ vs. Phone w/ LTE?

    The only way that comparison is going to mean anything to you is if you have someone sitting at your desk and in your house conducting the tests.
  21. #21  

    Default Re: AT&T Comparison: Nexus 4 w/ HSPA+ vs. Phone w/ LTE?

    Quote Originally Posted by kobradroid View Post
    it seems to me that download speeds on hspa+ (especially with decent tmo coverage) are perfectly acceptable for every day day use. LTE's big difference maker is upload speed and pings. My question is what does this mean in practical terms? If this equates to nothing more than a few extra seconds to upload pictures to Facebook then I could care less. Am I missing anything?
    It'll only matter if you're uploading large files. When uploading a < 5MB picture, it just won't matter.

    Pings are noticeable when you're loading webpages and things, but HSPA+ pings aren't exactly high... 100-200ms range.
    LG Nexus 5 / Galaxy S5 // T-Mobile / AT&T
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    Default Re: AT&T Comparison: Nexus 4 w/ HSPA+ vs. Phone w/ LTE?

    Does your Pantech Flex have a way to turn off LTE? Most phones do. Turn it off for a week and you have your absolute worst case scenario. If you can live with that for a few weeks, you'll probably love the Nexus.

    Speeds are so location dependent it's hard to say. My wife's HSPA phone can sometimes outrun my Verizon LTE one when I do get LTE, and I can rarely sustain LTE anyway.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Android Central Forums
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  23. #23  

    Default Re: AT&T Comparison: Nexus 4 w/ HSPA+ vs. Phone w/ LTE?

    Quote Originally Posted by natehoy View Post
    Does your Pantech Flex have a way to turn off LTE? Most phones do. Turn it off for a week and you have your absolute worst case scenario. If you can live with that for a few weeks, you'll probably love the Nexus.

    Speeds are so location dependent it's hard to say. My wife's HSPA phone can sometimes outrun my Verizon LTE one when I do get LTE, and I can rarely sustain LTE anyway.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Android Central Forums
    This
  24. Thread Author  Thread Author    #24  

    Default Re: AT&amp;T Comparison: Nexus 4 w/ HSPA+ vs. Phone w/ LTE?

    Quote Originally Posted by natehoy View Post
    Does your Pantech Flex have a way to turn off LTE? Most phones do. Turn it off for a week and you have your absolute worst case scenario. If you can live with that for a few weeks, you'll probably love the Nexus.

    Speeds are so location dependent it's hard to say. My wife's HSPA phone can sometimes outrun my Verizon LTE one when I do get LTE, and I can rarely sustain LTE anyway.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Android Central Forums
    I completely understand, I just get worried when I see quotes like the one below and would feel more comfortable seeing hard numbers confirming/denying as opposed to subjective opinions. Yes, even despite the fact that location is still a big factor.

    (from Samsung Galaxy S3 vs LG Nexus 4: Cant Pick? Thisll Help | Autoomobile):
    "First up. Does the lack of LTE make a difference? If you are currently on AT&T and using a LTE device then going back from 4G to 3G for the LG Nexus 4 would be like going back from using a broadband connection to dial up. With LTE web pages load up so much faster and many people wouldnt consider going back."

    Another interesting question -- does AT&T have any plans to upgrade to HSPA+ 42, or is it potentially possible for them to do so sometime in the future? Is it a difficult/costly upgrade? That would be a pretty big selling point for the Nexus 4 on AT&T, as it appears to be widely agreed upon that HSPA+ 42 is pretty close to LTE in terms of speed standards.
  25. #25  

    Default Re: AT&amp;T Comparison: Nexus 4 w/ HSPA+ vs. Phone w/ LTE?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dolfan058 View Post
    I completely understand, I just get worried when I see quotes like the one below and would feel more comfortable seeing hard numbers confirming/denying as opposed to subjective opinions. Yes, even despite the fact that location is still a big factor.

    (from Samsung Galaxy S3 vs LG Nexus 4: Cant Pick? Thisll Help | Autoomobile):
    "First up. Does the lack of LTE make a difference? If you are currently on AT&T and using a LTE device then going back from 4G to 3G for the LG Nexus 4 would be like going back from using a broadband connection to dial up. With LTE web pages load up so much faster and many people wouldnt consider going back."

    Another interesting question -- does AT&T have any plans to upgrade to HSPA+ 42, or is it potentially possible for them to do so sometime in the future? Is it a difficult/costly upgrade? That would be a pretty big selling point for the Nexus 4 on AT&T, as it appears to be widely agreed upon that HSPA+ 42 is pretty close to LTE in terms of speed standards.
    No, they are in process of phasing out HSPA totally.

    Of coarse that's another 10+ years away.
    - Kevin Bacon is my bananas.
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