After using the HTC EVO 4G for several months I walked away somewhat disappointed in how Sprint’s 4G WiMAX network performed, but the new Samsung Epic 4G has completely changed my mind by delivering speeds above what is advertised.
Sprint claims their 4G WiMAX network offers download speeds of 3-6 Mbps and uploads which are capped at 1 Mbps. However, when I performed extensive speedtests on the EVO 4G, it never topped 3 Mbps and I found current 3G networks were delivering speeds on the same level.
I don’t know if Sprint has fine tuned their network or the Samsung Epic has a better 4G radio, but I when I tested it this weekend I found download speeds topped 6 Mbps and were regularly above 3 Mbps. My tests were performed all over Houston (Katy, Sugar Land, Clear Lake City, downtown), outdoors and indoors (Toyota Center), and both stationary and while in a moving vehicle.
YouTube videos played almost instantly, web pages loaded as fast as WiFi, and e-mailing some large pics took just seconds instead of minutes. To put it simply – the Sprint Epic 4G offers the fastest mobile data speeds of any Android phone I have tested. For the first time, I actually agree with the mandatory $10 premium “first-class ticket” data fee (but I wish it was optional for those living outside 4G coverage area).
T-Mobile also claims to have upgraded Houston to HSPA+ (according to their coverage map), so I tested my Nexus One to see how it compared. Sadly I was never able to break 1 Mbps for downloads, while uploads hovered around 1 Mbps. I need to do some more extensive testing around Texas, but Sprint 4G absolutely crushed T-Mobile HSPA+ in Houston.
Network performance will always vary by city and your exact location, but I’m glad to see Sprint 4G actually deliver the kind of speeds they are advertising.
If you own an EVO 4G and live in a 4G area, then please sound off and give me your thoughts on how the network performs. Have you seen download speeds improve since launch? How often are you able to achieve the 3-6 Mbps downloads that Sprint advertises?
Want to check 4G coverage in your area? Visit Sprint.com/4G