Aug 23 AT 5:28 PM Taylor Wimberly 73 Comments

Sprint Epic 4G delivers fastest download speeds yet

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.

Sprint Epic 4G

Speedtest results for the Sprint Epic 4G.

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

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://Website dan

    I have the Evo and my 3g speeds are usually around 2-3 mega bytes. I line in new York so let’s see the 4g soon.

    • http://Website weirdia

      发自我的 HTC Evo — On the light rail going thru San Jose downtown last night:

      Test Date: Aug 24, 2010 6:18:44 pm
      Connection Type: Cell

      Download: 7053 kbps
      Upload: 1031 kbps
      Ping: 169 ms

      A detailed image for this result can be found here:

      Ookla operates using a massive global infrastructure to minimize the impact of Internet congestion and latency. With over a million tests performed every day across hundreds of servers, is the ultimate resource for bandwidth testing and related information. Visit it on your computer today to find out why.

    • http://Website Generide

      with Fresh, and kingXkernel BFS #6 I have had 9.8 Mb/down in Minneapolis on my Evo. I would guess that if you had the original radio and not a revised one you may not have the most optimal WiMax…

  • dzitran

    Can’t wait to perform this test myself!! Step 1: get the Epic in 8 days. Step 2: wait for 4G to come to Los Angeles =\.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      L.A. and NYC will see 4G this year, but I haven’t seen any exact dates thrown around yet.

      • Mike

        Hey, I own a EVO and have been using it regularly at work in Glendale over the last month (and average anywhere from 4-5mbps down. I’ve also noticed that their 4G penetration sucks indoors btw…)! I’ve also gotten a connection while down in Culver City. Just a little FYI…


    • http://Website Danny

      I am in Culver City, Los Angeles and I’m getting pretty good 4G coverage.

  • http://Website De

    My 4g speed on my Evo tops that on a regular basis. It wasn’t the case two months ago but I can now hit 7-9 mbs.

  • Jason

    I do not live in a 4G area but i do travel to Dallas occasionally. I have the EVO 4G and it is very easy to obtain 5 Mb/s down and the 1 Mb/s max upload in the town.

  • http://Website del

    Nexus One Downtown San Diego HSPA+ 4.3Mbps down 2Mbps up

  • http://Website Zach

    I have Tmobile and HSPA+ and my downloads average around 4Mbit/s and top out at 6 Mbit/s. My Uploads are .5Mbit/s

    • http://Website Greg

      What phone do you have? I wasn’t aware that any HSPA+ phones existed.

      • http://Website JBC

        I have the Vibrant, and there is an HSPA+ network here in Orlando. Although the phone isnt HSPA+ I regularly see 5mbps speeds.

  • Genjinaro

    Yeah it must be a tower upgrade, my EVO does 7MBps download on average.

  • Uncemister

    Tmobile nexus one in Humble not even downtown Houston and im getting and average of 6mb down and 2mb up.

  • http://Website Steve

    Htc evo4g today in NJ 9576 kbps. I have seen over 11 kbps also. Never less than 6 kbps here. Never more than 1 kbps upload.

  • http://Website Hrshycro

    I swear all sprint did here in Idaho is turn the 4g antenna on and plug it into a dial up line. 3g is faster and its no speed demon topping at 0.8 mbps. :–|

  • http://Website ivan

    i live in houston and i get around the same speeds as you on my Evo, highest i ever gotten was 9.56 mbps down. But usually around 4 mbps down on 4G.

  • http://Website Raptor

    Taylor, how about battery drainage on 4G with Epic? That’s the major question since EVO may kill your battery in hours even idle not doing anything. Specifically, in 4-5 hours if there is no 4G signal but 4G is ON.

    Please Install JuicePlotter or paid app SystemPanel and post the picture with idle phone
    -no background tasks
    - no Wifi,
    - no BTooth,
    - no GPS) but
    - Yes 4G

    Then do same test wrapping the phone into aluminum foil to simulate no radio signal

    • http://Website Raptor

      Last month before i’ve send my EVO back due to disastrous 4G radio drainage, the speeds i’ve seen were 2.4mbps max, actually a bit less. I see speeds on T-mo Vibrant up to 5.3/1.3 mbps DL/UL in some place where the only in the city HSPA+ tower started to work.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      I will def do some more detailed battery tests when I have the time. Look for a post soon I hope.

  • http://Website Gee

    After the 2.2 update the EVO got a software radio update that significantly improved 4G. In Brooklyn I get regular 4-6 Mbps with bursts of 9Mbps. Not bad.

  • http://Website Mike

    I get faster overall speeds with T-Mobile in New Jersey. One topped out around 6.4, but it’s normally around 5-6. Upload speeds are about 1.5 Mbps as well, which is much higher than I’m seeing with anyone else.

    And Sprint charges 10/month more for that? Shameful.

  • http://Website rob

    5.50mbps in orlando fl with samsung vibrant on tmobile so 4g just got owned

    • http://Website adam

      Uhhhhhh. Look up. EVOs are hitting 9mbps. Who got owned?

    • http://Website Talli

      Steve says he’s gotten over 11mbps in NJ. I’d dare say that’s over 2x your hspa+

      I also dare say hspa+ got owned?

      • Alakar

        I get 5.5Mbps down and .5Mbps up on my Samsung Vibrant in Milwaukee, WI. Since the Vibrant doesn’t have a HSPA+ radio I don’t think HSPA+ got owned. Lets see the speed comparisons once the G2 drops.

  • http://Website revs

    g2 will crush this fonee

  • http://Website zeeshan

    i live in dallas a negative pretty good 4 g speeds in my area . not gonna lie that but the 4 g Evo is the greatest phone ever created a by mankind

  • http://Website generalagony

    Your speeds on T-Mobile surprise me. I am in clear lake and regularly get around 1.5 to 2.5 mbps on my nexus.

  • http://Website plainbrad

    Does Sprint throttle data like T-mobile?

  • http://Website Androidawg

    4mbps standard. Vibrant on tmo, atlanta.

  • http://Website ashaider

    The fastest download I’ve gotten in the LA area is 9.18 down in Alhambra, CA. Average in the same area is from 6-8 megs. :-) I hope 4G goes live in all areas real soon!

  • http://Website Antwan

    Theres a similar issue between the the Samsung Moment and the HTC Hero. My Moment for some reason would always get better speeds in any given area (Even standing in the exact same spot). Its never just a marginal difference either. Samsung may have a bad track record with supporting their phones. but In my mind, they have always used more superior parts in their phones than their HTC counterparts
    So if Samsung can step their Support game up and fix their reputation then they may be able to give HTC a run for their money.

    • http://Website kbox


    • http://Website kbox

      Hi Antwan,

      While its true I don’t own a Samsung phone, my wife, mom and son have all owned and enjoyed their phones.
      That said , today more than any time in the still young industry , phones share many of the same RF components in the transmit and receive functions of a phone, and than create differentiated performance via their often proprietary software (this is true of the tier 1 OEMs whereas tier 2&3 may share the same parts and software, and simply change the physical look of the phone ).
      Add this to other useless info you read. Just trying to give you a reply beyond the 1 liner replies.

      When it comes to mobile phones, I have a lot more info so I’m happy to carry on.

  • http://Website DaveC


    HSPA+ worked pretty well for me in San Antonio…just shy of a 5meg download.

  • http://Website Maxomus

    You should really do your test with each phone at the same time,(it sounds like you referring to the evo in the past tense) seeing as how sprint seems to be doing alot if tower tweaking, my speeds have been so up & down each week…last week I noticed 4g had a stronger presence were it wasnt before with a steady 4 down min… This week, as in the last couple days has just been horrid. I’m not going to get too pissy about the instability seeing as how they haven’t officially launched it here, but this half ass 4g I have still tops all others here.

  • http://Website Snowbdr89

    Here is slc i average between 4 to 5.5 mbps on my evo.

  • http://Website Mike D

    My fellow Angalinos 4g is almost upon us. I drive between San Gabriel and Ontario Mon-Fri. In San Gabriel I get 4g everywhere in town at speeds between 3-5. I’ve also had it pop up in rosemead and in west covina but no speed tests for those areas. Does anybodys Evo slow down when they turn on their 4g and yes I’m on 2.2

  • http://Website Joon

    I’m surprised nobody mentioned the fact that the N1 is infact NOT a hsdpa+ phone so the comparison with t-mo is not really fair.

  • http://Website Glenn

    I’m currently in Costa Mesa, CA, where 4G is not official yet, but I do get it in several spots around the city, where it’s averaging around 3Mbps. Sprint’s 3G is around 1.3Mbps here.

    I was at Fullerton and also saw a 4G signal, and there it averaged in the 4Mbps range.

  • http://Website Jose

    I’m in Houston, got an Evo and haven’t seen speeds over 2.7Mbps in 4G. During the last couple of days I haven’t been able to get anything over 1.4Mbps. The two areas I’ve tested are the Reliant/Med Center area (where I live) and Clear Lake/Webster area (where I work). I noticed this morning that I’m not getting good reception in my office compared to last week. Up to last week I was getting 2 to 3 bars in my office and today I’m getting 1 to none.

    I love the phone but 4G is a little disappointing. I hope Sprint and HTC are working on some sort of software update to optimize battery consumption while using the 4G radio. The good this is that Sprint’s 3G network is very reliable and pretty fast. :-)

  • http://Website lawrence

    Getting between 4-5 mbps down in Katy (houston) area. Made some tweaks to hop onto 4g longer and faster.

  • http://Website watbetch

    Sprint’s 4G network is underutilized. Very little subscribers and the ones that they do have on the 4G network are concentrated in mature markets. T-Mobile’s 3G network shares bandwidth with ALL existing customers.

    That said I regularly see 3Mbps and beyond on my NON-HSPA+ phone.. Clearwire is more like 1Mbps here. It’s sad, you can’t even watch 380P videos because they buffer so much during high usage hours of the day. Most of anyone reporting high speeds with Clearwire is in an unofficially launched city, or one without many Clearwire subscribers.

    • http://Website Antwan

      More Backhaul could definitely cure that clear wire issue you were having. I’m pretty sure its not a problem with spectrum they have plenty of that.

  • http://Website PoloJankins

    I live in dallas and I have run speed tests which have indicated download speeds between 3 and 7.3 mbs…with speeds mostly hovering between 4 and 5 mbs.

  • http://Website ben

    my evo averages in between 6 to 8 a download so this is kind of false to say its the best..premature post i’d say

  • http://Website Rilesman

    So if I understand this correctly……

    Sprint with 4G is fairly comparable (perhaps a bit better in some areas) than T-Mobile HSPA+ WITHOUT HSPA+ radios.

    Interesting. Looking forward to G2 results. Then looking forward to LTE results.

    BTW…haven’t heard anyone talk about latency…since this could be critical for some applications/services.

    • http://Website kbox

      Your point about latency , BER , etc is a VG point which I’m guessing is not as well understood as the ease and relevance of the speed tests.
      I know there are plenty of ph developers /designers on these boards that know it ALL, but for us layman, we have been running speed/ping tests for years trying to get best connections for online gaming etc…hopefully APPS will be developed that have a broader array of relevant tests, with ease of running.

      Many have already said that with 4G in its infancy and rollouts spotty, we are months away before real conclusions can be drawn……imo.

      4G within Homes/buildings, is not intended to be good. “N” routers replacing indoor hotspots in Starbucks and elsewhere, coupled with homes too, will continue to be the bandwidth backbone.

      Way too much rambling. Brevity is not my strength.

  • http://Website bob

    Just thought id contribute since I didn’t see anyone else comment on the Chicago market.

    When I first got the EVO, I also was disappointed with the 4G speeds. I would rarely see download speeds of more than 2.5 mps, with an average probably right about 2.0. Since reading this post, I thought I would start testing again, and I am definitely seeing faster speeds. I rarely see anything slower than 3.0 and the average is about 3.5. It never gets much better than about 5.0, but at least its an improvement and more in line with sprints advertised speeds.

    Perhaps you should retest your EVO in the Houston market.

  • http://Website ivan

    HSPA+ blows……on i am getting 107 ms on 4G with my Evo… t mobile got owned once again

  • http://Website ivan

    oh and HSPA phones can take advantage of HSPA+ but can only reach download speeds of 7.2 mbps so yea they are already using HSPA+

    • Drew

      But the phones don’t have HSPA+ radios, so they aren’t taking advantage of HSPA+. The network benefits from the software upgrade, however. One can see speeds increase, but they’re still capped at 7.2, as they are HSPA 7.2 phones, not HSPA+ phones.

      • http://Website ivan

        yea capped at 7.2 but you still dont see any t mobile phone get anywhere close to that speed

  • http://Website james

    I have Tmobile in Houston and i average about 888kbps and i have the Vibrant. Tmobile told me that not all towers in Houston are converted. a couple of times i got up to 3.5 mbps or more but if i’m close to a tower.

  • http://Website weirdia

    发自我的 HTC Evo – On the light rail going thru San Jose downtown last night:

    Test Date: Aug 24, 2010 6:18:44 pm
    Connection Type: Cell

    Download: 7053 kbps
    Upload: 1031 kbps
    Ping: 169 ms

    A detailed image for this result can be found here:

    Ookla operates using a massive global infrastructure to minimize the impact of Internet congestion and latency. With over a million tests performed every day across hundreds of servers, is the ultimate resource for bandwidth testing and related information. Visit it on your computer today to find out why.

  • http://Website Justin

    I live in Houston, (Galleria Area) and I only can get 3.6 download on Sprint 4G EVO. Its not reliable, and sometimes, during peak hours 5p-8p, I find that the 3G network is actually faster.

  • http://Website Manly Man

    Why is T-mobile owners talking about HSPA+ speed,s when this is about sprint(Evo&Epic) download speeds?

  • http://Website Steve

    I consistently get 3-5 Mbps download speeds in Houston on T-Mobile HSPA on the Samsung Vibrant. Tested it in Clear Lake, Johnson Space Center, Downtown, Westside, Beltway 8 south, Westpark Tollway, Hwy 6 and Westheimer. Often times I have raced with a coworker on his EVO and have won.

    The hardware device has a lot to do with it. I have placed other 3G phones on T-Mobile’s network side by side with the vibrant and raced. Vibrant was 20-40% faster. Something in its radio.

    I can’t wait to see T-Mobile G2, the first HSPA+ phone that has theoretical speeds of 14.4 Mbps releasing in – Sept 2010. It will beat Spring WiMax hollow – I predict.

    The EVO on 4G has however consistently beaten the Vibrant on HSPA on upload speeds. I get max of 400 kbps upload speeds.

    • http://Website ivan

      no Wimax will win, HSPA+ is still 3G, Wimax is true 4G…..HSPA+ will fail

  • http://Website SoKal26

    Sprint is in full control of their 4G network. I live in Trenton, NJ…not a 4G city. The closest market is Philly, so when I get close to the border I used to see 1-2 bars of 4G deliver an average of 2-4 mbps download and never over .70 mbps upload. But, I just ran 2 more tests. (PLEASE NOTE: I’m currently inside my house, far from the border but still in Trenton. I never received a 4G signal even remotely close to my house before. I also ran theses tests with only 1 4G bar.) The results were amazing. An average of 8 mbps down, a little over 1 mbps up. Are you kidding, it outperformed my wifi? Not to mention my wifi router is in my room, i was basically on top of it. I don’t know what Sprint did recently…but the 4G network is actually gaining momentum and becoming faster. Also note everyone…we are currently discussing WIMAX release version 1. WIMAX release 2 (projected launch, late 2011, early 2012) is supposedly going to be four times faster. Its a good time to be a Sprint customer, I have to say.

  • http://Website Justin

    i live in a 4G area and have an EVO… when 4G is on, i consistently get 4-7 (yes 7!!) mbps…. the fastest i have ever gotten was somewhere around 8.1 or so!! :D

  • http://Website Bazzeil

    those speed tests look like my 3G speeds, averaging 6meg, 5 min, 8 max, in Tucson, AZ area with Tmobile.

  • http://Website moose daddy

    im in new jersey and when i get 4g signal i always hit 8mb down and had hit as high as 11 down and thats faster than my Verizon high speed internet

  • http://Website comtrade

    I am in Kansas City and on the Samsung Epic and recieving on average 6 down and a little less than 1 up. High latency though but dropped my previous Internet provider as this fills my needs.

  • KenM

    I’m Ken Mitchell, and I live near Sacramento, CA. I’ve got a new EVO 4G. It isn’t on the Sprint map yet, but 4G is available here, in PARTS of Sacramento, especially from Howe Avenue & Alta Arden, going north and east to the old McClellan Air Force Base. 4G coverage was pretty solid in this area.

    SpeedTest,net for Android rated the connections between 3Mbps and 4Mbps; at the Burger King inside the McClellan BX Food Court, it was 4008Kbps down, 998kbps up. Not bad for a cellphone!

    Last week driving through Stockton, CA, about 50 miles south of Sacramento, my peak measured speed was 7287 kbps down, 1002Kbps up.

  • http://Website JP

    I am in SLC, UT and hit 8.5 Mbps down speed on my Epic 4G. I hit 8.06 in Ogden, which is 45 miles north. I regularly get 3-5 Mbps. This last Saturday, I went to the Gateway mall in downtown SLC and ran the Epic 4G alongside T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T. I tried out T-Mobile’s HSPA+ on a G2 (which is a MAJOR P.O.S btw) and put it alongside the Epic 4G using app on both phones. The result? 1.6 down on the G2, 3.9 down on my Epic 4G. The almighty Droid X only hit 653 kbps down vs 3.63 on the Epic (oh, and the Droid X won’t even support LTE when it gets released). The AT&T store (I coincidentally work for that shitty company) and even the Apple store had their phones LOCKED OUT of the App store (“oh they’re fully functioning” – whatever retards) so no speed test against the iFail 4. To put it simply, NO ONE AT THIS POINT IN TIME CAN TOP SPRINT’S SPEEDS.

  • http://Website Chris

    Check out the speeds we get here in Australia on Telstra’s NextG (3G) network. 5.47Mbps down and 2.67Mbps up. I average 3-4 down and 2-3 up usually. You guys are getting ripped off! =P

  • http://Website Iain Kay

    No google phone will crush anything else. They look horrible, feel horrible, and possess a horrible UI.

    Whilst I’m willing to admit Android is a promising mobile platform, the google phone is not a promising device for it.

  • http://Website jerry gifford

    I have the Sprint Evo and love it. In San Jose CA area, 4g has yet to officially roll out. Unofficially it is spotty in the area. Not sure why that is but I heard that it is still in the testing stage before the real fallout later this year. After some sweetest I must say I am surprised, happily. While upload are capped at 1 mbps that’s consistently what I’m getting. Downloads however are coming in at 7mbps average with one or two being over 8. My WiFi is only producing a hair under 10 so I am very satisfied with Sprints 4g here, at least so far.