Jan 09 AT 3:00 PM Nick Gray 35 Comments

Samsung 4G LTE Smartphone hands-on, speed and performance benchmarks

At CES last week, our good friends at Samsung let us run a few tests on the Verizon bound Samsung 4G LTE Smartphone. The numbers that the handset produced were pretty amazing, though we would caution you on making any purchase decisions based on them since these tests are based on early software builds which may not be representative of the final product once it hits store shelves.

Since the Samsung LTE 4G Smartphone will be the first LTE enabled phone from Samsung, we naturally ran it through a few speed benchmarks with Speed Test. Over the past month, we have seen some pretty impressive numbers from Verizon’s LTE network with their USB data sticks, but we certainly were not expecting to see pretty similar speed performances on a handset. After a few tests, it was pretty obvious that Verizon’s LTE networks is exponentially faster that Sprint’s Wi-Max and T-Mobile’s HSPA+ networks. The slowest download speeds ranged from 8-15 Mbps while uploads were consistently between 3-5 Mbps.

Quadrant scores on the Samsung 4G LTE Smartphone were a little less impressive than the Speed Test scores. With a score of 939, the new Samsung handset falls in line with expectations, presumably running on the same 1GHz Hummingbird processor found on the older Samsung Galaxy S phones. The score is a little higher than the Galaxy S, but the numbers are definitely skewed since this handset is running on Android 2.2. Check out the video below, just ignore my comment in it regarding a dual-core processor.

On the hardware side, all the Android and Me staff were pretty impressed with the build. The 4.3 inch Super AMOLED Plus display looked amazing (even under the intense show floor lights) and the large, clicky hardware buttons under the screen give the Samsung 4G LTE Smartphone a more polished feel over handsets with capacitive buttons.

We’re not quite ready to name the best Android smartphone of CES, but we can certainly say that the Samsung 4G LTE Smartphone is one of the top contenders.

Nick is a tech enthusiast who has a soft spot for HTC and its devices. Nick joined the Android and Me family in the summer of 2010.

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  • http://Website asim0v

    One thing I’m curious about with LTE is if it uses any speed boosting technology to fool speed tests. I have a 30Mbps down 5Mbps up plan with Time Warner Cable and my line even tests as those speeds, but Time Warner uses technology that lets the first portion of the data through unthrottled to fool speed tests. Real world performance is not nearly as good as advertised, but it is better than what I had on AT&T U-Verse.

    • http://Website Don

      These kind of speed tests really don’t mean much for real world usage, I would like to see how fast you can download a movie or stream something, I doubt that it is as fast as cable internet, but I suppose that since every 4g station is connected with fiber they could allow every user more bandwidth than maybe other 4g technologies.

      • http://Website Tony

        i don’t trust the speedtest.net app on my evo. it consistently gives poor scores — sometimes it will claim i only have 32kbps down! but if i visit speedtest.net directly and use the flash test, it consistently produces numbers in line with my 3g and 4g ratings. (1800kbps – 3600kbps down, 512-1200kbps up… i even hit 9000kbps down in a “magic” location which must have been right under a tower).

  • http://Website Don

    I really wish samsung could have had some dual core hardware ready, those super amoled screens cant be beat

    • http://Website Android Master

      Actually the Super AMOLED screens can be beat. LG’s new Nova displays are better: LG Optimus Black and 2X: Wonder Twin powers, Activate! http://exm.nr/eUpClD

    • Nick Gray

      Samsung is probably waiting for MWC or CTIA to unveil theur dual-core phones. They’re coming, we just have to wait a bit longer.

  • http://Website bjhoppy

    Everyone gets all worked up about these speed test numbers that we know aren’t totally accurate and vary depending on where you are and what server you are testing on. It all comes down to how your phone performs in the real world and how you use it. You say Verizon tested faster then Sprint. I have hit 10+ mbps on my Sprint htc EVO on a regular basis. I use my phone for messaging, internet, and games while having the hotspot on for surfing on my laptop and watching movies on Netflix using my Wii. All with no lag. I would say that’s pretty damn good.

  • http://Website rb

    The future of samsung in US is bleak after the galaxy S fiasco

    • http://Website Hans

      Maybe in the US,but not internationally.

    • Nick Gray

      Not sure what you mean by the “Galaxy S Fiasco.” Samsung is currently the number one Android supplier in the U.S. market. Yes, we’re still waiting for Android 2.2 and hopefully Android 2.3, but that does not make the Galaxy S a bad phone. The majority of Galaxy S customers don’t even know what version of Android their phone is on or that an update is in the works.

  • http://Website riknos

    I think it is sad that verizon 4g is faster than the fastest broadband plan availiable in the part of iowa where I reside (12mbit down 3mbit up). Unfortunately even verizon 4g won’t be coming to my area anytime soon (currently the only cell signal available is 1 bar of verizon 2g)

  • http://Website UniqueNate

    Those benchmark scores and other test don’t mean anything. How does the phone perform with daily use. Is it fluid and clean consistently throughout. I mean you can root and hack to boost a benchmark if it makes you feel better. Even so that may trick it.

    I might throw a launcher or something on it but if a phone can go in & out of apps and browsing fluidly out the box an over time. I want a phone like that. A lot of these flashy things is overrated

  • http://Website Art

    I’ll wait for a Tegra 2 Dual core phone instead to play 3D games from Unreal Engine, 30FPS Flash videos and long battery life.

  • http://Website Toha

    YouTube links ain’t working

  • http://Website Mark

    The T-Mobile HSPA+ in my area is freaking fast. It’s unbelievable. I can connect to Xbox Live through it and there is NO lag at all. And I browse while playing as well. It’s really good. So it comes down to your area really.

    • Nick Gray

      One of the main advantages LTE has over HSPA+ very low ping numbers. On all the tests we ran, Verizon’s network consistently came pinged between 45-80 ms.

  • http://Website Jim kenobi

    Lets wait and see when they have more than a handful of devices on the LTE network. Right now its just a few devices it won’t keep those speeds when the network is in full use.

  • http://Website jdog25

    Really Androidandme you guys make it sound like those are crazy speeds when there are only what thousands using Verizon’s LTE. On Sprint there are millions using their 4G. On T-mobile there are maybe 30+ million since HSPA+ is backwards compatible and is being used by anyone who has a 3G or 4G phone. On Sprint I don’t know but on T-mobile I saw a decrease from 7mbps to 5mbps after they expanded their HSPA+ network. You can’t take these speed test serious until they get LTE phones in the hands of at least a few million customers. I still say that we need some where for people to post their speed test from all over the country and from all carriers so we can see who actually has better speeds over all, T-mobile has started gathering speed test for people to prove that actions speak louder than words. Please don’t uses words like “exponentially faster” if there is not that much of a actual change at least from HSPA+, you sound like those Apple fanboys who claim that the same things are better on the iPhone when the are just slightly better if not the same.


    • Nick Gray

      I’m sorry if you feel that way, but the reason I posted the numbers and was excited with the results is because I was at Sprint’s unveiling event for the HTC EVO 4G. I ran a variety of different speed tests on that device (before there was anyone even on the 4G network) and never came close to the speeds of Verizon’s LTE network. Yes, things will change once more devices are on the network, but it looks like Verizon’s set themselves up pretty good by not capping their LTE speeds.

  • http://Website Spencer

    Single core = fail

    • http://Website jdog25

      Not really the Nexus One didn’t fail against the Hummingbird processor, new OMAP 1Ghz processor and the new Snapdragon 800Mhz processor, all scored higher than the Nexus One. Would it be nice to have, hell yeah. After owning a Nexus One in 2010 I know that every Android update this year will be optimized for the Nexus S, so dual cores won’t really shine until 2012. The Nexus One finally showed its age when I updated Google maps and I couldn’t do everything the Nexus S could.

  • http://Website Daryl Johnson

    I need your help to help me organize a consumer boycott of Samsung mobile products. Until Samsung supports the mobile products that they presently have on the market we have to stop buying their products . Enough talking about what you’re going to do and as long as we keep spending our money they’ll keep giving us the middle finger . The only thing Samsung understand are numbers and if we take those numbers away from them they’ll know how upset we are . I will be posting this on every site that has any information about the Samsung products please help me to make them to stop not supporting their products via timely updates and product support. Contact : [email protected]

    • http://Website LY

      name a company that does support after the sale?
      I have an HTC Touch Pro from Verizon and they stopped supporting the
      day they sold it. Trying calling HTC good luck, they don’t support their phones.
      Only the vendors they sell to. Verizon did not even acknowledge selling the phone
      when I asked for the Windows updates that HTC posted. Good luck with Samsung.

  • http://Website NamelessTed

    Those download and upload numbers are actually extremely impressive given that you were on the show floor when you tested it.

    Anybody who has been to CES knows that it is a nightmare to get a good cell phone signal on the show floor. Several people I traveled with this past weekend had major issues using their iPhones on AT&T but the couple people that had Verizon had solid signal and 3G the whole time. I guess that just goes to show how solid the Verizon network is.

    Some “real world” benchmarks will be interesting to see.

    • Killa

      Verizon was obviously prepared for this. They probably had a signal booster or something.

      • Nick Gray

        Every single carrier had signal boosters posted around the convention center, so I don’t think that Verizon had an unfair advantage over any other carrier.

    • http://Website watbetch

      I had T-Mobile and I was pulling in good service the whole time. Only upload got hammered in certain spots.. but service was good. Downloads in excess of 2Mbps usually, never below 1Mbps..

  • http://Website chris

    With those results, it means its gonna suck. they are only getting 9mbs down with no users to strain the network. I get 5-7 on Tmo , and we have users on the 4G network

  • http://Website Miguel

    I was thinking the same exact thing. How can you claim a network as exponentially faster when the network is serving barely anyone!

  • http://Website watbetch

    Let me repeat:

    Who is on the Verizon LTE network again? Nobody?
    When T-Mobile doubles their capacity this year, it’s gonna be curtains for WiMAX. LTE is still going to be underutilized.

  • http://Website DizWARE

    Based on the Quadrant video, I’m assuming they are using RFS as the file system again…. Bad, bad Samsung!

  • http://Website Tito!

    & Again, yet nobody is on this silly LTE. (As nobody has a compatible device)
    Let’s not falsely advertise their speeds. :D

  • http://Website Johnny

    Any mobile device that has samsung printed on it is no-go for me

  • http://media4dummies.com notafanboy

    Seriously! Last i heard verizon doesnt have any plans on offering an unlimited data package for there 4 g coverage. Could this be a problem? for me it could. Anyone know what pricing is for LTE It seems a bit pricey IMO. 5gb per month is nothing i can use that much on a single movie download! Do you guys realize that you will almost never see the need for data speeds that fast on a phone (unless your constantly downloading HD movies and that would cost you a FORTUNE) are you downloading torrents on your driod x? i think not. are you not happy with the 2-3mbs that you get with your cable companies internet (they advertise more but in reality you only average 2-3mbs) at home? sure you are i know i am. Having those speed on a phone with unlimited data usage is a far better deal in my opinion. it’s like owning a ferrari in manhattan that you can only drive during rush hour. You pay more for gas, cant use the power, and people on bicycles will get to there destination before you. Don’t buy into all that “high speed” propaganda. If you really want to take advantage of all your 4g phone has to offer you will sign with a company that does not limit your bandwidth, and has very very usable 4g speeds. The hype machine is always fired up!!