4G/LTE worth it?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by flybub, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. flybub macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2011
    #1
    Hey everyone. I have been debating the 4s/5 for the last month and I'm still unable to make a decision. I am on Verizon with an HTC Incredible and I hear so much talk about LTE this and LTE that. Is it really that fast?? I am in a 4G area but no one I know has an LTE phone so I don't know what it's capable of. I do want to hold on to see what the Prime is bringing to the table, but in all honesty I think I'm more interested in the look than I am the software/specs. My wife has an i4 and the clarity of that thing is unreal! I don't use my phone for alot other than the essentials. Email, texting, calling, FB, Twitter, some browsing (but usually only when I have WiFi), and a few other odds and ends apps. I have WiFi at work and at home and with 3 kids once i leave work I go home and that's where I'm at for the remainder. Is anyone taking advantage of LTE now or is it something that doesn't interest you for now? I guess I'm just a little hesitant to be locked into a 3G phone for 2 years. BTW, my wife and I were grandfathered into the Unlimited Data Plan so there's another reason waiting on the Prime. Can anyone stop the insanity in my head??? lol
     
  2. ZBoater macrumors G3

    ZBoater

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    Location:
    Sunny Florida
    #2
    It will likely depend on the service in your area, but I left AT&T to go with the Droid and burned my upgrade to go with the Thunderbolt because of LTE. It has been a major disappointment. When it works, it's wicked fast. For me, it works 1% of the time. The rest I am dropping the data connection, dropping to 3G, or getting terrible battery life.

    I am so disappointed in Verizon's inability to address the terrible hotspot performance after having given up my unlimited data plan that I am paying the ETF on my two Tbolts and switching back to AT&T. Apple is onto something not jumping on the LTE bandwagon. In 2 years, maybe. Right now, it's too immature and unreliable. I'd rather have a reliable 3G connection for 12 hours than a crappy, intermittent faster connection for 6 hours.
     
  3. khollister macrumors 6502a

    khollister

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2003
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #3
    I have a 4G/LTE Verizon mobile hotspot in addition to a 3G iPad 1 and iPhone 3GS. From a shear numbers perspective, LTE is a huge difference - 5-6 Mbs here in Orlando vs .5-.75 Mbs on Verizon 3G. However, except on graphic intense sites or downloading large PDF's etc, the real world perceived difference is noticeable, but not nearly as large as the bandwidth would indicate. For email, texting and Twitter, I personally think it doesn't matter at all unless you routinely send/receive large photos via email. FB would depend on the content.

    Also be aware that 4G devices have really crappy battery life compared to the iPhone. My 4G hotspot is 2 hours at best. The LTE Droids suck the battery dry pretty quick as well.

    Given your usage pattern, I would think the tradeoffs would not favor a LTE device at all assuming you prefer the iPhone otherwise.

    A surprising amount of the perceived slowness in surfing with legacy drives isn't the network throughput, but the rendering speed of the browser.
     
  4. shadrap macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    Location:
    Mayberry
    #4
    I tried the Bionic and returned it. You haves to pay for Visual Voicemail and I missed the simplicity of iOS. As far as LTE, heck yeah it's a blast. Imagine opening pages and downloading faster than your home Internet.

    All in all, I prefer iOS. So I will stick it out until it comes.
     
  5. khollister macrumors 6502a

    khollister

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2003
    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    #5
    Good point on the reliability. I have an office at work on an outside wall with a window (top floor of a commercial bldg) and get 6 Mbs or so. I walked over to one of my guy's cubicles to chat and noticed the signal quality light on the hotspot went to yellow - ran the speed test and was down to 2.5 Mbs or so. The chap's cube was maybe 50-75 feet away from the same outside wall my office is on towards the center of the building. I notice much smaller variations in throughout with equally large changes in signal on 3G, either Verizon or AT&T.

    ----------

    I have 40 Mbs DOCIS3 wideband at home, so I'm not quite as impressed with LTE :)

    THe difference is certainly reasonably significant on a laptop using a hotspot, but on a mobile device, the browser and network stack performance saps quite a bit of life from the LTE advantage. Since I am still using an iPad 1, it will be interesting to see how the 4S responds to 3G vs 4G using my hotspot.

    Battery life absolutely blows, though. Even the Droid fanboys at work admit the battery issue is pretty huge. If you are always at a desk or in your car, that might not be a big deal. But if you are planning on using your device for several hours a day when out and about, you're probably going to be disappointed in a 4G Droid phone.
     

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