EDGE has me on EDGE.

mcdj

macrumors G3
Original poster
Jul 10, 2007
8,893
3,987
NYC
Now that I'm floating back down to earth and going back to my Powerbook for web surfing on the couch, I'm starting to get a real sense of what EDGE means in NYC, particularly in downtown Manhattan.

I realize the amount of buildings here makes a good connection tricky, but in the past few days, my experience has been that surfing via EDGE is like riding on the back of a one winged eagle. If the wind is right, you might fly for a bit here and there, but it's mostly a series of dips and bigger dips. And lots of poop.

In my little part of town on East 18th St., I'm lucky to break 50kbps. A walk up the block sometimes yields 125, sometimes not. Various places in midtown seem to fare better at 150 to 175, but with little regularity. I have yet to break 200kbps anywhere I've been, which apparently folks get all the time in East Jibip, Kansas.

Today, for kicks, I stopped by an AT&T store, to see if there was a chance something was wrong with my phone vs. theirs. I went to iphonenetworktest.com with their display phone. It connected at 150kbps. I stayed in the same spot and tried with mine. 75kbps. Argh! I reconnected with theirs...this time 37kbps. Reconnected with mine...connection timed out. Talk about a consistency problem.

On my way out of the store, the Samsung A727 caught my eye, mostly because I had a Samsung X820 previously, which I rather liked. The A727 is basically the 3G version of the X820. But the other reason I stopped was the 3G icon on the screen.

I fired up the phone and went to iphonenetworktest.com. The browser whipped thru the test at 375kbps.

This got me to thinking. If I can load the NY Times front page at 350kbps on 3G, vs 75kbps on EDGE (a generous average I feel), I'm gonna be done loading the Times in less than 1/4 of the time it would take me on EDGE. The faster the page loads, the faster I'm done reading it and the faster I can quit Safari.

This begs the question, what's harder on the battery? A few seconds of 3G, or a few minutes of EDGE? And how much more juice is lost staring at a brightly lit blank page waiting for it to load?

I am no longer buying Mr. Jobs' line about battery consumption as being a major factor in the no-3G decision for the iPhone. I think he just wants to sell us all 3G phones next year.

(A side note... The other night I was checking my EDGE speed in my apartment. A whopping 37kbps. For fun, I popped out the iPhone SIM and put it in my trusty Nokia 6300, also an EDGE phone. The Nokia wouldn't show an E icon, only a G for GPRS. Apple touts the iPhone as being EDGE enabled, but the phone won't tell you when it's actually only connecting at GPRS speeds. Chalk one up to Nokia for accurate network status reporting in its hardware.)
 

badtzmaru

macrumors 6502
Jul 1, 2007
472
2
ive been browsing a plenty in nyc this week. havent had any problems in union square, east village, midtown, or soho.
 

mcdj

macrumors G3
Original poster
Jul 10, 2007
8,893
3,987
NYC
ive been browsing a plenty in nyc this week. havent had any problems in union square, east village, midtown, or soho.
Can you be a little more specific? Are you only surfing via EDGE in these places, with wifi off? Any speed test results to report?

Enough replies like this and I'm gonna start to think my phone is a dud.
 

briand05

macrumors 6502
Jan 23, 2005
282
64
EDGE is a joke around Cleveland here, when it actually has a decent connection (rare) it can load up a page at a somewhat tolerable speed, however most of the time even that is not the case, the connection keeps dropping up and down and safari just stalls most of the time on EDGE and eventually a cannot connection to server message pops up. After the past few days of using edge, I'd classify it as unusable. I like a lot of things about this phone (like the wi-fi), but the fact is I'm paying $20 extra a month for this useless unusable data service like this, seems pretty ridiculous.
 

PBG4 Dude

macrumors 68030
Jul 6, 2007
2,714
1,872
I got 158, 139 & 146kbps in 3 back to back tests. I can't possibly believe NYC would have slower EDGE speeds than I do here.
 

mcdj

macrumors G3
Original poster
Jul 10, 2007
8,893
3,987
NYC
3G demands more power and space.
The Samsung A727 is 2.6mm thinner and 10mm narrower than the iPhone, but they managed to squeeze in 3G.

As for higher power requirements, I maintain that if I could load/browse a page in half the time, then turn off 3G, the hit to battery life wouldn't be as bad as SJ would have us believe.
 

StealthRider

macrumors 65816
Jan 23, 2002
1,050
4
Here and there!
The Nokia wouldn't show an E icon, only a G for GPRS. Apple touts the iPhone as being EDGE enabled, but the phone won't tell you when it's actually only connecting at GPRS speeds. Chalk one up to Nokia for accurate network status reporting in its hardware.)
Actually, my Nokias don't show EDGE vs. GPRS either (6102 and 6126).
 

D1G1T4L

macrumors 68000
Jun 26, 2007
1,707
78
Savannah, GA
The Samsung A727 is 2.6mm thinner and 10mm narrower than the iPhone, but they managed to squeeze in 3G.

As for higher power requirements, I maintain that if I could load/browse a page in half the time, then turn off 3G, the hit to battery life wouldn't be as bad as SJ would have us believe.
I don't question the space but given what is in the iphone something would have to go. I know I get MUCH better battery life over the past EVDO phones I have owned.
 

DiamondMac

macrumors 68040
Aug 11, 2006
3,299
16
Washington, D.C.
Edge really weirds me out.

Today, it was very fast ALL DAY

But the previous days, it was slow as HELL

It switches day to day on speed.

I enjoyed it today though!
 

meagain

macrumors 68030
Nov 18, 2006
2,563
23
I couldn't even use Edge in the Apple store. I stood there and stood there and stood there stareing at it. I put it down to walk away 3 times. Tried different sites. Even the staffer said "you don't want to be surfing on edge if you can help it". He had bought his own. He even couldn't say anything good about it.
It crushes me to say this and the one reason why we've yet to buy it. We're hopeing it was an anomaly but IDK. A gamble for us.

EDIT: We went back and tested Edge on the phone again.... Worked great. Must have been some anomaly. We're SO getting one now.
 

aristobrat

macrumors G5
Oct 14, 2005
12,255
1,333
The Samsung A727 is 2.6mm thinner and 10mm narrower than the iPhone, but they managed to squeeze in 3G.
Did they also squeeze in WiFi and 4GB/8GB of flash and have to worry about powering a 3.5" touchscreen? :confused:

As for higher power requirements, I maintain that if I could load/browse a page in half the time, then turn off 3G, the hit to battery life wouldn't be as bad as SJ would have us believe.
I don't have any personal 3G experience, but I have seen enough threads on some Windows Mobile sites where they do registry hacks to force their phones to STAY on EDGE instead of 3G so their battery will last most of the day to make me think there is a battery hit with 3G.
 

mcdj

macrumors G3
Original poster
Jul 10, 2007
8,893
3,987
NYC
Did they also squeeze in WiFi and 4GB/8GB of flash and have to worry about powering a 3.5" touchscreen? :confused:


I don't have any personal 3G experience, but I have seen enough threads on some Windows Mobile sites where they do registry hacks to force their phones to STAY on EDGE instead of 3G so their battery will last most of the day to make me think there is a battery hit with 3G.
Fair enough. I guess my point, not being a cell engineer, is that the radio can't be all that big. I would still have bought the iPhone if it were a few mm thicker to accomodate 3G and maybe a fatter battery.

I have read about folks hacking their 3G off. I would assume that Apple, had they implemented 3G, would let us turn it on and off at will.
 

iStrat

macrumors member
Jul 5, 2007
96
0
New York
EDGE is great in Buffalo, NY.

In Buffalo and the surrounding rural areas, EDGE is very fast and consistent. I regularly get speeds above 200kbps and an average of around 150kbps. It feels like a high-speed connection and doesn't make me wish for 3G at all. Even at home or when I'm near other WiFi access points, I sometimes just use EDGE to save some battery (not that my battery life isn't excellent anyway). I've been extremely happy with AT&T's service overall. I guess it really just depends on where you are. Even so, it's only going to get better over time.
 

meagain

macrumors 68030
Nov 18, 2006
2,563
23
If they made removable batteries, it could have solved any battery issue with 3g. Just have a spare or 2 hanging around and pop it in. I never learned why they did this. It still puzzles me.
 

spencecb

macrumors 6502a
Nov 20, 2003
962
17
I could be crazy but I feel as I'd the EDGE network has gotten just a bit faster here in Chicago since I got my iPhone last Friday. I am generally using the E nwrwek when I am riding the El back and forth to work. I have been waiting less time the past couple of days, and today was particulalry good. Maybe the network is just better here? SBC, or at least part of it (Ameritech) was once headquartered here and that is all now part of AT&T.
 

mugwump

macrumors regular
Jan 10, 2004
218
0
The problem I experience is when EDGE simply times out completely. It's usually starts fine for some initial activity, and then no progress. Even the weather widget can't update.

Turning on Airplane mode for 10 seconds gets things moving again, but only for a short while.

Anyone else?
 

[G5]Hydra

macrumors regular
Jul 2, 2004
151
0

The problem in that first link is the guy writing it is an experienced 3g mobile user who has been conditioned into saying this about his N93:

"But once you use the cellular network it doesn't really matter if you use a 2G or 3G network. In both cases the battery is flat after two to three hours if I use the phone together with a notebook to access the Internet. I don't think the iPhone is designed to do this but the same is true for using the network with the built in browser."

Well for one the whole point of the iPhone is it is one device not a laptop and mobile handset tethered and secondly the iPhone gets nearly double that kind of battery life with a huge screen and fast cpu. He kinda disproves his own point. 3g battery life isn't that great. He thinks 2-3 hours of usage are good so everyone else should be happy with that too. Tethering to a laptop is not a consumer friendly thing, it is more a business necessity in some cases.

If Apple released a 3g iPhone with the compelling browser experience it has currently and died in 2 hours of surfing this same guy, along with the rest of the media, would be skewering it to death as Apple reaching too far because the battery life is too short.

-Jerry C.
 

kdarling

macrumors P6
[G5]Hydra;3912446 said:
If Apple released a 3g iPhone with the compelling browser experience it has currently and died in 2 hours of surfing this same guy, along with the rest of the media, would be skewering it to death as Apple reaching too far because the battery life is too short.-Jerry C.
Hi. Thanks for the thoughts.

The question to me is, does 3G really use up lots more power, and if so, why?

I've been trying to track down this information by looking for EDGE chip datasheets. Difficult to get any decent info so far. Most anecdotal claims are that it hurts most when it's searching for a 3G network. I would think instead that it would back off after a while, and check less often.

Still looking.
 

wakka092

macrumors 6502
Jun 20, 2007
344
0
I get 184 in my home (6x my AOL here.. :mad:)

I'm sure this is because I live outside of a town ~7k and have five full bars of service.
 

ccwilli3

macrumors member
Jul 12, 2007
56
0
re: The power consumption of 3G,

I can say for certain that EVDO will sap the battery of my phone while tethered to the network. Having said that UMTS/HSDPA differ from EVDO in many ways, but one particularly interesting point about UMTS/HSDPA is that it fore go's power control. Since ATT is using this as their 3G offering, I'd think that it would require more power over a transfer duration than a comparable EVDO device. So yeah, when Jobs says it was a power consumption issue/choice, I 100% believe him...
 

Sobe

macrumors 68000
Jul 6, 2007
1,791
0
Wash DC suburbs
Hi. Thanks for the thoughts.

The question to me is, does 3G really use up lots more power, and if so, why?

I've been trying to track down this information by looking for EDGE chip datasheets. Difficult to get any decent info so far. Most anecdotal claims are that it hurts most when it's searching for a 3G network. I would think instead that it would back off after a while, and check less often.

Still looking.
Wifi sure seems to guzzle electrons, so it would seem to make sense that moving more information and processing it would take more juice...it's not like all you have to do is prime a gravity pump and the data will flow downhill.