updated 02:25 pm EST, Thu February 10, 2011
Galaxy S 4G is fastest among 4G offerings
Four handsets with the 4G moniker in their names were recently tested by MSNBC for download speeds. This includes the pre-production Galaxy S 4G due at T-Mobile, the currently available myTouch 4G from the same provider, the Sprint HTC Evo Shift 4G and AT&T's HTC Inspire 4G, along with the AT&T iPhone 4 that runs on 3G networks. The experiment found that not all 4G-labeled devices deliver the same kind of performance, which is what leads to consumer confusion.
The carriers all promise different speeds as well, with Sprint and AT&T saying their subscribers can expect speeds of up to 6Mbps, with T-Mobile offering 14.4Mbps. The Galaxy S 4G is claimed to attain 21Mbps on paper. When Verizon brings out compatible hardware, it will attain speeds between 5 and 12Mbps.
For its test, MSNBC used the Speedtest app and a number of locations for all the devices, with the peak speed attained for each device recorded. Average peak speeds were also noted.
The pair of T-Mobile phones performed best, with the Galaxy S 4G putting up a 10.34Mbps peak number and a 7.81Mbps average. The myTouch 4G was behind, at 6.18 and 4.71Mbps, respectively. The three other handsets were far behind but relatively close to one another, with the iPhone 4 on 3G networks putting up a fight against AT&T's and Sprint's pseudo-4G offerings.
The TV network pointed out that the test was far from scientific and instead meant it to be education for buyers. Not all 4G networks and hardware are made equal, it said. Customers were urged to test the performance of their devices and be aware of when a device was falling below realistic expectations.