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Wednesday Poll: Which Type of 4G is Better?

Seems like a silly question, right? “Which type of 4G is better?” The idea comes from a poll run by investment firm Piper Jaffray, a firm known for covering almost nothing other that Apple products.

So what does this poll mean coming from them? Well, in their poll of 3,000 people (is that all?), they came to the conclusion that almost 47% of U.S. citizens do not feel as if they need 4G or 4G LTE. As you all know, the iPhone is not a 4G LTE device, nor is it really a “4G” device, unless you are listening to AT&T’s software lies. Basically what I’m saying, is that their poll is kind of a joke. For all we know, they could have polled 3,000 iPhone owners, who clearly do not care about 4G since they bought iPhones, knowing that they aren’t 4G phones.

In return, I thought I’d ask our readers, a group of people that from what we can tell over the last couple of years, care a heck of a lot about 4G. And then if the results lean the completely opposite way, we can write ridiculous headlines like “75% of U.S. Citizens Can’t Live Without 4G!”

Which Type of 4G is Better?

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  • owan

    I couldn’t answer this poll. I’ve never tried an HSPA+, but what I do know is that LTE on the GNex sucks battery life like Paula Deen sucks down butter. Maybe its somewhat spotty coverage in my area, or perhaps its the GNex’s incredibly awful LTE reception, but I can’t use LTE at all. Its quick as hell, but maybe HSPA+ would be almost as good while being more reliable. I don’t know. At least LTE is true 4G, while HSPA+ is 3G++

  • RW-1

    At leat you can still always have the advantage over the iPhone by being able to pull and replace your batt, which a few exceptions lately ….
    I had good 4GLTE coverage here at work, and founf my Gnex would need to go onto the charger by 2PM, I then finally decided to try being on wifi at home and work, and let it do its thing, bat tlife has been markedly improved, but for most I see it just as a fact that you have to live with; if you use the faster network, you have to have a car or desk charger handy, nothing more …

  • RW-1

    It is silly … If I’m wrong I’ll gladly accept knowledge, but from what I read none of what is currently available is TRUE 4G, even the moniker LTE which is Long Term Evolution indicates this is only a precursor to what is supposed to be even better down the line.

  • marcus russell

    I battle my teo freinds all the time we all have 4g phones mine is lte theres are t mobile hspa+ and at&t hspa+ i always load pages and videos faster. I will say t mobile most of the time comes in second

  • ryanallaire

    Anyone who said anything else than 4G LTE, obviously hasn’t used it therefore don’t know how awesome it is :)

  • JPose

    Wrong! The iPhone is a 1X device. I’ve heard of someone modifying a 4S to get 2G service. Crazy right?

  • Guest

    HSPA+ is NOT 4G. It never will be. Technically, LTE currently doesn’t mean the spec for 4G but at least it can potentially meet the spec.

    • http://www.gizmoninja.com/ Tabe

      LTE, HSPA+, and WiMax all meet the revised 4G spec as defined by the ITU.

  • http://www.facebook.com/montana.droemer Montana Droemer

    Every iPhone 4s user I know believe that because it is a 4s and a that the Sim card shows 4g on it actually believe that their iPhone 4s is a 4g

  • paul_cus

    LTE with fallback to HSPA+

  • SmarterThanMostOnTheNet

    Hi. I have an iPhone as well as my GS3. I might be in a small minority (unlike my retard EX who thought that the iPhone 4 meant 4g..) But I am aware that the iPhone 4S on ATT only can connect to a HSPA+ 12-15 network. I know that I do not have actual “4g” despite the branding. I want LTE because it’s fun to laugh at people who have Sprint, or some of my friends who have slow internet at home…and I can load pages on my phone faster than he can on his computer. Do I NEED LTE? No. Do I want it? Hell yes.

  • HTC1

    Really????, I can’t even beleive this is a question. I know i’ve said it a thousands times here but if your not on Verizon (anything) you don’t have a phone!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.gizmoninja.com/ Tabe

    For the stating that VZW’s 4G LTE is real 4G while HSPA+ and WiMax aren’t, have a look at this:
    http://www.extremetech.com/mobile/114953-itu-designates-lte-advanced-as-true-4g

    “The ITU has decided that LTE-Advanced (which is a collection of standards defined in upcoming UMTS Releases 9 and 10) and WirelessMAN-Advanced (commonly known as WiMAX 2) both qualify and are officially designated as IMT-Advanced technologies.”

    “As mentioned in our article about LTE, IMT-Advanced was the original set of specifications that determined whether a technology could be considered to be “4G” by the ITU (who owns the global trademark for “4G”). The North American carriers pushed the issue and managed to get the ITU to revise its specification for 4G to include any significantly evolved wireless technology, which allowed HSPA+, WiMAX, and LTE to be marked as 4G technologies. Prior to this, none of those were considered 4G.”

    “Think of IMT-Advanced as the final stage of 4G. Current LTE and WiMAX networks are essentially “transitional 4G” technologies.”

  • Derkk

    To be quite honest, until LTE is voice and data, I prefer HSPA+ for my “4G”. Having to constantly switch from LTE to HSPA is really annoying.

  • http://www.gizmoninja.com/ Tabe

    I’m a VZW Galaxy Nexus user. As other have said, I’d really rather have HSPA+ right now. Better battery life and adequate speed (at least in my area) is what I like about HSPA+ phones. I rarely need the speed of the VZW LTE at its max. I do most of my large downloads on the computer and also use my phone the most at home and work, where I’m connected to WiFi. Most of the time 3G is almost adequate for what I use my phone for while on the go, so a decent bump in speed with HSPA+ would do just fine. I really hope there’s some sort of break through with LTE and battery life (or just battery tech, or both…) sometime soon.
    Really, the only reason that I have stuck with VZW and not gone to one of the GSM GalNex carriers is because of the awesome VZW discount that we get through my wife’s work.

  • me me

    I actually have a comment about a topic for once! I work as a subcontractor for both ATT and VZW, and I can say from first hand experience, ATT is not a true 4G. VZW has been putting billions of dollars into running new fiber drops and upgrading equipment to achieve the speed they have today. To tell you the truth, I don’t understand how ATT is allowed to even claim in commercials that they have the “fastest” or yet the “largest” 4G network in the Nation. Just goes to show, you cant believe everything you see on TV!

    • http://www.gizmoninja.com/ Tabe

      Well, Verizon’s 4G LTE technically isn’t true 4G either.

      • PC_Tool

        See my response below…

        • http://www.gizmoninja.com/ Tabe

          See my post above… =P
          …or, maybe it’s below… Who knows where Disqus puts it for others.

  • fauxshizzl

    Even though I get full bars of LTE everywhere in town and get ridiculous fast download speeds according to the speedtest app, I haven’t noticed any significant difference in actual use. Youtube is still slow, Facebook still takes 15 seconds to load a picture, and the browser is also a let down. Sure speedtest says I am getting 37Mb down and 15Mb up, but if I cant tell when I use my, then it is useless to me.

  • Okki125

    The kind that works consistently… my Thunderbolt is dropping my data connection (unlimited) like crazy.. I need to check to see if it’s still on every time I try to log into one of my apps! HEY VERIZON.. CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW!?!??!

  • DRAZY

    For those on HSPA+ being told they have a “4G” connection you’re being lied to and are grossly ignorant if you believe you do. LTE is the true 4G standard. Do you think AT&T, T-Mobile(?), and Sprint who are rolling out LTE are now going to call their networks 5G? No, they’ll coin another buzzword to make you all think you have even faster 4G when all you really had was 3G 2.0.
    I’ve been a Verizon LTE customer since it was available in So. California well over a year ago and I’m also a Verizon FIOS customer (35Mbps/35Mbps), I’ve been able to consistently achieve 30Mbps on my phone. This is something I was never able to do on my AT&T and T-Mobile phones while a customer of their “4G” (hahaha) service. I normally average about 3 – 7Mbps.

    • http://www.gizmoninja.com/ Tabe

      Well, Verizon’s 4G LTE technically isn’t true 4G either.

      • PC_Tool

        Both WiMAX and 4G are “true” 4G according to the ITU. They changed their definition when everyone starting calling anything significantly faster than 3G “4G”.

        • http://www.gizmoninja.com/ Tabe

          Well, yeah, ITU gave in to the US carriers pushing hard to be allowed to call their stuff “4G”, despite it not fully meeting the initial 4G requirements. Even with that, though, they are really transitional 4G technologies and LTE-Advanced/WiMax2 subscribe to the ITU’s real vision of 4G.

          • PC_Tool

            It doesn’t matter how they came to be “4G”….they are the “real” version of 4G as it is defined. Now.

            I have no doubt the ITU will allow the carriers to dub LTE-Advanced/WiMAX2 something else entirely.

            So “technically”, Verizon’s 4G *is* true 4G, as is HSPA+. Claiming otherwise is disingenuous.

            It is true however, that they are not the technologies originally envisioned when 4G was first conceived. That’s not relevant to the poll or article though.

          • http://www.gizmoninja.com/ Tabe

            Splitting hairs here… I think we are in agreement overall. My main point is that they don’t adhere to the original vision of 4G and were only classified as such after the carriers bitched and moaned to be able to call theirs 4G for marketing reasons. Yeah, this isn’t relevant to the poll article but it is relevant to Drazy’s comment.

          • PC_Tool

            Honestly? What tech *does* adhere to it’s original “pipe dream/best case” original vision?? (Am I being too cynical?)

            DRAZY was simply incorrect. They are 4G. Not sure if it was simply due to idealism or ignorance of “how stuff works”. ;-)

            Things seldom turn out exactly how they are intended. Idealism is great, but ranting that reality doesn’t match the ideal, and that the reality is therefore “wrong” is about as useful as administering medication to the dead… *grin*

          • http://www.gizmoninja.com/ Tabe

            Again, I think we are in agreement. The only difference is that you are focusing on how thing are now while I am also discussing how we got to where we are now. Maybe you think it’s irrelevant, but I like to look at things like that. I am not saying that the reality is “wrong”, it is what it is.
            And you’re absolutely right, pretty much no tech adhere’s to it’s original vision.

          • PC_Tool

            Nah, I didn’t say you were wrong. I said DRAZY was. ;-)

            There’s nothing wrong with looking at how things got the way they are…in fact, it’s a requirement if you want to have any idea of what the “next” thing might turn into.

            I just get a bit sour on the whole “it’s not really 4G” argument…when it is…it just isn’t the ideal it was first intended to be. Sorry if it seemed like a personal attack. It definitively wasn’t intended as such….just a clarification.

          • http://www.gizmoninja.com/ Tabe

            No worries, good discussion. I think what brought on this discussion was my initial “Well, Verizon’s 4G LTE technically isn’t true 4G either.” statement. I shouldn’t type stuff that I don’t really mean. I was trying to be quick at the time and biffed the whole thing up. :)

          • PC_Tool

            So much for “quick” eh? (5+ comments later…)

            It’s all in good fun. That’s what the tubes are for, right?

      • DRAZY

        According to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Verizon’s implementation is 4G. How do you make the assertion that what Verizon offer isn’t 4G? Based upon?

        • http://www.gizmoninja.com/ Tabe

          Maybe Disqus isn’t showing you the lengthy conversation thread between myself and @PC_Tool:disqus, but it covers this.
          In short: According to the ITU, HSPA+ and WiMax are both 4G as well.

  • feztheforeigner

    Where is the fake WiMax option so I can ignore that too?

  • http://www.facebook.com/mathias.worku Mathias Worku

    Lets all be honest here. Who REALLY needs 4g? I think that poll was bogus. Most of us have gotten in the habbit of using wherever available due to our carrier capped plans. we work, go to school, take care of kids etc. For the most of us the extended period of use comes when at home (unless your a bus or truck driver) and on WIFI. People assume just because they read 100+ emails for work and check fb here and there that 4g is a must. At the end of the day people have no clue what their talking about. If you disagree with anything I just said then answer this. Does it make any type of difference if your phone is running at 3mbps as opposed to 20 mbps when checking email, reading news articles, or even fb. People don’t stream as much as they think and that would be the only reason for the speed.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mathias.worku Mathias Worku

      gotten in the habbit of using wifi*

    • PC_Tool

      No one needs it.

      Hell, no one needs cell phones…

      But this topic and poll has *nothing* to do with what you *need*…

    • itznfb

      LTE = no waiting for pages to load. I need.

      • http://www.gizmoninja.com/ Tabe

        That’s weird, while obviously much faster, I still experience page loading with LTE.