Sprints Nexus S 4G Is Fast but Not Verizon 4G LTE Fast

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2011-05-19 Print this article Print

Sprint claims up to 10M bps for its WiMAX on the Nexus S 4G. Sprint's WiMax is not available here in my home state of Connecticut, but I accessed it easily enough while visiting family in Westchester County, New York.

I received an average of 4M bps upload speeds and 5M bps download speeds. Faster than 3G? Oh yeah, but Sprint's WiMAX network is no match for Verizon's 4G LTE network, at least where I tested it.  

For the Droid Charge, I saw anywhere from 4 to 11M bps download speeds and upload speeds of 3 to 5M bps, androughly 5 to 11-plus megabits per second download speeds and 2 to 4-plus megabits per second upload speeds for the ThunderBolt.

However, like those 4G phones, the Nexus S 4G's 1,500mAh battery burned down so quickly the phone needed a charge after 3 hours on consistent 4G use in New York. That's not going to cut it. Of course, I had a car charger, but what if I hadn't brought it? I'd be out of luck.

What's interesting about this is that this phone uses the same battery as its 3G predecessor, which lasted a full day, according to my review of that device last Christmas season.

As a "pure Google experience" Android phone, the Nexus S 4G offers out-of-the-box Google Search and Voice Search, Voice Actions, Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Earth, Google Maps with Navigation, Google Talk and YouTube. Android Market now boasts 200,000 applications.

For my mobile phone needs, Google Voice is the game-changer on the Nexus S 4G, allowing users to use their existing Sprint number as their Google Voice number to ring any phones when people call their mobile phone.

Users may also choose to replace their existing Sprint number with their mobile Google Voice number. This means all calls and texts sent from a user's Sprint smartphone will display their Google Voice number to recipients of calls and messages.

This also means Sprint phone users won't incur porting charges and service disruptions. Calls from Gmail and text messages sent from Google Voice will display users' Sprint number. All of this worked beautifully and seamlessly for me, right down to the funky, off-kilter Google Voice message transcriptions.

I came away from the Nexus S 4G satisfied that it offers a better user experience than the original 3G Nexus S, but not thrilled enough by Sprint's WiMAX network that I would leave Verizon's 4G LTE network for it.

With the Droid Charge and ThunderBolt, and Galaxy S II devices on the way to leverage Verizon's superior network, I'm sticking with the leader despite Sprint's great Google Voice experience. If you're a Sprint user and want to stay on network with a speedier phone, the Nexus S 4G is a great choice.



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