As a small town guy living in the Chicago area, there are a lot times when I get frustrated with the traffic, the density, and the general inconveniences that are necessarily associated with urban living.
Then again, there are times like today, when I’m happy to be living in one of the larger metropolitan areas in the country because we tend to be among the first to get new technologies, such as AT&T’s new LTE network.
At the moment, AT&T has two phones able to take advantage of the LTE network: the HTC Vivid and the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket. The Vivid offers a 4.5 inch qHD screen, but the Skyrocket has a slightly faster processor and is part of the popular Galaxy S II line of Samsung Android phones. Each has its own appeal, but I ended up picking up a Skyrocket partly based on the processor and partly on the fact that I slightly prefer the TouchWiz interface over HTC’s Sense UI.
I’ve only been playing with it for an afternoon, but my first impression is that the Skyrocket is pretty speedy. Programs load quickly and transitions from one screen to another are pretty smooth. Yeah, it’s loaded with a decent amount of AT&T craplets, but at least they’ve allowed the user to remove some of them.
The part that got my curiosity going, though, was checking out the speed of the LTE network. At my house in the near Chicago suburbs, I’m getting download speeds around 13 Mbps:
Compare that to an iPhone 4S, which uses the HSPA+ network and was showing download speeds averaging 2 Mbps (measurements taken at the same location using the same server):
My home internet provider has download speeds averaging 15 mbps and upload speeds averaging 2 mbps, and that’s the fast service offered by my provider! Of course, at home I don’t have limits on the amount of data I download or upload, so unless AT&T plans to offer an unlimited wireless data plan again, I won’t be giving up my home connection quite yet …