View Full Version : "LTE versus HSPA+" mobile phone help requested
4th May 2012, 08:35
One smart-phone model I am about to purchase comes in two versions, and I would appreciate input from someone (everyone!!) who has experience in the differences between LTE and HSPA+.
This phone is available for both the LTE market (listed as "America & Korea". Perhaps that should specify "North America" and not just "America"??), and the HSPA+ market (listed as "other non-4G markets"), but in different versions of the exact same unit.
Since I travel between both regions frequently (North America, including all three countries: the USA, Canada and Mexico plus also the Korean part of the LTE equation here) as well as "other non-4G market" areas (Europe including Germany, the U.K., Asia, the Middle East and parts of Africa) I need to make the right choice.
Anyone with experience in this who would know if I purchased the HSPA+ model if it would work in the LTA areas??
I have made my phone decision already. It's these LTE / HSPA+ issues I only need help with please. (To quell any of the potential "fanboy" replies. Hehe.)
4th May 2012, 15:23
That's like asking whether VHS or Betamax will win out in 1977.
4th May 2012, 19:24
Hi cattletruck thanks for your reply and additional confusion :uhoh: on this matter. Thankfully I don't think it will be a factor in my situation.
Anyone else with cross-Atlantic experience who has or had mobiles that fit into this dilemma care to comment and assist on the compatibility concerns?
I could buy the phone anywhere, but only when I know whichever side of the "ponds" (Atlantic OR Pacific...)would be better to purchase from.
4th May 2012, 20:50
its would appear that calling HSPA+ 4G may not be all that accurate....
Why Does My iPhone 4S Now Say 4G, Not 3G? Because It Is* | News & Opinion | PCMag.com (http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2401422,00.asp)
4th May 2012, 23:25
In general, it will use LTE/HSPA+ in compatible regions, and drop to 3G in the rest. So you'd basically want to select based on where you're using 4G-like services the most.
Other things to consider are which 3G bands the phone supports: you might find it doesn't support 3G worldwide.
Also, if the phone is locked and you use one sim card worldwide, you might choose an LTE model but have a sim card from a provider in a non-LTE market, and find the phone won't automagically roam onto LTE because the LTE provider in the US isn't a roaming partner.
With questions like this, just giving the exact model of the phone would have had someone give you a definitive answer by now, if only by pointing you to the right specs page on the website. Anyway, it sounds like an S3, in which case the US version MAY have a less powerful CPU than the international version; I've not looked at the most recent specs. I presume the HSPA+ version would roam onto T-mobile in the US.
4th May 2012, 23:45
taking things a step further, surely the real question is to ask is which carrier can offer the best service and deal across the countries that Ray Darr intends to visit regularly.
And once thats been decided, then work out which phone to purchase. As Bushfiva shows, at present this is very much like putting the cart before the donkey
5th May 2012, 05:28
You are correct, Bushfiva, it is the GSIII I am waiting on. I avoided that info until now to keep the "fanboys" out of this because my quest concerns which piece of kit others have tried regarding the use of the LTE versus HSPA+ networks, and how one might be better over the other.
The specs for the HSPA+ version seem at initial glance the one to get but if there are issues using one designed for HSPA+ in the LTA area, then it might not warrant the quad core. This will depend partly on replies from people here who have experienced one "network set" versus the other.
As I said, I travel between both regions frequently so I need to make the right choice for which "base" unit I get.
And whichever unit I choose, it will be an unlocked one so I can drop in a sim card (micro-sim, from what I read!) wherever I go to pay local data-rates with no worries re system compatibility to my "home" network.
Thanks for the replies so-far, everyone.
5th May 2012, 09:39
If you read the review from Tom's Hardware from Thursday, it looks like maybe the actual choice isn't there yet.
Samsung Unveils GSIII Complete with Own Version of Siri (http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Samsung-Galaxy-Galaxy-S-III-Specs-Features-Siri,15526.html)
"with ......HSPA+ support (Samsung is also working on an LTE mode)"................
Samsung plans to launch this baby in 145 countries and is partnering with 296 mobile operators around the world to do so. The 3G-only model will launch in Europe at the end of this month, and the 4G model will launch in North America, Japan, and Korea during this summer"
Reading that gives the impression that
1) the 4G versions is some way off yet
2) if Samsung are teaming with that many network companies, then getting an unlocked one may not be so easy at first as you think. It would be interesting to see a list of those operators
3) the story clearly indicates support for HSPA+, but the way its written, LTE support could well be vapourware, or at least for the near-term
8th May 2012, 04:37
Thanks for everyone's input so-far.
More details have emerged regarding the different networks: Android Authority write up on HSPA vs LTE: Which one is better? (http://www.androidauthority.com/hspa-vs-lte-which-one-is-better-78120/)
I'm not sure if this answers the question or questions the answer, though. However, at a glance it looks like the HSPA+ SGSIII will be the one to choose.
The HSPA+ flavour is supposed to also come equipped with a quad core, unlike the dual core that has been mentioned as destined for the LTE version. This may further seal my preference towards the HSPA+ unit, unless others here can suggest reasons otherwise.
And further details on the SGSIII: Samsung Galaxy S III Gets Benchmarked (http://www.androidauthority.com/samsung-galaxy-s3-gets-benchmarked-82647/)
Any further comments on the "best" version to buy...the LTE or the HSPA+?
8th May 2012, 12:44
I read somewhere that there is no room in the case for the LTE chip with the current Exynos 4-core processor. I seem to remember that the article said that a future version of the Exynos will be smaller and will give room for LTE.
8th May 2012, 16:50
After reading that article, I think the answer is that LTE is the better long term technology but its not there yet.
You've got to ask yourself the question - how long do you expect this phone to last? If six months to a year then just go an buy one. If you intend it as a long term purchase, wait 8-10 months and see what the next version release brings.
This doesn't look like a finished product to me: wait until a 4-core LTE version arrives (assuming that LTE is in the planning pipeline where you want to travel)
9th May 2012, 14:18
With roaming data costing so much in most places (and even "domestic" data costing a fair bit in some parts of the world), do you really want to use it all up even faster?
What sort of apps actually need LTE speeds consistently?
12th May 2012, 10:11
Thanks for all of the valued input so-far from everyone.
Paraffin Budgie, I had mentioned I would be buying an unlocked mobile phone, so the roaming you mentioned is not an issue as I will have networks in a number of countries. Pop in a local sim and data-charges become local charges.
The details you wrote about earlier re the smaller processors are good to know. Other handsets that come in both LTE and HSPA+ models have a large difference in size. Time will tell what the Samsung G S III differences will look like.
To others including Milo Minderbinder, with both the LTE and HSPA+ models announced to be available in the market by "summer" (an accidental snub to those in the southern hemisphere, too!!), the wait is not that long to choose both. The issue I see is the apparent lack of backwards compatibility of the LTE handsets to work with legacy carrier networks which leans the race more towards HSPA+ to avoid a lot of grief when travelling.
Now if only I can find a terrific deal out there for an unlocked, contract-free phone from the UK. Most "deals" of the Samsung Galaxy S III seemed to be tied to the 16 GB phone (and all the "WOW!" deals are gone, anyway). Any so-called "deal" for the 64 GB model hasn't appeared just yet.
Good thing I have some time off. Time to step up the searching...
Further comments / tips / assistance / deals appreciated!
13th May 2012, 11:28
Sorry-my comment was meant as a general one-not necessarily directed at your particular case!!
I should have said.