4G SpeedTest Showdown: G2, EVO, Epic, R2-D2 DROID (3G) [UPDATED]

UPDATE:The highest speeds attained with my G2 so far are 5,951 kbps down and 1,326 kbps up, achieved in separate tests. Also, a T-Mobile rep has confirmed that HSPA and HSPA+ connections are not differentiated by an icon in the notification bar, or in any other way that would be apparent to an end user. Many other people have reported blazing fast speeds with their G2s on HSPA+, so coverage in my area is a considerable factor in the results seen in the video below. END UPDATE

Before we go any further, I’m going to throw out a very unofficial disclaimer on T-Mobile’s behalf (I haven’t been able to get an official answer on this) regarding HSPA+ connectivity and speeds: This video is not at all representative of what HSPA+ is capable of. So, there you have it.

When I shot my my G2 unboxing and hands on video, I was disappointed in the data speeds I saw with the SpeedTest.net app. The speeds I get in my apartment are generally bad on any network compared to what I see in Uptown Charlotte, so I decided to give four phones–HTC’s G2 and EVO, Samsung’s Epic, and Motorola’s DROID 2 (R2-D2, a 3G device)–a shot at SpeedTest near the heart of the city. Ugh. As you’ll see, the results weren’t that impressive, especially for T-Mobile.

All phones were set to test using the same server, which was 193 miles away. Under About > Phone, the G2 showed HSDPA connectivity rather than UMTS, as it is showing while I write this. I had an “H” symbol in the notification bar with full bars, and I’m thinking that I was connected to an HSPA+ network that just needs some kinks worked out and is experiencing its first few days with a hot new product accessing it. I could be wrong.

Regarding the existence of different notification bar icons for HSPA and HSPA+, the manual makes no distinction. Please see a snap from the booklet underneath the video. If you have a shot of an icon unique to HSPA+, please post the link in the comments. This is an area of confusion in the community right now, and I don’t yet have a firm answer.

Whatever the cause for problems, I plan on re-testing–if only the G2–once I see a jump in speeds. (I hope I see a jump in speeds!)

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