Mobile Phones Guide

4G LTE Phones Shootout - The Fast and the Furious Trio

4G LTE Phones Shootout - Real-world Speed Tests

Dropbox Test

Our second test involved downloading a 20MB file from Dropbox, arguably the most widely used cloud storage service (even HTC and Samsung offer it on their phones).

Time Taken (secs) to Download 20MB File from Dropbox - Indoor test unless otherwise stated
  HTC One XL LG Optimus
True HD LTE
Samsung Galaxy
S II LTE
Causeway Point
(North)
39 48 44.8
Chua Chu Kang
Lot 1 (West)

44.2  (indoor)
27.6 (outdoor)

39.4  (indoor)
38.3 (outdoor)

35.5  (indoor)
29.7 (outdoor)

Raffles Place
(Central)
30.6 (indoor)
 30.5 (outdoor)
38 (indoor)
33.4 (outdoor)
43  (indoor)
28.9 (outdoor)
Changi Airport
Terminal 2 (East) 
25.9 34.7 39.8

The HTC One XL came out on top in three of the four locations.

 

SingTel Store & Share Test

The third test was similar to the second one - this time, we noted the time taken to download a 20MB file from the SingTel Store & Share cloud service which has its server located in Singapore.

Time Taken (secs) to Download 20MB File from SingTel Store & Share - Indoor test unless otherwise stated
  HTC One XL LG Optimus
True HD LTE
Samsung Galaxy
S II LTE
Causeway Point
(North)
6.8 16.8 14.4
Chua Chu Kang
Lot 1 (West)

7 (indoor)
6.8 (outdoor)

22.1  (indoor)
15.4 (outdoor)

14.2 (indoor)
14.1 (outdoor)

Raffles Place
(Central)
6.9 (indoor)
8.5 (outdoor)
14.1  (indoor)
13.7 (outdoor)
13.4 (indoor)
14.7 (outdoor)
Changi Airport
Terminal 2 (East) 
7.3 14.1 12.6

Again, the HTC One XL was ahead of the pack.

 

1.6GB ISO File Test

Our final test was to download a freely distributed CentOS ISO image file that is 1.6GB in size. We observed the top download speed that each phone was able to achieve.

Top Speed (MB/s) Achieved When Downloading 1.6GB ISO file - Indoor test unless otherwise stated
  HTC One XL LG Optimus
True HD LTE
Samsung Galaxy
S II LTE
Causeway Point
(North)
3.97 4.47 2.78
Chua Chu Kang
Lot 1 (West)

4.56 (indoor)
5.84 (outdoor)

4.94 (indoor)
4.88 (outdoor)

3.09 (indoor)
3.03 (outdoor)
Raffles Place
(Central)
4.28 (indoor)
3.84 (outdoor)
2.55 (indoor)
3.09 (outdoor)
2.81 (indoor)
2.88 (outdoor)
Changi Airport
Terminal 2 (East) 
3.94 3.12 1.89

The HTC One XL was the winner (again) for this test. Do we sound like a broken record?

 

Analysis 

Based on the results we've gotten, the HTC One XL is without doubt the clear winner (speed wise) among the three LTE smartphones.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor MSM8960 chipset used by the HTC One XL is currently the industry's only complete platform that integrates 3G and 4G mobile broadband technologies on a single chip, which reaps many benefits over older processors in these aspects: 

  • Lower power consumption 
  • Smaller overall footprint that allows phone makers to design even slimmer phones 
  • Implementation of real-time traffic control in the software to optimize download and upload capacity 

The Samsung Galaxy S II LTE came in at a close second as it kept paced with the HTC One XL in some of the tests, and even surpassed the champ in certain areas such as the ping test. As Samsung Singapore is unable to provide us with specific information on the hardware aspects of the Galaxy S II LTE, we did a search over the Internet and found two sources (1) (2) which claim that the device runs on Qualcomm APQ8060 Snapdragon dual-core 1.5GHz Scorpion processor, and has a separate radio modem (MDM9200) that is similar to the one found in the LG Optimus True HD LTE.

Overall, the LG handset didn't perform too badly (you still get very good speeds), and it even managed to outperform the competition on some fronts. What puzzled us is the performance discrepancy between it and the Samsung Galaxy S II LTE, especially when we take into account the likelihood that they are equipped with the same processor and radio modem. A possible reason for the disparity could be due to a better job by Samsung in optimizing the hardware and software components on the Galaxy S II LTE.