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Old 12-25-2013, 11:53 PM
 
Location: Chandler, AZ
5,802 posts, read 5,553,001 times
Reputation: 3119

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I'm looking to buy a new smartphone on a no-contract basis, and I've noticed several of them on the Best Buy website around $100.00, give or take $30-$50.

Can someone explain to me what the difference is between a 3G & 4G cellphone, and should I automatically spring for the 4G model if they're relatively close in price?

Consider these choices.....

T-Mobile Nokia Lumia 4G (Windows 8 Phone OS)

Virgin Mobile LG Optimus 4G (Android 4.1 Jelly Bean)

Verizon Wireless Samsung Galaxy Legend 3G (Android 4.1 Jelly Bean)

Virgin Mobile Samsung Galaxy Ring 3G (Android 4.1 Jelly Bean)

The first three are all priced at $99.99, while the final one is marked down to $99.99 from $149.99, so any and all opinions or recommendations would be most welcomed, as well as recommending another phone in the same ballpark price-wise, and perhaps from another carrier such as Sprint or AT&T. I'm in Los Angeles, FWIW.

Thanks!
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Old 12-26-2013, 08:32 AM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
11,820 posts, read 13,961,605 times
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The difference is download speed. Loading webpages, downloading apps will all be faster on a 4G phone.
It is worth it to go 4G. The difference isn't earth shattering but it is worth having the 4G.
Of your choices there, the Lumia is the best of the bunch.
The LG would be 2nd.
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Old 12-26-2013, 08:35 AM
 
Location: Limbo
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As Peregrine said, it is upload/download speed of apps, web pages, etc. 4G is faster than 3G, but 4G isn't available everywhere. There are many pockets within the US where the service doesn't exist.
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Old 12-28-2013, 10:00 AM
 
Location: All Over
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definately go with the 4g. 3g is old technology and slow
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Old 01-02-2014, 03:44 PM
 
1,017 posts, read 1,563,969 times
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3G is like freaking dial up compared to 4G. heck my phone goes into 1x mode when i'm in certain buildings talk about slower than ****
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Old 01-03-2014, 05:07 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis
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I'd go with T-Mobile's 4G (although I'd personally prefer an Android based phone) or Verizon's 3G. Skip Virgin Mobile. It's not about the phone as much as the service behind it.

T-Mobile will be as fast as anything if it has a good 4G signal, or almost dial-up slow if it doesn't. Verizon 3G, while slower, is decently usable. Verizon's 3G was good enough to keep most iPhone 4 and 4s users happy, so I'd say it's definitely faster than dial-up. Where Verizon really wins is coverage area, and in some cases, in-building reliability. It's kind of a tortoise vs. hare thing.

I wouldn't bother with Virgin no matter how many G's they want to claim. As you probably already know, Virgin is owned by Sprint and uses Sprint's network. Sprint's 3G network is overtaxed (and therefore very slow in some places) because they didn't invest in data infrastructure in time for the smartphone crush, and their 4G upgrades are 3-4 years behind the other guys. Sprint is racing to get caught up now that Softbank is calling the shots (and bringing the money), and I'm sure their network will be good... in 2-4 years. Now is not the time to join a service that uses Sprint's network though. The speed and reliability just isn't there yet compared to the competition.

Last edited by Thegonagle; 01-03-2014 at 05:24 PM..
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Old 01-03-2014, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Chandler, AZ
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I've been told by tons of my friends that the Verizon network is tops which accounts for their pricier phones, but I've never heard any of them badmouth T-Mobile either.

Are Nokia phones on a par with Samsung's Galaxy line?
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Old 01-04-2014, 03:34 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis
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Verizon is tops but T-Mobile is hard to badmouth when you consider their pricing and overall value.

For phones, I'm sure Nokia is great hardware-wise (they get excellent reviews), but do you want a Windows Phone? Most people are running iOS or Android these days, so that's what developers write the most apps for. Windows Phone does have the major apps that everyone expects on a smartphone like Facebook, Pandora, WeatherBug, etc., so it'll do fine, but the more esoteric stuff won't be there.
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Old 01-04-2014, 11:12 PM
 
Location: Chandler, AZ
5,802 posts, read 5,553,001 times
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Well, would the advantage of Verizon's network utilizing 3G technology supersede a 4G phone from BoostMobile or another carrier?

Last edited by Marv101; 01-04-2014 at 11:24 PM..
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Old 01-05-2014, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis
1,617 posts, read 4,774,199 times
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Boost is also owned by Sprint, so IMNSHO, yes, because Boost/Sprint/Virgin 4G barely exists compared to the others. You could be stuck on their horrible 3G, compared to Verizon's slow-but-functional 3G.

Beyond that, it depends on what you need out of your mobile service.

Verizon is the coverage king (just compare the maps), and, because they use a lower frequencies (in the 800 MHz range) that have an easier time going through walls than T-Mobile's (1700-2100 MHz), they have an inherent advantage when it comes to in-building coverage.

Lower service prices vs. more reliable, more widespread coverage. Which do you want?
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