Before the launch of the– a unique 5G phone characterized by its – Sprint gave CNET the opportunity to try the phone and its 5G Cover in Dallas. We've tested the LG V50 on multiple sites to see what consumers can expect from the service and whether they should consider it.
Sprint is the latest company to connect its car excitingly over 5G. In perfect conditions, we can use 5G to download movies to our phones in seconds or stream AR / VR games without delay. Beyond telephones, it could revolutionize whole industries, from self-driving cars to remote-controlled medical interventions. However, 5G is still in the works and is still years away from achieving that level of speed (as the tests on Thursday prove), range or reliability. But like other mobile operators, Sprint wants to give its customers a pioneering role in providing next-generation information.
Downloading to 5G was (mostly) child's play.
We have determined how long downloading PUBG Mobile, a 1.86 GB file. Downloading and installing the game took just three minutes and 31 seconds for the V50, while the G8 on 4G LTE had only 73MB (3% of the file) of the game installed in the same period.
After that we went over to big media files. We have downloaded the first installment of Blue Planet 2 on Netflix in high quality and the full season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel from Prime Video. Completely downloading the 50-minute Blue Planet episode on the V50 took 49 seconds. The G8 on 4G LTE was not even a quarter of the way to download the episode in the same period.
In all eight episodes of Ms. Maisel's first season, it only took four and five minutes seconds. For example, you have enough time to quickly download a full season of a show while boarding a plane and discovering at the last minute that you have not saved offline entertainment. Unfortunately, the G8 was far from downloading the pilot episode when the V50 completed the season's download.
In one case, however, 5G was slower than expected. While downloading Wine Country, a 1-hour and 43-minute film by Netflix, the phone came to a standstill in minutes after it reached 90%. After restarting the test twice, both 5G and 4G LTE connections were incredibly slow. In the end, it took three minutes and 45 seconds to download the movie to 5G (the G8 on LTE did not make any progress). It's a great time to get involved with LTE, but on 5G it felt icy cold (we were spoiled!). Sprint later told us that the site had experienced "severe stress tests" that could have caused problems on the jobsite. We think that the result was not exactly satisfactory as we ran a speed test a few minutes later and timed our fastest result so far (more on this below).
Speed Tests: Sprint Vs. Verizon
With the Speedtest.net app we compared 5G speeds of the LG V50 with 4G LTE on another premium LG phone, the. The average download speed was 109 megabits per second (Mbps) in six tests, compared to 3.74 Mbps for the G8. The upload fees were paid by Sprint's 4G LTE network. Since 80% of the network traffic is handled via the downlink, Sprint has the priority for fast download speeds only at 5G. However, 5G will be processing "uplinks" in the coming weeks, says Sprint.
Elsewhere In downtown Dallas, we ran another series of speed tests. This time, the 434 Mbps speed reached the highest we've seen all day. This is impressive, but not nearly as fast as what we saw earlier this month in the5G network, which was exceeded at one gigabyte per second. Note, however, that Verizon's millimeter-wave-based network is faster but has a shorter range, while Sprint's 5G is based on a 2.5GHz mid band radio wave reception offering a good mix of speed and range.
One important thing we had in mind while testing was the fact that hardly anyone was on 5G. It's understandable that as one of the few people who could test the sprint network on its first day, we were just part of a handful of cars on the highway. As more people buy 5G phones and switch to 5G, network speed is sure to be compromised.
5G on the Road, in a Bus and a Car
Unlike Verizon's 5G network, you do not need to be near or within sight of a node to get high-speed Sprint data. To get a feel for the consistency of the network traveling, we boarded a shuttle bus to drive a short distance through Dallas. We watched the data rates of a V50 on screens hanging over our seats. On the left side of the screen, we saw the download rate measured while driving at 700 Mbps.
Every now and then the rate dropped to 4G speeds as the unit entered a new cycle during the test launched. However, Sprint claimed that users would not notice any differences in service when they were handed over. On the right side our route was tracked in real time. The route was painted green to show 5G, and when our cover was switched to 4G LTE, it should turn black. However, we did not see a change during our 25-minute ride, which meant that the 5G link remained constant.
A few hours later, in the afternoon, we drove 20 minutes by car from a town north of Dallas called Addison towards downtown Dallas. We drove at a speed of about 100 km / h and saw throughout the ride how the icon switched between 5G and 4G LTE. While we performed speed tests, the download rates only reached 10 Mbps and 168 Mbps. Although Sprint's network is broad, it does not cover all markets.
Battery lasts a full day and longer
The LG V50 is equipped with a 4,000 mAh battery. Sprint said you should expect a similar battery life at 5G as other high-end phones running 4G LTE. We started seriously testing the phone at 1:00 pm. with the battery at 82%. In the afternoon at 4:39 pm When we completed the last of our tests, the phone was at 32%. Finally, after another three hours of standby at 20:00, the phone still had 19% of its reserves.
Since this is definitely more than a working day, I think the battery life is pretty solid. We've tested the phone, downloaded tons of things, and the screen has been set from 50 to 80% brightness the whole time. Although it needed juice at the end of the night, the battery never became a problem at any time of the day.
5G Landscape in the US and Final Reflections
Our test event in Dallas is similar towere of varying success in and May in Chicago and Minneapolis.
While Sprint is now running on 5G, it is unclear what the roadmap looks like when T-Mobile approved itsmerger , successfully completes. T-Mobile alone plans to launch services in (which will follow shortly). If they merge, their combined 4G LTE and 5G coverage would increase significantly, but the Department of Justice reportedly to maintain the status quo of four players.
were incredibly fast. In some places we were on average at 100 Mbit / s and elsewhere over 400 Mbit / s. We were particularly impressed by how quickly the LG V50 has downloaded a complete season of a program in less than five minutes.
Compared to Verizon, however, we have never reached nearly 1 Gigabit per second. The S10 5G was also able to download PUB-G about a full minute faster than we did. But Sprint's approach to 5G is not necessarily about peak performance or high speeds. Instead, it wants to provide the average user with an excellent, reliable experience, and for the most part, we have them.
What we liked best was that we did not have to be near nods or towers to get 5G. We just drove to a certain area and were connected to the network throughout. There were a few exceptions – for example, when we were in the car or downloading Wine Country – but the ordeal went largely smoothly.
Personally, I would not buy a 5G phone at the moment. The LG V50 costs over $ 1,100, so the technology is still expensive and 5G is only available in selected cities. This will change over the year so I would wait until the end of this year or 2020.
Still, it's promising. With 4G LTE, many industries have flourished, including video streaming and rideshare. While we're not sure what kind of niche 5G company will be on the horizon (and it's not a guarantee that every new company will have a positive impact), we look forward to seeing more of 5G's capabilities.
The story was originally published on May 30 at 7:30.
Update, 08:57, PT: Adds a clarification that the 5G grids are turned on. 9:33 PM PT: Adds early speed test results. 11:33 pm PT: Adds a test tweet that compares 5G to 4G LTE. 15:27 PT: Adds the test section "On the go".
Update, May 31, 3:00 pm PT : Adds additional test information as well as the sections "Final Thoughts" and "Battery".