Friday, March 22, 2013

AT&T 4G LTE service, Windows Phone, and Galaxy Note

AT&T sent phones so I can try their new 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) service now available in my area of Tucson, Arizona...

I did a speed test with the Nokia Lumia 920 (more about the phone below).

I live outside of town where my signal strength is 1 bar out of 5.  Taking that into consideration, a result from showed a download speed of 2.49 Mbps. But a ping measurement of 197 ms indicated a quality of service that can be considered average compared to I wasn't surprised that my upload speed was 0.06 Mbps.

More about ping tests:

This measurement tells how long it takes a "packet" of data to travel from your computer to a server on the Internet and back. Whenever you experience delayed responses in Internet applications - this would be due to a higher than desired ping. Similar to packet loss, lower is better when it comes to ping. A result below 100 ms should be expected from any decent broadband connection.

However, when I was within the city speeds were 3.23 Mbps down, and 1.11 Mbps up!  That's comparable to most internet services and connections I've used.  Nice...


I have never used a Windows Phone...until now.  I've often wondered how good the operating system can be.  It's much, much better than I expected...

The Nokia Lumia 920 was sent to me.  It's available exclusively from AT&T.

The main screen, named "Start", remind me of's like a long roll of information.  Much different than the interfaces for iOS and Android.  A video that demonstrates the interface on a Nokia phone is available at videos can be found at

I connected the phone to my (Windows 7) computer via a USB cable...Windows Explorer launched, and I was able to browse "Windows Phone".  Documents, Music, Pictures, Ringtones, Videos folders existed.

It has 32 GB of internal storage...on my phone 26 GB were free.

I was offered to "Get the Windows Phone app", but didn't because it was described as the "Windows Phone app for desktop (Preview 3)":  in general, I don't install "beta" or "preview" software on the computer I was using.

According to the User Guide:

page 16
"You can use your phone even with gloves on...switch touch sensitivity to High."

page 20
"...You can use your voice to make a call, send a text message, search the web, or open an app..."

("Call", "Find", "Open", "Text", and "Note" are recognized.  "Press" can be used for the numerical keypad.  And "Save speed dial" to have a number available for that feature.)

Bluetooth, Wi-Fi,  and NFC (Near Field Communication) networking are provided.

page 32
"SkyDrive is cloud storage for all your documents and photos, so you can access, share, or restore
them if need be...

"With SkyDrive, you can access your photos, documents, and more from your phone..."

I was able to stream music from my "Music" folder on SkyDrive...but unable to stream a video saved on SkyDrive in the "Videos" folder.

page 77

" you want to listen to or watch on your phone...Use a USB cable to sync music and videos between your phone and computer."

Like iTunes and Google Play, in the Microsoft Store there is a section for apps for Windows Phone.


I found the following app impressive:

"Nokia City Lens is now HERE City Lens giving you an entirely new way to reveal what’s around you. Simply hold up your phone as though taking a photo, and HERE City Lens overlays the best shops, restaurants and points of interest right on your display. Tap a place icon to call ahead or get more information such as hours, reviews and directions. You can even save a place for later or share it with friends. Tilt your phone and HERE City Lens brings up additional view options like list and map views. No more wandering around for a café. No more looking for street signs. With HERE City Lens, you see what’s around you from your point of view..."


AT&T also sent a Samsung GALAXY Note II.  The screen is 5.5-inches (I like "phablets").  The operating system is Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean).

The phone can use a 32 GB microSD card...and maybe a 64 GB card:  check the documentation, the place you intend to purchase your phone from, and Samsung.

I was VERY impressed with the antennae on the phone.  Where I didn't get a great 4G signal with the Nokia, the Galaxy Note gave me a much better connection.

The S Pen is a stylus.  You can use it to capture screenshots, and then write on them.

S Voice allows you to speak and have the phone dial a number, text a message, play music, and other functions.

NFC (Near Field Communication) allows for data to be exchanged when you touch your phone to a compatible device.  S Beam uses this service to send files to other (compatible) devices...

The phones’s mobile data connection ("tethering") can  be shared via USB, or the phone can function as a "hotspot" (Wi-Fi).

There's Bluetooth service.  And a "Multi Window" display allows multiple applications to be on the the same time.


Using SkyDrive on a Window Phone, I created a (Microsoft Word) document.  Using the SkyDrive app from Microsoft on the Galaxy Note, I attempted to edit the file (which has a ".docx" extension) with Polaris Office...Polaris Office came installed on the Galaxy Note:  there were no major incompatibilities, but I was not easily able to delete a comma within the document.

It is my experience that the Microsoft Word Web App is not as "full-featured" as Google Drive:  I was not able to "select all" text in a document...

SkyDrive works better with Windows Phone; Google Drive works better with Android.

A Google Drive app is not available for Windows phones.  Because a SkyDrive app is available for Windows and Android phones, I recommend you only use it  for storage across the two platforms.


1 comment:

S!ick said...

(From Mark of ...)

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Date: Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 10:21 AM
To: S!ick

Enjoyed what I heard of your podcast re: Galaxy Note II ( )...