Speed test showdown: Verizon Galaxy Nexus vs Motorola DROID RAZR vs HTC Rezound
And with the arrival of the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, 4G LTE connectivity has seemingly become a standard part of a handset’s arsenal – so in all seriousness, it has become all too casual at this point. Nevertheless, now that we’ve gotten plenty of time with Verizon’s latest beauty, we decided to check how it compares against the competition in terms of raw data speed.
As you’re probably aware by now, the one glaring aspect about the Samsung Galaxy Nexus in our review is its weak signal strength. Specifically, it has a knack to be notorious for dropping 4G LTE connectivity in almost every situation, and even worse, it can lose its connection entirely. Well, we compared it simultaneously against the Motorola DROID RAZR and the HTC Rezound. Interestingly enough, our concerns are seemingly confirmed as the Samsung Galaxy Nexus produces a signal strength of -108 dBm – with the RAZR and Rezound at -85 dBm and -82 dBm respectively. Boast a difference of 26 against the HTC Rezound, it’s pretty evident that the Galaxy Nexus is working hard to maintain that connection – and it shows as the handset clings to a single bar, whereas the Rezound is at a decent three.
Furthermore, we decided to do an impromptu speed test against the three highly prized smartphones using Ookala’s Speed Test application. And surely enough, the results are absolutely telling and parallel our assumptions. Even though we tested all three devices in the same spot indoors, it does show how each performs under the same conditions. From the looks of it all, the HTC Rezound takes the gold by putting up average results of 8.44 Mbit/s down and 3.51 Mbit/s up. Taking in the silver is the Motorola DROID RAZR, as it put up average speeds of 7.35 Mbit/s down and 3.25 Mbit/s up. Unfortunately, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus shamelessly scoops the bronze medal as it establishes some poor speeds, which include 5.65 Mbit/s down and 2.43 Mbit/s up on the average.
Running this quick test, it’s very transparent that all 4G LTE smartphones aren’t made the same – and it shows why we’re frustrated by the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. Over the last two days, though, it’s holding onto a connection much better than when the device launched – yet, it’s still occurring. As it continues to try dearly to hold onto that connection, it’s probably impacting battery life as well. Thankfully, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel for the flagship smartphone, seeing that Verizon is vocal about producing a fix to correct the handset’s weak signal strength. Of course, it really throws a pickle at everyone’s direction because it makes you wonder how Big Red's stringent quality assurance process allowed the device to pass. Nonetheless, we’re hoping it all gets squared away in the end.
1. arcq12 (Posts: 733; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)
This what I thought so too. As long as the Nexus is Samsung made, its gonna be crap. Best Nexus phone is the HTC made Nexus One.
5. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4504; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)
I got my Samsung Galaxy Nexus yesterday, I have not experienced any of those signal issues people are talking about. My 4G LTE is super fast I got up to 19 MBPS. That is wicked fast. I do live in a very strong LTE area & that might be making all the difference.
As for switching back and forth from 4G to 3G, I just have not seen it. Again I have the phone for under 24 hours but in that time the reception has been fabulous.
I think it's not a Samsung issue but a where you live issue, my friends have the Samsung Droid Charge, Motorola Droid Razr, HTC Rezound, & even the HTC Thunderbolt & the signals on all their phones have been consistently on 4G LTE. Again where I live the 4G LTE is very strong & saturated. Unless they are all are lying to me I do take their words on the subject matter.
11. roldefol (Posts: 3228; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
I'm not sure I agree that it's not a Samsung issue. If their antenna design and packaging are significantly weaker than the other two handsets, that will definitely affect performance once outside major cities. I've had fewer dropped calls in weak signal areas since I switched from Samsung phones to the Rezound, even if the displayed bars are the same.
13. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4504; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)
I don't know, I live in the east coast & Verizon is king here. Their 4G LTE is insane & I know of people who have had the Samsung Droid Charge from day 1. They claim that their phone works everywhere they have been to.
My colleague & I travel all over the U.S. for work & his Samsung Droid Charge worked everywhere that my HTC Evo 3D though Sprint didn't. So I can attest that the Samsung Droid Charge held a signal very well. Yes in some towns there was no 4G LTE BUT 3G was always there.
You could be right but I really don’t think it’s a Samsung issue per say but more of a location issue or where you are issue. I always stick to the east coast & when I leave the east coast I tend to stay in big cities. If I am ever on the outskirts of a big city it is usually in the east coast but Verizon works anywhere in the east coast. I could be in the mountains snowboarding, mountain biking, or camping in the middle of nowhere & Verizon is there with almost full signal strength.
That is why I left the unlimited data with Sprint & now I am a Verizon customer. The difference in signal strength is phenomenal & that is the bottom line!
14. roldefol (Posts: 3228; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
Trust me, Verizon is king everywhere. I'm in NW Ohio where they're the only carrier with 3G and I don't doubt we'll go LTE in the next year. I'm talking about in between metro areas, driving along major highways.
So yes, location makes all the difference. I spend a bit of time on the East Coast and I appreciate that it's covered with LTE. You're also more likely to hit congestion there, of course - so while I was pulling 20 Mb up/8 Mb down in NJ, I pulled 29 up, 21 down in MI. I'd be curious to know where PA did their testing.
19. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4504; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)
In theory yes I bet those people who live in between metro areas would be the most affected by the signal problems. That makes sense. That is why I think it's more a location problem than a Samsung problem.
I too want to know PhoneArena.com's whole testing process. That way I can SEE how they are coming up with these numbers.
50. jkapster (Posts: 49; Member since: 15 Dec 2010)
Ive had my GNEX for 5 days and I live in a strong LTE area as well. Using speedtest i get an average of 20 up and 9 down. The highest was 34 up and 11 down. Everything seems to be great! Sure beats my old SGS. : )
18. iamcc (Posts: 1319; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)
I also have the Galaxy Nexus with absolutely no signal issues. The phone definitely displays a lower signal than my Thunderbolt but i'm receiving the same data speeds as before and I actually have coverage in more areas than with my Thunderbolt.
Verizon has also seemed to be expanding in my area lately so the timing may have just been coincidental but regardless of that i'm not having any problems swapping from 3G/LTE or losing a connection at all.
24. roldefol (Posts: 3228; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
The GNex may as well have been made by Motorola - OMAP4 CPU, Samsung screen, just like the Razr. Whether the Google acquisition goes through or not, they should give Moto a shot at the next Nexus.
32. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5653; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
i'll definitely buy a Motorola Nexus.
40. cfprelude (Posts: 119; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)
amen - actually make a 4" razr and name it the next nexus. :)
49. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5653; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
if the Razr had the HDSA display and the on-screen function keys it would've made a superb Nexus.
48. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5653; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
that would never happen. Google wouldn't allow there to be a Nexus with a locked bootloader. if Verizon were insistent on it they wouldn't get it but i doubt that would happen and besides Motorola is putting a stop to locking the Bootloaders.
57. ILikeBubbles (Posts: 305; Member since: 17 Jan 2011)
i hope so... though i don't really consider the Galaxy Nexus to be a true nexus...
2. roldefol (Posts: 3228; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
The Rezound is the overachieving redheaded stepchild of the LTE lineup. I'm glad I didn't wait for the Nexus.
56. ILikeBubbles (Posts: 305; Member since: 17 Jan 2011)
redheaded stepchild? how so? htc has always been soooooo sexy!
3. GeekMovement (Posts: 1593; Member since: 09 Sep 2011)
Next time I'm going with HTC, my sgsii doesn't even get 1mbps, most often 0.45mbps, almost drives me insane.
15. ph00ny (Posts: 606; Member since: 26 May 2011)
My international SGSII has hit 6+Mpbs in NYC on AT&T
4. rd_nest (Posts: 896; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)
Do you guys read AT?? If you missed, please read carefully:
I have more faith in ALS/Brian Klug than any other reviewer. Look at the time they take to review a phone (they are yet to release the review of GNex). The amount of information they have in reviews will put to shame any other reviewer. I can bet anything on that part.
6. cj100570 (Posts: 204; Member since: 12 May 2009)
I was just about to post this very same article. I don't know what testing methodology PA uses but I trust AT without reservation. And if they say there's no problem, I've also tested my GNex against my girfriends RAZR and my sons Bionic, I'm more inclined to believe there is no problem.
8. roldefol (Posts: 3228; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
I just read that article, and it focuses mainly on the reporting of signal strength and number of bars. I actually agree with the way signal is reported on the other handsets. For useability purposes, I don't particularly care how strong my LTE signal is, since that doesn't affect my ability to download *in general* or more importantly avoid a dropped call.
It would be great if the LTE handsets displayed individual signal bars for 4G and 3G, but that's not how the UI is currently designed. Yes, the signal strength and displayed "bars" are misleading in the Nexus vs. Razr vs. Rezound comparison, but the SpeedTest results tell the rest of the story. The truth is somewhere in between the AT and PA investigations.
28. beatsandmelody (Posts: 109; Member since: 01 Nov 2011)
Yep. I live in Silicon Valley, I went to a Verizon store in Cupertino actually... I started running speed tests and at first it was as expected. Generally 8 down 3 up. Then I started getting slower speeds. Like 3 down 1 up. Those are still 3G speeds on a GREAT day for the area, but lower than I would've liked. I can live with something like 5 down, 1.5 up on a bad 4G day because I DO want 4G to be beating 3G by at least a small margin. We'll see what the update does. I'm too broke to upgrade right now anyway. If Verizon hadn't released the phone so close to Christmas, I could've bought it as a present for myself
7. HTCiscool (Posts: 449; Member since: 16 Jul 2011)
I ain't on Verizon, but if I were I'd get the RAZR, its slim profile iS amazing, 720p is cool and all itself and The Razr is my favourite of the 3!
12. iankellogg (Posts: 155; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)
I had the RAZR, it was buggy and the screen was super disappointing.
51. HTCiscool (Posts: 449; Member since: 16 Jul 2011)
Really? I dont really care about PenTile whatever but super disappointing?
29. VZWuser76 (Posts: 2073; Member since: 04 Mar 2010)
The Razr doesn't have 720p. The Rezound and Nexus do. There's supposed to be a Razr Max that's supposed to have a 720p screen and 13mp camera, like the devices Moto released in China just after the Droid Razr launched.
9. willywill_evo (Posts: 162; Member since: 05 Jan 2011)
who buys a phone for the look??im sure a phone wont get you pussy lol
10. roldefol (Posts: 3228; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
Tell that to the legions of male Rhyme buyers. Sure, it's a solid piece of hardware, but....
52. HTCiscool (Posts: 449; Member since: 16 Jul 2011)
Ive never once met a dude who chose a Rhyme over a Thunerbolt or something proper. Youre telling me there are legions of them? lol get a Thunderbolt or Rezound :D
16. Allday28 (Posts: 274; Member since: 19 Nov 2010)
I have been averaging 17 mbps down and 8 up in my area with my GNex..
17. THE_RAY (Posts: 26; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
I have a nexus and live in NC (The Triad). I simply don't see these issues. Yes when I go to rural areas the phone drops to 3g but when I am in 4g the signal is 4g with no flopping back and forth. I have done speed test that range anywhere from 24-31MBPS download and 9 - 18 MBP upload.
That is what I am seeing.
22. roldefol (Posts: 3228; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)
Ann Arbor, MI: 29 Mbps down, 21 Mbps up. Less-populated LTE areas are crazy fast!
23. THE_RAY (Posts: 26; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
Also wife as the t-bolt (which I know is 1st gen). She see 11-19 MBPS down and about 6 MBPS up..
21. kpfirefighter (Posts: 160; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)
I have the nexus and am very f**king disapointed! It barley keeps 3g and drops calls!
It's f**king sad that it finished third in this test!
Who is ever responsible for fixing this problem get on it. Cause its nothing but a f**king paper weight right now. I should have bought the RAZR!!!
25. Bethistopheles (Posts: 25; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)
Yeah, it's odd... I had zero bars, yet was making phone calls with no issue and no degradation of call quality. I wonder if it's partially due to the signal meter needing re-calibration combined with a sub-par Samsung antenna? I haven't had a chance to use 4G yet (thank you, free wifi in a lot of places!), but soon enough....
Otherwise been mostly satisfied with everything. I heart my Nexus :D
26. Vzw_employee (Posts: 42; Member since: 01 Sep 2011)
All you f**king people make me sick!!!
Verizon delayed the Nexus because it had problems and they were working on fixing them, But none of you could wait and were bitching about Verizon,"JUST RELEASE THE f**kIN PHONE ALREADY, AND FIX THE BUGS LATER" everyone said, this is what you get, stop bitching and suck it up, you ask for it
27. kpfirefighter (Posts: 160; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)
s**t! even if your a store manager you don't know s**t! You were kept in the dark as much as everybody else! We paid a lot of money for this phone!
So are the bugs that need to be fixed part of the signal problems?? Do you even know?
Or do you just base your angry little comment on the customers that come in and bitch that their $300 dollar phone doesn't work!
You probably live in the middle of a 4g area and had the phone a month before everybody else or some s**t like that so it's easy for you to say!
So vzw employee... Fill us all in on whats going to happen. Is the update going to fix the signal problems? I bet you don't know s**t!!
I tell you what I'll come in and give you my name at the front door and let someone who knows something tell me the facts
36. Allday28 (Posts: 274; Member since: 19 Nov 2010)
You say he dont know S!@#, but yet you say he had the phone a month before launch.. HAHAHAAHAH WOW!!!
42. kpfirefighter (Posts: 160; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)
It was a figure of speech!! dumbass! go back to playing barbies! I know of a few people on here that recieved their phones ealier than others!!
31. ChafedBanana (Posts: 361; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)
Maybe it's the nexus YOU have. Mine is showing 93 dBm's currently.
33. kpfirefighter (Posts: 160; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)
You know I thought of that so I took it back to the store and they made sure it was updated and did a reset and everything on it and it still has these issues.
They didn't even give me the option of a different phone. But the floor model was crazy fast. So i'm just hoping that the NEW update will fix the signal problems cause I really like the Nexus! The size is perfect for my hands. But if the RAZR comes with the monster specs like the rumars say it could be awesome! hope it comes out before the jan. 15th return date.
34. Scuba_Steve (Posts: 79; Member since: 16 Oct 2011)
I would like to know where the testing was done as well. Here at my location everyone was dropping calls and data it was a big mess(from the 18th-19th).
It was random phones and customers too. In one hour I dealt with 2iPhone4s, Haven, Droidx and a Boulder. Yet the people next to them could have full and fast service.
We saw nothing that pointed out a specific phone or a specific services. We had all manufactures, models. 3G, 4G and calling.
44. kpfirefighter (Posts: 160; Member since: 20 Sep 2011)
I live in AZ and when I was working in PHX in a 4g area my phone was in and out all day! But, was descently fast. To the full potential "NO WAY"
35. Forsaken77 (Posts: 552; Member since: 09 Jun 2011)
Those are LTE speeds??!!! I saw posts of people getting into the mid 20's. I get those speeds with HSPA+ for God sake! I thought it was much better than that.
37. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5653; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
most of us are getting in the mid twenties. i don't know what the deal with Phone Arena's coverage is.
39. iamcc (Posts: 1319; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)
I consistently get about 20-25mbps down 8-10 upload in CT near New York City.
43. cfprelude (Posts: 119; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)
by all means provide some scren shots then. that'd be impressive and worth bragging about. unless u meant "HSPA+wifi" :P
the rates in the test look like they may be located in florida.... i've seen only slightly higher (8-12 up) with my droid and 6-8 with my nexus (when i have 4g connection). and thats orlando and/or jacksonville. sure wish we had the 20+ like up north... wow thats fast!
47. KingKurogiii (Posts: 5653; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
i'm in Orlando and i rarely go below 13mbps down or 5mbps up.
41. mctcm (Posts: 204; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)
My nexus is showing fewer bars on the screen in my apartment but the up/down LTE speeds are comarable. I have no complaints at all. If they can further improve signal that would be great
45. sgogeta4 (Posts: 393; Member since: 02 Feb 2011)
What city are these tests being run on? While I don't have the other phones to compare, the GN in NYC runs flawlessly.