Speed test showdown: Verizon Galaxy Nexus vs Motorola DROID RAZR vs HTC Rezound

Speed test showdown: Verizon Galaxy Nexus vs Motorola DROID RAZR vs HTC Rezound
Initially, when we were first exposed to Verizon’s 4G LTE network, everyone seemed to be astounded by its blazingly fast data speeds – knocking off the socks literally from most people! But as with everything that we grow fond of, we tend to sometimes forget to be grateful with our constant evolving technology. Once considered to be a rarity amongst smartphones, Verizon has quickly spawned a wide array of smartphone packing support for its lightning fast network.

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: Oct 13, 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: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 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: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 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: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 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: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 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: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 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: 50; Member since: Dec 15, 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: Oct 07, 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: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 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: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

i'll definitely buy a Motorola Nexus.

40. cfprelude

Posts: 140; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

amen - actually make a 4" razr and name it the next nexus. :)

49. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 2011

if the Razr had the HDSA display and the on-screen function keys it would've made a superb Nexus.

46. sgogeta4

Posts: 394; Member since: Feb 02, 2011

Unless Verizon locks the bootloader...

48. KingKurogiii

Posts: 5713; Member since: Oct 23, 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: 525; Member since: Jan 17, 2011

i hope so... though i don't really consider the Galaxy Nexus to be a true nexus...

55. ILikeBubbles

Posts: 525; Member since: Jan 17, 2011


2. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 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: 525; Member since: Jan 17, 2011

redheaded stepchild? how so? htc has always been soooooo sexy!

3. GeekMovement unregistered

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: 2066; Member since: May 26, 2011

My international SGSII has hit 6+Mpbs in NYC on AT&T

4. rd_nest

Posts: 1656; Member since: Jun 06, 2010

Do you guys read AT?? If you missed, please read carefully: http://www.anandtech.com/show/5254/investigating-the-galaxy-nexus-lte-signal-issue 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: May 12, 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: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 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: Nov 01, 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: Jul 16, 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: Jun 15, 2011

I had the RAZR, it was buggy and the screen was super disappointing.

51. HTCiscool

Posts: 449; Member since: Jul 16, 2011

Really? I dont really care about PenTile whatever but super disappointing?

29. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 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: Jan 05, 2011

who buys a phone for the look??im sure a phone wont get you pussy lol

10. roldefol

Posts: 4744; Member since: Jan 28, 2011

Tell that to the legions of male Rhyme buyers. Sure, it's a solid piece of hardware, but....

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