Julie’s gadget diary – Test driving T-Mobile day 1

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Yesterday I posted about my discovery that T-mobile coverage in my area actually exists now. I was excited to give them a try so I signed up for their free Test Drive plan on Friday and received an iPhone 5s this afternoon. I get to use the phone for seven days before returning it to a T-mobile store. The whole idea of the Test Drive plan is to test the phone in the areas I normally frequent to see if their advertised coverage area really matches what is shown on their website. 

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My first signal tests were done in my basement office (Gadgeteer HQ). I turned WiFi off on the T-Mobile iPhone and my Verizon LG G3 and used the Speedtest.net app to check the speed of both phones placed side by side on my desk. Both phones had the same number of bars during the tests – just one bar. Yes, I know that’s crummy reception, but remember, I’m in a basement. Although both phones had the same relative signal strength, the T-Mobile iPhone won each speed test.

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The results above were from my Verizon LG G3.

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And these are the results of the T-Mobile iPhone. T-Mobile wins by a slight advantage in download and ping speeds (except one ping test). Both phones are slow as molasses when it comes to upload speed.

A few hours later I repeated the tests on the ground floor of my house.

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Again, Verizon results are shown first in the screenshots above.

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Here are the T-Mobile results. This time the results are mixed. The T-Mobile Test Drive phone wins ping speeds and two out of three download speeds. But as you can see the T-Mobile phone loses all three upload speed tests.

I don’t really care what the numbers say as much as how things actually work. So I did some surfing, emailing, etc using the T-Mobile phone. I have to say that it feels noticeably faster than my LG G3 loading web pages, loading videos through YouTube and emails. I know am not imagining the speed difference.

Tomorrow I plan to test the signal strength on my drive to and from work, at my desk and various areas around the office. Then I’ll let Jeanne take the phone to her office on Wednesday. This looks promising but it’s too early to tell for sure.

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  • Jackie Cheng May 12, 2015, 2:20 am

    I use Tmobile for LTE data only on my tablet and laptop. I find their speeds are pretty decent in the NY/NJ Metro area. I actually like that they give 200MB for free each month which is decent enough in a pinch when I’m not at a wifi location. Plus I can purchase extra data without having to commit to a monthly plan.

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