If you have never experienced 3.5G or 3.75G speeds before, you have no idea what you are missing. While EDGE is usable and can be a life saver, there is a world of a difference between EDGE and 3.5G+ in terms of speed. EDGE is like a lumbering truck. 3.5G+ would be a Nissan GTR. That is why as much as possible, I want to lock my phone to 3G only. Being able to lock my smartphone to 3G only is just priceless. Who wants to live on the slow lane?
On EDGE, you click a link and wait, watching the progress indicator crawl its way across your screen. It works, but it feels like 1980 all over again.
Give me the Power!
A huge downside to being on 3.5G+ all the time is that the battery takes a huge hit. All that speed has to come from a lot of power, and yes; it does. Regulars here know I like to go on and on about battery life on my smartphones. A mobile phone with a poor battery performance in an age of the fast lane is a liability. It is like a fast car that runs out of fuel just as you begin to settle into the race. Totally useless.
A smartphone on 3.5G+ consumes much more power than one on EDGE does – even when you are not actively using the 3G connection. Show me a smartphone that goes on and on with a 3G connection, and you have me drooling. Have you seen GSMarena’s battery tests on LG’s new G2? You can call non-stop on that monster on a 3G connection for over 25 hours! That’s a full day of talking over a 3G connection. It does over 11 hours of non-stop web browsing. I am looking forward to the day when it will be normal for see smartphones doing 24 hours of non-stop web browsing.
Can you take the heat?
If you remember Physics class, you should not be surprised when I tell you that fast car engines generate a lot of heat. Not to worry; we are still talking mobile. I’m just trying to help you get the picture with a little comparison. You see, burning all that power to stay on the fast lane with 3.5G+ speeds means that your smartphone will generate more heat than if it were on EDGE.
Can you handle the heat? Some of these phones get really hot, you know. Still, your call. If you want to drive a hot rod, you should be comfortable with heat. Oh; a hot rod? That’s a vehicle that has been specially modified to give it extra power and speed. Yes; like when you peg your smartphone to 3G only.
2 strokes; 4 strokes; 6 strokes; Different strokes
The “stroke” of an engine (an automobile engine) is the piston going up or down. There are different types of piston engines – 2 strokes, 4 strokes, and recently 6 strokes. Don’t worry about the technical details. Here in the smartphone world, its a case of different strokes too. Not all smartphone operating systems support the pegging of a phone to 3G only, so take note of the following:
I know from experience that you cannot peg an iPhone to 3G by default. I have no idea if there are hacks with which to do it. Pegging to 3G only is available on most Android smartphones. Most. Jesse says it isn’t available on Nexus devices. Shawks. The ability to peg to 3G only isn’t available on Windows Phone, but if you dial the code ##3282## (or variations of it), you can manually peg it. 3G pegging is available on older BlackBerry versions, but I have no information about OS10.
Mobile broadband is heavenly. Everything is faster. Downloads – especially large ones – are no big deal. Forget what your momma told you: in reality, no-one wants to live on the slow lane. No one.
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.