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Old March 30th, 2013, 04:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Is the Galaxy S3/S4 better on one carrier over the other?

Sorry for another dumb newb question. Would the Galaxy S3/S4 be better on AT&T over Verizon?

I read online somewhere that the Samsung Galaxy S3's were inferior on the Verizon network. We have our iPhone 5's on Verizon as the signal is a little better out here in the woods over the AT&T signal here.

Just want to be sure to pre order the right versions.
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Old March 30th, 2013, 04:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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They are identical in terms of hardware, except for things like the radio. Both have the same CPU, GPU, cameras, etc., just the radios to connect to the particular network are different.
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Old March 30th, 2013, 10:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I guess what I meant was, does the phone work better on AT&T or Verizon.
I just read somewhere that the S3 was lacking pretty bad on the Verizon network.
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Old March 30th, 2013, 10:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is the Galaxy S3/S4 better on one carrier over the other?

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I guess what I meant was, does the phone work better on AT&T or Verizon.
I just read somewhere that the S3 was lacking pretty bad on the Verizon network.
They should work equally well except for network service.
The only thing different between the different versions of the S3 on different carriers is the network as stated before. Depending on which carrier you choose and which one has the best coverage in your area, your experience may be good or bad.

Unlike the Galaxy S2 where AT&T and T-mobile's version had a different processor and Sprint's version had a larger screen. Not to mention the different names given (Epic 4G Touch for Sprint, Hercules for T-Mo, etc)
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Old March 31st, 2013, 11:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It was said that the CDMA radios in some of the Samsung phones were bad whereas the GSM variants didn't have the same issues.

The real problem with Verizon is not entirely hardware issues, 50% of the issues that people have with Verizon is that Verizon is trying to use two completely incompatible network architectures and meshing them together, namely CDMA and LTE. LTE was never meant to be coupled with CDMA according to LTE standards, it was meant to be used alongside GSM/UMTS networks.

The data and provisioning backend systems used for CDMA is completely different from the systems that an LTE network uses. Because of this issue, Verizon had to deploy something called eHRPD. Think of it as a "glue" that "glues" both the CDMA and LTE networks together so as to provide for a "smooth" transition from CDMA <-> LTE data.

Unfortunately, this eHRPD sub-system layer isn't very reliable and has caused many people's phones to be either "stuck" in CDMA or LTE mode and requires a bit of a kick to force the phone to switch modes.

The faster Verizon transitions to VoLTE the better it will be for everyone on their network.

More info can be found at the link below...
Page 3 - What is LTE? | ExtremeTech
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Old April 1st, 2013, 10:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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All things being equal, something to consider is how a carrier handles updates. Up until very recently Verizon Galaxy Nexus owners were 4 (FOUR!) updates behind other carriers. Verizon is EXTREMELY cautious about software updates and tests the hell out of them which takes a painfully long amount of time. I know Sprint customers received updates much quicker than Verizon. Don't know how AT&T fits into that equation.

A carrier is a service with multiple layers and all of those layers need to be considered before committing to one for two years. Coverage, device availability, price, signal quality, update speed and customer service are just a partial list of things which will influence your experience with any carrier.

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Old April 1st, 2013, 11:22 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Only if a carrier released it unlocked and bloat free Considering both are needed in their business models (the former reduces customer support cost and the latter helps increase revenue), my guess is they are all about the same. Pick your poison.
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Old April 2nd, 2013, 10:25 AM   #8 (permalink)
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There are two issues here, service and user experience.

In terms of service (voice quality, data speeds, etc), Verizon wins handily in most areas.

But in terms of user experience, Verizon is the worst with AT&T a very close second. That's because both carriers cripple features for seemingly no reason. For instance, Verizon disabled blocking mode on the S3 and Note 2. Why? I dunno -- because they're jerks? Verizon also bugs you constantly to get onto a wifi network because t's not enough that you're paying for data -- they really want you to pay for data that you don't use. AT&T also does shady things and disables features as well. Both carriers yanked the headphones from their S3 and Note 2 boxes.

TMo and Sprint are much less onerous than the others when it comes to monkeying around with the software. The reason I would pick TMo for the better UX is because they are GSM and you can swap out the SIM card if you are roaming. Sprint didn't have international roaming on either the GS3 or Note 2, and I would assume they would exclude it from the GS4 as well.
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