I KNEW there was a good reason I hadn't yet sent back my Evo 4G loaner (sorry, you-know-who at Sprint PR!). All I had to do was split town for a week and BOOM!, Sprint's 4G network is now lighting up the sky where I live, work, and play in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Sprint hasn't officially flipped the switch - or announced - WiMax connectivity in San Francisco, but when I turned my Evo on and stuck it partway out of the window here in the Oakland, CA office, the 4G indicator lit up. I ran a few quick Speedtest.net trials and here's what i can tell you:
- Connectivity is, as everyone says, heavily influenced by line of sight. This is a WiMax thing, NOT a Sprint or HTC thing. Holding Evo up to - and even partially out of - an open window yielded far better results than keeping it inside, or even inside near a closed window.
- I ran four speed tests. Two pinged the default test server in Kansas City, because my review loaner thinks it's from Kansas City (near Sprint HQ). The other two pinged a server much closer to home in the Silicon Valley area. I tried as hard as I could to maintain optimal 4G connectivity, which meant keeping a steady hand in a partially open window. So the test was all sorts of un-scientific (I'll conduct some more proper-like experiments soon).
- The first test yielded a stunningly fast 9 MBps down (!!!) and a stunningly slow 0.35 MBps up. The remaining three tests all hovered around 5 MBps down and between 0.4 and 0.9 Mbps up.
- For comparison's sake, I had a Samsung Epic 4G with me in Seattle last week and averaged around 2.0 down and 1.1 up.
Obviously the thing to do now is a 4G dogfight between Evo and Epic!