In case you have missed the handful of lists I've made, my weekly OSR rankings and dozen or so pieces I've written on it, I love the Galaxy Note II. It is a fine specimen of what many years of smartphone evolution has produced, an over-sized smartphone, a miniature, pocket tablet.

Many question why I continually choose it over all of the other comparable, more conservative-sized smartphones. The answer is plain and simple: I love the display size.

At the beginning of last month, I explained the other part to why I initially chose the Galaxy Note II. More specifically, I explained why I chose the international Galaxy Note II, which lacks LTE connectivity, over the virtually identical AT&T variant. I have two Galaxy Note IIs at my disposal and I chose to use the one without LTE for one reason: software.

The international variant, just as the global version of any smarpthone, will receive updates notably quicker than any U.S. carrier model. For a carrier branded smartphone, any and all software updates must go through a rigorous and lengthy approval process. As we've seen all too many times, software updates for U.S.-based smartphones can take two or three (and sometimes many more) months longer to arrive than the same updates for their international counterparts.

In my case, a missing feature, Multi-Window, that was rumored to be included in a future update was the sole reason I chose the international Galaxy Note II over the AT&T variant. Alongside the extra large display and S Pen, the software on the Galaxy Note II plays a major part in making the device a phablet – not just an over-sized smartphone like the HTC DROID DNA. And the fact that the AT&T model was missing Multi-Window was extremely off-putting.

How long would it be before the AT&T Note II saw an update? Would that update even include the feature? How many hoops will I have to jump through to get Multi-Window on the AT&T Note II … unofficially?

There were too many uncertainties about a very important, differentiating software feature that I didn't want to worry about. So I popped my SIM card in the global Galaxy Note II and said goodbye to LTE for the foreseeable future … again.

At the time, I figured that HSPA+ wouldn't be a terrible step backwards. And at first, everything was okay. HSPA+ was decent and the ability to run two applications side by side was (and still is) amazing. It was a feature I found myself using all the time.

But eventually, HSPA+ wore me down. I'm in the Concord, NC area, just a few miles north of Charlotte. LTE coverage here is fantastic. I've reached download speeds of nearly 50Mbps down and upwards of 20Mbps up.

HSPA+, however, is a totally different story. I never expected it to be as fast as LTE, of course, but it's spotty and extremely unreliable in the area. Most of the time, it has maxed out for me at about 5Mbps down and 1-2Mbps up. But that's on a good day. Most of the time, the download speeds teeter between 2Mbps and 4Mbps. And the uplink fails to hit 1Mbps.

I'm sure most people could deal with those speeds. Anyone who has never used LTE wouldn't know the difference. But after two months of dealing with AT&T's HSPA+ in Concord, I couldn't take it anymore. I switched back to the AT&T Galaxy Note II on Sunday and haven't looked back.

Of course, I've missed Multi-Window quite a bit. I have caught myself hopelessly holding the back button for several seconds before realizing the Multi-Window tab was never going to appear in the middle of the left edge of the display. Fortunately, though, it looks as if I may have Multi-Window on the AT&T Note II as soon as tomorrow, and this whole debacle will have solved itself.

The moral of the story is this: I cannot live without LTE anymore. I want a Nexus 4 and a Nexus 7 with cellular. But I can't stomach stepping back to HSPA+ anymore, not when I'm paying the same price with or without LTE.

LTE was what made me throw the prepaid idea out the window. There's nothing quite like images uploading in seconds, videos never buffering and applications installing before you can hit the back button. If I can help it, it's LTE-only for me moving forward.

Have you had LTE and given it up for any particular reason? Did you miss LTE after having a taste? Did you go back? Or is LTE something you can live without?

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89 Reactions to this post

"Could you go without 4G LTE connectivity?"

Please limit your reaction to 140 characters or use comments for a longer reply :)
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Anonymous easily. i went from a skyrocket in an LTE area to a nexus 4 and i dont notice the difference in data speeds at all. i barely ever download apps when im out and browsing is still plenty fast on hspa+ and apps like fb and twitter still load quickly
Gary Bowling
Gary Bowling Yes, but I switched to Verizon from T-Mobile. So ask me again in 6 months.
Tom Parkison
Tom Parkison I have Verizon 4G LTE but I'd gladly go to either AT&T or T-Mobile with a Nexus 4 for some decent battery life. 4G LTE seriously drains a battery dry. HSPA+ seems to be just as fast as LTE is but without the massive battery drain.
Ignacio Gonzalez
Ignacio Gonzalez I have a 4G LTE smartphone, but it's usually on 3G to conservr battery life. Verizon Wireless 3G is more than usable. I had Sprint before. ..data is ridiculously unusable.
Grace Moss
Grace Moss actually yeah
Elijah David Kleehammer
Elijah David Kleehammer No. HSPA+ sucks!
Kong Yang
Kong Yang Yes but only if there is 5G LTE.
Anubispax Demry
Anubispax Demry Around here T-Mobile's HSPA+ is about as good as LTE. I hear AT&T's HSPA+ is slower though.
Luis Valentin-Zeno
Luis Valentin-Zeno I been using edge for the past year since AT&T kept taking all the good phones from T-Mobile ... So can I live without LTE? Yes, I think I can.
David Indermuehle
David Indermuehle It wouldn't make much difference to me, and I do have LTE in my area.
Josh Avondoglio
Josh Avondoglio Yes. T-mobile's HSPA+ is very comparable to LTE in many cities.
Vicente Reyes
Vicente Reyes Ya, once something gets above 20mb/s, the phone can't use it unless you do a hotspot with it. And plus the carriers limit what you can use.
Anthony Tat
Anthony Tat Us cheap TMobile customers don't have lte
Vicente Reyes
Vicente Reyes Yes i can. I mostly use wifi. Much faster all around.
Bruce Greenfield
Bruce Greenfield Why.... have you got something better ?? :p
Jose Santos
Jose Santos I don't care about LTE cuz I'm booming on edge
Dave Morgan
Dave Morgan I'm on AT&T so I don't have a choice. I have to live without it.
Jorge Hugo Galindo
Jorge Hugo Galindo I'm happy with the 35mbs I get on Sprint LTE. But can I live without it? Yeah. I have fast home internet that easily hits speeds of 80mbs on speed test. And those saying that hspa+ is good well I just don't see it. I've never seen it go above 10mbs in person.
Mauka Side
Mauka Side NooooooooOOOOOOOoooooo!
Dominique Alons
Dominique Alons Yea cause I've hit 17Mbps on Tmobile's hspa+ network.
Eric Magana
Eric Magana As long as I have a great phone IDC tbh
Michael A. Lococo
Michael A. Lococo I Still have a 3G phone! On all 5 lines!
Armando Mora Casarez
Armando Mora Casarez Depends on where u live and work. Ive been on verizon lte since day one and gone back to 3g for back up purposes and cant stand it. Ive also tried ATT HSPA+ but it had its issues. Wasn't impressed. Web browsing watching utube and downloading videos on regular 3g sucks. But again it all depends on where u are mostly at.
Dustin T. Robles
Dustin T. Robles Yea 3G doesn't bother me
Jeff Cross
Jeff Cross Don't have LTE now so I don't know what I'm missing. Ignorance is bliss!
Luis Robles Figueroa
Luis Robles Figueroa Don't know cause I have T-Mobile USA as my provider.
Paul Battle
Paul Battle Nope. I grew accustomed to the 4g LTE speeds. Watching videos, downloading apps, web browsing is all a luxury with the speedy connection. I've tried HSPA+, not bad but not impressive.
Julian Scott
Julian Scott Yea cause I don't have it but I have a 4g phone wtf
Travis Ridenour
Travis Ridenour Eats data? I stream for hours and only use .3 of my data. I never used HSPA+ (Verizon Rules) so I can't comment. If I was texting/calling I'll be fine with 3G but I can't do anything streaming/browsing/downloading with 3G anymore. Way to slow!
Enrique BigPapi Martinez
Enrique BigPapi Martinez I can cause I care about my battery life more than web you can't check the web if your phone is dead
Chris Robinson
Chris Robinson My 2g is faster than some 4 g
Micah Watkins
Micah Watkins HSPA 42 is fast enough for me.
Jeff Griffith
Jeff Griffith Nope, still don't have LTE where I live, I'm on HSPA+ and it's plenty fast for now.
Zach Cline
Zach Cline Exactly who freaking cares
Cesario Brito Jr.
Cesario Brito Jr. I love how people like to boast about their speeds. Look, if your phone loads pages fast enough and everything works to your liking... who cares about the difference.
Cesario Brito Jr.
Cesario Brito Jr. I just started to have 4G LTE for the last couple days. Finally, Sprint!
Victor Hugo Tomalá Albán
Victor Hugo Tomalá Albán I left LTE for HSPA+ on my Nexus 4
Malik Valbrun
Malik Valbrun Nope, i need LTE for the consistent, reliable speeds
Joseph Kitchen
Joseph Kitchen Heck no
Jeff Hammond
Jeff Hammond It's called Sprint.
Colin Sonnenberg
Colin Sonnenberg People are so blind... Hspa+ is still competitively fast to lte, has better battery life, and is a worldwide standard.
Jared Dore
Jared Dore Yes but would rather have it
Robert Kerry Vick
Robert Kerry Vick I get around 17 on t–mo hspa+42. Good enough to stream anything I want and download in a flash. Not sure what lte would bring me that would make a real world difference. For now at least.
Boris Shoostien
Boris Shoostien We still don't have LTE here.
Zach Cline
Zach Cline Depends on what you buy
Veronica Thibodeau Tomlinson
Veronica Thibodeau Tomlinson I have Verizon. I go without it all the time. Mine will say LTE, but it will freeze, the only way I can get my phone to work consistently is to turn off LTE and only use 3G. LTE is useless
Gabriel Sotomayor
Gabriel Sotomayor I like my Verizon LTE but it just make my limit go to waste really fast, I like the T-Mo hspa+42 I had before more
Reese Woodson
Reese Woodson I've hit up to 13 Mbps down on AT&T's HSPA+. So not having LTE isn't a big deal to me.
Micca Koster
Micca Koster It's not an issue. I have 3g unlimited and I use WiFi wherever I go. People that are on the phone constantly get a life
Eric Hook
Eric Hook Easily...with HSPA+ 42 On the east coast I get 8-22 mb down. Beat a lot of the Vz phones when I go into the local store
Chris Northcutt
Chris Northcutt Have to. I live in Omaha and Sprint doesn't have 4g here yet
Elijah Ford
Elijah Ford 3g is just as good to me.
Myron Black
Myron Black dont no we aint got it in columbia mo
Abram Wenevermet Dennis
Abram Wenevermet Dennis As long as my service never get slow as it was with sprints crawling data..lol
Steven William Oestreich
Steven William Oestreich I did a speedtest the other day I got 42 Mbps on Verizon's LTE.
Steven William Oestreich
Steven William Oestreich I'm on Verizon with the iPhone 5 and get LTE everywhere I go. I can't live without it. You should see some of the speeds I get out if it!
Gordon Christie
Gordon Christie Not interested eats up data too fast stick to 3g and wifi
Abram Wenevermet Dennis
Abram Wenevermet Dennis Yes..
Kyle Krause
Kyle Krause I have a iPhone 5 and I never get 4g anywhere I go I'm with sprint so the anwser is yea I could go with out it cause I don't get in anyway -_-
Tim Cristiano HowardMorris
Tim Cristiano HowardMorris I'm going without 3G
Andy Jaggars
Andy Jaggars I have T-Mobile and I get E everywhere I am
Michael Santangelo
Michael Santangelo HSPA+ is fine for me. 3-5 Mbps
Zach Cline
Zach Cline You don't really need unlimited data unless you're on your device all the freaking time
Roy D. Jackson Jr
Roy D. Jackson Jr I think the speeds that are achieved with lte are total overkill for a phone, at the end of the day what will you be doing on a phone that will require 20 to 40megs of speed? Regardless though, I'd be pissed if I didn't have lte anymore, LOL.
Ronnie Bowlson
Ronnie Bowlson Absolutely not.
Kelly Tanaka
Kelly Tanaka I have sprint in San Diego I go without 4G LTE all the time. But I do have unlimited data so...
Louis Bevans
Louis Bevans Lte is awesome stuff
Blake Salsgiver
Blake Salsgiver Yes I live everyday without it.
Zach Cline
Zach Cline Who buys 1gb? Lol
Mark Fisher Jr.
Mark Fisher Jr. Long as its face and unlimited. I don't care of its 2g, 3G, 4g, or 5g.
Matt Shipley
Matt Shipley Yep. Never had it so its not a big deal. Plus I have unlimited 3G and why would I trade that for capped 4G? Kinda stupid if you ask me.
Zia A. Wahab
Zia A. Wahab I can get used to it but AT&T LTE is pretty fast and I really don't like using a phone without it.
Rose Voluntaryist
Rose Voluntaryist No.
Enes Nadir Çomoglu
Enes Nadir Çomoglu I've been going with no LTE for as long as I can remember. Wish we had it here in Turkey...
Matt Ellis
Matt Ellis My T-Mobile HSPA+ is speedy enough for me and its unlimited ;)
Alex Arana
Alex Arana Yes what's the point of having fast data speeds end up going over your 1gb data cap in one day
Lance Bell
Lance Bell yesh
Anthony Evans Jr
Anthony Evans Jr depends on what i am doing to be honest. But honestly I am connected to wifi whenever I am at home anyway and out and about unless I am very bored or something I just mess with whats on the phone or do some light surfing
Mohd Hazman Al-Baihaqi
Mohd Hazman Al-Baihaqi There is no LTE in my country lol
Armin Nayeri
Armin Nayeri I could even go without 3G for a year
Michael Myers
Michael Myers I don't have LTE. Sprint in St. Louis.
Joel Diaz
Joel Diaz 4G or wifi for me
Noe Zuniga
Noe Zuniga My Nexus 4 runs just fine without it..
Zach Cline
Zach Cline I had an iPhone for over a year so yes I can . Verizon really pushes the 4G devices but caps your data. Defeats the whole purpose really
Darrien Glasser
Darrien Glasser Heck yeah! Nexus 4 now and forever.
Darren Polak
Darren Polak Yep, got hsdpa+ and its quicker than my works internet connection :-)
Isaac Castillo
Isaac Castillo T mobile doesn't have it so I can't say anything
Ian Baylon
Ian Baylon Yes I've had 1x ,3G ,4G WiMax and WiFi all my life so why not?
Tyler Saddington
Tyler Saddington I have never had it in Australia xD

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