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5G speed tests hit another breakthrough, this time on Sprint with the LG V50 phone




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V50 ThinQ is LG and Sprint's first 5G phone.


Lynn La / CNET

After a hard start Verizon, the leading wireless service provider in the United States, showed fiery speeds which 5G is capable of. Now it's Sprin's turn. In a bid to prove its 5G readiness, the country's fourth largest network operator was turned on its network in areas of Atlanta, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and Kansas City. In the coming weeks, Sprint expects to launch services in parts of Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, Phoenix, and Washington, DC. The company claims that it is approx. 2180 square kilometers of coverage, covering 11.5 million people, make it the largest 5G network in the country.

Before May 31, the launch of LG V50 – a unique 5G phone characterized by second screen – Sprint gave the CNET the opportunity to try the phone and its 5G coverage in Dallas. We put the LG V50 through several tests in a number of places to preview what consumers can expect from the service, and whether they should consider buying in yet.

Sprint is the latest for the company to hook up its wagon to the thrill of 5G. In perfect conditions, 5G will allow us to download movies to our phones in seconds or stream AR / VR games without lag. In addition to telephones, can revolutionize entire industries from self-propelled vehicles to remote medical procedures . 5G is still a work in progress but is years away from reaching these levels of speed (as Thursday's tests show), coverage or reliability. But like the other wireless operators, Sprint wants to lead the way to giving customers a next-generation experience.

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Download at 5G was (mostly) a breeze

We timed how long it would take to download PUBG Mobile, a 1.86 GB file. The V50 only took 3 minutes and 31 seconds to download and install the game, while the G8 on 4G LTE had only installed 73MB (3% of the file) of the game over the same period.

Afterwards, we moved into large media files. We downloaded the first episode of Blue Planet 2 on Netflix in high quality and the entire season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel from Prime Video. The 50-minute Blue Planet episode took 49 seconds to fully download on the V50. G8 at 4G LTE was not even a quarter of the way through the download of the episode in the same period.

As for all eight episodes of the first season of Mrs Maisel, it only took four minutes and five seconds . This will give you plenty of time, to quickly download an entire season of a show such as aboard an airplane and realize at the last minute, you have not saved any entertainment online. G8, unfortunately, was far from downloading the pilot episode when the V50 managed to download the season.

However, there was an occurrence when 5G was slower than expected. While downloading Wine Country, an hour and 43 minute movie from Netflix, the phone stopped after it reached 90% in minutes. After the test restarted twice, both the 5G and 4G LTE connections were incredibly slow. Finally, it took three minutes and 45 seconds to download the movie at 5G (G8 at LTE made no progress all the time). It's a great time to watch LTE, but it somehow seemed ice-cold at 5G (we've been spoiled!). Sprint later told us the site experienced "heavy load testing" which may have caused problems on the site. We think the result was wonky because we drove a speed test a few minutes later and timed our fastest results (more on that below).


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Speed ​​Tests: Sprint vs. Verizon

We used the Speedtest.net app to compare 5G speeds on the LG V50 to 4G LTE on another premium LG phone, LG G8 . The average download speed was 109 megabits per second (Mbps) over six attempts, compared to 3.74 MB download on the G8. For upload speeds, it was performed by Sprint's 4G LTE network. Because 80% of network traffic is on the downlink, Sprint only prioritized fast download speeds only at 5G. However, 5G will handle uplinks "in the coming weeks," Sprint said.

On another Location in downtown Dallas, we ran another series of speed tests. This time, speeds peaked at 434 Mbps, the fastest we saw all day. It's impressive, but not as fast as what we saw on Verin's 5G network earlier this month, peaking at a gigabyte per second. Note that Verin's millimeter-wave network is faster, but has a shorter range, while Sprint's 5G is based on a 2.5 GHz mid-band radio airwaves, providing a fine blend of speed and coverage.

An important thing we remember while testing was that almost no one was at 5G. As one of the few people who could test Sprint's network on the opening day, it was understandable that we ran together and were just part of a handful of cars on the highway, so to speak. As more people purchase 5G phones and arrive at 5G, network speeds will surely be affected.


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5G on the go, in a bus and a car

Unlike Verin's 5G network, you don't have to be near or near a knot to get high-speed data from Sprint. To get a feel for the web's consistency while traveling, we jumped on a shuttled bus to take a small route around Dallas. We saw the data rates of a V50 on screens that hung over our seats. To the left of the screen we saw the download frequency, which we watched at 700Mbps during the trip.

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