Difference Between Samsung Galaxy Nexus Hspa Plus And Vs Lte

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus stands as a pivotal device in the smartphone world, marking a significant evolution in mobile technology. As two variants of this iconic model hit the market—HSPA+ and LTE—consumers faced a choice between different network technologies. This distinction not only impacts connectivity speed but also influences several other device aspects from battery life to network availability.

The primary difference between the Samsung Galaxy Nexus HSPA+ and its LTE counterpart lies in their network connectivity capabilities. HSPA+ (High Speed Packet Access Plus) offers enhanced 3G speeds, making it faster than standard 3G but generally slower than LTE (Long-Term Evolution), which provides higher data transfer rates and improved network efficiency. This variance affects not just internet browsing and download speeds but also has implications for battery performance and overall user experience.

Both variants of the Galaxy Nexus were designed to cater to different segments of the mobile market, with the choice between HSPA+ and LTE hinging on a user’s priorities like speed, network availability, and battery life. With advancements in mobile technology, the relevance of these differences continues to evolve, affecting decisions on device selection and network service subscriptions.

Features of hspa plus and lte

Design and Build

Physical Appearance Comparison

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus was a flagship device that marked a significant point in smartphone design. When comparing the HSPA+ and LTE variants, the differences in physical appearance are minimal but noteworthy. Both models share a sleek, curved design that was ahead of its time, featuring a contoured glass screen that fits comfortably in the hand. The devices measure similarly in dimensions, though the LTE version is slightly thicker and heavier due to the inclusion of the LTE radio and a larger battery. This difference is hardly noticeable but worth mentioning for users who prioritize slimness and portability.

Durability and Ergonomics

In terms of durability, both versions of the Galaxy Nexus were built to last, with a strong plastic back that withstands daily wear and tear better than the glass bodies common in today’s smartphones. The ergonomic design, with its slightly curved shape, ensures the phone sits comfortably in your hand, reducing the likelihood of accidental drops. Furthermore, the textured back cover provides additional grip, enhancing the overall ergonomic experience.

Display Quality

Screen Size and Resolution

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus boasted a 4.65-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 720×1280 pixels. At the time of its release, this was among the best displays on the market, offering vibrant colors, deep blacks, and excellent viewing angles. The resolution ensures that text and images appear crisp and clear, with a pixel density that rivals many modern smartphones. Both HSPA+ and LTE variants share the same screen size and resolution, offering users a premium viewing experience regardless of their network preference.

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Display Technology Differences

While the screen size and resolution are the same, the Super AMOLED technology used in the Galaxy Nexus was particularly notable for its power efficiency and color reproduction. AMOLED displays are known for their ability to display true blacks by turning off pixels completely, a feature that not only enhances image quality but also helps conserve battery life. This technology was a significant factor in the device’s ability to balance display quality with battery efficiency, making it a favorite among users who value multimedia consumption and long battery life.


Processor and Chipset Comparison

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus was powered by a Texas Instruments OMAP 4460 chipset, featuring a dual-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A9 CPU. This processor was paired with a PowerVR SGX540 GPU, delivering smooth performance for the era’s apps and games. Both the HSPA+ and LTE variants utilize the same chipset and processor, ensuring consistent performance across both models. This uniformity in hardware means that users can expect the same level of responsiveness and efficiency, irrespective of the network technology they choose.

RAM and Storage Options

With 1GB of RAM and options for either 16GB or 32GB of internal storage, the Galaxy Nexus was equipped to handle the multitasking demands of its time. The inclusion of 1GB of RAM was significant, allowing for smoother application switching and better overall system management. While there is no option for external storage via microSD card, the available internal storage options were adequate for most users’ needs, providing ample space for apps, photos, and media.


Defining HSPA+ and LTE

HSPA+, or High-Speed Packet Access Plus, is an enhanced version of the 3G network, offering improved data speeds that bridge the gap between 3G and 4G technologies. It allows for faster web browsing, downloads, and streaming, making it a significant improvement over standard 3G networks.

LTE, or Long-Term Evolution, is considered a true 4G technology, providing even higher speeds and more efficient data transmission. LTE networks offer reduced latency, meaning faster load times and smoother streaming, which is crucial for heavy internet users and those who use their devices for video content or online gaming.

Coverage and Speed Differences

When choosing between HSPA+ and LTE, one of the primary considerations is network coverage and speed. LTE networks generally offer faster data speeds, capable of delivering superior internet browsing and media streaming experiences. However, the availability of LTE coverage can vary significantly depending on the region. In areas where LTE coverage is limited or non-existent, an HSPA+ device can still provide fast and reliable internet access, making it a viable option for users in certain locations.

Battery Life

Battery Capacity and Endurance

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus featured a 1750mAh battery for the HSPA+ model and a slightly larger 1850mAh battery for the LTE variant. Despite the modest difference in capacity, the real-world endurance of these batteries varied significantly between the two models due to the different power demands of HSPA+ and LTE networks. Users often found the HSPA+ variant to offer longer battery life under similar usage conditions, attributed to the lower power consumption of HSPA+ technology compared to LTE.

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Impact of Network Technology on Battery

The impact of network technology on battery life cannot be overstated. LTE technology, while providing faster data speeds, is also more demanding on the battery. This demand stems from the higher power requirements of managing faster data transmission and the more complex technology behind LTE networks. In contrast, HSPA+ is less taxing on the battery, allowing the HSPA+ version of the Galaxy Nexus to generally last longer on a single charge. This difference is crucial for power users or those who rely on their smartphone for extended periods without access to charging.

Operating System

Software Versions and Updates

The Galaxy Nexus was launched with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, a significant update at the time that introduced a host of new features and UI improvements. Being a Nexus device, it was among the first to receive updates directly from Google, including subsequent upgrades to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and beyond. These updates brought improved functionality, better performance, and new features, ensuring the Galaxy Nexus remained competitive and up-to-date with the latest software advancements.

User Experience Nuances

The user experience on the Galaxy Nexus was highly praised for its fluidity and intuitive interface, thanks in part to the direct involvement of Google in its development. The Nexus line was designed to offer a pure Android experience, free from manufacturer overlays or bloatware, which often results in a more responsive and cohesive user interface. This approach allowed users to enjoy Android as Google intended, with timely updates and a user-friendly design that was both simple and powerful.

Camera Quality

Main and Front Camera Specs

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus was equipped with a 5MP rear camera and a 1.3MP front-facing camera. While these specs may seem modest by today’s standards, the device was capable of capturing quality images and videos for its time. The main camera supported autofocus, LED flash, and zero shutter lag, offering a decent photography experience, especially in well-lit conditions. The front-facing camera was sufficient for video calls, providing clear visuals for communication.

Image and Video Quality Comparison

In terms of image and video quality, the Galaxy Nexus delivered respectable performance. The rear camera’s ability to capture detailed photos with vibrant colors was notable, although low-light performance was a common limitation, as with many smartphones of that era. Video recording was supported at up to 1080p resolution, providing users with the capability to capture high-definition videos. The overall quality of both images and videos was competitive, satisfying the needs of most users for everyday photography and video capture.

Price and Availability

Market Launch and Price Variations

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus made its debut in late 2011, with the price varying by region and carrier. Initially, the device commanded a premium price tag, reflective of its flagship status and cutting-edge technology. Over time, as newer models were introduced, the price of the Galaxy Nexus decreased, making it more accessible to a broader audience. The LTE variant often carried a higher price than the HSPA+ model, attributed to the additional cost of LTE technology and the slightly larger battery.

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Choosing Based on Budget and Network

When choosing between the HSPA+ and LTE variants based on budget and network, consumers had to consider not only the initial cost of the device but also the availability and speed of LTE networks in their area. For those in regions with well-established LTE coverage, the LTE model offered faster data speeds and was worth the extra investment. However, for users in areas where LTE was not available or those with budget constraints, the HSPA+ model provided a more cost-effective solution without significant sacrifices in performance or functionality.

Pros and Cons

Summary of Advantages

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus boasted several advantages, including a high-quality Super AMOLED display, a pure Android experience with timely updates, and a design that was both ergonomic and durable. These features made it a popular choice among Android enthusiasts and those who valued a clean, user-friendly interface. The option to choose between HSPA+ and LTE models also allowed users to select a device that best matched their network preferences and coverage.

Key Drawbacks

However, the Galaxy Nexus had its drawbacks. The camera specifications were considered average, even at the time of launch, with limited performance in low-light conditions. Additionally, the absence of a microSD card slot limited storage expansion options, which could be a concern for users with extensive media libraries. Lastly, the difference in battery life between the HSPA+ and LTE models meant that users had to carefully consider their network choice in relation to their usage habits and access to charging opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is HSPA+?

HSPA+ stands for High Speed Packet Access Plus, an enhanced version of the 3G network. It is designed to offer speeds that bridge the gap between traditional 3G and 4G LTE networks, providing faster data rates for uploading and downloading content. While not as fast as LTE, HSPA+ delivers a considerable improvement over its 3G predecessors, making it a viable option for users in areas where LTE coverage is limited.

How does LTE differ from HSPA+?

LTE, or Long-Term Evolution, represents a significant advancement over HSPA+ by providing higher data transmission speeds and more efficient network performance. It is considered a true 4G technology. LTE networks offer lower latency, meaning quicker response times when accessing the internet or using applications that require data, and support for a greater number of simultaneous connections, improving the overall user experience.

Can I switch between HSPA+ and LTE on the Galaxy Nexus?

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus variant you possess either supports HSPA+ or LTE, based on the model. These devices are built with specific hardware to operate on one network type, making it impossible to switch between HSPA+ and LTE through software changes or updates. Your choice between HSPA+ and LTE should be guided by your network preferences and coverage in your area.

How does network choice affect battery life?

The network technology a smartphone uses can significantly impact its battery life. LTE is known for its high data transfer speeds but can also consume more battery power than HSPA+ due to the greater amount of data processed and the technology’s inherent complexity. However, advancements in chipset efficiency and battery management have helped mitigate these differences over time.


Choosing between the Samsung Galaxy Nexus HSPA+ and LTE variants goes beyond mere preference for faster data speeds. It encompasses considerations of network availability, battery life, and how you use your device. As mobile technology advances, the gap between these network types has narrowed, with both offering robust capabilities for the average user.

Ultimately, the decision hinges on individual needs and the specific offerings of your network provider. Whether prioritizing speed, coverage, or battery efficiency, both the Galaxy Nexus HSPA+ and LTE models stand as testament to the innovation of their time, highlighting the importance of network technology in shaping mobile device usage and consumer choice.

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