Sprint's network has been undergoing a major reconstruction in the last year or so, but there are still some problems to be ironed out. Suspiciously, it has been Sprint's policy this whole time to pretend that the super-slow 1xRTT network doesn't exist. Instead, its devices just display 3G like everything is okay. The new Nexus 5 is apparently playing ball with Sprint too – if you're in a 1x zone, the phone will still read 3G.


There is a code commit for the Nexus 5 (Hammerhead) that specifically makes the change to show 3G for both EvDo Rev A (which can realistically be called 3G) and 1xRTT.

hammerhead: Show 1/2G networks as 3G for sprint

In case of sprint and related-MVNO, the 3G icon displays
for both Ev-DO Rev. A and 1xRTT.

So, if that 3G connection on Sprint is seeming a little sluggish on the Nexus 5, maybe you're not really on the network you think you are. 1xRTT has a realistic upper limit of 100kbps, which is a little slower than GSM 2G EDGE. It's bizarre that Google would make this sort of deceptive change, but they have been close with Sprint in recent years.

We reached out to Google and LG employees who made the commit to see if they can give us the lowdown on Sprint's rationale for hiding the 1x icon from users. I feel like it would just make people think that the 3G network is worse than it is. Though, if you don't pay attention to speed, you might think you have more 3G data than you really do. Shady business.

Update: While it's accurate 1xRTT is a 3G technology, it's pretty misleading to start calling it as such on the consumer side. It's not what they expect.

[Android Source]

Thanks, TheManii!

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • yankeesusa

    That's sprint for you. Even on lte my phone is below 3g speeds. I have to tether off my wifes tmobile phone just to get a decent connection.

    • Andy Stetson

      That's because they have the LTE icon show when you're connected to a 3G tower!

      • yankeesusa

        oooooh. good one. I would not doubt it if sprint is doing that.Sometimes I feel that 3g is faster than my lte connection.

      • Forget_you

        lmao. I wouldn't be surprised

    • Simos Katsiaris

      when you say below how much?
      i get 23Mbps in my country on HSPA+ with top(different carrier, have both on different devices)41Mbps, how much lower can you get?

      • yankeesusa

        What do you mean by how much lower? With sprint you can get really low on lte. Most of the time with sprint LTE I get 4-6mbps. With my wife on hspa+ she gets 8-12mbps and sometimes 18-20mbps. I can't wait till I get her an lte phone.

        • Simos Katsiaris

          ok, i will note it in case i ever visit the states, 4~6 mbps lol, that is basic edge xD

          • yankeesusa

            Edge here in the states is under 2mbps or less. Europe and other countries have better networks.

          • Kcls

            Yeah on my ATT based network I rarely get over 1mbps.

          • Ryan Stewart

            t-mobile seems to be the only carrier that can actually deliver for the given wireless spectrum.

            With Sprint on CDMA I usually got about 600kb/s tops and 4-6 on LTE. On AT&T HSPA+ usually topped out around 6-8. On T-Mobile I have seen over 20Mb/s on HSPA+ and average in the teens.

          • http://facebook.com/branni.mikal Branni Mikal

            In larger cities T-Mobile is amazing (I had LTE in Richmond, VA that was faster than Wi-Fi) but here at home in NC, it's stuck on EDGE (aka Dial Up Mode)

          • ProductFRED

            EDGE tops out much lower than that. But you wouldn't be able to use Sprint anyway if you're just visiting; they're a CDMA carrier. No SIM cards (only for LTE).

          • Tyson Stone

            Trust me. I have AT&T with an S2 meaning I am stuck with HPSA+. That means I am lucky to reach .5Mbps on my H+ signal. When I go to edge speeds my phone is basically offline. Web browsers hand out errors, Gmaps searches forever, and Gmail never loads. 6Mbps sounds like an amazing deal.

            As a student I am considering the student deal they are having with Best Buy and they would have to be really crappy to be worse than what I get around town. Heck 1Mbps on LTE (though they don't have it in my area yet. As of April it was supposed to be 'coming soon') sounds nice if you get that consistently. I know its sad and I plan on getting the Nexus 5 just so I can ditch them after 12 months and head right back over to AT&T and enjoy their much faster LTE service.

          • Simos Katsiaris

            1MBps is 8mbps, that is pretty decent for an overloaded network

      • Colin Yapp

        In some areas of Houston and Chicago, you can get 12+ with a max of 23 on Sprint's LTE. However, those areas are not common. On average, I get 4-8. I called and complained and received a 25 dollar a month credit for six months. Thank goodness I also have an AT&T phone when I need data.

        • tkirton

          I live in Houston, and never gotten up to 23 and rarely get above 10. Most of the time, it's between 2-6, with 2 being more common than 6.

          • Colin Yapp

            Around Willowbrook, Champions Forest and Spring. In the Montrose area I sometimes see 12-15mbps. In downtown Houston, I get 8-10 sometimes but the average is 4-8 with a low around 3.

    • Tehk17

      Sprint LTE for me can reach 30Mb/s ..

      • Seth Forbus

        First of all, this article isn't about their LTE, its about them being shady. Second of all, sprint's LTE footprint on America isn't very good. So if you are lucky enough to live in an LTE area on sprint that is great, but for most people its a shady deal with slow connections.

        • http://facebook.com/branni.mikal Branni Mikal

          Sprint for me was like having dial up on my phone. After just a few weeks; I made the switch to AT&T and everything is so so much better finally. Sprint is seriously; dial up on smartphones. What an innovation.

          • Tehk17

            Right, because dial up is 10-35MB/s fast...

      • http://facebook.com/branni.mikal Branni Mikal


        • Tehk17

          So, you're basically calling me a "fanboy" because Sprint's LTE is fast in my area?

          • Seth Forbus

            A fanboy is anyone who defends something that has more negative traits than good.

          • Tehk17

            Constant 10-30MB/s isn't a negative trait last time I checked.

  • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (ニール・ゴンパ)

    This is standard for Sprint/Verizon phones. 1xRTT and EvDO haven't had separate indicators on their Android phones.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Yup, I remember when I first flashed CM back in 2010 or so and found out the reason my "3G" was completely inconsistent, I was simply floored at the obnoxious arrogance of this outright lie. I see nothing's changed since.

      • UniBroW

        That's okay, my T-mobile note 3 indicates 4g when I'm connected to hspa, I don't even believe there is an actual 3g indicator. Just "E" "4G" and "4G LTE." That deal with sprint, that's gone all the way back to the Evo. I think the Palm pre may be the last phone (That I can recall anyway) that actually displayed 1x and Evdo properly.

        • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (ニール・ゴンパ)

          T-Mobile phones only show "4G" for UMTS networks in the US. Outside of the US, the 3G indicator shows up for UMTS networks.

          Android definitely has indicators for all network types: GPRS, EGPRS (EDGE), HSPA, HSPA+, LTE, 1xRTT, and EvDO.

          • UniBroW

            I guess i worded that poorly, I don't believe there is an actual 3g indicator on the US t-mobile Note 3 meaning that they omitted it on purpose and not that it isn't capable of displaying 3g.

          • jbrandonf

            Same thing for at&t.

    • EeZeEpEe

      Yeah this isn't anything new. That being said, actual 3G and LTE speeds have been good for me but as everyone says, YMMV. I do know areas where they can be barely usable though.

    • Andy Stetson

      i have a 1x indicator on my VZW G2. I die a little inside every time it pops up, normally at work.

  • Matthew Fry

    It's possible that Google only has icons for 3G and 4G. Not that that's a reason to deceive customers.

    • Christopher Woodruff

      No, I used to do theming for my old CyanogenMod Rom on my Nexus One before the theme engine existed. They have pretty much everything from G to 2G to 1X to EV-DO. Sprint is just shady here.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii
      • Matthew Fry

        Ugh. That does explain why 3G never seemed like 3G once I got the Epic with WiMax.

    • Andy Stetson

      Nope, icons for everything are in there. 1x 2g 3g 4g lte E G H evdo, rev a...

      • David Hart

        So there's no H+ icon?

        • Andy Stetson

          yes, H+ as well, i put the ellipsis at the end because i couldn't remember off the top of my head ALL of the signal indicators.

  • ProductFRED

    Wow...This sounds like something Sprint asked Google to do in order to approve the phone for use on their network....

    As someone who has worked for both Sprint and Verizon, I can tell you that while Sprint aren't a**holes like Verizon, they can definitely be shady when it comes to their network quality. I had them for 2 years and left them because there was no LTE in Brooklyn, Staten Island, or Manhattan at the time, and I was getting literally 66 kbps.

    • Stephen Long

      I was in New York this past weekend... I couldn't get a signal at many places including, practically, any time on the subway. All the while, I watched other smart phone users playing with their phones, texting, etc. It really ticked me off...

      • ProductFRED

        On the subway (not all stations), only AT&T and T-Mobile are officially support. I'm guessing it's a CDMA-related thing since Verizon service isn't available down there (aside from signal going down there). AT&T and T-Mobile users actually have the benefit of mini-cell towers in the subway.

        • Barnassey

          Its the same in chicago. tmobile and att phones get service while sprint and verizon dont.

        • Freak4Dell

          Those mini-towers aren't in enough of the stations, though. Makes it feel almost like it's not worth it at all.

          • snobum

            They will be in all 277 underground stations eventually. Phase 2 is rolling out now which includes some major stations (grand central, columbus circle, rock center, herald square) as well as expansion into queens.

          • Freak4Dell

            That's good to hear. They definitely need it in Grand Central. I've had to use an extra fare several times because I've met friends at the station and it's way too big to find them without calling or texting.

      • snobum

        That's because Sprint and Verizon only signed on to the subway cell provider a few months ago. It's one provider who sells the roaming rights to the cell companies. In a few months they will all have the same coverage in the subway. Sprint hasn't rolled out everywhere that AT&T and T-mobile have, but they will - and soon.

        You still should have been able to use the wifi.

  • Alchemy08

    Sprint has crappy service none the less......lets just happy that Sprint picked up the Nexus 5.

  • http://twitter.com/geoff5093 Geoff Johnson

    You wouldn't notice a difference between 1x and Sprint's 3G service anyways - often times 1x is faster.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/author/eric-ravenscraft/ Eric Ravenscraft

      How would you know...

      • Ryan Stewart

        I had Sprint for a decade and when I left it was basically that. No matter what you were in the Kb/s range instead of the Mb/s.

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            Is she hot?

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        • Tehk17

          That's simply not true. I can get over 1Mb/s with Sprint 3G and up to 30Mb/s with LTE.

          • deadpenguins

            Don't bother wasting your time trying to convince anyone that Sprint doesn't completely suck.

          • Tehk17

            Well, it's definitely better than all the other carriers in my area.

          • deadpenguins

            Well that's unfortunate.

          • Tehk17

            How so?

          • Fifth313ment

            I don't know where you live but I tested MetroPCS, T-mobile and Sprint side by side for a week throughout South Florida on 3G and LTE (about a month ago). In every location T-mobile beat both MetroPCS and Sprint by a long margin. MetroPCS actually fared better than Sprint in most areas. And don't mention that T-mobile owns MetroPCS now as the phone I was using was utilizing MetroPCS's CDMA and LTE networks, NOT T-Mobiles!

            Sprint's 3G was always less than 500Kbps per second and slower upload, and even LTE was usually around 1-2Mb second and slower up. In a few locations I was able to pull like 6-10Mb on LTE but that was balanced by some towers not pulling anything, simply broadcasting LTE but no throughput whatsoever (which required me to turn off LTE in which 3G worked fine). The average on Sprint LTE was 1Mb and the average 3G/1X on Metro was 200Kbps (MetroPCS doesn't have EVDO in many places in South Florida but LTE is everywhere. LTE speeds on MetroPCS still beat Sprint with an average of 2Mb down and slower up. With Metro though you never get those burst and faster speeds as the few towers with Sprint did. T-Mobile surpassed both of them. Even with LTE off HSPDA+ managed 10Mb+ down on average and LTE doubled that in many areas!

            Rush hour intersections and malls are places the Sprint network doesn't work whatsoever. Calls will get a please try your call again later network busy message and data just times out. Try going to Sawgrass Mills mall around 5-11PM on the weekends and your Sprint phone will be unusable. However both MetroPCS and T-mobiles phones were fine and running. Sprint has more issues than simply upgrading to network vision. Something else is seriously wrong when MetroPCS's network functions fine and Sprint's is unusable. After the tests I switched from Sprint to T-mobile and never looked back. It's so great to be able to use my phone everywhere and not have to go outside everywhere I go to use data (to be fair calls would usually work on Sprint inside but data NEVER would.

            So if you live in South Florida and are looking for a new carrier then think about T-Mobile. ATT and Verizon are also very good in South Florida but are double the price of MetroPCS, Sprint and T-Mobile. So Tehk17 I don't know where you live but you are in the minority. Oh, MetroPCS had one of the first LTE setups in the country in South Floridaand Sprint started LTE deployment in April/June 2012, while T-mobile started May of 2013 and has simply blown past Sprint in deployment upgrading more towers twice as fast as Sprint, which is still at less than 60% complete even today, a year and a half later! Sprint is a joke and maybe they will one day have the best network but as of now even on LTE towers the speeds are a joke and penetration is even worse! If anyone has any questions, shoot!


          • Fifth313ment

            Also transitions from HSPDA, LTE, etc are instantaneous on T-mobile where on Sprint and MetroPCS it could take a minute or more! Usually on Sprint on the iPhone and EVO LTE the phone sometimes wouldn't switch at all! CDMA to LTE (GSM) just doesn't work right which is why HSPDA to LTE works great, GSM to GSM! :)


          • Tehk17

            I live in California...

            It seems as if the conditions of the networks are much different where you live. I don't have any of those issues at all. I have full bars just about wherever I go, 3G speeds are at or over 1Mb/s, and LTE is widespread and between 12-30+Mb/s.

            Transitions definitely don't take a minute for me either.

            Meanwhile all the other carriers barely have service. This has happened countless times:
            Them: "I don't have any service!"
            Me: "what carrier?"
            Them: "ATT/TM/V"
            Me: "That's your problem."

          • Fifth313ment

            I agree different areas have different service levels and where you live Sprint is probably pretty good. In most of Florida though they are atrocious. I've been to Miami, Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville and Sprint was bad in each. However Orlando was even worse then Miami/Fort Lauderdale area as I couldn't even make calls. I didn't get the please try your call again later or anything, simply no service in most places. My phone would kick onto MetroPCS, LOL, and it's sad when your phone kicks to MetroPCS FOR ANYTHING! :p

            Also I used to get 30+Mb on Sprint when LTE was first launched back but now I rarely get anything above 1-2Mb. And don't think I tested on a few towers, I literally tested on probably 50+ towers throughout South Florida! I think it has to do with them being supersaturated when it comes to subscribers. A lot of people have Sprint down here, and then we have Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile too! Not to mention at least 30+ other MVNO's! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_mobile_virtual_network_operators

            Sprint has sold it's network far beyond capacity in most areas, which is why during rush hour, malls, theme parks, concerts or anywhere with a large concentration of people their network fails. Plus they fib about their LTE coverage map by far. Sprint's LTE maps simply says you'll get good coverage everywhere, lol. I believe you in your area you get great results with Sprint but there is a reason people are bailing on Sprint in droves! And simply look on any forum, site and you'll find Sprint is the number one complained about service.


          • Ryan Stewart

            Are you in Hemet or something then?

            I spent the bulk of my time in metropolitan areas and it was horrid but when I occasionally found myself outside the city walls you could find pockets of decent performance (not that I would call 1MB/s decent performance after getting in the teens on "3g" now.

            As for "transisions" well, maybe not a minute but HSPA+ is native to GSM so its not like the phone needs to turn on another band/radio like CDMA/LTE. As a result it is literally instant between them (the phone drops it when you arent using it and just turns it back on every time you start to use data). As a side effect, back to back, the phone gets much better battery life.

          • Justin

            That's really strange. I live in New York, Long Island, and when I get LTE it's about twice as fast as my wifi but when I have 3G it's the slowest thing ever. Maybe because I live in a less populated area?

          • Ryan Stewart

            Are you talking about Sprint or T-Mobile? For Sprint me experience was like yours but everywhere. I dont think there is a universe that exists (if you subscribe to the multiverse theory) where Sprint's "3g" is is considered fast.

            T-Mobile's 3g, on the other hand, is as fast or faster than Sprint's LTE.

          • Terrell L Washington

            Sprint is the laughing stock of the mobile industry right now but to be fair in south florida there LTE network is only about 60% complete. Also they have only turned on maybe 3 towers in all of Florida with 1x advance 800 voice and no towers in the nation has yet to get 800 LTE. If you get a triband device like the lg g2 then you should be able to get 50-60 down in south florida due to clearwire upgrading from wimax to LTE or Sprint Spark as they call it. If you used a EVO LTE then this was a even less fair comparison because that device has proven to be the worse LTE performer out of all of Sprint's LTE devices including the mid range ones.

          • ummmm

            You know MetroPCS is owned by T-Mobile like Boost Mobile is owned by Sprint...

          • Ryan Stewart

            Cool beans. It CAN happen but it usually doesnt. In KC, Denver, LA, NYC, Atlanta, etc. I never got those speeds on any on my devices in the past years. Maybe 4 years ago I could have broken a Mb/s but not in recent history.

            And its not the phone's radio or the spectrum, its capable of it. Sprint just couldnt serve it. If I happened to find LTE in a rural area like Douglasville, GA then, yes, I could get 20MB/s but nowhere in a metropolitan area could I ever see that.

            And I know I wasnt alone, a good friend was a former network contractor (worked for one of the companies that built out their network for them and was signed for doing the upgrades). Sprint knows they have a problem, its one of the reason they push the "unlimited" so hard. The backhaul is so gimped that its not really costing them anything.

      • Jim

        Good point :)

      • Freak4Dell

        Use another phone or a custom ROM that does show 1xRTT.

    • Daniel

      No. 1x is 50-60kbps where as "3G" (EVDO/EVDO REV A) is between 500kbps and 3.1mbps

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  • Lexster

    I went to Spring for the Evo LTE. I am so glad I left them. When they told me that 400 kb/sec was GOOD, I couldn't believe it...now I'm on TMo and it is glorious.

    • Ryan Stewart

      Same here, they actually told me "youll be sorry" when I left. I'm not sorry.

      • Lexster

        I'm sure they just meant you'll be sorry because you won't be using your phone as much, that's all. You know, spending half your time staring at the screen, waiting for an app download to complete.

        • Gator352

          Al least I'm not hearing...CHA-CHING...everytime I DL something.

          • Freak4Dell

            True. But then again, we can actually download things.

          • Gator352

            I can, I have great service where I live. No complaints.

        • Ryan Stewart

          Ha. She tried to give me some lecture about upgrades coming. That was the 3rd time in two years that someone told me, "Just hold on, we are going to have a good network soon." I was bored with that, I wanted a good network now. I have that.

    • Gator352

      Glad you left. Just whatever you do, don't come back.

  • afazel

    Teeechnically, 1xRTT is a 3G technology. It's definitely not 3G speed, though.

    • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (ニール・ゴンパ)

      Same goes for EDGE, but no one likes that being brought up.

      • KanishkSingh

        EDGE was never a 3g tehcnology it was termed 2.75g

        • philyew

          The ITU actually described it as an "Evolutionary 3G standard" in their "What really is a Third Generation (3G) Mobile Technology" document.

      • http://rawmustard.wordpress.com/ Brian R.

        EDGE isn't a 3G technology since it is part of the GSM (2G) standard, whereas 1xRTT, EVDO, and EVDV are all part of the CDMA2000 (3G) standard.

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

          1xRTT is more like 2.5G, but technically part of the 3G standard. It feels very disingenuous of Sprint to do this, however. The performance difference is drastic (or at least used to be, when their 3G network wasn't balls slow).

        • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (ニール・ゴンパ)

          EVDV was never finalized, and it would have merged WCDMA and CDMA2000 into a single standard.

          Also, 1XRTT is a minor update of cdmaOne, which is confirmed to be considered a 2G technology.

  • Cherokee4Life

    Figures, is what came to mind. I bet they are going to say its to not confuse the customers though so they don't start asking was 1X is or crap like that.

  • David Hart

    I've also had this with on my lg Optimus Q a long time ago.

  • John Smith

    this should be reason for class action lawsuit/settlement against Sprint. this is outright lying. settlement should be no ETF or $100 credit which ever is less.

  • Nawfil Nibir Neel

    Dat tag! (Liar liar pants on fire)

  • Jacob Ryan Gutierrez

    I activated my Nexus 5 yesterday on Sprint and so far if I'm in 1xRTT it says so in the wireless section - not 3G

  • David Hart

    Is this not kinda against the Nexus rules/guidelines?

    Sprint should not be able to do this.

  • Mark G

    smh.... i would expect a better article from a tech site.......smh......

    • Jaime

      Sprint worker? Lol

  • John Smith

    this is some low down dirty $hit that i would expect from Verizon. at least Verizon f$$ks you to your face.

    • Freak4Dell

      Verizon doesn't have a crappy network to hide (well, they do still have 1X, but so much of their network is covered in 3G and LTE that you hardly ever see it), so this is one area where they won't try to pull the wool over your eyes.

  • gk1984

    It took the Nexus 5 to release for this to get mainstream attention?!?! Why is this even legal?

  • Jordan Long

    this is the same as on the EVO LTE.

    I wouldn't be surprised if almost every newer sprint smartphone had this issue.

  • OwnMyPhone

    I've learned this the hard way over the past 3 years. After traveling across the country for 7 years and trying AT&T,Verizon,T-Mobile, MetroPCS and Sprint. There were only a couple places I felt Sprint's network was in the top 2 or 3. I am paying my last Sprint bill this week and I know I can get better network coverage from all other providers, including MetroPCS!

    • yankeesusa

      That is why my wife is on tmobile now. after testing them here where I live tmobile is the best and also one of the lowest cost. I will trying out an xperia z for the next week. If it works out with signal and speed I will pay my etf with sprint and saying goodbye

      • BrandonP

        The xperia Z has the worst speaker ever put on a phone...just giving you a heads up

        • yankeesusa

          My tech site already did a review on this phone and tried it and its not as bad as the n5. So i'm okay with it. thanks for the heads up though

        • Roh_Mish

          It is not that bad.

      • Colin Yapp

        Sprint's voice coverage is superior to T-mobile. Also, their overall coverage is much larger than T-mobile and their are definitely capacity issues with T-mobile in major cities. If you stay in urban areas exclusively then T-mobile is a good carrier but their coverage in rural areas is fairly bad. I can use my Sprint phone in quite a few areas that people with T-mobile cannot.

        • yankeesusa

          It is true that sprint is better in rural areas than tmobile. But I don't live in a rural area and I will use the service that works the best and is low cost. Where I live sprint is the last in speed and indoor coverage. I have had sprint for 10 Plus years and all they do is get worse. This year they have gotten better for the first time in several years. At this point tmobile works better than sprint where I live and that's what matters. It doesn't really matter if sprint has a bigger coverage. Its what works for you where you live.

          • Colin Yapp

            I am a heavy traveller and i sometimes travel by car so that is why T-mobile is not a real option for me. Also, I can honestly say that Sprint is working very hard to get their Network upgraded and I am hopefull that within the next two years everything will be sorted.

          • yankeesusa

            I definitely understand the traveling thing. That is reason why I still have sprint and why I may end up just having sprint and tmobile to even things out and give them a chance. I was going to move my line over to tmobile with the xperia z I just bought but I will just give that to the wife and stick with sprint for a little longer. Maybe I'll try the note 3 and see if that helps my data speed issues.

  • Rxpert83

    I've seen 1X on my sprint nexus 5

  • blindexecutioner

    Why don't you reach out about the LTE issues which is a real problem and not a stupid visual thing.

  • Slawootsky

    Wow, I thought there's no place in the world with mobile internet speed worse than Ukraine. Especially in USA.

  • Brad

    I only see 1x when I use CM... otherwise all of my sprint phones have done this. I don't get 1x too often, though.

  • Barnassey

    My epic touch (sprint galaxy S2) did the same thing when i was in the house. Hated the the fact it was lying and i had to use *#*#4636#*#* to see the real signal.

  • cy_n_ic

    Sprint loves doing this. True connection could allways be viewed under settings-about phone-status but its a pain

  • Nathan Bryant

    A number of carriers do this to be honest.

    • Forget_you

      uh no they don't. it would have been found just like this was

      • Tyson Stone

        If you would read above, it has been found. Just FYI. Every carrier likes to fudge as much as possible.

  • Alexis Urena

    This article is sad..considering how amazingly good the LTE signal is on the Nexus 5 for sprint! In NYC getting awesome signal with my N5

    • yankeesusa

      Just because you get great signal doesn't mean everyone else is too. Reviews, surveys and plenty of real world tests say otherwise.

      • Alexis Urena

        Ahh no! take a look at the real world responses from everyone with the N5 http://s4gru.com/index.php?/topic/4989-lg-google-nexus-5-users-thread/page-39#entry233799

        • yankeesusa

          From reading just a few posts there's a lot of complaints of data fluctuating and the phone jumping from 3g to lte and not being consistent. I don't know how that helps.

          • Alexis Urena

            Your confusing what I said, I said solid "LTE signal" people are having issues with it connecting to LTE PERIOD...if you look at the numbers, the signal strength of the N5 is by far the BEST! about 40-50% more powerful. Now that does nothing to alleviate band 1900 sometimes being at capacity. Just means means 800 and 2500 cant come soon enough. (which it is!) And this phone will most likely prove one point! All of those sprint upgrades are WELL WORTH THE WAIT. and will be FAR Superior to T mobile and at least as good as ATT and Verizon, if not surpass them.

          • yankeesusa

            I see. I guess that is accurate for those that have lte in their area. When I have lte its stable but only outdoors. But ever since I first got LTE my signal speed has never gone above 10mbps. My wifes tmobile htc one s on hspa+ has never gone below 4mbps and usually goes above 10mbps on regular. I tested her sim on an lte xperia and got 36mbps and the most on my sprint has been 28mbps. Maybe in a year sprint will be worth it. Right now tmobile is the fastest in my town. I was going to give sprint till end of year but I'm not waiting. I ordered my xperia z and will be activating next week after trying it for a week.

    • ProductFRED

      Dude. I'm looking at your comment history. You definitely work for Sprint...

      • Alexis Urena

        No, just know what to look forward too, and am enjoying the hell out of the ride to watch this undcompancoeventeventually l

        • Matthew Gardner

          CDMA. About to get competitive. Nope.

          • Colin Yapp

            I prefer CDMA to GSM for call quality but it really does not matter because all the carriers are going to migrate to VOLTE.

  • Anthony Tyson

    IPhone 4s 4G update all over again. All those saps that got that update and said their phone was amazingly faster. Hahahha

  • Ken Hunter

    Similar to how you will get more bars if your ROM is using Att 4G lte icons rather than the standard international icons.

  • miri

    My entire state must be a 1xRTT area. I've been top to bottom and I've never gotten more than 0.5Mbps on 3G.

    • http://pharaohtechblog.blogspot.com/ Conan Kudo (ニール・ゴンパ)

      That's definitely EvDO. 1xRTT average speeds are 0.05Mbps.

      • miri

        That's depressing.

  • nandre

    I think the biggest problem is that many of us can't even connect to LTE at all and have no idea why...
    Edit: and https://community.sprint.com/baw/thread/138887?start=60&tstart=0

  • AllLacqueredUp

    I have a Nexus 5 from the play store on Sprint and mine shows 1x

  • Jake

    LTE for my Nexus 5 doesn't even work in Minneapolis. Sprint dropped the ball on this one so far. Sprint needs to make LTE work for my Google Play device!

  • GreatNews

    Hiding the truth isn't considered as making business, Sorry Sprint

  • Brendan

    I'm on an htc one and it shows a 1x icon sometimes...

  • Frank Lopez


    • ibap

      On what single device do you get AT&T and VZW service?

  • YipYap

    Dear Sprint, please spend less money promoting NASCAR and more on your GD network. Seriously.

    • Gator352

      PSSSST. I got something to tell you. They get paid by NASCAR to promote them. Money to spend on the GD network....seriously.

  • nofearofimaginarymen

    Just thought I would through this out there. With my evo LTE, I was only able to pull down about 0.1Mbps from my home. Got the N5 to activate last night and I can pull down over 5Mbps. Huge jump! I was so happy to see that. Sprint has been My phone says LTE but I know we don't have LTE in this area and that is pretty slow for LTE so I don't know if the N5 is confusing usable data speeds for LTE or if that is a sprint thing. I also notice that if I am on a call, I cannot use data. Have not tried when it says it connects to 3g so that may be the problem too. If anyone else knows why, feel free to respond.
    Also wanted to add, where my wife and I normally drop calls, no calls were dropped. So either sprint fixed a couple of towers the same day we activated the N5s or the N5s have better antennas with the frequencies we are using.

  • CMAC22

    Although the fact that Sprint's 1x and 3G is about the same speed (crappy) you can't report that the phone is falsely displaying a network indicator without proof.

    Try researching your topic before slapping it together. Poor reporting.

    • Freak4Dell

      I don't have a Sprint account anymore, but it should be simple enough to just go to About phone and then Status to see which network the phone is actually on. Sprint has definitely done this on other phones, though, so I can see it being true on the N5 as well. Hell, I flashed a Sprint ROM to my Moto X the other day, and even though I'm in a T-Mobile EDGE area, the Sprint ROM showed 3G. It's like they just went and deleted all the icons except 3G and 4G.

    • Russ

      There is a source in the article; an AOSP commit comment showing 1x will appear as 3G

  • louched1

    This has been going on at Sprint for years. I have an EVO 4G LTE and people new to custom ROMs tend to blame the ROM developers for "breaking" their 3G because they never saw the 1x speed icon before. In reality, the ROM developers have only re-enabled the 1x logo to appear when connected at 1x.

  • Rob

    I stopped by a Sprint retail store tonight to see the Nexus 5 since I have an order pending on Google Play. The phone is OK, but rather uninspiring compared to other phones. It was downloading a large update over Sprint's underperforming 4G network, so I never really got to play around with the display unit. I also looked at the MotoX and found it odd that inside the store that phone showed a 4G indicator with almost NO VOICE BARS AT ALL. Then I glanced at my Galaxy Nexus and only saw 3G with voice bars. If my GNex has LTE why wasn't it being picked up if the MotoX was registering 4G service? I want to give Sprint a chance to prove itself, but I'm afraid I won't be able to commit for much longer.

  • troyintn

    Well, not sticking up for Sprint, but while you're at it Ryan, maybe you should also write about how AT&T shows a 4G icon even when in a 3G only area....... Same exact circumstance is it not? Of course that doesn't make for a very interesting article though, does it, since we all love to hate on Sprint but not the almighty AT&T.....

  • Forget_you

    lol that is messed up. no way that should even be considered 3g. that is misleading. I wouldn't touch sprints shitty network. I am glad I left them a long time ago. tmo has been 1000 times better. I don't even see how anyone would choose sprint over tmo

  • Andre

    3G on Sprint sucks. I'm in NYC and I love the LTE service. I get 6-8 mbps everytime. People complaining about speeds, I would rather get 6-8 unlimited then 10-20 limited data.

  • Oli72

    not surprised. that why im on t-mo.

  • Freak4Dell

    I find it funny that they hide 1X by covering it up with 3G. If you just consider the limitations of the technology, their 1X network isn't actually crappy. It runs at close to the speeds that it's supposed to run at. Their 3G network, on the other hand, gets nowhere near what it should be at.

  • Mitalis

    Sprint has been pulling this shit off with all their Android phones since the release of the HTC EVO 4G

    • Tower72

      that would explain the issues I was having with them when I got the Evo 4g.. I even filed a complain with the BB to get out of the ETF,,,and we came to a settlement of me paying half the fee...which was only like $50.00 but I was still glad to leave when the 3G speeds werent even close to what was advertised!

  • Tehk17

    All I can say here is that Sprint's network is much better than all others in my area.

  • rgeneral

    My Nexus 5 on Sprint is showing LTE when I know LTE is not in my area.(phone came set Global preferred) with downloads at 7.6-14.2 Mbps depending on time of day (speedtest,net app) I do notice though when LTE is displayed my calls go to voicemail and the phone doesn't ring. If I set 3G preferred in settings all works but way slower download 2.1 Mbps. Cranberry twp Pa. Cant figure it out.

  • Gator352

    I get good speed on any phone from Sprint in my area. All this crap talk hating on Sprint is all because you're jealous. Period. Wait...WHAT? You're VZW bill too high?? Sorry......

  • jeffrey6283

    I could understand that this is technically right if there wasn't a built-in way for 1xRTT to be readily identified differently than EvDo Rev A. However, there is a built-in way and by purposefully not using that built-in way, that is where the deception is. It should be (and in most cases is) easy to identify the actual data spec you're currently accessing with your data connection.
    As a side note for this, does anyone know if there is a ROM that actually does this?

  • Melissa Peterson

    I used to get 1x on my OG Evo and since getting the One; I've also gone into roaming because Sprint is terrible right where I live, but if I go down the road a ways I will suddenly get full bars and start going in and out of 4G.

  • gphillimo

    Sprint is terrible

  • RQ

    My Nexus 5 consistently shows almost full LTE, or at the very least, strong 3G. Yet I wait MINUTES to load simple text e-mails or to browse websites. Several apps, including the Play Store, won't load at all about 50% of the time. I can barely use my awesome new phone, even though it "says" it has fantastic signal. I'll be leaving Sprint ASAP.

  • Justin

    That's weird. My phone says 1X when I have 1G/2G. I have a Galaxy s4

    • klitzkrieg

      I'm on Sprint and mine also shows 1x indicator on my Nexus 5.

  • ibap

    My N5 has shown both the 1X (rarely) and 3G categories. Since we have only seen the very beginning of LTE lighting up, this seems entirely reasonable. Sprint has coverage where I live that Verizon does not.

  • Taylor Long

    Hi! I featured your article in one of my blog posts. Check it out! http://mysprintexpierence.blogspot.com/2013/12/sprint-phones-display-3g-for-1x-signal.html

  • jasonamd

    The only lie here is this article. My Nexus 5, on the rare occasion I don't have good signal in my area, does indeed show the 1x icon. If you read the Nexus 5 forums at the Sprint site, you will find this is also the case for everyone that replied when someone linked to this article.

  • Taylor Long

    Proof of his claims! It is true that the phone will display 1x some of the time but there are times that the phone will display 3G when it is using 1x. Check out the article. But also, the fact that any cell phone user is STILL being forced to pay to use 1x absolutely ridiculous. Sprint should honestly be embarrassed. Cricket doesn't even use 1x, ever. http://mysprintexpierence.blogspot.com/2014/01/proof-that-sprint-covers-up-its-1x.html

  • cj

    I've had my nexus switch between 1x and 3G I can't get on any apps when its 1x

  • http://macsmiley.tumblr.com/ MacSmiley

    Maybe this is a coding issue by the manufacturer? My iPhone 5 shows me quite frequently I'm on 1x. 3G's no great shakes, either. Latency is in the basement and I'm frequently stuck at 0.09 Mbps downstream. And that's WITH a brand new tower put up last December. Wish I could afford to switch to Verizon. t-Mob has no presence here.