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4G is it worth it?

Is it worth having your 4G enabled?

07 Mar 2017
Fel - amaysim blogger


amaysim's customer gal

Talking tech can feel like a contest to use as many acronyms as possible – especially when it comes to switching from 4G to 3G and all the other G’s in between.

But when it comes to your phone’s network connection, it’s not just a task of navigating the acronym jungle. Understanding the difference and value between 3G and 4G can help improve your overall mobile experience, so let’s get to work setting the rumours straight.

What’s with the “G”?

Chances are when you’re not connected to Wi-Fi your phone will display either ‘3G’ or ‘4G’. Both G’s are wireless internet standards, and the G stands for “generation”. If you’re on a 3G network you’re using the third generation, if you’ve got 4G displayed you’re using the fourth. Simple right?

As with all technologies it gets better with age, so should you be on the 4G bandwagon, or is 3G enough? Let’s find out.

4G is faster, much faster

Both the 3G and 4G network essentially do the same thing - connect your mobile device to the internet. The main noticeable difference is the speed at which you can send and receive data. At times, the 4G network can be up to ten times faster than its 3G counterpart – this all depends on factors like the phone you’re using and your location, but there’s no doubt that there’s a noticeable speed difference between the two networks.

It’s not all over for 3G

As with any mobile signal, the strength varies depending on your distance from the network receiver. As 3G is older and more established, its signal covers more of Australia. This means that if you have a 4G phone you’ll be able to access faster speeds in cities, but your phone might drop back to trusty 3G as you head into more rural areas.

You can check out the areas where 3G and 4G coverage is available across Australia using our network coverage map.

4G and your data allowance

There’s no difference in the amount of data you use when downloading a file using a 3G or 4G connection – the file size is the same. However, you may find that because you spend less time waiting for files to load when using the 4G network, you can browse more sites, watch more videos and send more selfies in the same amount of time – that’s why you might find yourself using more data over 4G.

It’s pretty common for those whizzing around in 4G cyberspace to install more apps and generally use their phone more frequently. Any apps you’ve downloaded will use your phone’s internet connection to send push notifications and other updates even when you’re not actively using the app itself – this can all add up and munch away at your data allowance without you realising. So make sure you’ve selected the right mobile or data plan to ensure you’ve got enough data to get you to you next renewal.

The G that’s best for your battery

It’s difficult to say whether 4G uses more of your phone’s battery life than 3G. How long your phone can last from a single charge before running out of juice depends on a few factors, including what phone you’re using, the operating system it’s running off, not to mention all the different apps you’re using.

That said, if you find yourself doing more things you love online when using a 4G connection like watching videos, Snapchatting or streaming music then that’ll likely lead to a flat battery quicker than usual. The good news is that newer phones are designed with better batteries that can handle operating over both 3G and 4G, so if you’re upgrading from an older model the likelihood is you won’t notice a difference.

The best of all the G’s

The 3G network is Australia’s backbone coverage, especially as the even older 2G is now being turned off. Most voice calls are still made over 3G networks, though 4G is slowly making an appearance. If you can only access 3G on your phone, the next time you upgrade your mobile you will be probably be 4G ready. You won’t need to do anything to turn on 4G; your phone will just automatically access the best network available.

So there you have it, if your phone and location are 4G compatible there aren’t really any negatives, so get up with the G’s and enjoy a speedier connection.


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Pixel 5

Google Pixel 5: Everything we know so far

13 Aug 2020

Fresh on the heels of the Pixel 4A being announced, the hype train for the Google Pixel 5 is now well and truly underway.

After months of speculation about whether the Pixel 5 launch would be pushed back, Google put much of this chatter to rest by providing a sneak peak of the Pixel 5 during the recent launch of the Pixel 4A.

Last years flagship device, the Pixel 4, was a phone full of potential. As we've come to expect from the Pixel series, it featured an incredibly powerful camera, however its average battery life, held it back from being a serious contender for phone of the year.

While the Pixel 4 had its flaws, it was still a really good phone overall, and it will interesting to see how this years model, stacks up against other flagship models from 2020 such as the Samsung Galaxy S20 and Apple's highly anticipated iPhone 12.

With all this said, we wouldn't count Google out from delivering something special and with such a positive early response to the Pixel 4A, perhaps 2020 will prove to be the year of the Pixel.

To help bring you up to speed on what Google has in-store with this years flagship Pixel device, here's everything we know so far about the Pixel 5.

at a glance: rumoured Google Pixel 5 features

  • Expected October release
  • 5G connectivity
  • Android 11
  • New camera features; Adjustable Flash, Motion Blur & Audio Zoom
  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G

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    Expect 5G

    It's widely expected the Pixel 5 will include 5Gconnectivity.

    The feature was all but confirmed in early August with the announcement of the Pixel 4A, where Google teased two new 5G devices, the Pixel 5 and a 5G version of the Pixel 4A, both of which are set to be released during the final quarter of 2020.

    Release Date

    Since the phone’s inception back in 2016, Google has remained incredibly consistent with their release schedule for the flagship Pixel series, with all previous launches taking place in October. This trend is set to continue, after a leak surfaced from a Google affiliated website in France, claiming the Pixel 5 will be available for pre-order from October 8.

    Android 11

    This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, since a beta version of Android 11 is already available for public download, however it’s expected the Pixel 5 will be the first device to don the latest Android software straight out the box.

    Some of the expected improvements and features of Android 11 include a new media player widget, easier ways to control smart home devices using your phone, a new power button menu and refinements to the messaging system and conversation bubbles.

    Pixel 5 Render
    Image Credit: Google

    Design & Display

    Last year Google teased images of the Pixel 4 in the months leading up to its official launch. This time round, the only confirmed sighting of the Pixel 5 has been the side image (seen above) which Google teased during the launch of the Pixel 4A.

    Outside of this image, there have been a number of different leaks floating about which have helped paint a picture of what this years phone might look like.

    Like the Pixel 4, it's expected the Pixel 5 will feature an OLED panel, with a matte glass finish on the back and full HD/QHD resolution. According to Front Page Tech who gained access to an early Pixel 5 prototype, a forehead bezel on the front side of the device is also expected to remain.

    In terms of refresh rate, last year we got to enjoy a smooth 90Hz experience with the Pixel 4. However with Samsung (and others) already making the jump to 120Hz and Apple reportedly looking to do the same with the iPhone 12, it will be interesting to see if Google sees this as an important feature upgrade and whether they'll look to roll out a 120Hz refresh rate with the Pixel 5.

    A Mighty Fine Camera

    While earlier leaks suggested the Pixel 5 would include a triple-lens camera on the rear of the device, more recent leaks suggest Google will once again opt for a two camera setup on the back.

    The quality of images with the Pixel 4 were outstanding, so it's not as if this should be a concern. For some though, the added flexibility of a third, wide angle lens, would of been the cherry on top, for a camera that many consider one of the top-tier mobile phone cameras.

    With that said, Google doesn't appear to be standing still, instead opting to fine-tune the Pixel's two-camera setup by adding new features.

    Expected new features include an adjustable camera flash, a new motion blur feature and the introduction of audio zoom, which will allow you to zoom in when recording video to help you capture audio more precisely.

    Long story short, it looks like we're in for a treat with this years camera setup.

    Under The Hood

    In the past, Pixel devices have typically featured the best Qualcomm chip available, which this year would be the Snapdragon 865 Plus. With the Pixel 5, this might not be case, with an inside scoop from 9to5Google suggesting the phone may be shipped with a Snapdragon 765G processor.

    The Snapdragon 765 is more of a mid-range chip, unlike the high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 which powers the latest Samsung phones. This would suggest slightly less processing power than some of its competitors. With that said, the 765 is obviously no slouch and will still pack a solid punch in terms of performance.

    In terms of RAM, while it hasn't been a huge strength of the Pixel series in the past, there should be improvements on this front, with the Pixel 5 set to include 8GB of RAM in comparison to last years 6GB.