by Ian Littman
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
Tuesday, September 18, 2012 - 7:05 AM MDT
At around $100 with a contract (before the inevitable wave of promotional offers that have already hit its big brother, the Galaxy SIII), the Samsung Galaxy Victory falls under the definition of a midrange smartphone. It has specs somewhat reminiscent of the old Epic 4G: a 5 megapixel rear camera with 720p video recording, a front camera, a 4-inch 800x480 screen and a not-particularly-slim profile.
However it differs from that older device by dropping the keyboard, upping the battery to the same-capacity (but, compared to my SIII, not the same model) 2100 mAh unit found in the SIII, pushing the Android version to 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and swapping WiMAX for LTE as its 4G technology.
But that’s information you can get anywhere. What about the phone’s maximum output powers, simultaneous-data-and-voice capabilities, and antenna placement? You’ve come to the right place. Spoiler: this device looks solid.
- CDMA 1xRTT/1xAdvnced/EvDO Rev. 0/A in SMR 800, Cellular 850 and PCS 1900 (band classes 0, 1, 10)
- 26.89 dBm EIRP in SMR (BC10), 24.50 dBm, in Cellular (BC0), 28.09 dBm in PCS (BC1)
- Highest EIRP at the bottom of the band for BC0 and BC1; EIRP decreased by roughly 1.2, and 2.28 dB between the bottom and top of BC0 and BC1, respectively
- Highest EIRP at the top of the SMR band, but only by a margin of 0.5 dB
[*]LTE in band class 25 (PCS 1900 + G)
- 5MHz channels
- Two receive antennas, one transmit antenna (MISO)
- 23.92 dBm EIRP at 16QAM modulation, 24.08 dBm at QPSK, with the best performance at the middle of the band (20.75 and 21.92 dBm, respectively, when transmitting in the G block)
[*]802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi, including 40MHz channel support in 5GHz (one antenna; SISO)
[*]Bluetooth and NFC (antenna in the battery, includes Google Wallet support)
[*]Three separate radio paths (1x, EvDO+LTE, WiFi+BT), allowing SVDO, SVLTE and voice + hotspot functionality
- 2.4GHz-only for the hotspot, due to software limitations
- Transmit power may be reduced on the data side when voice and data are simultaneously used, down to ~19 dBm for EvDO or LTE when the 1x radio is transmitting at 25 dBm
- Dedicated 1x Tx/Rx antenna (lower-right corner of the device, looking at the front)
This phone isn’t nearly as hot of an item as the iPhone 5 (nor does it have the specs...or the price to give the Apple product a run for its money), however the iPhone happens to be a very fair device to compare the Victory to in terms of radio performance. On CDMA the iPhone marginally wins out on PCS (by 0.31 dB), however it’s trounced by the Victory in SMR with a 4.69 dB lead in transmit EIRP, showing the difference between a jack-of-all-trades and a purpose-built Sprint phone. On the LTE side, the iPhone wins out by around 3.3 dB on the EIRP front, however this number decreases to fall in line with the Victory if the iPhone’s upper antenna is used (the Victory only transmits EvDO and LTE with its upper antenna). Plus, the Victory can hold a voice call on 1x while utilizing EvDO or LTE for data.
iPhone comparisons aside, the Victory is a phone very obviously made with Sprint in mind. Radio figures actually look better across the board than either the Evo 4G LTE or the Galaxy SIII, though these numbers only describe the device’s transmit power, not how well it can receive a signal in a marginal area. Still, as midrange phones with LTE go, the strong radio characteristics of the Victory (or, as Sprint calls it, the Samsung Galaxy Victory 4G LTE) add to the list of reasons to get this phone over something else of the same ilk.