Need For Speed: Sprint Launches 4G in NYC

usain bolt Need For Speed: Sprint Launches 4G in NYCSprint officially launched their full 4G service in New York today, but The Observer has been testing the 4G around the city for a week now. Perks!

Surfing the web is slightly faster on 4G – the new, “fourth generation” mobile network -  but the difference from 3G networks like Verizon and AT&T really stands out for streaming audio, video and downloads.

A week of testing found 4G service was reliably available in Midtown, Soho, Clinton Hill, and Kensington, but was spotty in the early adopter enclaves of Williamsburg and Bushwick. Ignore the hipster bloggers at your own peril.

Launching ESPN in the back of a taxi hurdling down 7th Avenue, The Observer enjoyed crisp, unitterupted highlights with only a few seconds of load time at the start and no hiccups for “buffering”. Beats Taxi TV any day of the week.

When the WiFi The Observer typically “borrows” to surf the Net went down for a few hours, as it often does, the slick phone turned into a mobile hot spot that provided stable, if not blazingly fast, Internet.

If your smartphone demands don’t extend beyond email, newsfeeds and the occasional game, then 4G won’t change much for you. But for anyone interested in streaming video, cloud-based music services and generally cutting the cord, 4G offers a pretty compelling package.

Plus, Sprint’s compact picocells won’t collapse your building like the base stations from certain cell phone networks.