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T-Mobile's iPhone 5 Offers HD Voice, LTE Speeds

After years of waiting, T-Mobile customers will finally join the rest of the world in getting access to Apple's iPhone 5. Not only that, but T-Mobile will also be the first carrier to offer the iPhone 5 with HD voice support. We went hands-on with the latest iPhone to test how fast its connection speeds are on T-Mobile's network and just how good its HD voice sounds.

The first iPhone we tested, a white version, offered download speeds as high as 19.9 Mbps with uploads topping out at 13.6 Mbps. A second black iPhone 5 we tested reported far better results, with downloads as high as 48.4 Mbps and uploads reaching 14.5 Mbps. Interestingly, those speeds were higher than the onsite Wi-Fi at T-Mobile's event, which reached just 10.9 Mbps down and 4.9 Mbps up.

It's important to note that each of our tests were performed on one of T-Mobile's LTE cell sites, which was unlocked for the event, as the network in New York isn't yet publicly available. That said, when the network does eventually launch, we still expect to see blazing speeds.

The iPhone's performance on T-Mobile's network was just as impressive when loading websites. It managed to completely load the image-heavy Laptopmag.com in a blisteringly fast 3 seconds, however, a Web page for a product review took 10 seconds. 

The iPhone's 5's HD Voice capabilities were just as impressive as the handset's 4G LTE speeds. During our testing, a call to a second iPhone with HD Voice was incredibly clear. Despite being surrounded by throngs of reporters and the ever present pounding of dance music pouring out of overhead speakers, we were still able to clearly hear the caller on the other end of the line. In truth, it sounded like the caller was in a bubble, as background noise was almost nonexistent.

From what we've experienced, the iPhone 5 looks to be every bit as good, if not better, on T-Mobile's network as it is on the other three major U.S. carriers. Still, we'll hold off on our final impressions until we complete our full review of the handset in the coming weeks.

A newspaper man at heart, Dan Howley wrote for Greater Media Newspapers before joining Laptopmag.com. He also served as a news editor with ALM Media’s Law Technology News, and he holds a B.A. in English from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.