Best Smartphone Companion for Surface Devices

Discussion in 'Microsoft' started by dstrauss, Jun 23, 2016.

  1. Bronsky

    Bronsky Wait and Hope. Senior Member

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    Great post.
     
  2. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    @desertlap - this is a very interesting line of study...

    I've been tethering the last month or so since we changed AT&T plans. Anecdotally, my iPP 11 is a little more laggy than when I used the built in LTE, but thanks to it auto-starting with the iPhone it's still better than tethering on my x360. On the laptop side, I have a very limited experience level (the Surface Go, HP Folio Spectre and ThinkPad X1 Yoga) and save for the manual setup time to use tethering, it seems about the same between built in and tethering. The real issue is convenience, which I do miss - I love just opening up and getting started without thinking about it.

    In fact, I am looking for a juicy rationalization for putting the iPP11 back on LTE for a meager $20 per month, BUT 15gb of "free" tethering (which is 1/2 of the total the whole family shared for data 60 days ago) per month keeps getting in my way...

    Hey, @Bronsky - are you eyeballing the Surface Duo...
     
  3. Steve S

    Steve S Pen Pro - Senior Member Super Moderator

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    <<...How much did you use tethering to your phone versus using a device with built in LTE?..>>

    @desertlap : I haven't used tethering in a long time, preferring to travel with a device that has built in LTE instead. However, whether tethered or LTE, I never had a serious issue with speed; both approaches have been adequate for my on the road needs.

    Regarding your other testing observations, I suspect that they can be adequately explained if you had accurate information about each device's antenna orientation and corresponding antenna pattern. For others here, the orientation of each antenna's pattern is critical to the resulting radio-to-radio linkage performance; placing a receive antenna in the radiation null of a transmission antenna will significantly degrade the performance of the link. I have often wondered about the antenna pattern of my GN9 since I get very poor cell phone reception in my home (thanks, T-Mobile!). I recognize the antenna pattern data is pretty arcane stuff, but even a simple diagram of a person's cell phone antenna pattern would be useful and better than no data at all (the current norm).
     
  4. desertlap

    desertlap Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Agreed completely @Steve S and we have reached out to the vendors involved for additional information.

    One observation/belief that testing seems to confirm is that phones in general are better LTE devices than PCs. And it makes logical sense eg. phones are mobile network devices first with WifI and pcs are generally WiFi devices first with mobile network access secondary.

    It also seems to explain why the iPads and the Galaxy Book 2 do so well on these tests. They are essentially super-sized phones. I don't mean that in the way that most who say it do, as an insult but just that because phones are the most mobile centric devices they would naturally prioritize that connectivity.

    A couple other data points to this, hardware and software Bothe plays huge roles in this. In hardware, ARM devices tend to be better shelled than intel devices, again because of the priority of being a phone and various interactions with the electronics involved can significantly impact performance eg. don't put your tethering phone on top of your laptop unless want want to cut the speed in half.

    And again due to interference issue it matches up with what we've heard anecdotally such as why its so hard to find a laptop with LTE and a 4k screen

    And software matters a lot too. One thing that Apple's tethering software seems exceptional on is lower latency in some cases as much as 150% compared to the pixel for instance.

    And last but not least, carriers, and conditions impact things too. For instance T-mobile appears to be throttling hot spot connections versus the same tests on the phone alone. And it's not insignificant either appearing to be in the range of around 30%.

    We are sharing our data with some of the vendors involved (apple, Samsung, Dell) and I'll post if they say anything useful or relevant to this for us.

    Like I say testing continues. We didn't plan to initially, but we are going to add the ProX to the tests as well as trying out the new OnePlus Pro with 5G on T-mobile
     
  5. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    Question - would you be better off tethering by USB cable than WiFi?
     
  6. desertlap

    desertlap Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    That we definitely have an answer to. Hands down WiFi is faster by almost 50%. unless of course you are tethering to a phone that's 150ft away.

    In theory that should'nt be the case given USB3 speeds, but I think it's simply a matter of priority. According to Samsung less than 10% tether their phones via USB

    BTW: The original purposes for this testing were determine things like reliability and throughput in various scenarios e.g does it make sense for us to build LTE in to a device, or build an enclosure with the device and a host phone for instance
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2020
  7. Tams

    Tams Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Their consumer electronics and entertainment divisions almost went under though. Some have (in some cases wisely) have been sold off. The PS4 really saved that part of the company's bacon.

    But you are right in that they were not going to go under completely as a company. They never would though as the Japanese government would never let that happen if it had ever come to that. Even in the worst cases (cough, Sharp, cough), arrangements can be made.

    I don't know what it is about that part of the world, but countries there seem to have a thing with companies having their fingers in many different honeypots and as a result, becoming invaluable to said countries.
     
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  8. dstrauss

    dstrauss Comic Relief Senior Member

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    Maybe @Kumabjorn can speak to this, but isn't it still a cultural thing to be wedded for life to your company - so there is a cultural imperative to keep the big names rolling...
     
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  9. Bronsky

    Bronsky Wait and Hope. Senior Member

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    I'm keeping my mind open at this point. I really, really like my Note 10. I could see keeping it for awhile. But, if the DUO is done right, I may not be able to resist. I am a lot more interested in the Neo to replace my Go.
     
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  10. bloodycape

    bloodycape confused Senior Member

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    I have my eye on the Duo, but they have to get the display, battery life, & updates right(ie monthly like google) before I switch.
     
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