Metrico tested six "4G" phones from T-Mobile and Sprint and found that in a mobile scenario Sprint's HTC EVO Shift had the best data download speed of all the devices, delivering nearly 6 Mbps.
Metrico started the test before LTE networks and phones were launched, so it examined three phones that run on T-Mobile's network and three on Sprint's WiMax network. T-Mobile and others now call their HSPA+ networks 4G even though LTE and WiMax had been widely described as the first 4G technologies.
Metrico bought phones from retailers and tested them in four markets, examining performance like voice quality, data speeds, web page download times and video.
The EVO Shift averaged 27 percent above the average of all the devices for download speed while mobile, Metrico found. That's a surprise because the Shift has a slower processor than the other phones, said Rich McNally, vice president of information products for Metrico.
The Samsung Galaxy S 4G was the best performer on T-Mobile's network and had the best average data download speed while stationary among the devices tested. It averaged just over 6 Mbps when stationary. The Shift had an average stationary download speed of 5 Mbps.
The other phones Metrico tested were Sprint's HTC EVO and Samsung Epic and T-Mobile's G2 and myTouch 4G.
Metrico spends around three weeks conducting such tests. While it has done some testing of devices running on LTE networks, it didn't have time to add the results to the report it released this week, McNally said.
While Metrico's customers traditionally have been OEMs looking for live testing of devices before they are released, the company is beginning to hear more from enterprises that want data in order to make mobile phone purchasing decisions, he said.
There are other companies looking to provide similar kinds of data to enterprises. Root Metrics, for instance, is working on software that enterprises could load onto trial phones used by employees in order to collect data about network coverage, data throughput, latency and signal strength.