AT&T switches on HD Voice in small test markets for a small phone

The long road to nationwide HD Voice coverage has begun for AT&T. So long as you live in select areas of Illinois, Indiana, or Minnesota. And have a Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini. Yeah, they're starting small with this one. HD Voice is a hot buzzword for carriers these days, but so far their implementations have all varied in ways that have proven to be limited and incompatible.

AT&T's first public testing here is admittedly very limited. HD Voice really only makes a difference when both callers are using compatible phones (which so far has meant compatible carriers too). When they are, both get much clearer and richer voice transmissions thanks to the increased bandwidth that HD Voice offers. Just imagine, hold music that doesn't sound like crap.

That said, AT&T's initial testing here is a small target market and we'd be surprised if many of those involved meet the prerequisites of having a Galaxy S4 Mini that they're using to call somebody else on AT&T with a Galaxy S4 Mini in the test areas. But if they do, crystal clear voice calls may await.

Source: AT&T

Derek Kessler is Special Projects Manager for Mobile Nations. He's been writing about tech since 2009, has far more phones than is considered humane, still carries a torch for Palm (the old one), and got a Tesla because it was the biggest gadget he could find. You can follow him on Twitter at @derekakessler.

  • Sprint has been offering HD voice for some time now. It sounds amazing when both people are in a compatible market and phone Posted via Android Central App
  • I think you mean Indiana and not Indian Derek? Posted via Android Central App
  • I was quite surprised when my brother first called me after getting his Nexus 5. The call quality was simply amazing, and was definitely the best call quality by far I'd ever heard on a cellular phone (we both have the same phone on Koodo here in Canada) Posted via Android Central App
  • So is it 720p or 1080p? Seriously, why do they have to call it HD? We have too much HD crap. Posted via Android Central App using an LG G2.
  • What would you suggest as an alternative? When something is labeled HD, you know of exactly what they mean, even if it's not the most technically accurate term. Posted via Android Central App
  • AMR-WB isn't exactly an acronym most people would understand.
  • HD Voice runs in 1080p, but only if you're wearing those HD Vision sunglasses from the TV infomercials.
  • T-Mobile launched this two Years ago lol Posted via Android Central App
  • Who cares their coverage is terrible. Maybe they should concentrate on getting service to areas outside the big cities. That's why they remain the 3rd largest carrier in the US. Posted Via AT&T Galaxy Note 3
  • The real important thing about this is that calls are not made over 3G any more, you get better signal strength indoors because their LTE is 700mhz and most importantly you can surf and talk on LTE at the same time, the fact that it's HD voice isn't that important but it's probably the best buzzword to attach to this, calling it VoLTE instead would just confuse consumers.
  • Why this phone? Sprint does the same thing, WiFi calling and a lot of other features rolled out on the Galaxy Mini and Mega before any other phone. Is the Galaxy Mini somehow special, that it gets used as the test-bed for so many new features?