Verizon iPhone 4 vs AT&T iPhone 4: Data speeds

Verizon iPhone 4 vs AT&T iPhone 4: Data speeds
You know that the competition between AT&T and Verizon is only going to get more fierce since they both now lay claim to the coveted Apple iPhone 4, but as we’ve seen in the past on many occasions, the two big shots are known to do some mudslinging in regards to their network performance. Verizon’s “There’s a map for that” campaign really took it to AT&T following their handful of “There’s an app for that” commercial spots, however, one key area that needs closer inspection for differentiation between the two is none other than their data speeds. Since we had both versions of the device on us, it’s only natural to bring them out to various locations and run some speed tests to gather which handset has the upper hand.

In our testing, we brought the two devices out to three different locations in the greater Philadelphia region and used Ookla’s app for the iPhone. At each specific location, we ran the speed test three times each to get a reasonable set of data for the comparison. Moreover, we noted both the calling quality put out by the two at each location and the amount of bars that were present during the test. And here’s what we found out.

As a whole, AT&T iPhone 4 fared better in almost every aspect except for calling quality – with that, there is just a prominent amount of static heard with it. Meanwhile, the results didn’t favor the Verizon iPhone 4, but its lively calling quality makes for the better experience between the two. Numbers can make a sharp statement in this test, but in terms of the actual real world experience with web browsing on the handsets, there honestly isn’t going to be a drastic performance boost with either device. In fact, they seemed to relatively load new pages in just about the same amount of time – so it’s not going to make much of a difference on the surface; despite the better numbers put up by the AT&T iPhone 4.

Related phones

iPhone 4
  • Display 3.5" 640 x 960 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP / 0.3 MP VGA front
  • Processor Apple A4, Single core, 1000 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB
  • Battery 1420 mAh(7.00h 3G talk time)
iPhone 4 Verizon
  • Display 3.5" 640 x 960 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP / 0.3 MP VGA front
  • Processor Apple A4, Single core, 1000 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB
  • Battery 1420 mAh(7.00h talk time)



1. clevername

Posts: 1436; Member since: Jul 11, 2008

When the data speeds are only 2-2.5 times more there won't be too big of a difference. But when att iPhones see speeds up to 5 times faster you'll see a huge difference. Of course only in the areas that get that fast.

14. narley

Posts: 357; Member since: May 14, 2009

well this will all change with 4G coming out. When LTE hits for either network it wont be as big of a difference and EVERYONE will be happy because both carriers should be satisfactory.

37. kvenderley

Posts: 31; Member since: Aug 09, 2009

LOL the Verizon iphone 4 will not get any faster with LTE cause its not compatible with LTE so sorry for all your bad luck verizon iphone 4 users.....ATT iphone 4 is far superior as you can clearly see by the factual proof!!!

19. BobbyTaba

Posts: 316; Member since: Aug 11, 2010

speedtest is wrong they got to do actual web browsing. my droid incredible says 1 mb but my friends iphone says 2-3mb and mine is faster at browsing when i do it at the exact same time

2. Cped unregistered

I cant say I have a problem with the speeds for downloads. Though I am a patient person, compared to some. However uploading of pictures, is a different story, it is definitely noticeable and is something that I hope Verizon improves on their network in the near future.

24. Trey unregistered

sorry, but as far as 3G goes, verizon's CDMA network has pretty much reached it's speed limits. unlike the HSPA+ that att and tmobile uses the speeds you are getting on verizon is not upgradeable anymore. but LTE will be a different story for verizon.

38. kvenderley

Posts: 31; Member since: Aug 09, 2009

iphone 4 is not compatible with LTE, sorry everyone!!!

3. tragichero

Posts: 163; Member since: Jan 07, 2011

all these articles make attempts of putting att over verizon.... why dont you put up an article of all the places in the country that the att iphone doesnt get service and the verizon one does.... that to me seems like the only way you could create a fair balance in your iphone coveridge with what you have already posted... instead of looking for each useless test to smear verizon. everyone knows that att's reign with the iphone has been accompanied by overwhelming issues of dropped calls and poor call quality that make the fact of it being a phone practically obsolete. its clear as day if you want a reliable iphone you should get the one offered by verizon!

5. Tre-Nitty

Posts: 470; Member since: Nov 16, 2010

That sounds like you are just a fan of Verizon. Verizon is good but everybody knows their data speeds aren't even in the same league as AT&T. There are claims that Verizon call quality is much better but I have both and I see no real difference. My AT&T smartphone constantly blows my Verizon laptop out when i'm comparing speeds. I live in the Tampa Bay area so please don't come at me with the location argument. It's simple, both companies have strengths and weaknesses and you should use which 1 fits you better. I just have the luxury of having both.

17. tragichero

Posts: 163; Member since: Jan 07, 2011

from every single thing youve posted so far it appears that you my friend are just as biased as i. What im asking of phone arena is to be more balanced. you see constant articules talking about what att has up on verizon but not once do you see an articule dedicated to what verizon has up on att in the same fashion... and theres alot!

18. tragichero

Posts: 163; Member since: Jan 07, 2011


4. msa1988

Posts: 418; Member since: Mar 30, 2010

I don't understand this. Everyone that has posted here that has switched from At & t has said that their Verizon iPhone is niticably times faster than their At & t one. According to these numbers, At & t is twice as fast...

6. Tre-Nitty

Posts: 470; Member since: Nov 16, 2010

Like who? Stop trying to give Verizon more credit than they deserve! They aren't perfect and neither is AT&T, Sprint, or T-Mobile. I just ran a speed test on my Verizon laptop and the results were d/l 1.04mbps, u/l 0.60mbps, did the same with AT&T and the results were d/l 1.7mbps, u/l 0.4mbps. So as you see they both are good but neither is superior to the other.

7. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

I think speed is matter of location in the iPhones' case because if you look at this clip, the VZW iPhone easily bested the ATT iPhone.

21. Jojofromdabay

Posts: 39; Member since: Apr 06, 2010

The fact in the matter is yes Att has a benefit because of simultaneous voice and data and yes att does have spots where they are faster as with verizon an im willing to bet verizon has more spots an yes these test look biase but hey att had it for 4 yrs so i expect this . I'm waiting on 5 so it don't matter to me about the 4 an then we will talk

32. forsaken77 unregistered

Yeah, because they paid the money to switch, paid for another Iphone, and they thought it would be a difference of night and day. Of course they're gonna say Verizon would be better because they have to convince themselves of that because now they're stuck with a new 2 year contract. I would say that AT&T's 2G coverage, the EDGE network, is roughly the same speed as Verizons 3G CDMA network. Verizon has more 3G coverage than AT&T but the EDGE network is what you'll be on with bad coverage and it's pretty comparable to CDMA. This is data-only that I'm talking about... Voice coverage is Verizons' strong suit by far.

8. renegade626

Posts: 54; Member since: Dec 12, 2008

ATT will always be faster than verizon until LTE is wide spread. Their HSPA technology has the capacitiy to continuably be upgraded and improved. Verizons EVDO technology is for the most part maxed out. ONly thing Verizon can do at this point is add more towers to lessen the load on each tower. HSPA+ has the capacity to reach over 7 meg where Verizon will never be able to go more than 2. 1000kbps is a big noticeable difference on a phone

11. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009

I live in Chicago (Pretty decent size city) and ATT has never been faster here. The iPhone gave them a temporary speed advantage over all the WM and BB's on VZW, but when the Droid came out even that short lived. I don't think ATT is slow at all, but I keep seeing post that ATT is 60% faster, but phone vs phone comparison test just don't show it. Yeah, the numbers show it, but the webpages just load faster on VZW without LTE.

9. baileydude unregistered

I would rather have coverage then the speed... Hey att, lets compare 3g in places other than large cities, oh i forgot, you dont have any 3g outside the city limits, sucks to be you.

10. Tre-Nitty

Posts: 470; Member since: Nov 16, 2010

Is that a fact or you just spouting off utter BS that you've heard the media claim. 95.5 million people but they have no 3g outside big cities. Ok buddy. Seems you are butt hurt from a stupid iphone 4 test.

16. baileydude unregistered

Nope, but you're right its ALL about the faster 3g service in the 3% of the USA that counts most. But you people who never leave the city shouldn't have any problems. As long as you don't leave the LA city limits you will have the faster 3g service. Wow, that should at&t's disclaimer. It's funny, at&t the LAST to role out 4g.

36. Informed unregistered say ATT is the last one to roll out 4G? Take a look at what actual changes the other providers made to their networks before they "claimed" them as 4G. ATT may have announced it last, but they have had speeds that rival what the other people claim to be 4G for years. Verizon launched its 4G, but guess what? No phones to work on it. As someone that travels frequently, and has had both Verizon AND ATT, their call quality, and areas of reception are similar, and ATT data network owns Verizons.

20. dmberta

Posts: 25; Member since: Dec 30, 2009

No its pretty much a fact(hint look at the maps). In general the CDMA carriers have better 3g coverage than the GSM carriers, with AT&T being OK, and Tmobile being abysmal. When you don't live in a major population center, you are generally limited to 1-2 viable 3g carrier choices. Now there are some regions that are better than others, it is not one size fits. AT&T did a decent job of covering a lot of medium sized population centers, but anything smaller and Verizon or Sprint are going to be your carrier of choice.

12. treyday unregistered

who cares?!?!?! i am more concerned with calling quality then my uploads and downloads speed tests. who cares which one is slightly faster or loads a page a few seconds quicker then the other one. Iphone is overrated anyways and the fact that people are all gitty about the iphone that has been on the market for as long as it has been shows that apple has people by the balls. Its all about DROID anyways. Why compromise calling service over data speeds or vice versa when DROID does both very well. My DROIDX has been great, no dropped phone calls, great data speeds wherever i go. A real test that i would like to see is the DROIDX go up against the iphone both the Verizon one and the ATT one. Everyone needs to get off of ATTs iphone teet.

13. omarc26

Posts: 360; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Well i agree at&t may not be the best carrier out there but there 3G is fast were is available . I have a htc surround my friend a samsung captivate and we constantly get 2-4 mbps on average when we do speed test thats fast enough for web browsing and to watch videos if u ask me only downside is that at&ts 3G coverage aint that big like for example u go out of the city and u get edge and its slow . My friend on verizon has an iphone 4 while his 3G aint as fast as my 3G he has more 3G coverage than me in more places like in those places outside the city i get edge my friend on verizon has 3G and thats when verizon 3G is faster than at&t edge which kinda sucks cuz im paying alot a month and half of the time i get edge if u ask me verizon is a better package it may be more expensive but u get 3G in more places im considering switching but idk

15. Gmagic unregistered

AT&T does have a lot of advantages over Verizon. The funny thing is, with the network being so conjested in big cities such as NY, Miami, and major cities in CA, people continue to complain about the iPhone causing big problems with the dropped calls and or any service issues for that matter, but the thing is people are still upgrading to the new iPhones and keeping their service! Now as I'm reading and hearing, it's not about data speed, it's about coverage. Well if it's about coverage, please stop getting the iPhone and creating a bigger clog in our network. On top of that, AT&T covers 97% of Americans, majority of being 3g coverage. Current towns with only EDGE service currently have plans or are ready for construction for 3g cell sites in those areas. On top of that, LTE is being released later in the year, which will push out even faster speeds and hopefully bring down the issues with the backhaul on the 3g network. AT&T does offer rollover, cover 220 countries internationally, the ability to talk and surf at the same time, and we do have the fastest mobile broadband network, which is something that Verizon can't really boast about. On the note of call quality, AT&T shows 1% of their calls drop. And based on the technology shown, I strongly believe that Verizon is going to have the same problems with backhaul and the spectrum and the network if their amount of customers equal out the amount of iphone or strong data users as well.

25. Trey unregistered

i agree with your last point, if verizon network is so good compared to att, why can't you make facetime calls over the network???? and why is verizon going to start restricting speeds of high data users??? and why is verizon soon going to drop the unlimited data plans and go with the tiered plans like att is doing??? YES THESE ARE FACT AND NOT HEAR SAY. to verizon's credit they watched and analyzed the problems att was having and made these changes to avoid the same issues. remember, verizon has had many smart phones in it's lineup to compete with the iphone. but not until they got the iphone did verizon announced these changes. att has it's issues but not all on att, no other device uses as much data as the iphone and until you have the same number of iphones on each network you are not going to get a fair comparison.


Posts: 316; Member since: Jul 15, 2009

Any 3GSM phone will always blow out in speed a CDMA device. CDMA is obsolete in compares to GSM like or not fanboys....!!!!

23. Whateverman

Posts: 3295; Member since: May 17, 2009


Posts: 316; Member since: Jul 15, 2009

Not my thoughts do the math, I know all the Fanboys turn deaf/silent/speachless when it comes to slow-rizon glitches but do the math anyway dude: 700 millions CDMA subs. vs 4 billion GSM subs Those are not my numbers I don't make them but u like a good FANBOY will answer back with the same bullshit over and over slow-rizon have the best blahblahblah get over with CDMA is OBSOLETE GSM beat it in any category, and btw cnet love to suck slow-rizon ball they get paid for that...!!!

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