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iPhone 4S 3G Speed Test: AT&T vs. Verizon (Midwest)



For the first time, you can purchase an iPhone on each of the three largest carriers in the U.S.

The iPhone 4S is essentially the same device on each of these networks, but the iPhone 4S speeds vary, sometimes drastically, between the carriers.

After completing an iPhone 4S Speedtest in San Francisco, on Sprint, AT&T and Verizon, we decided to run an iPhone 4S speedtest in the midwest.

Below are speedtests from a rural area, Bluffton, Ohio, which recently had AT&T 3G turned on.

(Read: iPhone 4S Review)

iPhone 4S in Midwest (Ohio)

To test out these speeds, we used two new iPhone 4Ss from Verizon and AT&T to test the speed of both 3G networks in Bluffton Ohio. This is a rural community, which has good 3G coverage from Verizon and AT&T. Both of these phones were purchased by GottaBeMobile staff, the Verizon iPhone 4S is the 64GB model and the AT&T is 16GB. WiFi was turned off, and other apps, which could use data, were turned off.

Here’s a video, showing the iPhone 4S running the app at the same location. I ran the test mutliple times to account for variances in network traffic.

You can see the iPhone 4S Speedtest on our Verizon iPhone 4S, AT&T iPhone 4S and for comparison, the HTC ThunderBolt is tested on Verizon’s network. This phone can connect to 4G, but this test was run on Verizon 3G because there is no 4G coverage in this area.

As you can see, the speeds vary from test to test. The AT&T iPhone 4S had significantly faster connectivity and was more reliable than the Verizon iPhone 4S, which jumped in speed drastically from test to test.

Ohio iPhone 4s speedtestJust like in our iPhone 4S Speedtest in San Francisco, AT&T was way out ahead in terms of downloads. The highest AT&T iPhone 4S speed was 6.30 Mbps, which is over 5 times  faster than the best Verizon iPhone 4S speed of 1.26 Mbps.

The AT&T iPhone 4S also took the lead in the upload category, with a top speed of 1.68 Mbps — twice as fast as Verizon’s top upload speed of .54 Mbps. These speeds matter when you want to email large files, upload photos to Flickr and upload videos to sites like YouTube.

These results will vary from city to city and even from block to block, but in this area, AT&T has the fastest network. This means that you can download apps much faster, enjoy better quality Netflix streaming and get faster connectivity when you use your iPhone 4S as a hotspot.

iPhone 4S #1 Midwest:

Verizon iPhone 4S: 1.26 Mbps download, .46 Mbps upload
AT&T iPhone 4S: 6.18 Mbps download, 1.50 Mbps upload

iPhone 4S #2 Midwest:

Verizon iPhone 4S: .61 Mbps, .49 Mbps upload
AT&T iPhone 4s: 6.30 Mbps, 1.65 Mbps upload

iPhone 4S #3 Midwest:

Verizon iPhone 4S: 1.01 Mbps download, .54 Mbps upload
AT&T iPhone 4S: 6.18 Mbps download, 1.68 Mbps upload

The iPhone 4S Speedtests run here are actually much faster on Verizon than at home, where I was lucky to get .50 Mbps down and .49 Mbps up. These speeds can vary over the matter of a few miles, and especially 15 miles away. Keep that in mind before you purchase a new iPhone 4S based on a single speed test or anecdotal speeds from those around you. You can read more about the earlier iPhone 4 3G speed tests here.

iPhone 4S Speedtest midwest

iPhone 4S Speedtest - Verizon vs. AT&T

Stay tuned for more iPhone 4S speed comparisons.

You can read our full iPhone 4S review here and read the latest iPhone 4S news here.



  1. Michael McGrory

    10/22/2011 at 4:42 am

    Or you could buy any carriers 4G phones? So who cares if the IPhone 4S is slightly faster as a 3G IPhone on the AT&T network.? The Motorola Droid Bionic is a generation beyond it, that Samsung with the new Droid 4.0 Operating system is also 4G and is at least a generation beyond the Bionic, and HTC is coming out with a phone that will be about as good. Why test apples against Ferrari’s?

    • FlapJack

      10/24/2011 at 11:49 am

      There are plenty of people who care. Personally I am not a fan of the Android OS and wanted to see a comparison of the att and verizon iphone. I could care less about the android even though technically their hardware is superior.

      • Faisal Bilal

        02/14/2012 at 9:11 pm

        Not just hardware lol there hardware and software better and the best so far. And you need to buy urself a brain if u think that it’s slightly better lol

        • BD

          03/05/2012 at 4:13 pm

          Android software isn’t necessarily “better” than iOS. That’s a subjective point of view. There are pros and cons to each one. You’re the narrow-minded retard here.

    • Brumblebull

      12/30/2011 at 8:08 pm

      Slightly? Slightly? lmao

  2. Chris

    08/03/2012 at 8:58 am

    Same thing in NYC. Verizon’s 3G data sucks compared with ATT. I’m not trolling, but my wife and I have the same phone (iPhone 4) and her Verizon service is unusable at times because of the slow speed. The iPhone 5 should solve that with 4G connectivity, AND be able to talk and surf at the same time!!

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