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iPhone 4S Speedtest AT&T, vs. Verizon vs. Verizon 4G LTE (Midwest)



The speed of your iPhone 4S, or any Android phone, is dependent on the network you have backing up your browsing and downloading. While there’s no arguing with the appeal of the iPhone 4S, speeds can vary greatly from city to city. Even the faster AT&T iPhone 4S has trouble keeping up with the speeds of Verizon 4G LTE.

Verizon’s 4G LTE network still has holes. But if you are one of the 186 million people covered with 4G LTE, and you absolutely need the fastest speeds, you should consider a 4G LTE smartphone from Verizon (or at least a 4G hotspot).

While the AT&T iPhone 4S achieved impressive 6Mbps speeds in our first iPhone 4S speedtest in the Midwest, the speeds slowed down as I drove to Columbus Ohio to test out Verizon’s 4G LTE network.

Read on to see how the iPhone 4S on Verizon and AT&T stack up to the HTC ThunderBolt’s 4G LTE connectivity.

You can see the results of our results below, comparing the AT&T iPhone 4S, Verizon iPhone 4S and the HTC ThunderBolt on Verizon 4G LTE. These tests were run indoors, in Columbus, Ohio. #1

  •  iPhone 4S, AT&T 3G: .75 Mbps download, .56 Mbps upload
  • iPhone 4S, Verizon 3G: .47 Mbps download, .11 Mbps upload
  • HTC ThunderBolt, Verizon 4G LTE – 9.17 Mbps download, 1.49 Mbps upload #2

  • iPhone 4S, AT&T 3G: .85 Mbps down, .51 Mbps upload
  • iPhone 4S, Verizon 3G: .40 Mbps download, .21 Mbps upload
  • HTC ThunderBolt, Verizon 4G LTE – 7.62 Mbps download, 1.61Mbps upload

These speed tests were completed indoors, in a mall food court, where you might want to catch up on some work or watch a Netflix episode while you grab a quick lunch. The 4G LTE speeds blew both iPhones out of the water, though these speeds were closer to the AT&T iPhone 4S speeds we saw in Bluffton, where AT&T had just rolled out a 3G network in the past few months. I would have expected a faster upload speed over 4G LTE, but multiple tests in this location showed us that we can’t always expect the fastest speeds we have seen in other 4G LTE areas.

As Xavier explained in his iPhone 4S vs. Droid Bionic 4G LTE speedtest in San Francisco, there are several reasons why Apple decided to pass on 4G LTE, but battery life is up near the top.

Even in 3G areas, I had to double the thickness of my HTC ThunderBolt to get through an average day, by spending $40 on an extended battery. The iPhone 4S, on the other hand, allows me to get through a full day of medium usage. While battery life has improved a bit on the Droid Bionic and newer 4G LTE devices, it is still a major issue.

iPhone 4s vs ThunderBolt 4G LTE

iPhone 4S Speedtest vs. Verizon 4G LTE

When it comes to mobile browsing Apple has done a good job of speeding up Safari, for faster browsing, but the 3G speeds will still limit uploads and downloads of apps and media. If you need to use your phone as a hotspot, you may be better off looking at a 4G LTE smartphone, or purchasing a dedicated 4G LTE hotspot. The Motorola Droid RAZR and Samsung Galaxy Nexus look like the current top 4G LTE picks for Verizon, though you’ll need to wait a few more weeks to purchase them.

Here’s to hoping we see a 4G LTE iPhone in 2012, when both AT&T and Verizon will have greater 4G LTE coverage and more efficient 4G communication should be possible.

You can read our full iPhone 4S review here.



  1. Anonymous

    10/24/2011 at 1:00 pm

    Uh, how is .75mbps comparable to 7mbps, I have did tests with someone loading pages, between an AT&T and the thunderbolt, the thunderbolt was complete before the AT&T phone was halfway loaded. And that was with a page that had flash, so the thunderbolt had to work with the flash, and of course the iphone ignores flash. Not trying to be one sided, but LTE can’t be compared with that 3.5G stuff.

  2. Scotty Braun

    10/24/2011 at 1:50 pm

    Man, It sucks to be in the Midwest.. I get 1.5 to 3mbps 3G, and 25 to 47mbps 4G here in coastal SC 

  3. Technical support

    10/24/2011 at 4:38 pm

    I have the verizon version on california and I am getting okay speeds, but it could be a lot better

  4. Anonymous

    10/24/2011 at 10:19 pm

    4G LTE can’t really be compared to anything. Not until the other guys get their LTE networks off the ground.  Here in Hawaii, I was getting roughly .75 – .8 Mbps on my OG droid. Hitting 20Mbps consistently with spikes up to 40Mbps in some areas with my Bionic now.

    I would say that it must blow to be a 4s owner, but that would be a moot point since a 4s owner likely doesn’t care about internet speeds in the first place.

  5. Peterchen0909

    01/10/2012 at 6:33 pm

  6. Peter

    02/06/2012 at 11:25 pm

    Thank you for your nice post,

  7. N8

    03/27/2012 at 1:31 am

    Hahah gay, I get close to 30mbps everywhere I go

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