iPhone 4S data speeds tested on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint

iDB conducted a few speed tests on the new iPhone 4S comparing data performance across AT&T, Verizon and the newcomer, Sprint.

It looks like AT&T and Verizon are just about neck and neck despite the iPhone 4S supporting AT&T's HSPA+ network, with Sprint falling pretty far behind. Keep in mind the comparisons aren't exactly scientific, so your mileage may vary. It also appears that data coverage isn't optimal in the area they shot the video given the speedtest.net results, but this gives you a pretty good idea of how the iPhone 4S performs under the different networks.

Check out the full video below and let us know what speeds your seeing on your new iPhone 4S!

Source: iDB

Andrew Wray

Andrew Wray is a Salt Lake City, Utah based writer who focuses on news, how-tos, and jailbreak. Andrew also enjoys running, spending time with his daughter, and jamming out on his guitar. He works in a management position for Unisys Technical Services, a subsidiary of Unisys Corporation.

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iPhone 4S data speeds tested on AT&T, Verizon and Sprint

72 Comments

Yeah because AT&T use to fluff their signal % to create the perception of having a better signal everywhere you went

.26/.16/.65 downstream?!? I appreciate the side by side (first one out) but i didn't learn a ton. Maybe it's the networks being bogged down but we can't really get much from these numbers. I hope there is another video with more optimal conditions.

I have Rogers here in Canada and the download speed is at almost the 2mgs. ...... are we faster than the big 3 in the states?

Wow. Here's hoping Sprint upgrades their 3G service soon. Unlimited it might be, be if it's that slow compared to the competition they'll have a hard time attracting contracted customers.

Pretty simple choice when you take into consideration you cannot use voice and data with any network accept AT&T. Not being able to use my GPS and other features when im on the phone is a deal breaker.

I can talk and surf at the same time. Those download speeds are weak. I've gotten 22mbs on my droid bionic. I'll guess you'll still be waiting for this to load. On your iphone 4slow

He who finishes his downloads sooner gets to spend more time getting a solid 8 hours at night instead of waiting up for this things to finish!

Where ya can get LTE. 22 Mbps means you burn up your 2-4 GB data plan faster. You have to download a page faster on Your bionic. You only have 3 hrs of use before your battery dies! Ya don't have to wait an extra .05 on data just the slow app loads, slow camera and ya have to wear a fanny pack or a man purse to carry it because it's a small brick ! Ha~

I think it would be very interesting to see a head to head network speed comparison of a Sprint iPhone and an unlocked iPhone running on T-Mobile's EDGE (2G) network. I would honestly not be shocked if T-Mobile won that one. I left Sprint because of it's HORRENDOUS data speeds. Even their WiMax network is bested by T-Mobile and AT&T's HSPA+ networks!

Same here. I couldn't take waiting for pages to loaf on my old Pre...good riddance. You get what you pay for.

ATT is the fastest real world, but network congestion is going to have a lot to do with this test today.

"but this gives you a pretty good idea of how the iPhone 4S performs under the different networks. "
But yet it doesn't..

No it doesn't. The phones are inches from each other. Ever hear of induced modulation? Didn't think so.

Sprint is in the process of overhauling the entire network and slow data speeds are occurring because of this. On the upgraded towers they blow VZW out the water and give ATT a run for its money.

They are making 3G and WiMAX and LTE all the same tower, its part of their Network Vision. This is going to really help with their LTE because LightSquared is broadcast at 1600mhz while Sprint's LTE is 1900mhz. This means LightSquared LTE will have better coverage because there will be overlapping in towers. But right now it could mean downtime depending on what towers are going for the upgrade and what exactly they have to do.

signal is the only thing that matters, pull up sprints coverage maps, my dad lives in BFE WV and has dark green for voice/SMS but almost no dark orange for 3G. bars have nothing to do with it, but 3G coverage does.

I tried my 4S (AT&T) same time this guy did. Mines finished the same time as Verizon. I had full bars unlike the video where his AT&T iPhone had 2 bars.

My 3G speeds are great here in bklyn New York on my 4s for sprint...i was using an evo 3d before I purchased the iPhone and on 3G the speeds are faster on the iPhone then my evo.

mehhhn judging by the tests in this video Chicago has some really crappy 3G speeds in general!!! None of networks are even getting up to 1mbps speeds!

Overall the speeds on this guy are horrible! I'm pulling over 4 Mbps on an ATT iPhone 4S..... and don't get me wrong, I HATE ATT

i can never take browser/speed tests seriously due to how many variables need to be taken into consideration. in my area, ATT is fastest, and Sprint is slowest. Verizon is very different depending on what city I'm in at the time. anywhere between 0.30 Mbps to 2.5 Mbps.

wimax in like 10 cities and Apple putting in the R&D for a technology thats being abandoned...not to mention the size and power tradeoffs = not a smart decision

This guy doesn't know that much about signal interference and how much it can be affected by other radios sending and receiving in the same area. By putting the sprint phone in the middle it already is at a disadvantage of having signal interference.

Just got 5.09 down and .98 up on my 4. My 4S will arrive Monday, can't wait to see what I get on there. I have to say AT&T has a great network in Orlando.

Agreed., it's more about the signal at your own place rather than anything to do with the phone. Apple is not making different specs for different carriers. Why should this comparison even matter!

My son lives in the Chicago area with att, he gets around 3 to 4 mbs average download speed on his iphone 4. I have same phone but on Verizon and anywhere I go I usually average 1.5 mbs download. His is faster but I cannot complain. Now if you talk about phone calls, no contest. His always drops calls and I have never had a dropped call LOL.

Not sure this is an accurate test. I am not sure Sprint had the best signal strenght in the area. When conducting a non-biased test one should make sure all signal strenghts are about the same. I have ATT and I know they suck with my iPhone in certain areas.

Bad test. Having the phones so close together messes up the antenna systems. Signal to noise ratio gets very low as each device interferes with one another.
These tests are simply invalid.

I get 9 mb down on AT&T @ my house, so I think this is a pretty crappy test. Also, having bare antenna that close together will mess with the signal.

Sprint may not be the fastest, but it is consistent. Sometimes it might crawl, but that rarely happens to me. In fact never with my HTC Arrive. My wife's Photon 4G (on 3G) is actually faster then my phone, both in preformance and broadband speeds. I believe what is slowing the speeds right now might be the Network Vision. It's possible with the upgrades that there are problems that Sprint is doing thats probably effecting preformance in some areas.

What kind of joke is this? AT&T only had 2-3 bars, Verizon at least 4, sometimes 5. Yes, I know it's unscientific, but boy, it doesn't even ATTEMPT to be fair in any way and therefore makes the entire exercise useless.
The last test has got to be dumbest. Speed Test coming back with LESS than 1Mbps on ALL three??? Buddy, you're in the wrong location for ALL three networks. LAME!

Sprints antenna is obstructed...more than 60% of its antenna is blocked on either side as opposed to the other two phones, where only about 25% is blocked by the Sprint iPhone.
You need to put them up one by one, by themself, and then run the speed test.
It really doesnt matter to me...I have a droid charge on verizons lte, blowing all of these away.

First of all. the new 4S has a carrier update to support faster HSDPA which is considered 4G on att's network. second of all. you have 4-5 bars on verizon and 3 on att. that will affect data speed. lastly, you have the verizon and sprint phone connected to a chicago server, but they are two different ones in chicago. the AT&T one is in lexington KY...thats a bit of a difference. you need to test on the same server to have real results. do stuff right before you make a video on it