AT&T vs. Sprint vs. Verizon (Which would you go with?)

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by jpiszcz, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. jpiszcz, Oct 18, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2011

    jpiszcz macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    #1
    Hello,

    Regarding this voice quality test:
    http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-19512_...voice-quality-on-the-iphone-4s/?tag=cnetRiver

    I realize its not a scientific test but it really shows you a good example of what each one sounds like (I'm sure this can be argued but this is not the purpose of this post).

    It would appear (Sprint/Verizon) > ATT for strictly voice in the US. However, there is an iPhone 4S comparison speed test, it pretty much showed sprint was the worst.

    This leaves AT&T and Verizon, I am on AT&T currently, but I saw a recent post stating you CANNOT turn OFF 3G with *ANY* model of the iPhone 4S! I had planned to get an AT&T iPhone 4S, until I learned about that.

    Therefore, the AT&T model does not have any advantage (except doing voice+data at the same time) over the Verizon Model if 3G is on all of the time.

    Verizon seems "quicker" and lower latency if you view the video for the iPhone 4S speed comparison:
    http://www.slashgear.com/iphone-4s-speed-test-att-vs-verizon-vs-sprint-14188198/

    Something else I've noticed as well now in > 3-4 different cities across the United States is while AT&T does have the "best/fastest network" yes it does, but only at 2:00AM-4:00AM localtime, when I re-run the speed tests at say noon or 5-6PM localtime it drops from 2-5mbps to 0.05 mbps, it is simply overloaded, and that's usually when you need/want to use it the most.

    How is Verizon's network in comparison? Sure it won't get 2(?) 5-6mbps download but what about at peak periods, how fast is Verizon compared to AT&T?

    Aside from voice+data at the same time, what are your thoughts?

    Which would you go with AT&T iPhone 4S, Verizon iPhone 4S or another choice?

    Thanks.
     
  2. vincenz macrumors 601

    vincenz

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2008
    #2
    AT&T for the HSPA+ capabilities. Probably verizon for the next iPhone. We'll see what the carriers are offering for the LTE data plans next year...

    Of course you really can't say for sure. It really depends on the area you're going to use it in.
     
  3. b24pgg macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Location:
    CA
    #4
    Verizon. Over the past 8 years that I've been with them, I've lived everywhere from a city with millions of people to a village with 450. Not once have I had issues with coverage.
     
  4. asleep macrumors 68040

    asleep

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  5. bbplayer5 macrumors 68030

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    Apr 13, 2007
    #6
    Verizon, hands down. Say what you want about AT&T faster network...pages STILL load faster on my Verizon phone.
     
  6. shadrap macrumors 6502

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    Jul 6, 2009
    Location:
    Mayberry
    #7
    This, and it's true from NC to TX to CA.
     
  7. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #8
    Just ported to Verizon after several years with AT&T. Pages in Safari load faster on Verizon for me too, but app/music downloads can take up to 10x longer to download. Words with Friends took over 2 minutes to download on VZW. On AT&T, that'd normally take 10-20 seconds to download (where I live).
     
  8. billnye97 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 26, 2011
    #9
    You know what I noticed the same thing with my Verizon iphone coming from AT&T. Nothing major but I wondered if it was just me.
     
  9. Stealthipad macrumors 68040

    Stealthipad

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    #10
    First choice would be AT&T.

    Second choice would be Verizon.

    last would still not be Sprint!:eek:
     
  10. jpiszcz, Oct 18, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2011

    jpiszcz thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    #11
    Also, what about GPS/location tracking? Verizon seems to win.

    Some comments:

    "pages STILL load faster on my Verizon phone" -- This is also what the video shows, for the majority of things I use the iPhone 4 for currently when on the move is location information and web browsing, I'd prefer (quick and low latency connections)

    Also, the Verizon iPhone 4 (not 4S) seems to out AT&T in terms of accuracy when it comes to location information, look at this video example: -- Thoughts/comments on this?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2cxiTbcvBr4

    I have a specific comment on this response: "It really depends on the area you're going to use it in."

    I've used the iPhone 4 in LA, NYC, DC and some urban areas-- it does not seem to matter (w/AT&T), in the morning, speeds are good (2-4AM) but in the middle of the day and the evening speeds are bad, ALSO during the middle of the day and the evening I get dropped calls and horrible call quality in LA. In NY and DC the speeds hover around 100kbps but the voice quality still is "usable." I've also tried AT&T's Microcell, don't even get me started with that thing, it drops calls more frequently than are successful.

    ---

    So queries:

    1. What data rates do you get at: morning, noon and night with the three carriers (using the speedtest/other application)? I've not read any reviews that talk about this, its always a point in time which does not reflect real world conditions.

    Here are my most recent tests from LA:

    10/13/2011 - 8:31AM @ Los Angeles = 2067kbps down, 681kbps up @ 141ms latency
    10/13/2011 - 9:39PM @ Los Angeles = 92kbps down, 189kbps up @ 133ms latency

    In NYC, the results were similar in terms of time of day vs. speed.

    2. What do you think about the location accuracy between the AT&T vs. iPhone 4 in the Anand video-- Verizon is definitely the winner here, would you agree?

    3. For those who have used the AT&T and Verizon iPhone 4/4s-- what are your comments in terms of voice quality, Verizon is hands down the winner here, correct? AT&T sounds horrible after I heard that comparison test.
     
  11. HiDEF macrumors 68000

    HiDEF

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    Location:
    Miami, FL
    #12
    AT&T let's you talk and surf at the same time. :cool:
     
  12. mcruzader macrumors regular

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    Sep 10, 2008
    #13
    I would go for AT&T, but I went with Sprint because I got a 25% discount on my bill.
     
  13. docgerrard macrumors 6502

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    Jul 21, 2011
    #14
    anything but sprint if you are alone
    but if you have a family plan, sprint is significantly cheaper
     
  14. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #15
    Since I've ported to Verizon last Friday, I have not seen a data rate higher than 500kbps down, 300kbps up -- anywhere/anytime. But again, web pages load faster than my AT&T iPhone 4, that regularly got between 1mbps-2mbps down. It's just "downloads" that now take a lot longer for me.

    For me, I'd give AT&T a 75% on voice quality, and Verizon a 90%-- way closer to land-line quality (IMO).
     
  15. Ahiqar macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2007
    Location:
    Fox Cities, WI
    #16
    I just got an iPhone 4s, and I went with AT&T because they offered the cheapest data plan (I don't use much data), the fastest data service, and they have excellent coverage where I live and work.
     
  16. SmittS macrumors regular

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    Jun 23, 2010
    #17
    I don't understand this statement. Do you think that if you can't turn 3G off, you can't get data if you're not on 3G?
     
  17. ultrahertz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    #18
    I've already returned my Sprint iphones due to the horrendous slow speed. I do not believe it was a radio issue. I believe it is a fundamental overloading of Sprints 3G data network.

    12 midnight EDT = 1-0.9 mbps (acceptable)
    8 am EDT 0.6 mbps (no worse than Verizon's day average)
    9 am EDT 0.3 mbps (getting slow)
    10 am EDT 0.15 mbps (crawling)
    12 noon EDT 0.05 mbps (useless)

    meanwhile, I tested my 3G iPad laptop (AT&T) side by side and at each of those times it was getting 1.2 mbps pretty consistently. Web pages that took 15 s to load took 4+ minutes on Sprint iphone pretty consistently.

    Since the iPhone was getting good speeds at what one would expect to be lower usage times of the day, but dropped as the day wore on, this would seem pretty consistent with network overloading.

    FWIW speaking with a Verizon subscriber here in Ann Arbor, which also uses CDMA, Verizon has a similar problem with the network slowing down through the day, although speeds do not crawl down to quite the slow speeds Sprint showed.

    What a waste of time for me. Since I ordered the phones by mail, I have to send them back to get credited by UPS. I should have gone to AT&T.
     
  18. Silvers macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    #19
    I drive for a living and so I am all over the place and by far I must admit AT&T has the best coverage area. I find that Verizon has a lot of dead spots especially in the mountains. Where as on my AT&T phone I have full signal and sometimes even 3G. I don't have my iPhone 4s yet so I'm talking about my 3Gs. I have a buddy that drives a big rig (his main route runs him from the Mexican boarder in TX to the Detroit metro area) and we've done some comparison between the 2 networks I do remember him telling me several times that over 1/2 of TX is a complete dead zone for his phone or he will get it for awhile and be talking on the phone and it will just drop off to zero bars for the next hr or 2 before he can make another call. I can't begin to tell you how many times he's threatened to throw his Verizon phone out the window of his truck while he was zooming down the interstate. He said he was making the move back to AT&T as soon as his contract was up.

    I remember being in Pittsburgh at about 2 in the afternoon and I tried to get online and that was a big joke. I had 2 bars (I wasn't too far from downtown) and the speed of the internet was about the same as old fashion dial-up. It literally took almost a good full 5 minutes to load Yahoo news and that was with all flash and pictures blocked.

    If you plan on going no where then Verizon might be a good choice for you but if you plan on doing lots of traveling then I would suggest you go with AT&T.
     
  19. jpiszcz thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    #20
    Hi, to clarify---

    The AT&T iPhone 4's ability to disable 3G (and use EDGE) in the network settings can give a boost in battery life, the Verizon iPhone 4 did not have this option as I understand it.

    Since this no longer applies to any iPhone 4S (the option no longer exists), it evens the playing field since there is no longer any benefit in choosing AT&T or Verizon for this specific option.
     
  20. Savor Suspended

    Savor

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    #21
    Data and better resale value on the phone - AT&T

    Voice, customer service, and better phone selection - Verizon

    Price - Sprint

    I've had them all although I haven't had Verizon in over a decade and Sprint in half a decade. I am only on AT&T now because when they were still called Cingular, I started enjoying GSM phones over CDMA phones because I did travel alot and liked to swap sim cards with other phones. I have been with them the longest. But since I don't travel outside the U.S. as I used to and can always use a loaner phone for a week or two, I can live with CDMA phones nowadays. But I am content with AT&T because I use my phone more as an internet browser than a phone.
     
  21. whiskeyvol macrumors regular

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    Mar 14, 2011
    #22
    i cannot comment on verizon, but comparing ATT vs sprint, ATT wins hands down.

    i know people complain about ATT dropped calls, but i had many more drops on sprint's network. customer service, ATT's always been far and beyond better than sprint. data speeds, again, ATT wins.

    your mileage may vary
     
  22. LIVEFRMNYC macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    #23
    Have the iPhone 4 with AT&T and use a Verizon BB for work. I haven't had any voice quality issues from both AT&T or Verizon at all.
     
  23. jpiszcz thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    #24
    More speed tests:

    iPhone 4 / AT&T @ 3:25AM and 3:27AM in NYC
    --
    10/19/2011 - 3:25AM @ NYC = 1650kbps down, 270kbps up @ 238ms latency
    10/19/2011 - 3:27AM @ NYC = 1540kbps down, 290kbps up @ 250ms latency

    --

    I am REALLY curious what do Verizon customers get? One person noted around 500kbps but pages seem to load faster / more consistent/reliable than AT&T. Also I saw one video on youtube one Verizon use in California was getting 4-5mbps w/Verizon not sure how that was possible, most people on Verizon get less than 1-2mbps? Can others with the iPhone 4S or iPhone 4 post their speed results at different times of the day?

    Thanks!
     
  24. Dairyman macrumors member

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