It is finally time for me to weigh in on how the Verizon iPhone4 holds up head to head with the ATT iPhone4, I have been using the Verizon phone since early in the month so with the first month coming to a close, here are my initial thoughts, but first, here are some key points to the real-world testing.
I commute 1400 miles a week on average, working in the San Francisco Bay Area , I drive regularly, fly commercial sometimes or often fly my own small airplane with car segments on both ends. Basically I repeat a similar trek every week and have been using the ATT iPhone4 as my primary working phone since it shipped. I know every place where the ATT iPhone4 drops my call, loses data signal, drops to EDGE from 3G and roughly what I can expect each week as I try to stay on 1-2 hour long conference calls while heading in and out of the Bay Area. Needless to say, I have a healthy understanding of the ATT dropped call frustration.
After a month of swapping the Verizon iPhone4 into my daily routine, this is what I have learned:
- Verizon iPhone4 – very rarely drops calls, voice quality is a bit lower, “Tinnier” sound, good but less rich
- Data is disabled during a call, text messaging works, but as soon as the call is over, the phone rushes to catch up on your push email backlog
- Data service is solid in 3G mode, but slower then ATT quite a bit on both upload and download speeds and steps down in outlying areas to it’s slower 1xRTT speed rather smoothly
- Data coverage and voice coverage are most of the time better on Verizon than ATT in the western states I have quite a bit of experience here with Verizon Mifi and other data cards
- Tethering via Bluetooth, USB or WiFi hotspot works great
- Some of my older iPhone4 cases don’t fit due to the mute button being slightly lower (yea yea!)
- ATT iPhone4 – drops calls quite a bit but the voice quality sounds richer then Verizon, more bass, fuller sound.
- Data works perfectly while on voice calls while in 3G mode, if it steps down to EDGE or GPRS (slow and slower) this is no longer true and sometimes the data resets and causes the data service to hang when going in and out of outlying areas or limited coverage areas, Verizon gracefully handles this, often better then ATT.
- Data service is very solid in 3G mode, considerably faster then Verizon but the 3G coverage area is not as large and if the signal is only a few bars, Verizon wins.
- Tethering is offered in 2GB limits on the ATT iPhone, it’s not very well known, and works via Bluetooth or USB, but no “MiFi” like HotSpot. If you happened to be lucky enough to have UNLIMITED VOICE & DATA on ATT, to tether, you have to give up this older grandfathered contract offering.. (DON’T GIVE IT UP!)
I can talk for 400+ miles across California, (This holds true for much of my US experience as well) through mountains, valleys, rain or shine and the Verizon iPhone4 stays connected! After a month of conference call abuse while traveling, I think I might have totaled 3 dropped calls, in all, for nearly 30 days. This is my factual experience and I am not a very big fan of Verizon as a company, but the voice service speaks for itself.
On my ATT iPhone4 I drop a call 2-3 times alone just crossing the Bay Bridge and usually about once every 30-45 minutes during my commute, sometimes I drop calls every few minutes and it is really frustrating to me and the folks on the conference call. Most of us on the daily conference call regiment from across the US know exactly where our ATT iPhone4 call will drop, sometimes for fun, we actually count it down, “3-2-1, Goodbye”.
If you travel outside the US, you only really have one choice, the ATT iPhone4, it is a world standard and is easy to get working in most countries, sometimes the cost is outrages, your mileage will vary, check this out thoroughly before roaming on voice and data outside of the native ATT area.
As a general rule for day to day average call activity ATT works well with the exception of a few major cities, San Francisco being one of those cities where I can walk down the street on a call in the financial district and I will drop the call at least once, most of the time. If you talk on the phone, Verizon has already won this battle for me personally, if you use a bunch of data, multiple email accounts, browse the web and talk less, ATT might be a better choice for you. It is widely known about San Francisco and some other major US cities having real voice challenges with ATT. We haven’t had enough time with the Verizon iPhone4 to get all the dirt dished up. So for now, I will continue to use both iPhone4′s.
We hoped this was informative, real-world and was helpful to you, we would love to hear your comments and your own experiences.