Here’s the deal. There’s really nothing that new about the iPhone 4 for Verizon Wireless. The antenna bands are located in different places (on the top and bottom on each side), and the ringer switch sits slightly lower (so existing cases won’t work), but it’s really all about the network. Otherwise, Apple reps say the iPhone for Verizon–launching in February for $199–is the same weight, has the same sweet Retina display, and has the same great camera and camcorder, plus FaceTime. You even get the same battery life, which is good. So how much better is the 3G network? (Sorry, no 4G here, folks.) Check out our hands-on below, including test results, video, and a gallery. Hint: Verizon is faster…so far.
Verizon isn’t slammed with millions of iPhone owners yet, but in our tests today in New York the Verizon iPhone was faster both on the download and upload. In our first test, we pit the Verizon and AT&T versions against one another to load CNN.com. The Verizon version of the device completed the task a few seconds faster. Keep in mind, though, that the Verizon CDMA iPhone can’t handle voice and data at the same time like the AT&T version.
Next, we used the iPhone 4’s Mobile Hotspot feature, which allows Verizon subscribers to connect up to five devices. We used our AT&T iPhone to connect 1.73 Mbps down and 340 Kbps up, considerably better than the 780 Kbps down and mealy 50 Kbps we got with the AT&T iPhone using its 3G connection.