iPhone 4S 4G: SpeedTest Results Show We’re Not Moving All That Fast


Still one of our favorite pictures showing off the speed of 4G

iPhone 4S owners who downloaded the latest iOS firmware (iOS 5.1) will now see a 4G icon on the top-left corner of their screen. We talked about this last week, and it was said that the connection on the handset is no faster than it was before the firmware update. Any speed increase is likely just perceived. Either way, we decided we would give it a try, just to see what we can get.

Keep in mind that there is nothing scientific or “proper” about our tests. Still, that doesn’t matter much, because they reflect real-world use, and that’s what counts in the end, right? I mean, not every iPhone user is using their iPhone in a lab under “ideal” and “best-case scenario” conditions, so let’s get to it.

The iPhone 4S (in Pennsylvania)

We gave this one a test just to see how fast that “4G” connection would be. Perhaps it would blow our old speeds away. Maybe it would be comparable to the speeds Apple claimed come in a best-case scenario. They say it should get about 5.8mbps up and 14.4mbps down. Again, Apple said that this is under idea conditions. In other words, it’s the fastest possible speed you can have in the absolute best conditions. That’s probably very few of us.

Speed Tests 1


Speed Tests 2

As you can see, we aren’t exactly getting the connection speeds that we would hope to get. We know we aren’t in “ideal” conditions, but this is far from the speeds claimed. Just under 2mbps per second down, and 1.14 up.

The real kicker?

iPhone 4 (South Texas)

Our slow old iPhone 4? It’s doing a good deal better than the iPhone 4S in terms of speed, even though the iPhone 4S is ideally twice as fast.

Have a look at the result below.

iPHone 4 Speedtest

Download speeds of 3.73 and up at .85. Our download speeds are better down in my area, but the boss has better upload speeds. It’s not bad for our little old iPhone 4.

What is 4G? 

What is and what isn’t 4G is still debated. The iPhone 4S uses the HSPA+ connection, which tops out at 14.4. That’s pretty fast, and often advertised as 4G. However, some would say that it’s not true 4G. LTE speeds will be faster by far. It’s said that 4G can be about 10 times faster than standard 3G. For now, we will have to go with “not quite 4G, but 4G.” Again, what is and what isn’t 4G is still debated. Technically, the speeds that the iPhone 4S is capable of reaching are 4G, so they can advertise it as such.

When Will the iPhone be “True 4G”?

We are guessing that the next iPhone will be 4G. Some are calling it the iPhone 5, but we figure iPhone 6 makes more sense since it will be the 6th-generation iPhone, maybe even iPhone 4G? Who knows. We never figured Apple would call the iPad ‘the new iPad‘.

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