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iPhone 4 (Verizon)

Editor's rating (1-5): rating starrating starrating starrating star
Carrier: Verizon
Manufacturer: Apple
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What's hot: Gorgeous hardware, easy to use, more reliable calling vs. AT&T iPhone 4.

What's not: The iPhone 4 is 6 months old, not a super-reception phone.


October 2011 Update: Check out our review of the iPhone 4S.

Reviewed Februrary 22, 2011 by Lisa Gade, Editor in Chief

You all know what the iPhone 4 is. Heck, even my grandmother has one. So we won’t bore you with a rehash of the iPhone 4’s features since the Verizon version is identical to the AT&T iPhone 4 other than the cell radio technology. Of course, the network behind the Verizon Wireless iPhone 4 is worthy of comment given the dull roar of complaints over dropped calls and call quality issues with the AT&T iPhone 4. Can Verizon’s mighty wireless network be just the cure we’d hoped for?

Verizon iPhone 4

In good measure, yes: the Verizon iPhone 4 performed better in our tests as a phone. We dropped 1 in 10 calls with the Verizon iPhone 4 vs. 3 to 4 in 10 with our AT&T iPhone. Call quality is also better on the Verizon version with clearer outgoing voice. We’re located in the Dallas area and have good service and signal on both carriers, making it a fairly even playing field.

Verizon iPhone 4

In terms of hardware and design, the Verizon version is identical to the AT&T model with one minor exception: the silencer slider is tiny bit lower down on the Verizon version and the antenna gaps on the phone’s side are in different locations.  Since the phone uses CDMA rather than GSM cell technology, it requires a different antenna design.  Software is likewise the same, and the Verizon iPhone 4 has all the same goodies: Safari web browser, Apple’s email client, the YouTube Player and so on. The Verizon model has WiFi hotspot tethering built in, while it’s a downloadable update for the AT&T model.

Verizon iPhone 4




Video Review

Here's our video review of the Verizon iPhone 4:


Differences Between the Verizon and AT&T iPhone 4

Since Verizon and AT&T use different types of cellular networks, there are inherent differences in their iPhone 4 models when it comes to data and phone. These differences are:

The AT&T iPhone 4 can use simultaneous voice and data. That means you can check your email, surf the web and do other online things while in a call. CDMA EV-DO technology does not support this feature. The Verizon iPhone 4 does a good job of sleeping the data connection whenever it can, so a call can come through after your phone has a loaded a web page and you’re simply scrolling through and reading that page. If you’re on 1xRTT (2G), the call will go to voicemail.

AT&T’s HSDPA network is faster for data than EV-DO Rev. A. That’s just the nature of the technologies and it does not reflect on the carrier’s network quality. That said, we’ve seen some very good data speeds according to Ookla’s app on the Verizon iPhone 4 (better than many other folks are seeing). We chalk that up to Verizon’s strength in our area. We’re seeing an average of 1.75 megs down on both networks here, but across the country, iPhone 4 users are getting up to 2x faster downloads on the AT&T iPhone 4.

Call Quality and Reliability

The Verizon iPhone 4 has dropped fewer calls than our AT&T iPhone 4. Call recipients have stated that we sound clearer and fuller on the Verizon iPhone 4, and we noticed slightly better incoming voice. It doesn’t seem that Verizon Wireless’ network has been deluged with iPhone 4 customers, so their network isn’t yet stressed by a much increased customer base which could impact call reliability.

In terms of reception, the iPhone 4 is middle of the road among Verizon Wireless phones. The iPhone reports signal strength in bars only, and there’s no way to see the actual signal in decibels. In terms of bars, the iPhone 4 doesn’t get as strong a signal as Verizon’s best RF phones like the Motorola Droid X. If you live in a signal challenged area, the iPhone 4 might not be your best choice. But if you have moderate or better service, the iPhone 4 is a fine choice.


We know some of you have been waiting patiently for years to get an iPhone on Verizon. If that’s you, head to a store now and get your phone! If you’re not suffering from years of pent up desire and are happily using a high end Android phone on Verizon, the choice is harder. We suggest you try both phones (borrow a friend’s or spend some serious time at your local Verizon Wireless store) to see which suits your needs best.  The iPhone 4 isn’t new and shiny either; it’s been out since the summer of 2010. We’d understand if you preferred to wait for the iPhone 5 which we assume will come out in the summer of 2011 (Apple usually releases a new iPhone in June or July each year).  That said, the iPhone 4 on Verizon is lovely: the hardware is top notch, it’s beautiful, the Retina Display is stunning as ever and the iPhone 4 is extremely easy to use.


Price: $199 for the 16 gig model and $299 for the 32 gig model with 2 year contract


Verizon iPhone 4

Above: the Verizon iPhone 4 (bottom) and the AT&T iPhone 4. Note the slightly different silencer slider location and different antenna gaps on the side.

Verizon iPhone 4

Verizon iPhone 4

Display: Retina Display: 3.5" capacitive IPS multi-touch display running at 960 x 640 resolution, 326ppi, 800 to 1 contrast ratio. Supports both portrait and landscape modes via accelerometer. Has ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, compass and gyroscope.

Battery: Lithium Ion rechargeable. Battery is not user replaceable. Claimed talk time on 3G: up to 7 hours.

Performance: Apple custom A4 CPU (low power version of the CPU used in the iPad), 512 megs RAM.

Size: 4.5 x 2.3 x 0.37 inches. Weight: 4.8 ounces (according to Apple, 5.0 ounces according to our digital scale).

Phone: CDMA dual band digital phone with 3G EV-DO Rev. A (can fall back to 1xRTT 2G).

Camera: Rear (main) camera: 5.0 MP with autofocus lens and LED flash. Can shoot video at 720p, 30fps. Has front-facing VGA camera that can be used with Facetime video calls over WiFi.

Audio: Built in speaker, mic and 3.5mm standard stereo headphone jack. iTunes player built-in.

Networking: Integrated WiFi 802.11b/g/n (2.4GHz only) and Bluetooth 2.1 +EDR.

Software: iOS 4 (iPhone 4 operating system). Google Maps, Safari web browser, email, threaded text/MMS messaging, Stocks, YouTube Player, iTunes, App Store, Phone, Clock, Calculator, Photos, Camera, Voice Memos, Contacts, Calendar, Notes, Compass and Settings.

Expansion Slot: None.

Storage: Available in 16 and 32 gig capacities.


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