CNET have found out that there is quite a difference in call quality with the top three carriers in the US. Of course you do have to consider the fact that the results of the tests could vary depending on coverage, along with other factors. Nevertheless if you’re wondering which is the best carrier for the iPhone 5, you’ll want to check out the results.
Best iPhone 5 carrier: Verizon, AT&T or Sprint?
CNET made a baseline call using the iPhone 4S on AT&T and called San Francisco from New York. They then compared recordings on voicemail made by the iPhone 5 with all calls made holding the device normally to the ear.
The recordings show the difference between the iPhone 4S and the latest incarnation of the iPhone 5, and the legacy device was a bit on the mushy side and there was background noise noticeable.
The noise cancelling feature of the iPhone 5 was fairly effective, however some noise did leak through. There was some graininess to the call with AT&T and sound seemed to be compressed the most.
The call using the Verizon iPhone 5 was clearer and there was less background noise, on the downside there was some popping and hissing.
Sprint came out on top as the recoding was rich and there was clarity. The transmission was clean and there was no distortion, pops or hisses.
The iPhone 5 came out in three different versions, with two of them being compatible with wireless tech of two different types which was deployed in the US. The AT&T version of the handset uses the GSM tech and the versions with Sprint and Verizon rely on CDMA. All three support 4G LTE but on different bandwidths. In terms of LTE speeds, our tests from last month showed that both AT&T and Verizon were in the lead. While AT&T showed faster download and upload speeds than Verizon, it lost out to Big Red due to coverage. In addition to wider LTE coverage, the Verizon iPhone 5 is also unlocked.
The test reveals that the carrier’s network is essential for call quality as the handsets from Apple all come with the same audio parts inside. This is also seen when the two CDMA versions on Sprint and Verizon are compared.