So I'm sitting on a 3Gs and a Droid, trying to commit to one or another, leaning towards the Droid (in 30 day trial period on both). I've been reading exhaustively about the speed and differences between Verizon and AT&T's network (plus all of the commercials now!). So I decided to do my own, unscientific test, and thought it may be of interest to somebody.
I downloaded the speedtest.net app onto both the 3Gs and the Droid and ran a series of tests on each. I made sure no other background services were running to take up any bandwidth or processor "juice". I live in north DFW, so I used the Dallas server for half of the data, and a Cincinnati server for the other half. I wanted to use a West Coast server, but there were none that were common between both apps on each phone. I did do this between midnight and 12:30 am, so obviously a low point in network activity, which could make it somewhat misleading to everyday use. But this is not my day job!
I did 12 tests each, and took the average of the eight most consistently close numbers, due to a few occasional outliers. The results were interesting. The iPhone won out on download speed (not by much), but was blown away in upload speed - almost as if AT&T has it capped between 250 and 300 kbps.
I also did a WiFi test just for kicks, to see which handled WiFi better. I used my home wifi connection (Verizon Fios - 20 down / 5 up), and the iPhone really outdid the Droid, and Verizon clearly has the Droid capped at 1000kbps uploads on wifi. And yes, I did ensure nothing was running anywhere on our network to mess with it, and tested each phone separately so they wouldn't share wifi bandwidth.
Here are the results (I'm trying to figure out a way to publicly share the spreadsheet with the backup data):
iPhone: 2023 kbps download average / 267 kbps upload average
Droid: 1843 kbps download average / 723 kbps upload average
iPhone: 16,627 kbps download average / 5029 kbps upload average
Droid: 10,617 kbps download average / 1034 kbps upload average
Keep in mind, AT&T has always been solid in the DFW area, so I realize this is a very region specific test (and, again, doing it at midnight doesn't help with comparing to daily use). The AT&T upload speed on 3G was most interesting to me, as well as the WiFi difference (which I use half the time at home and work anyway).