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Review roundup: Verizon iPhone 4 is same set, different service

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
Hours before preorders begin for the long-awaited Verizon iPhone, the first reviews of the new device have appeared, noting that Verizon's service is a marked improvement over AT&T's, though the carrier's 3G data speeds are slower.

All of the reviews were in agreement that the Verizon iPhone 4 drops significantly less calls than the iPhone 4 on AT&T. Speed tests performed by reviewers show that AT&T's data services are slightly faster than those of Verizon, and the lack of simultaneous data and voice was missed by some of the reviewers.

Existing Verizon customers eligible to purchase the iPhone 4 can preorder the smartphone starting at 3 a.m. Eastern, midnight Pacific on Thursday. Apple online store orders will start for "all qualified customers" on Wednesday, Feb. 9 offering the option of delivery or reserve for in-store pick up beginning Feb. 10.

The Verizon iPhone 4 officially goes on sale on Feb. 10. Apple's retail stores will open at 7 a.m. for the launch and more than 2,000 Verizon Wireless stores will carry the phone.

An internal memo from the carrier suggests that "unprecedented demand" could outpace supply for the device.

The Wall Street Journal

Technology journalist Walt Mossberg praised the Verizon iPhone for dropping just three calls over nine days, adding that the three dropped calls had been made to an AT&T iPhone in San Francisco.

Mossberg did, however, encounter a "minor glitch" during setup that caused drop outs, BlueTooth issues and poor battery life. Though Mossberg was able to resolve the issue after contacting Apple, he does not clarify what the issue was and whether it will affect users post-launch.

Scores of speed tests performed by Mossberg in various locations showed that AT&T averaged 46 percent faster download speeds and 24 percent faster upload speeds compared to Verizon. A similar test by Wired found that AT&T download rates in San Francisco are 62 percent faster, while AT&T upload rates are 38 percent faster. At times, the phone would unexpectedly switch from 3G mode to the slower 2G mode, Mossberg noted.

For Mossberg, the added benefits of improved voice calling and the new wireless hot-spot capability outweigh any trade-offs of 3G data speed and the inability to use data and voice simultaneously. However, customers with "tolerable" AT&T service, frequent international trips, or who care about data speed "may want to stick with AT&T."

The New York Times

David Pogue reports for The New York Times that the Verizon iPhone is "nearly the same" as AT&T's iPhone 4--but it doesn't drop calls, making it "the holy grail" for several million Americans.

Pogue tested the Verizon iPhone alongside the AT&T iPhone 4 in five cities, including San Francisco and New York. In San Francisco, the iPhone on AT&T's network dropped the call four times in 30 minutes of driving, while the Verizon iPhone 4 maintained service. The one dropped call that Pogue experienced from the Verizon iPhone was "in baggage claim at the Los Angeles airport."

The new Personal Hotspot feature, which costs an additional $20 a month for 2GB of tethered data, is "incredibly convenient," according to Pogue, although the feature is also a "merciless battery drain."

Pogue also highlighted four differences between the CDMA iPhone and the GSM version. First, minor adjustments to the design have resulted in minor shifts to the volume and Ringer Off switches, meaning that existing AT&T iPhone cases may not fit the new Verizon iPhone.

Second, long text messages exchanged with non-Verizon phones will get split up into 160-character chunks on the Verizon iPhone. Third, Verizon lacks simultaneous voice and data. Fourth, the Verizon iPhone works in roughly 40 countries, compared to the GSM version's 220 available countries.

Other reviews

MG Siegler wrote for TechCrunch that the "iPhone 4 on Verizon just works." Siegler notes that he was able to make a 45 minute call from his office, something that he was unable to do with the iPhone on AT&T.

Writing for Engadget, Joshua Topolsky found that the Verizon iPhone can "connect much more reliably and consistently" than the AT&T iPhone, but "it wasn't impervious to broken connections and sound quality issues." Topolsky ends his review with by noting that it feels like "Apple and Verizon did the impossible: they made the best smartphone in America just a little bit better."
post #2 of 40
I expect Verizon will be sold out, of their initial inventory, within a week from launch (Feb 10th)

I know two AT&T customers, on iPhone 3G's, jumping to the Verizon iPhone 4 immediately.
They have been waiting for this day. Both work in NYC.

AND
I know three current Verizon customers, on blackberry's, also waiting patiently for this day.


...Me, proud owner of an iPhone 4 on AT&T, without any issues whatsoever, in central Jersey.

BUY APPLE STOCK !!!!!
post #3 of 40
I guess I still don't understand why not being able to use the web while on the phone isn't a deal breaker. I'm the only person who does that apparently.
post #4 of 40
"The new Personal Hotspot feature"

If this is so new where is Internet Tethering?
post #5 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by alkrantz View Post

I guess I still don't understand why not being able to use the web while on the phone isn't a deal breaker. I'm the only person who does that apparently.

If you can't make a call in the first place it kind of defeats the purpose of this feature.
post #6 of 40
So better overall call quality, better reception, slower overall download speeds, voice calls take priority over data transfers. No reason for me to switch from AT&T to Verizon. I'll wait and see what the iPhone 4GS/iPhone 5 has to offer.

On a side note, I've noticed that a lof of people have been saying that the flood of iPhones on Verizon will crush the network and make it as crappy as AT&T. I don't quite follow that line of thinking -- Android has already surpassed Apple in the U.S. (AFAIK) and Verizon has been leading the way. So it's not like Verizon's network is untested when it comes to monster smartphone traffic.
post #7 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by alkrantz View Post

I guess I still don't understand why not being able to use the web while on the phone isn't a deal breaker. I'm the only person who does that apparently.

Have AT&T and since having an iPhone I can only think of one time I have done this. Honestly if your not used to it at all you won't miss anything.

Not having a call drop or your phone mysteriously not work even with bars while traveling more than makes up for your 'deal breaker'.
post #8 of 40
Simultaneous voice and data is one of those things that if you've never had it, you can't miss it. I can never imagine myself ever using speakerphone while also doing anything data-related on my phone. Looking up a contact, or a memo that is stored in my phone, sure, but not using an app at the same time. Then again, I have ALWAYS been on Verizon. For the 290 million customers they have, it obviously won't affect them much.



Then again, holding a call is what a phone is for, anyway. Like one of the reviewers said, he made a 45 minute call and completed it successfully on Verizon, something he was never able to do on his AT&T version. That would drive me INSANE if I had dropped calls like that. I realize it's not everywhere, but for those that do have that issue in their city, I personally wouldn't be able to stand it.
post #9 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by alkrantz View Post

I guess I still don't understand why not being able to use the web while on the phone isn't a deal breaker. I'm the only person who does that apparently.

It's a nice feature, but in practice I've only used it a handful of times. 95% of the time that I'm on a call with my iPhone, I'm either at home/work where I have Wi-Fi or in the car using Bluetooth (so it's not like I'd be using 3G data anyway).

As long as you have a Wi-Fi connection, it doesn't matter anyway.
post #10 of 40
If At&T has faster data, but Verizon has generally better coverage, it doesn't seem like a real reason to switch. you might even say it's comparing Apples to Apples...
post #11 of 40
I prefer coverage over speed. Also, wouldn't use data+voice enough to matter.
post #12 of 40
I had this once and I glad that I was able to do that at that time esp. when Verizon vs AT&T war was still young and people saying this ability on GSM as one of the main points over CDMA. Basically what happened was I had to be on the phone while the saleperson that was handling my purchase need to guide me through my payment on the VISA website as I need to key in special codes that can only be given live on the phone and at that time I was away from home on my break during a seminar. I don't have any other means to access the internet other than my iPhone and it was a timesaver. Just because you don't have them doesn't mean you will never need it.
post #13 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadash View Post

If you can't make a call in the first place it kind of defeats the purpose of this feature.

Except that I can.
post #14 of 40
Here's an example of using voice and data at the same time. I'm in the car, driving to an dinner meeting, using google maps to find my way to the restaurant and at the same time, talking to the person I'm meeting at the restaurant. Or, while talking on the phone to a business associate we're referring to an email from a potential customer - I then need to learn more about the customer and go online to look up some data, while remaining on the call.

I couldn't live without simultaneous voice and data. It is a big issue for me and it is THE thing that impresses those using competitive phones on Verizon - at least those people I've come in contact with.

I say good riddance to those att customers who defect to Verizon. Free up some bandwidth for those that stay with att.
post #15 of 40
"Apple and Verizon did the impossible: they made the best smartphone in America just a little bit better."

Expect and ad from verizon with this quote.
Or maybe not, sounds like they're anticipating monster sales anyway.
post #16 of 40
sounds like you need to park

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmgregory1 View Post

Here's an example of using voice and data at the same time. I'm in the car, driving to an dinner meeting, using google maps to find my way to the restaurant and at the same time, talking to the person I'm meeting at the restaurant. Or, while talking on the phone to a business associate we're referring to an email from a potential customer - I then need to learn more about the customer and go online to look up some data, while remaining on the call.
post #17 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

It's a nice feature, but in practice I've only used it a handful of times. 95% of the time that I'm on a call with my iPhone, I'm either at home/work where I have Wi-Fi or in the car using Bluetooth (so it's not like I'd be using 3G data anyway).

As long as you have a Wi-Fi connection, it doesn't matter anyway.

People who will be using the "Personal Hotspot" feature will feel the advantage of voice+data.
post #18 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmgregory1 View Post

Here's an example of using voice and data at the same time. I'm in the car, driving to an dinner meeting, using google maps to find my way to the restaurant and at the same time, talking to the person I'm meeting at the restaurant. Or, while talking on the phone to a business associate we're referring to an email from a potential customer - I then need to learn more about the customer and go online to look up some data, while remaining on the call.

I couldn't live without simultaneous voice and data. It is a big issue for me and it is THE thing that impresses those using competitive phones on Verizon - at least those people I've come in contact with.

I say good riddance to those att customers who defect to Verizon. Free up some bandwidth for those that stay with att.

Another would be holding while on a call and browse the web.
CS: Please hold
You: No problem! *opens browser and enjoys voice and data at the same time
post #19 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRR View Post

sounds like you need to park

My thoughts exactly. Just today I had someone almost walk into me because he was too busy texting to pay attention to anything around him.
post #20 of 40
Verizon never drops any calls, ever... so what' up with this news of dropped calls? The reviewers are SUPER forgiving for the dropped calls though 'Oh well my dropped calls were with an ATT user' or 'Oh well it was in a baggage claim so that doesn't count.'

Funny

Apple will sell a ton though, which is awesome. I'm not willing to give up my data+voice for any price though. I get way too much done when I'm waiting on hold or talking to grandma
post #21 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by alkrantz View Post

I guess I still don't understand why not being able to use the web while on the phone isn't a deal breaker. I'm the only person who does that apparently.

You're not the only one, but clearly there are a lot of people who don't care. I think it's much more common that if you've never had the ability, you don't understand why it's worth paying for, but hey, it'll be a thing of the past in 1-2 years anyway.
post #22 of 40
I agree that not having simultaneous voice and data would probably make me a safer driver, but I can't be without it. Also where I live, Houston, data speeds are very necessary since voice reliability is rock solid for me. I am skipping this next refresh this summer and seeing what summer 2012 brings me with a finished contract. At least I'll hopefully enjoy LTE before the world ends.
post #23 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadash View Post

If you can't make a call in the first place it kind of defeats the purpose of this feature.

Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg... hmm, Wall Street... where is that? New York? Who does he call? Some guy where? San Francisco?!

Tech Crunch... "But for whatever reason, in major cities like San Francisco and New York City, the situation has continued to deteriorate."

I guess you chose the wrong city to be in to use the ATT iPhone to make calls!

However, glad your long national nightmare is over!

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post #24 of 40
Different service without question. Lets see if the service is better or worse in different aspects after the official launch on Feb 10th
post #25 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by hface119 View Post

Simultaneous voice and data is one of those things that if you've never had it, you can't miss it. I can never imagine myself ever using speakerphone while also doing anything data-related on my phone.

I use it all the time. My girlfriend always calls me up to ask for directions, so I need to be able to use maps while I'm on the phone. I've also on occasion needed to look up something on the Internet while I was on the phone. However, I'm normally on WiFi, so it wouldn't be a huge deal to lose it.
post #26 of 40
In my building, 2 guys have ATT's iPhone 4! When they are in the room that faces the backyard, which is where my windows face, they MISS PHONE CALLS!!!! When they are in the rooms that face the FRONT of the building, the street, no problem!

That reminds me of a criticism of ATT I heard, ATT's Voice Calls don't go penetrate buildings as well as Verizon!!!

As to No Simultaneous Voice + Data on ATT vs. Coverage and Slower Speed on VZ - I hate making that choice, but, if I gotta be able to make CALLS, which is Job One for a Phone, before and Data stuff...

No Simultaneous Voice + Data on WiFi works only if the WiFi Network is Not Password Protected..., which often the case for me...

Lack of Rollover Minutes on VZ is a Rip-Off, a Trap for Overtime Charge!

VZ's Unlimited Data is a Temporary Promo... Soon they all will be Capped Data...

And we'll soon know how well VZ holds up under the New Traffic Load with iPhone 4!!!!

Someone please explain International Travel Implications difference between ATT & VZ...

The War of Ads and PR is on... Apple is the Winner either way!

Go  Apple!!!

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post #27 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by alkrantz View Post

Except that I can.

But if you can't then that is a dealbreaker for those people. Make sense?
post #28 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg... hmm, Wall Street... where is that? New York? Who does he call? Some guy where? San Francisco?!

Tech Crunch... "But for whatever reason, in major cities like San Francisco and New York City, the situation has continued to deteriorate."

I guess you chose the wrong city to be in to use the ATT iPhone to make calls!

However, glad your long national nightmare is over!

Or Gruber in Philadelphia...

http://daringfireball.net/2011/02/verizon_iphone_4

Or me in Phoenix...

AT&T sucks in more places than NY and San Fran.
post #29 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by alkrantz View Post

I guess I still don't understand why not being able to use the web while on the phone isn't a deal breaker. I'm the only person who does that apparently.

I've used this feature quite often. One of the best examples of when it was useful for me was when a client called in an order; I was able to run her credit card and email her receipt while I had her on the phone.

Also, I'm in a well-serviced AT&T area (and in the middle of my contract) so I have no plans on jumping ship. By the end of my contract (July, 2012), I'm guessing AT&T's LTE network will have legs and Apple will release their iPhone LTE (iPhone 6?). I'll most likely upgrade at that time. Until then, I expect to remain perfectly happy with my AT&T iPhone 4. I absolutely love this thing! It's the best phone I've ever had!

More on topic: I'm glad the Verizon iPhone 4 performs well. I'm sure Apple will sell a bajillion of them and set new records (again), especially in light of these reviews. I still have my fingers crossed that Verizon's network doesn't melt from all the new iPhone voice and data traffic.

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post #30 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by S8ER01Z View Post

Have AT&T and since having an iPhone I can only think of one time I have done this. Honestly if your not used to it at all you won't miss anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hface119 View Post

Simultaneous voice and data is one of those things that if you've never had it, you can't miss it. I can never imagine myself ever using speakerphone while also doing anything data-related on my phone. Looking up a contact, or a memo that is stored in my phone, sure, but not using an app at the same time. Then again, I have ALWAYS been on Verizon. For the 290 million customers they have, it obviously won't affect them much.

I don't know how true that is - when I worked in a law firm most of the lawyers who chose VZW decided that the call coverage was more important than simultaneous voice/data. But they all complained that they couldn't get emails while on a long conference call with a client...

So it's a trade-off, but I wouldn't consider it a non-factor for VZW customers.
post #31 of 40
So they didn't fix the proximity sensor and add another sensor? Or the antenna deathgrip? Or yellow screens? It has all the same defects?
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post #32 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquatic View Post

So they didn't fix the proximity sensor and add another sensor?

For what?

Quote:
Or the antenna deathgrip?

No, they didn't fix a problem that doesn't exist.

Quote:
Or yellow screens?

A single batch of displays wouldn't still be showing up a half-year later.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #33 of 40
When I said I was using Google maps while talking, I am pretty safe about looking at stop lights/signs, then proceeding with eyes on the road. I definitely can't and don't walk, talk and browse at the same time. Walking and talking is enough for my brain to process.

I remember the very beginnings of cell phones (and the bagged phone I had). It's amazing where we've gotten to in such a short amount of time. Back then, cell service wasn't even handled by the majors, it was generally a specialty business service handled by business communications companies. I remember meeting with Walmart and my associate had his brick phone on the table so that we could call the factory to confirm delivery right then and there with the buyer. It was pretty cool to be able to do that back then - a time when you normally had to go out to use the bank of pay phones to call in to your office, before you could provide an answer.
post #34 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by briavael View Post

I don't know how true that is - when I worked in a law firm most of the lawyers who chose VZW decided that the call coverage was more important than simultaneous voice/data. But they all complained that they couldn't get emails while on a long conference call with a client...

So it's a trade-off, but I wouldn't consider it a non-factor for VZW customers.

Yeah, it's amazing how the newfound ability to do something suddenly opens ones eyes to the DESIRE to do that thing.

I mean, the internet is such a pain, why would I want to use it more? Dial-up is plenty, thanks. All that waiting...

Once you have a phone that can do multiple things at the same time conveniently, you suddenly want to be able to do that. When you're using your crappy blackberry to email and text up a storm, you don't find yourself wonder why you can't browse the web while you talk, why you can't make a movie reservation while you're on the phone with your date, deciding on the movie, or dinner. But once you have an iPhone you do more often.
post #35 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

Yeah, it's amazing how the newfound ability to do something suddenly opens ones eyes to the DESIRE to do that thing.

I mean, the internet is such a pain, why would I want to use it more? Dial-up is plenty, thanks. All that waiting...

Once you have a phone that can do multiple things at the same time conveniently, you suddenly want to be able to do that. When you're using your crappy blackberry to email and text up a storm, you don't find yourself wonder why you can't browse the web while you talk, why you can't make a movie reservation while you're on the phone with your date, deciding on the movie, or dinner. But once you have an iPhone you do more often.

Most people want an iPhone that doesn't drop calls- it is a phone afterall.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/03/te...h/03pogue.html
post #36 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Speed tests performed by reviewers show that AT&T's data services are slightly faster than those of Verizon...

...Scores of speed tests performed by Mossberg in various locations showed that AT&T averaged 46 percent faster download speeds and 24 percent faster upload speeds compared to Verizon. A similar test by Wired found that AT&T download rates in San Francisco are 62 percent faster, while AT&T upload rates are 38 percent faster...

um...WOW...so 46% and 62% qualify as "slightly faster"?
post #37 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post

It's a nice feature, but in practice I've only used it a handful of times. 95% of the time that I'm on a call with my iPhone, I'm either at home/work where I have Wi-Fi or in the car using Bluetooth (so it's not like I'd be using 3G data anyway).

As long as you have a Wi-Fi connection, it doesn't matter anyway.

With the inclusion of my Jawbone Icon, I do it ALL the time. I feel that's what the phone is for, and if I didn't do it, there is no purpose in buying an iPhone, and I could just get a Nokia dumb phone and an iPad.
post #38 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by iLiver View Post

Most people want an iPhone that doesn't drop calls- it is a phone afterall.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/03/te...h/03pogue.html

+1... 5 bars this morning and dumped my streaming audio twice and lost my phone call 1 time..during my normal 1hr commute to work. Go AT&T!

"More bars in more places" must be a cosmetic thing.
post #39 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by hface119 View Post

Then again, holding a call is what a phone is for, anyway. Like one of the reviewers said, he made a 45 minute call and completed it successfully on Verizon, something he was never able to do on his AT&T version. That would drive me INSANE if I had dropped calls like that. I realize it's not everywhere, but for those that do have that issue in their city, I personally wouldn't be able to stand it.

I live in NYC and originally, phone service and 3G data service on AT&T was intolerably bad. There were stretches of midtown Fifth Avenue where nothing on the phone would work and the phone also could not get a reliable signal in my apartment in Queens, whereas my Verizon phone never had a problem. I'd say 90% of calls got dropped.

But since then, I have to admit that things have improved considerably. Some cells were put up on the building across from mine in Queens and I have to believe those are AT&T cells. So my phone now works fine in my apartment (I no longer have to stand by the window) and I haven't had a dropped call in ages. And the phone works far better in midtown. I do sometimes hit spots where the Stock application won't refresh and in spite of a strong signal, the phone still doesn't work very well on the promenade in Battery Park City, but overall it works pretty well almost everywhere and I no longer feel the need to switch.

Even though I don't use generally need to use an app while I'm on a call, I don't want to lose that capability. Since Verizon 3G data speeds have been reported as being lower by the reviewers, I would be very disinclined to switch. I think this has less to do with the phone than with the service, as when I was in London, the phone worked amazingly well - it was like having a new model.

So I'm not switching. I'll look at it again when the iPhone5 is released.
post #40 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadash View Post

Or Gruber in Philadelphia...

http://daringfireball.net/2011/02/verizon_iphone_4

Or me in Phoenix...

AT&T sucks in more places than NY and San Fran.


I have never had an issue with my ATT iPhone in Philadelphia.
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