Here's What Tech Critics Think of the Verizon iPhone 4

Here's What Tech Critics Think of the Verizon iPhone 4
It's finally here. As Verizon begins taking pre-orders for its iPhone 4, tech critics around the world have begun publishing their thoughts and feelings on the first iPhone not tethered to the AT&T network. So, what's the overall verdict? It's good. Everyone seems to like the Verizon iPhone 4 because, well, it's, for all intents and purposes, the same exact phone as its AT&T brethren except it runs on a CDMA network as opposed to a GSM, and the antenna is in a slightly different place. That said, some reviewers did have a few gripes with the phone, like the inability to surf the web and talk on the phone. If you're wondering if you should cop the Verizon iPhone or not, take a look at what some of the most trusted names in the biz have to say...

David Pogue, NY Times

DOPE: "And to answer everyone’s question, the Verizon iPhone is nearly the same as AT&T’s iPhone 4 — but it doesn’t drop calls. For several million Americans, that makes it the holy grail."

NOT SO DOPE: "You can’t talk on an CDMA phone while you’re online. That is, if you’re on a call, you can’t simultaneously check a Web site or send e-mail over the cellular network — and, annoyingly, the Personal Hotspot feature cuts off. (It reconnects when you hang up.)"

Walt Mossberg, All Things D 

DOPE: "On the big question, I can say that, at least in the areas where I was using it, the Verizon model did much, much better with voice calls. In numerous tries over nine days, I had only three dropped calls on the Verizon unit, and those were all to one person who was using an AT&T iPhone in an especially bad area for AT&T: San Francisco. With the nearly identical AT&T model, I often get that many dropped calls in one day… Calls on the Verizon unit were mostly crisp and clear, including speakerphone calls and those made over my car’s Bluetooth connection."

NOT SO DOPE: "What about the trade-offs? Chief among them is data speed. I performed scores of speed tests on the two phones, which I used primarily in Washington, and its Maryland and Virginia suburbs, and for part of one day at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. In these many tests, despite a few Verizon victories here and there, AT&T’s network averaged 46% faster at download speeds and 24% faster at upload speeds. This speed difference was noticeable while doing tasks like downloading large numbers of emails, or waiting for complicated Web pages to load. AT&T’s speeds varied more while Verizon’s were more consistent, but overall, AT&T was more satisfying at cellular data."

Jason Snell, MacWorld

DOPE: "I found that Verizon’s coverage was more reliable than AT&T’s. My daily commute includes a bus ride through the heart of San Francisco’s Financial District, and I’ve always been frustrated by the poor AT&T data coverage there. The Verizon iPhone was much more robust, allowing me to check Twitter, e-mail, and the Web without frustrating dead zones."

NOT SO DOPE:  "Adopting the CDMA cellular standard does force this iPhone 4 to take one step back—back to the days of the original iPhone, in fact. Unlike AT&T’s 3G network, which can transmit data and voice simultaneously, the Verizon 3G network can only do one or the other. That has a pretty serious side-effect: if you’re using the Internet and your phone rings, your Internet connection immediately drops."

Joshua Topolsky, Engadget

DOPE: "Calls were consistently connected and uninterrupted, far more often than our AT&T calls in the same time period in similar locations. There were sound quality issues (it seemed to be happening more on our outgoing audio than incoming), but they were few and far between according to our friends and family. Overall, our level of confidence in the phone's ability to handle one of its main tasks went way, way up during our testing. If you've been looking for relief from your woes of dropped or failed calls -- right now the Verizon iPhone is making a very serious case for itself. Keep in mind, however, that this network has yet to be hit with the traffic of millions of new iPhones, but given that Verizon is already pushing tons of Android devices into the market, we're not so sure that it's going to be the kind of mess it's been for AT&T."

NOT SO DOPE: "A bigger issue may be that while using the Personal Hotspot feature (more on this in a minute), your calls will kill your connection. That means that if you're loading a page on your computer tethered to your phone and you get a call, the page stops loading and doesn't resume until the call stops ringing, or you hang up. It's a seamless transition, but still a bit jarring. If you're a busy person who is going to rely on this feature for connectivity and rely on the iPhone for important calls, this could be a serious issue."

MG Siegler, Tech Crunch 

DOPE: "The best part of the Verizon iPhone is that no, Apple did not have to make any concessions. The Verizon iPhone is not a “Verizon iPhone” — it’s an “iPhone on Verizon’s network”. There’s no Verizon branding anywhere on the device aside from the upper left of the screen which shows you the carrier next to the signal strength. There are no pre-loaded Verizon apps. There are no apps that work on the AT&T iPhones that won’t work on this model. Every app you’ve bought in the App Store will install and work on this Verizon version of the device. FaceTime is interoperable over the two devices. So is Game Center."

NOT SO DOPE: "The caveat to all of this is that it’s well known that Apple releases a new version of the iPhone every summer. Expect this summer to be no different. So if you buy this iPhone 4 on Verizon right now, know that there’s a good chance that an iPhone 5 will be out in six months or less. One can only hope that Apple and Verizon would do the right thing and allow the early Verizon iPhone adopters to upgrade to the iPhone 5 for a heavily discounted (if not fully subsidized price). But it’s still very much up in the air."

Edward C. Baig, USA Today

DOPE: "Though not every call was crystal clear — this is a cellphone, after all — I haven't experienced any of the dropped calls, so far anyway, or other frustrating hiccups during my tests that have been driving some owners of the AT&T iPhone bonkers during the 3½ years that the carrier has had iPhone exclusivity in the U.S."

NOT SO DOPE: "For business travelers, it's also worth noting that the GSM wireless standard is more broadly accepted abroad through roaming agreements. AT&T service is available in more than 220 countries around the world. Verizon's CDMA roaming service is available in about 40 countries, with most of Europe off-limits to the Verizon iPhone."

 

 


Tags: verizon, iphone-4, apple
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