Verizon Wireless iPhone
As most of you that have been following along with my smart phone saga for the past 3 years know, I’ve not had the best luck.
- Started with the perfectly adequate LG ENV. Great for messaging and calls
- Moved to the absolutely horrible Blackberry Storm (1st gen)
- The day it was released, jumped on the Blackberry Tour
- Tried the Motorola Droid. Hated it
- Went back to the Blackberry Tour
- The day I could, got the Droid Incredible
Of all of these phones, the Blackberry Tour and Droid Incredible have been the best. The Blackberry would have remained my daily driver if it had a real web browser and Wifi. Since it did not have either of those, I’ve been rocking the Android with pretty ok success.
Like the Blackberry, it is great for messaging (email, SMS). Like the Blackberry, it has a great camera (dare I say better). Unlike the Blackberry it provides a great internet experience and gives me WiFi access.
Where it fails, however, is where the iPhone rules. Applications.
Sure the Android Market has something like 200k applications. Sure, the big players are there like Skype, DropBox, Evernote and Foursquare, among others. And these apps mostly worked as expected. But, then again, they don’t.
But where are the small players? Sure I have access to my DropBox, but where are the apps that sync with that reliably? What about Instapaper? What about all of the camera apps? What about in-phone video editing?
Nothing, nip, nada.
Not to mention the host of Podcaster specfic apps. High quality voice recording and editing, for example? There, but on apps that aren’t easy to use, aren’t nice to look at and are less than stable.
Finally, to further beat a dead horse, there is the battery life, or complete lack thereof. Sure I could get a larger battery that would allow for 7-8 hour of continuous use, but should I have to spend an addition $50 for that to happen? I don’t think so. Even the Blackberry would last 1 full work day under heavy to extra heavy use before needing to be recharged.
So, sadly, the day that I am able (read: afford) to, I will be placing my order either with Verizon Wireless directly or from the Apple store for a shiny new iPhone. I look forward to being able to have all the functionality that you have now along with the ability to reliably make phone calls.
A feature that many of you current iPhone users should be looking forward to as well. As soon as all of the AT&T haters jump ship.
I’ll give you that
In our never ending Verizon Wireless vs. AT&T battles, we are forever bickering about price, coverage, call quality and, naturally, coolness of available handsets. Now that VZW has a bevy of what most everyone agrees are cool handsets, and since pricing is almost the same on both when setting up a new account (go ahead, look it up*), what’s left?
No much, really. Just one small thing that I’m going to give you.
For reasons unknown to pretty much anyone, the CDMA carriers in the United States (Verizon Wireless and Sprint) have a penchant for loading their handsets up with junk apps and bloatware. Think back to the days when that new Compaq you picked up for $500 was loaded with so much bloatware that it took your PC 3 days to boot. Or, better still, the “free” PC you got because you signed up for a 2 years MSN account.
With 1 minor difference. You see, on the PC, you could spend a few hours and uninstall all of those apps. It would be terribly time consuming, but you could get it done. Or, you could always format the drive and excluding installing that crap altogether. Not so with a VZW phone.
Not only that, but VZW also like to push apps to it’s subscribers. Bing for search, something for media, NASCAR apps, what have you. Wouldn’t be a terribly huge deal except you are unable to delete or uninstall said pushed apps.
Think if Microsoft or Apple included something in an update or installation (Safari with iTunes on Windows comes to mind) that you didn’t want and then didn’t let you remove it. My god! Mr. and Mrs. PC user would be so bent out of shape it’s not even funny. Mac users would probably be overjoyed with the fact that Steve thought highly enough of this particular app that it must be made of pure awesome, rainbows and unicorn tears.
But I digress.
It’s really not that big of a deal, really. More of an annoyance than anything else. It’s not going to drive me away from Verizon for my phone service or anything like that. I just wish they asked first, or provided an uninstall option for this crap.
Because I don’t want it.
450 voice minutes, unlimited texting and required data plan. AT&T is $84.99 (2GB Data), Verizon Wireless is $89.98 (5GB Data). Pricing based on new accounts, not the account you have now.
This or That?
Spending a fair amount of time out and about lately. Which is to say that I haven’t been anywhere near my Mac or an Internet connection, short of email/Facebook access from the Blackberry. Boy would it be handy if I had Internet access while out in the field. So I’ve been checking prices and I’m not happy with what I have found.
My local Starbucks use AT&T for wifi internet connectivity. I can buy 2 hour blocks for $4 or sign up for an account, locked into a 1 year contract for $20 per month. I could also add tethering to the Blackberry. For the ability to do this, Verizon will gladly charge me an additional $30 per month, again on a 1 year contract. While I’m not terribly keen on either of these, AT&T is appealing because it’s $10 a month cheaper, but I would be stuck getting access at Starbucks. Verizon is as well because I know the service is good and I would have the flexibility to access anywhere as long as I have a USB cable.
There is a new option that I will be researching this weekend as well. As it turns out, since I am a Verizon FiOS customer, they are offering WiFi connectivity free at select locations. From what I understand, I only need install an app on my computer to use for connecting. I think this would be the way to go, mostly because I’m such a big fan of free.
I am curious as to how you connect when mobile via computer (not iPhone).
Blackberry Storm #4
You might have seen this yesterday on the Twitter.
Yes, that is correct, I am now in the possession of my 4th Blackberry Storm. The last one had a wonky screen with bad corners and I was a little tired of it.
But that’s not why I’m writing you today.
I had to go to the Verizon Store because teh lad’s phone gave up the ghost. Phone ordered and papers signed, I mentioned mine and before I even finished the sentance, the girl was already reaching into a cabinet and pulling out a replacement. Without even looking at my phone first.
This tells me that Verizon knows this is a problematic phone. No questions asked on a phone swap? I didn’t have to call 611, didn’t have to wait for someone to look my phone over, wasn’t asked a series of questions, nothing. I said it was bad and it got replaced on the spot, no waiting.
Reason #1 I stick with Verizon by the way. There is no way AT&T or Sprint would provide this level of service. On that same note, it would also appear that AT&T and Sprint know better than to sell a pile-of-crap phone like the Blackberry Storm.
Here’s to hoping the Storm 2 or The Tour are better phones are get released soon. Very soon.
Don’t Roam on AT&T
In case you missed it from Crunch Gear, make sure you don’t do any data roaming internationally on the ATP. Unless, of course, you are made of money.
I’m not a vindictive man. I believe in sweetness and light. But I would encourage anyone with a brain who travels, especially in these trying economic times, to buy an unlocked GSM phone and purchase pay as you go SIM cards or a MaxRoam SIM and a Rebel SIMCard for the iPhone 3G. I also encourage you to use Boingo for Wi-Fi roaming in airports and, increasingly, cities. Why? Because I just paid the equivalent to a flight to Paris and back just because I wanted to use Google Maps on the iPhone 3G to find my way around gay Paree.
Don’t let that happen to you if you travel outside the US.
Personally I can’t wait to find out how much Verizon Wireless will
ream charge me for using a VZ sim outside the US. Scary stuff indeed.
Update If you go over to Maxroam.com and enter ‘donburnside’ in the discount code you will get 10% off!