All the other reviews you’ve seen are from journalists who received Verizon iPhones from either Verizon or Apple and didn’t have to pay for them. I had no such loaner, so had to do the honorable thing: I bought one and used it for a week now. It cost me about $250 because I already had a Verizon account. Here’s my report.
PROS FOR VERIZON
1. No dropped calls. My AT&T phone had six drops in same time, at same places I’ve used the Verizon at.
2. A wider coverage area in SF area. I’ve been several places where AT&T just refuses to work, like on Devil’s Slide, or in some places in downtown San Francisco (on second street, for instance) but Verizon hasn’t failed yet.
3. Demonstratably clearer voice quality, even when an AT&T phone is used on other side. This is amazing, too. The voice quality is just much better with EVERY call. Not a single call has sounded worse (I asked lots of my friends to call back on my Verizon number). This is so drastic a difference that I’ve now switched my voice to Verizon permanently.
4. Data worked more places. It was interesting, but lots of places in SF I can’t use data. I don’t know if it’s an overload problem, or a signal problem, or what not. But when I hit one of those spots, like near second street and mission, I pulled out my Verizon phone and it had a great data signal and worked fine.
5. Wifi hotspot out of the box. This rocks, because now my kids can use the iPads in the back seat of the car. Yeah, I know, all you Android users and Palm users have had that for months, if not years, but glad to see iPhone users are finally getting that capability. That said, Verizon is charging something like $40 a month more for that. Yikes.
1. You can use Voice and Data at same time on AT&T. This is definitely something that bugs me, but it hasn’t bugged me as much as I expected. For one, most of the time when I use voice I’m at home and have access to wifi, so this problem doesn’t happen there (when I’m driving I rarely use voice and data together, which is most of the time when I use voice). But it is a problem and you’ll have to decide for yourself which is more important, great voice quality and no dropped calls or the ability to use voice and data together.
2. International usage. I’ll be in Amsterdam in six weeks, and AT&T works there, but I don’t think the Verizon phone will.
3. Data speed. Yes, overall, AT&T is faster, but usually that doesn’t matter for me. Why? I could only tell in some spots when I had strong AT&T signals.
So, which one wins?
Well, for me, Verizon does. Why? Because it more consistently worked with both data and voice. But with the caveat that you stay in the US and that you don’t care about using voice and data at the same time.
Luckily, I have both an AT&T and a Verizon phone, so I have the best of both worlds, but that’s a luxury very few of you can afford. Personally I hate AT&T and how they have treated most of us iPhone users the past three years. The quality of service just hasn’t been close to what it needs to be for the charges they are getting.