Verizon iPhone early review roundup

Verizon iPhone early review roundup

Early reviews of the Verizon iPhone 4 have hit the web and the short answer is pretty much what we all expected -- AT&T can be faster for data and handles simultaneous voice and data, but Verizon sounds better and has more reception in more places. For the long answers, see the following link:

  • BusinessWeek: My early conclusion is, [the Verizon iPhone provides a better experience than the version that runs on AT&T]. I’ve been using the Verizon iPhone, available today for pre-order and in stores on Feb. 10, for about a week in various locales in Northern California, and it has yet to drop or fail to connect a call. That’s a sharp contrast with my AT&T iPhone, which continues to lose calls regularly.
  • Daring Fireball: It’s the same phone. The only differences are (a) a brief period of Verizon exclusivity for the Wi-Fi hotspot feature, and (b) the network. And Verizon’s network is better.
  • Engadget: While it isn't all rainbows and flowers (the data speed issues or the voice / data considerations could be a dealbreaker for some), it does kind of feel like Apple and Verizon did the impossible: they made the best smartphone in America just a little bit better.
  • Laptop Mag: It was worth the wait. The iPhone 4 on Verizon Wireless delivers the reliable data and voice coverage AT&T has failed to provide, making this device a dependable partner for work and play.
  • Macworld: For all but the most discriminating user, the new Verizon version of the iPhone 4 is the same iPhone 4 we’ve known for the past seven months. If you’re thinking of buying an iPhone and are unsure about which carrier to choose, you’d be well advised to talk to friends about coverage and dead spots near you, and to compare rate plans. If Verizon’s network serves you better than AT&T’s, you can finally make the move (though you may have to pay a fee to get out of your contract—that’s something would-be AT&T switchers should check before committing to Verizon).
  • New York Times: 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.
  • PCMag: Overall, I liked the iPhone with AT&T, and I like it even more with Verizon. I expect many other consumers will feel the same. Sorry, AT&T.
  • Slashgear: Whether that’s future-proof enough will depend on individual subscribers, but it’s clear that the CDMA iPhone addresses an issue very much of the present. Out in the real world, away from the rumors and speculation, the Verizon iPhone 4 performed as you’d want it to: consistent network service to match the consistent software experience.
  • TechCrunch: For me, as someone who has spent three and a half years fed up with AT&T, the Verizon iPhone is absolutely, 100 percent worth it. I’ve already cancelled my AT&T contract (by way of Google Voice, actually) and I cannot forsee a future where I ever go back. There’s long been a slogan that goes along with many Apple products — “it just works”. It’s also the best way to sum up this review. The iPhone 4 on Verizon: it just works.
  • USA Today: The iPhone 4 is arguably the smartest smartphone. Verizon Wireless is arguably the most solid network in lots of places. Bringing the two together forms a wireless Dream Team that should more than thrill fans of both companies.
  • Wall Street Journal: In my tests, the new Verizon version of the iPhone did much better at voice calling than the AT&T version, and offers some attractive benefits, like unlimited data and a wireless hot-spot capability. But if you really care about data speed, or travel overseas, and AT&T service is tolerable in your area, you may want to stick with AT&T.
  • Wired: If you have the liberty to choose between AT&T and Verizon to buy an iPhone, your best choice depends on what you value. If you enjoy making phone calls, the Verizon iPhone is the obvious winner. Or if you’re an AT&T iPhone customer and your reception is just pathetic wherever you live, then by all means, pay the price and jump ship to Verizon. With all that said, if you use your iPhone more often as a general computing device rather than a phone, then the AT&T iPhone’s faster transfer rates should serve your needs.

Pre-ordering starts at 3am EST.

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Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Verizon iPhone early review roundup

16 Comments

Great reviews and a good way to kill the last few minutes before it's time to pre-order. Oops, got to run, IT'S. TIME....

What i find is funny is the fact that these people are saying that the iphone works on verizon a lot better then on ATT when theres what maybe only 1000 of them on the network at this time

of phones on the network don't affect dropping calls. Could affect data speeds and the like, but Verizon already has a ton of Android phones (it's not like the i4's their first smartphone).

Mine is ordered. Did anyone else notice that you where able to order at about 2:45am? Now only if I could get on to the boards here.

Hope all this AT&T bashing, and better yet a ton of customers jumping ship to Verizon, spurs AT&T to finally, finally work on improving their network (for voice calls at least, I'm pretty happy with data coverage). Competition is good for the consumer.

I have been using my iphone 3g since Dec 2008 in the Cleveland area. Then I upgraded to the iphone 4 in June 2010. ATT service is really good in my area. I don't plan on switching. I have friends in larger metropolitan areas with horrible ATT service with their iphone 3g/3gs/4.
It's great that the pre-reviews of the iphone 4 VZW is positive.
I will remind everyone that the TRUE review of how Verizon's network will be with the iphone 4 is after Feb 10, when more than just the reviewers will have a chance to use their iphone 4 on verizon's network.

Data speed is the huge difference. One that will be even greater after HSPA+ iphone 5. Add that to V's no data or voice at same time. Limited 3way calling. Hardly any international roaming.
AT&T easily wins here for me.

All I have to say is competition is good for us as customers. This is a iphone blog not an att vs verizon blog and i love how you guys stand up for your providers (who care nothing about you at all but its good you care about them great marketing.) I have att and i am in nyc and the voice service is bad but att has given me credit after credit and now a free microcell which i asked for months ago but now that verizon has the iphone i got it for free. Try to get something from verizon when your in a contract you will get nothing. Bottom line great phone both providers suck.

I just want to give the information that AT&T is strong in southeast Texas. I enjoy being able to use safari with 3G speed all day long and take a call. No complaints here. I'm glad verizon got the iPhone. Its a great phone. It will create tension between carriers and hopefully bring us better rates.

So wait, these reviewers have already jumped to the conclusion that the iPhone on Verizon won't drop calls based on what exactly? I don't care which way people go, but that's a little disingenuous considering there are only a few in the wild, no? How about doing a review once the masses make the switch and put the network to the test.
Once again, the race to be FIRST trumps the race to be accurate and comprehensive.

And when I had Verizon (for six years), I would lose calls with other phones - a bit more than I do with AT&T. This notion that the V network is infallible puzzles me.

Whether AT&T or Verizon drops more calls is going to be geography based. I'm guessing that most of these reviewers are probably in NYC, Chicago, or San Francisco. AT&T has always had trouble in those areas. Down here in Memphis, I have had much better voice and data service with AT&T than I ever did with Verizon. Once the masses have their hands on Verizon iPhones, we will probably start to see more complaints about dropped calls on Verizon. It's inevitable.

I guess I'm in the minority, but I've found AT&T to be reliable and to (despite Consumer Reports) have very good customer service. Their store in my small city has a great staff. I even became a U-verse customer when the offered some great deals to counteract the city's installation of fiberoptics (which I could not have gotten, living outside the city limits). I had switched years ago to Cingular from Verizon and Alltel and plan to stay with them as long as I continue to experience good customer service.

Reviews have commented that the Verizon iPhone won't do voice and data at the same time. They have also commented that the Verizon iPhone drops fewer calls. I wonder why no one has connected the two. Doing voice and data at once is much more complicated than voice alone. Complicated things tend to break more. (The technical UMTS explanation of this is "multi-RAB drops far more than single-RAB".)

Everyone needs to chill on the "AT&T works great for me in my area". That's why the reviewers all said to talk to friends and family who have their perspective carrier to better understand the coverage. We all get that there are lapses in coverage around the nation. Also, it's the way the radio system works, not the actual radio or antenna or number of iPhones that is the driving factor in dropped calls. Take it from a radio engineer.