Hey, Verizon people, Tim thinks you should get the iPhone 4

Tim Borbely of Urbana is a self-proclaimed Apple fanboy, and not-quite "PowerUser" of all types of consumer electronics. He probably can (but really REALLY doesn't wanna) help you fix / hook up your computer / phone / tv / game system / modem / router.

Having had experience with both the DroidX and the iPhone 4, and with local Verizon and AT&T networks, he figures he can help you decide about whether to switch to an iPhone, now that the device is coming to Verizon. His analysis:

 

Network

We averted our gaze from each progressively sexier iPhone release, remaining Verizon-loyal. We were happy with the network…SOLID signal at home, every destination we traveled to, and pretty much everywhere in-between. PLUS, all of our friends and family were VZW subscribers, so we had more “in-network” minutes than we knew what to do with.

Since making the jump to AT&T (a couple of months after the iPhone 4 launch, and after a brief DroidX experiment after which we took full advantage of Verizon’s 30 day exchange policy!) , we have not had ANY of the network problems that others speak of. Perhaps this is a “school cafeteria food” phenomemon… Once everybody (at least most of the cool kids!) start complaining about it, it’s un-cool NOT to… For realz – We have had a couple (literally) of dropped calls, but no more than we had on Verizon. It’s a non-issue. Plenty of bars, and the data speed is zippy. Or zippy enough.

Visual Voicemail

How did we live without this? It totally changes the way we interact with voicemail. It’s super-simple, elegant, and works 100% as-advertised. Perhaps other phones / carriers have this… If they do, it can’t possibly be any cooler than the iPhone / AT&T version. Love it.

Power and Specs vs User Experience

This is the age-old PC vs Mac argument. Droid (PC) users will quote faster processers, more internal memory, etc. It’s probably true. But iPhone (Mac) people won’t care. I don’t. My iPhone works. It works well.

A common “knock” on the iPhone and MacOSX in general is that Apple “over-manages” the user experience, and the that it’s less “hackable.” Perhaps. But they manage it extremely well. So I’m happy to let them. AND, the the iPhone is absolutely hackable… ThatsAllIHaveToSayBoutThat

Apps

The iPhone apps are better.

And there are more of them. Period.

The iPhone apps are better.

Droid fanatics will undoubtedly point to a small number of apps available via the Android Marketplace that aren’t available on the App Store. But there won’t be that many. And each one will have a comparable iPhone app. Or one soon to come…

The iPhone apps are better.

I derive a great deal of pleasure from this. I suffered through MANY years of Mac Fanboy-hood, during which 98% of all of the cool-kid Windows (95 / 98!) programs had no Mac compatibility or alternative. Out of 6 rows of software titles at Best Buy, there was one small corner (not even a full SHELF) of Mac programs. And 3 of them were Microsoft! Apple now has the cool-kid programs. And I LOVE it.

The iPhone apps are better.

I drink the Apple Kool-Aid

Un-apologetically. By the gallon. (Do they sell it in kegs?)

Market to me, Apple. I will give you my money.

I LOVE the vast differences in the DroidX / iPhone4 TV ads, often times on the same network, during the same programming.

The iPhone4 ads show how you can look up sushi prices, listen to your Taylor Swift songs, play Peggle, and see your Grandma’s face when she calls.

The DroidX ads show a guy in a meeting in a dark, Fight-Club-looking conference room. His super-powerful phone turns on, comes to life, and sends his email SUPER FAST with the aid of a scary looking Terminator2 style robot arm thing. “Our phone is so fast and powerful, it will punch you in the face.” No thanks. I’ma call my grandma.

Oh, and one more thing…

I’ve known a handful of people who have returned their Droids. I know even more who are admittedly “suffering through” , riding out their contracts. Every single iPhone user in my entire circle (extended Twittershphere included!) has no idea how they ever lived without theirs.

Not a representative sample. Not a scientific study. But says a LOT nonetheless…

Comments

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Portre wrote on January 14, 2011 at 10:01 am

I'm a droid X user and I love it. However I have no problems with an IPhone. Things to keep in mind when Feb 10th comes and the IPhone is available on Verizon.

1. You are getting a model phone that is 1 year old already

2. Verizon has changed it's upgrade policy so now you are stuck with your phone for two years.

3. That means that by time you are eligible for an upgrade your phone will be three years old.

4. Reports have been made that if you just wait to get the IPhone the next model will be coming out in the summer of 2011. That would be the best time to get an IPhone.

5. It's been said that an IPhone user is a non technical savy person and that the Android users are techy people. I would have to agree with that statement since you can Root the droids and change it to be how you want the phone. Unlike the IPhone what you get is what you are stuck with.

6. As far as the amount of app for IPhone vs. Android. I can't say how many either one has but there are a ton for both and most people can get what they really want from both of them and get them FREE!

Again I'm not bashing or praising either phone just keep some of those thoughts in mind so you don't rush into anything.

DEB wrote on January 14, 2011 at 11:01 am

Maybe I'm the only one, but I hate my I-Phone. Dropped calls galore. But usually I can call them back. More annoying, the phone just freezes. All the apps look like they are working, but they are stuck. Twice a week the phone just shuts off. No reason. Full battery, etc. But just shuts down. Twice in the middle of a call. I was less frustrated with my non-smartphone. I've been thinking of going back since my tablet does everything anyway. I hadn't thought of switching to a droid. I note that the droid plans are a lot cheaper, but I don't know what a droid will do. Perhaps I should check out their store.

Good for those who've had a good i-phone experience. I've always loved my Apple computers, but this is enough to make me think of never buying Apple products of any sort again.

teamsd100 wrote on January 14, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Mike-Looking back over the last several articles in this blog, is Verizon the only Cell Carrier in the World? How much are they paying you to gush all over their products? There are other alternatives out there that have awesome products and services- Why not visit your local Sprint Store, US Cellular Store or T-Mobile store and talk to the sales associates about what they are most proud of. I am sure they would be able to contact someone in their Marketing Dept about loaning a device to you to test for a week. Maybe a Galaxy Tab or New Blackberry Playbook?!!!! My cell carrier of choice gives me more- unlimited data (no Caps like Verizon or ATT), I can call any mobile phone regardless of what network for free and my plan is about $40 less than if I had an iPhone4. And guess what, it works everywhere my Verizon handset used to and in some places it works better. Yeah no doubt the iPhone4 is cool, but c'mon man quit being so biased!

Mike Howie wrote on January 14, 2011 at 3:01 pm
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Thanks for the comment.

You raise a good point about different carriers. (And let me say, Verizon isn't paying me anything.)

I actually never intended for this to become a blog about cell phones. I still don't. Although it sure seems to be an area where everyone has an opinion.

What happened is I started writing about gadgets; someone representing Verizon saw the blog and asked if I'd be interested in testing a Droid X. It was brand new, I'm a gadget guy, I was curious, so I said sure. I've written about one other phone - and I really intended one entry to be more about those horror-story hotel experiences that many of us have. Looks like I missed the mark on that one, at least with you.

Guests have written about phones or the 4G modem, and it happens those have involved Verizon. I like to have different voices here when that's possible, but I have no particular interest in one carrier over another.

That said, Tim's entry here represents not so much Verizon as the choice between an iPhone and an Android-based phone, now that that's possible. His focus is on the device, not the carrier.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by. And other stuff is coming, entirely unrelated to phones. You may have missed the entry from earlier this week about bad songs; I have a follow-up to that coming soon. And I'm working on entries about a compact camera, a multimedia device and a printer.

Cheers,
Mike

dw wrote on January 29, 2011 at 5:01 pm

For perspective, the only PC's in my house are those that my wife "had to have" for her job (yet when I come home, I find she's working on my MacBook Pro!) We own a first gen iPod touch yet Pandora radio on a Blackberry kicks it butt for daily use (trip use nothing beats a good audio book on any device). An iPad just made it's entrance into our household (not purchased by me). My living is IT -- supporting tech so I'm equally competent on PC/Mac/Linux. It's gotta be REALLY good to get me to shell out my own $$$ for it. I've jailbroken iPhones and rooted 'droids.

I own stock in Apple. So as far as "fandom" cred goes, I put my $$$ where my macMouth is years ago. My biggest regret? Not continuing to buy more!

So I'm not an Apple hater, but that being said Android is eventually going to clean the iOS clock. While it is true that there are more apps now for iPhone, it costs $99 to be able to develop your own app just to test out your ideas on your own phone.

On the other hand, Android development tools are not only free, but App Inventor for Android makes it easy for non-programmers -- http://appinventor.googlelabs.com/about/ It can get you up and rolling as a beginner programmer (as well as tutorials!). Hardware that runs Android is cheaper and more easily available so I could see it easily as an intro-to-programming class in Jr High/high school, where you not only learn to program but you can carry around the app YOU made on YOUR phone/device that you can carry around in your pocket and show people instead of some silly "hello world" application or webpage -- at no cost. As a developer you can test out an idea for no cost besides your time (if you already have an Android-based device). And because the hardware is cheap & easily available (not just iTouch/iPhone/iPad) you can potentially integrate your App into something bigger than just a phone or tablet.

So in all likelihood NEW developers are going to start 'trying out' their app on Android where it's free, and then IF it succeeds, consider porting it over to iOS.