A Few Days with the Verizon iPhone

This isn’t going to be a review of the iPhone, that’s because it has been around for 8 months now. There are reviews everywhere. I just wanted to share some initial thoughts on the phone, especially since I have been a happy Droid user for awhile now. The reason for switching to the Verizon iPhone wasn’t because I didn’t like the Droid but because I always like to try out new phone OS software. It helps me provide better support for my job as the smartphone industry grows rapidly.

The hardware almost looks identical to the AT&T version. There are a few changes inside and minor changes outside. Nothing that a normal user would notice, or care about. The one issue I have is the antenna is weaker than my Droid. It is considerable weaker than the Droid X that my wife uses. This isn’t the death grip issue that popped up with the AT&T iPhone. I’m just saying that the iPhone doesn’t get as good as a signal as my Droid. For example, my house doesn’t get the greatest coverage. There are a number of, outside my control, factors that lead to this like a big metal building between my house and the cell tower. My Droid however was still able to pick up data a majority of the time. The iPhone took 45 minutes just to activate. And that was after I found a good location and held the phone up in the air. If it wouldn’t have been -10 outside I would have just went outside to activate it. The iPhone is also giving errors about not being able to connect to the server for mail as I’m hanging out at home. The Droid X antenna is so good that my wife can pull data from the basement. The Verizon iPhone in the basement switches to no service. There is also some noticeable decline in signal at my office which is in a basement with no windows. I’m not saying the Verizon iPhone is bad but in weaker coverage areas the Droid outperforms the iPhone.

There are a few things that I didn’t realize I would miss in the software. No outside status indicator. After a few days I kinda miss the blinking light that tells me what kind of message I have. With the Verizon iPhone I have no idea if I have any messages without turning it on. Even after turning it on you have to unlock it and browse through the apps to see which one got a new message. I’m sure as I use the phone more and get things organized by use this won’t become such a issue.

Overall the iPhone is a solid phone. Being a primary Mac users it’s nice to have the tie in with all my Mac products. The software issues will become less relavent the more I use the phone. The hardware issue is I’m in a weaker coverage zone. So you might want to be aware of that if you plan on buying. Verizon does offer a network extender but it’s $250. And after talking to them yesterday about coverage and the iPhone, they have no plans on cutting you any kind of deal if you’re in a weak area. Not even my business discount applies for it. You can still use wifi on the device at home though to solve the data issue.

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