Confirming what everyone suspected: Yes, the Verizon iPhone gets better coverage than its AT&T counterpart. Reviews of the new smartphone (available on February 10), are streaming in from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Wired and elsewhere. While everyone agrees that Verizon gives iPhone users less dropped calls, each reviewer noted a few caveats to the Verizon iPhone's otherwise sparkling review:
- Verizon's Policies Suck, notes David Pogue at The New York Times: "Even if Verizon's network is the best in America, its policies and prices are still among the worst. This is the company, after all, that admitted to billing $2 every time you accidentally hit the up-arrow button," although that was later undone. "This is the company that just eliminated its 'new phone every two years' discount policy, that just cut its new-phone return policy to 14 days from 30, that doubled its early-termination fee (to $350 if you cancel your two-year contract before it’s up)."
- Verizon Has Slower Data Speeds, writes Walter Mossberg at The Wall Street Journal, testing them himself. "Despite a few Verizon victories here and there, AT&T’s network averaged 46% faster at download speeds and 24% faster at upload speeds. This speed difference was noticeable while doing tasks like downloading large numbers of emails, or waiting for complicated Web pages to load. AT&T’s speeds varied more while Verizon’s were more consistent, but overall, AT&T was more satisfying at cellular data."
- There's One Big Downside to a CDMA Network, writes Jason Snell at Macworld: "Unlike AT&T's 3G network, which can transmit data and voice simultaneously, the Verizon 3G network can only do one or the other."
- It's Basically the Same Phone, writes John Gruber at Daring Fireball: "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... A lot of people have been waiting for four years for this phone. The funny thing is, by next month, the Verizon iPhone is going to seem like the most normal thing in the world."
- I Disagree, counters Brian Chen at Wired: "[It's] a better phone, period. More likely to pull a signal, even indoors - this could change the way we converse at bars. Hot-spotting is well-integrated and very easy to use. Has a whiter, slightly better-looking display."