Is Verizon better/cheaper than AT&T??

Discussion in 'Verizon' started by w1sc0, Nov 26, 2008.

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  1. w1sc0

    w1sc0 Mobile Enthusiast

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    I have been an AT&T user for years, but am considering Verizon as I hear that their quality is superior in NYC and I'm considering an Omnia. I always thought that Verizon was more $$$ but they seem to be similar. Can anyone support/refute this? Additionally, do they unlock their phones upon request and does the Omnia accept a SIM? Thank you for any help!
     
  2. r0k

    r0k Dazed

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    Verizon is considered to be the most expensive company. There are some discount programs available depending on your employer that can get you a percentage off. There is no such thing as a SIM card for a Verizon phone, unless it is designed to be a "world phone" and then the SIM card would not work in North America but only "over there".

    I have been with Verizon for years. I was with Att back before they were GSM and the service was awful. At the time, Verizon was much better. In some areas I hear that is still the case. There are times I find my signal is very weak but my friends with an Att phone have a good signal. But those times are rare compared to the times I have a good signal and my friends with Att have no signal.

    Verizon offers a "worry free" guarantee and you can get out in 30 days if you are not happy. They also do NOT renew your contract every time you call customer service to change your rate plan. Verizon is known for "crippling" certain features on phones that other carriers would not touch. GPS is an example of this kind of crippled feature. All Verizon Blackberries but the Storm have their GPS locked to force you to subscribe to a $10 a month VZNavigator plan. The up side is you can call and turn it on for $3 a day for only one day at a time. Theoretically you could use it like "pay per view" and only spend $3 on days you really plan to use it. I have not tried this but I have heard it can be done because of Verizon's worry free policy that allows you to switch plans daily if you want to. It is clunky because it can lead to hard to read bills whenever you switch plans.

    If price is of central importance, you might want to stick with Att. If the best possible call quality in a wide variety of conditions is important, then by all means move over to Verizon.

    There are people who will tell you Verizon is evil, they hate them, etc, etc. I do not like them but they aren't that bad. One thing I like is that they made the process of swapping phones relatively painless.
     
  3. Adama D. Brown

    Adama D. Brown Brighthand Reviewer

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    Personally, I would not recommend Verizon over AT&T if coverage isn't an issue. Verizon tends to be more expensive, and has fewer options for phones, including not being able to buy unlocked phones.

    I haven't tried out the various networks in NYC, but I have a hard time believing that AT&T wouldn't make sure its network can be used from as many places as possible in such a major city.

    Verizon does not unlock phones on request, and their version of the Omnia will not accept a SIM card. Their service is CDMA, and thus incompatible with SIM-based GSM networks.

    This is now the case with their Windows Mobile devices as well, though these will probably all be hacked to enable GPS without the fee.
     
  4. Varjak

    Varjak Mobile Deity

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    As a long-time Verizon user (when it was Bell Atlantic and Nynex), I can say that it is a question of pros and cons. The network is the best almost throughout the country. Check Consumer Reports or JD Power or a variety of other on-line sources. Verizon is number 1 in almost every area, and in the one or two it isn't, T-Mobile usually is (or Alltel, which Verizon just bought). ATT is usually the worst.

    Verizon, until very recently had atrocious phone choices. They were VERY slow to get CDMA models of decent phones if they got those phones at all. For obvious reasons, few manufacturers were willing to commit to making CDMA versions of GSM phones they can sell around the world (Nokia, Apple, BlackBerry until recently, etc.). Basically all they had were Motorola, Samsung and LG. The phones are typically more expensive (as are the plans); but at least the 3G service is much more available, so if you are paying for it you can actually use it. However, as mentioned, the phones are often terribly hobbled, which has become an increasing concern as they can do more and more. Before, it was basically the Bluetooth was prevented from being a connector except for headsets. I've actually found the customer service to be decent, within the bounds of what they can do for you.

    You may want to stick with what you have until Verizon makes the rumored switch to LTE, which is the 4G 'convergence' standard that seems to be the coming thing. At that point, you'll probably have a larger choice of phones, a great network, AND the successor to GSM with SIM cards, etc.
     
  5. w1sc0

    w1sc0 Mobile Enthusiast

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    Thanks to the both of you. Omnia looked cool, so I decided to visit the Verizon site. I do travel a bit, though, and I like having the flexibility of GSM/SIM.
     
  6. Varjak

    Varjak Mobile Deity

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    I should add I'm in the same boat as you are. I've been waffling for a year or so. I fully intended to buy an iPhone, but was really ticked off by some of Apple's decisions. Then I focussed on the Storm, but with the review posted here by someone, that looks discouraging as well. I'm pretty much at a loss. I probably will struggle along with my basic phone and plan.
     
  7. Varjak

    Varjak Mobile Deity

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  8. palmgeek5394

    palmgeek5394 Nokia N800 + HTC Wizard

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    It depends entirely on your coverage. My area is exactly the opposite as r0k's. AT&T almost always has really good signal, Alltel is okay, and VZW just plain stinks where I live. I like buying unlocked GSM phones and getting a free phone with a plan and swapping the SIM. You can't do that with VZW, Alltel, or Sprint, but you can do it with AT&T, Tmo, and other GSM carriers.

    @ Varjak: OUCH! They killed the Storm! I see why it can get annoying, but that was a bit harsh.
     
  9. zap2

    zap2 Apple User

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    I moved from Verizon to AT&T (to get the iPhone)

    Over all I'm liking AT&T much more, they have better service in my area(of course that could be different for you)

    Also the ability to buy an unlocked phone, pop in my SIM card and go, is lovely.
     
  10. yankeejeep

    yankeejeep Mobile Evangelist

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    Sorry, varjak, but the review from the NYT mainly strikes me as an e-tantrum. 'Wah-wah-wah. They dared to make a design change. Wah-wah-wah' BB shows commitment to their traditional design by releasing the Bold at the same time, so try to recognize the Storm as what it is - the initial foray into an additional form factor that is far stronger in the consumer segment, which BB has yet to penetrate to any significant degree.

    Now, back on topic. I switched to VZW several years ago due to coverage limitations with both Sprint and AT&T. I have found their customer service to actually be a service (i.e. helpful and responsive as opposed to the hopelessly Byzantine processes I experienced with Sprint). I have also found their tech support to be quite capable (including being walked through undocumented procedures that solved BT tethering issues with a Motorola handset).

    CDMA would be an issue for me if I did much international travel, but I don't so it isn't. Good US network access is my primary concern and VZW still has the widest reliable coverage, especially important if you require reliable connections outside urban areas. Pricing plans for all carriers change frequently, but in the long run they tend to be fairly comparable and rather than lose a subscriber, they usually allow you to change to a more attractive plan if one becomes available. I have done so with VZW several times.
     
  11. brickman65

    brickman65 It's a state of mind..

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    Varjak, As someone who averages over 4,000 mins. per month on their cell phone, I tend to to look at all carriers constantly for the best deals. In short, Sprint has the cheapest rates for everything, but their coverage is not nearly as good as AT&T or VZ. VZ has the best overall coverage for both voice and EvDo data. AT&T is a relatively close second. IMO, AT&T and VZ plans are almost identical in price and features. It really comes down to coverage in your area. I would just suggested really looking at where you live, work, and are most likely to travel to on a regular basis and make your decision from their. I would also talk to friends that have both AT&T and VZ and see what they say.

    FWIW, I have been told by several people that AT&T's 3G network greatly improves their overall phone coverage reliability.
     
  12. Adama D. Brown

    Adama D. Brown Brighthand Reviewer

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    I don't usually read Consumer Reports, but if they're flagging T-Mobile as the second best network, then their rankings are either completely irrational, or they're based on something other than overall network service. T-Mobile has the weakest coverage of any of the four national carriers, less 3G than anybody, and no 850 MHz band for better in-building performance.

    As a rule of thumb, AT&T and Verizon have the best networks, with Verizon having larger high-speed coverage; Sprint trails them at decent remove, and T-Mobile brings up the rear.

    Thing is though, that's not likely to even start until 2012 or so.
     
  13. Varjak

    Varjak Mobile Deity

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    Brick, I agree with you for the most, and don't think I wrote anything else. As to 3G, I haven't heard that (about improving coverage). Either you have it or not. My parents have a 3G family plan and as I posted before, are not thrilled with the coverage but are willing to put up with it for a variety of reasons. (They switched from Verizon) In the end, both ATT and Verizon require trade-offs. Most reviews consistently cite how Verizon's Ev-Do is a tad better, with more coverage. Also, just as a point of interest, my mother's Samsung 3G phone seems to connect to 3G more readily than my father's different phone, in the same area.

    Adama, the point of my citing of Consumer Reports (and I share your doubts about how they review certain things), is that they do it by REGIONS. In some regions (primarily the West Coast if I remember correctly), T-Mobile edges out the others (Verizon is usually second, just behind). You and I live on the East Coast and I don't think there are any areas in the Eastern half of the country where T-Mobile was best. If you live in and around Seattle (just as an example, that may not be one of the areas) and don't travel much, T-Mobile may indeed be best. There 'Hotspot' program was pretty awesome and it's been upgraded. Plus they used to have some of the best phone choices (not really the case today).
     
  14. The Turtle

    The Turtle Slow, not stupid

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    Verizon is more expensive than others, but you pay for that quality of the network they provide. Seriously, I get reception *everywhere*, even somehow in the middle of a cinder-block enclosed theatre.

    Only thing bad about them is that they *really* scale-down the phones. The UI is terrible, functionality is limited, everything is locked down (that means the only outlet for applications is Get it Now), and all the phones operate like the cheapest model. The env2, for example, is a great piece of hardware but Verizon really took it upon themselves to limit its potential.
     
  15. Varjak

    Varjak Mobile Deity

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    Couldn't agree more Turtle. It's still #1 with me. I went flyfishing once in Upstate NY, and at the time, I had the only cell signal of anyone. But it does require compromises.
     

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