By Rob Beschizza at 8:02 am Thu, Sep 17, 2009
So, why doesn't Verizon offer nice phones? [Wired]
They can tout their network all they want, I live directly downtown in Denver and their coverage is pretty poor. For the four blocks around my apartment I get one bar, and there’s a stretch of 12-16 blocks down east Colfax that their coverage is weak as well. This isn’t just on one phone mind you it’s on the all four phones I’ve owned while under contract.
I continue to stick with them because I get a huge discount from a job I used to hold, but by the end of my contract they can kiss me goodbye. The second tier phones and my personal issues with coverage might be bearable if Verizon wasn’t so draconian about their phones being locked down. Go in to a Verizon store and ask the worker how to make an mp3 your ring tone on one of their LG models. It’s fun to watch them stammer.
Even if their service isn’t as strong as they tout it, it’s still stronger that the others. Here in DC, it’s the best network when you’re down in the Metro (DC’s subway). For people like me who prefer performance over design, their phones are great. I’d much prefer a phone company that concentrates on making a better network, so y’know, a phone will work much better as a phone, than getting flashy phones that do stuff I already have other gadgets for.
I’ve had my Blackberry Storm on VZW for almost a year. Although I dislike some of VZW’s corporate policies — e.g., regarding the disabling of features so as to relentlessly pimp VZW’s own offerings — I have no complaints regarding their coverage, and I’m very well satisfied with my Storm. The linked article in Wired demonstrates a striking obliviousness to irony — “Despite tepid reviews of the Storm, Verizon sold more than a million phones within weeks of its launch” — thus turning this article into yet another example of the elite (and elitist, typically pro-Apple) e-media failing to recognize how out of touch it is with the real world.
A lawyer colleague of mine has an iPhone, and we regularly compare what we’re doing with our respective phones and how satisfied we are. We both have a sizable collection of mostly- or always-unused apps, but his collection is much larger and goofier. As far as actual utility — for work or pleasure — there’s not a whisker’s difference. I slightly prefer the tactile feedback of the Storm’s touchscreen, but I could get used to the iPhone screen pretty quickly I suppose.
I’m no fan of AT&T’s corporate policies and customer service either — to the point that I actually sued them, and won, in a dispute over a defective Nokia product they wouldn’t replace. And Apple is a hegomonistic would-be monopolist; it irks the hell out of me to give them a dime, knowing that dime may be used to develop ever more pernicious DRM schemes or pay ridiculously officious IP lawyers to harass would-be competitors. Since my ex-wife and four kids are all on Verizon, though, the choice for me — economic, coverage, and hardware-wise — is very simple. I’ll be sticking with my Storm, although I’ll be on the lookout for the Storm 2 or its successor in due course.
I am still with verizon because of my impression that other carriers are almost certainly worse, but I am dying for an android phone here. The Motorola’s Sholes is supposed to be coming, but it hasn’t even been officially announced yet.
There is actually a trick for putting an MP3 onto your LG phone, but it’s a royal pain in the ass. I did this for my LG8550 – it involves putting the audio onto a MicroSD card. From there, you can’t make it a ringtone directly, but you can send it to yourself in a text message, and then when you receive the message, you can make the received sound into a ring tone.
It’s not impossible, but it is preposterously circuitous for something that should be simple.
#4: Yeah, there’s no way easy, that your average consumer would immediately figure out. I didn’t know about the card trick though, that’s actually a more road-friendly way of doing it. Personally I use [url=”http://www.bitpim.org/”]Bitpim[/url] to manipulate data on my on my phone, but it’s not for the faint of heart.
If Verizon gets an android phone or a new Palm device in their lineup when my contract expires in May I’ll deal with them for another two years. If not, I’ll be switching carriers.
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