Coverage: Call Quality and 3G Speed
If we step away for a moment from all the bells and whistles (or in this case itunes and app stores) of the Apple iPhone 3Gs and the Motorola Droid, we can take a closer look at some of the more overlooked features of these phones, not seen by the naked “i”. But enough with the iPuns, let’s get down to discussing how AT&T supports the iPhone compared to Verizon Wireless and the Droid.
Just like in football, where it’s the kicker’s job to kick the ball, it’s the cell phone carrier’s job to provide phone coverage. But with the recent Verizon and AT&T commercial media battles, who’s to know which company is telling the truth. Hands down Verizon has the best call quality and service. It is what they have stood by from the beginning, “Can you hear me now?” AT&T doesn’t compare to Verizon’s call service, but they make up for it in their superb data coverage, thanks in large part to the iPhone. But don’t just take my word for it, take it from me and my friends! I did a review with a group of my friends who are spread out all over the continental U.S., with an equal amount of iPhone and Droid users.
Personally, I’ve had service with all the major carriers over the course of my 15 years of being a cell phone junkie. All except T-Mobile who always seems to be a bit behind in technology although they were rated to have the best customer service. My sample of friends have similar histories as well, so…
Here’s what we came up with.
This is how we rated each carrier according to voice coverage:
1.) Verizon Wireless 2.) Sprint 3.) T-Mobile 4.) AT&T Wireless
We ranked data coverage as follows:
1.) AT&T Wireless 2.) Sprint 3.) T-Mobile 4.) Verizon Wireless
Equipment: To touch, or not to touch (screen)
Let me preface this section by acknowledging that whether or not someone would rather use a touch keyboard or a full QWERTY keyboard is a matter of personal preference of course, but to take the debate further I examine the difference in touch screens themselves.
What is not known to much of the touch screen toting public is that there is a huge difference in the iPhone touch screen and most other touch screens out there. The iPhone relies on the electrical properties of your finger to identify where on the screen you are touching. This allows it to be much more responsive and intuitive to what you want to do. The rest of the industry uses a resistive touch screen that relies on pressure to identify location. By using multiple layers stacked on top of each other it uses the pressure applied by your finger or stylus to cause those layers to touch and thus provoke the appropriate response.
The slide-out keyboard on the Motorola Droid is pretty typical. For those who could not or would not get acclimated with touchscreen keypads the slide QWERTY keyboard does comes in handy. Although some may say that the slideout keyboard makes the Droid a little more heavier, others like having both options.
No matter what manufacturers continue to crank out, the iPhone 3Gs is still the standard by which all other smart phones are judged. The Droid came out with a ton of media hype and it has proven itself worthy to be in the same room with the iPhone, though not usurping it in any way. However, until the Apple iPhone is officially available on the other networks it will continue to be judged not only on its own merits, but that of AT&T Wireless as well. I guess that means we’ll still be seeing a lot of Luke Wilson in the near future.
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