Should I Switch to Verizon?

Fountain Feet by me

I’ve been a loyal AT&T/Cingular customer for many, many years now and I have no major complaints really.  Sure, sometimes my calls get dropped when I drive under certain bridges in town, but overall I’ve been a happy customer and I love the idea of rollover minutes (even though I never seem to use them).

I’m also a gadget junky.  I’ve been reading about the Samsung Omnia for months now which was rumored to be released by AT&T in the US market.  Unfortunately it was not and Verizon is the only carrier offering the phone.  I suppose I could buy it unlocked on eBay and continue to use AT&T, but the easier thing to do might be to switch to Verizon.

So, DC, is it worth it?  Do you feel extra cool by being able to get service on the Metro?  Do you have good coverage in the area?  Does anyone actually have the new Omnia and love/hate it?  Help me out with this life changing decision here.

PS – For the Apple geeks out there, yes I considered the iPhone but I’ve heard it drops a lot of calls and I also need to be able to tether it to my laptop as a modem (something you can’t do unless you hack the iPhone).

Hailing from the Mile High City, Max has also lived in Tinsel Town, the Emerald City, as well as the City of Brotherly Love. Now a District resident, he likes to write about cool photos by local photographers, the DC restaurant and bar scene, or anything else that pops into his mind.

20 thoughts on “Should I Switch to Verizon?

  1. I’m generally anti-calling in the metro, but I would LOVE to be able to send emails/texts…

    No problem with my 3G iPhone re: calls getting dropped. And I’m not sure if it’s not out already, but AT&T announced it will allow tethering (though likely for an additional charge).

  2. I was a longtime AT&T customer (from when it was just AT&T, then through the transition to Cingular, and finally back to AT&T). I was often frustrated, getting poor reception and frequently losing calls both in DC and in the suburbs. I also had 2 different apartments in the city, both of which got terrible reception to the point that it was almost useless, all while my Verizon-using roommate and friends would call freely while standing right next to me.

    So when my chance arose, I jumped to Verizon and have loved it ever since. The change in quality of my phone service was noticeable instantly — many more places where I got service, fewer dropped calls. I even had better sounding calls when I had minimal bars on my phone. Plus, while I don’t make many calls in the metro, it is fantastic to be able to text.

    So as a former AT&T/Cingular customer in DC, I would strongly encourage you to make the switch to Verizon.

  3. Some things to consider.

    1. Verizon has the metro covered
    2. Verizon has the best coverage of the DC metro area of anyone.
    3. Verizon holds your hand and treats you like a 5 year old and runs there system like they are god.

    Hard choice. I ended up on Verizon while I was in DC because the had the best coverage and because of my job needed excellent quality.


  4. The Omnia looks pretty slick. I’d go for it if you can handle the WinMobile.

    I have only had VZW cell service and have been very satisfied with coverage in DC and up and down the East Coast.

  5. I like the Omnia on Verizon, but Verizon has locked the gps so only their horrible VZNavigator tool can use it. One more example of Verizon being ridiculous and money hungry

  6. Verizon’s cell coverage is really bar-none in the DC area, with their coverage of the Metro. I can’t speak to the Omnia, as an iPhone user, so on that count, you’re on your own, I’m afraid.

  7. I have been struggling with similar issues and considering going to AT&T for the iPhone but keep hearing about dropped calls etc. Verizon has better coverage but guard it and may you pay for it.

    Decisions decision? Good luck

  8. We’re with Verizon because my wife’s family’s on Verizon, so they get to talk for free, end of story.

    They’ve got really good coverage, though, which helps make up for them locking everything they possibly can up.

    Just this weekend, I got the chance to play around with both the Omnia and the Blackberry Storm. I really wanted to like the Omnia more… but it was very, very sluggish. Enough so that it was barely usable. (So I went with the Storm instead.)

  9. I have the Omnia on Verizon. It’s a great phone with some good features. It doesn’t match the iPhone in “coolness” maybe, but it does work in the metro and is relatively finger friendly like the iPhone. It runs on Windows Mobile 6.1, which I was not used to starting out, but it’s not that bad. While the GPS is locked down, it is one of the few Verizon phones with wi-fi (but with Verizon’s data speeds, I haven’t found a need to use it). I also like that it has the small optical mouse to use when my fingers are just too fat for some of the small on-screen buttons. Overall, a good phone that i’m liking more and more every day. Try it out in the store first. However, as their is already a 3G version overseas, AT&T will probably get their own version eventually too. As all my friends/family are on Verizon, I won’t leave, not even for that shiny iPhone-at least Verizon is a solid network.

  10. @Scott – I read that AT&T may start charging something like $30/month to tether the iPhone which I think it ridiculous! If you pay for unlimited broadband access on your phone you shouldn’t have to pay extra to use it as a modem. Lame.

    Windows Mobile has Internet Connection Sharing built into it for tethering. I connect my current Samsung Blackjack and laptop via Bluetooth at work since sites like Gmail, Hotmail, and Facebook are blocked.

    I guess another option would be to buy a USB Edge modem from AT&T rather than using my phone, but that again is more money per month (even if I can write it off).

    I think I’ll have to go play with the Omnia in a Verizon store soon.

  11. Yeah, the proposed tether plans are offensive. If you can stomach the additional cost, though, my experience with tethering is that the speed is far inferior to dedicated gadgets. I’ve got a Sprint card for my mobile data needs and it’s loads better than the throughput I got with a tethered phone.

  12. Wow, Rushputin… you hated the Omnia so much you went with the Storm? I’ve heard nothing but awful, awful things about the Storm. What do you think about it? (I have no experience with either phone and so have no first-hand opinion.)

  13. In looking at the Verizon price of $200, I think I’d personally prefer to pay the $500 for an unlocked one on AT&T and be contract-free. However I have an irrational dislike of cellphone contracts, so I am more than a little biased.

    The lockdown on features like the GPS (and who knows what else) would probably keep me away from the Verizon phone by themselves, though. I remember my old roommate not being able to use a bunch of apps and things because of the locked-down java on his old Verizon phone.

  14. Don, I may look into an unlocked phone, but to be honest I don’t think I’d ever use the GPS feature unless I was on vacation or lost on foot somewhere (my car has built-in GPS). What I like about the Omnia is the touch screen, the 5 megapixel camera, and the WiFi.

    UPDATE: I looked at the Omnia and the Storm tonight at the mall and was not impressed by either of them. Damn. Maybe I’ll just stick to using my Samsung Blackjack.

  15. Just something else to consider.
    You will not be able to use an unlocked Verizon phone on AT&T. Verizon phones don’t use sim-cards and AT&T phones require them. It’s one of the differences between Verizon’s CDMA network and AT&T’s GSM network.

  16. Sid – I wondered that that myself when I first read it, then I realized Max was talking about buying an unlocked GSM version of the Verizon phone from some online vendor. There is a GSM version, AT&T has just chosen not to carry it.

  17. I’ve had plenty of time to kill lately so I checked out a bunch of phones and I have to say that the iPhone is the easiest to use, although I think I could get used to any phone. I did try to bring up Hotmail on the iPhone and it didn’t work which isn’t surprising. Typing was pretty error prone as well.

  18. It does take some time to get used to the iPhone keypad, and some people really don’t warm up to it. I’ve found that the error correction is pretty good, except when I’m trying to swear. But that can be fixed by making common swear words contacts in the address book. ;)