I guess it might depend on where you reside, but in my area, the stores that don't have adequate demonstration models don't get as many sales. Just my observation.
That said, ask yourself what you NEED from a new phone upgrade. If you are comfortable with the selection of apps you currently are enjoying on your tablet, you may very well find yourself enjoying the Android environment on your phone too. If you are somewhat of a minimalist regarding what you actually do on the phone (e.g. only talk/text a little and not much else), then going with a Windows Phone may not be a bad idea either. So you can quickly see it's going to be somewhat subjective to one's tastes/preferences/use patterns.
Right now Android has an overall leg up though, but knowing exactly WHICH handsets you were looking at (makes/models please) helps a great deal. IOW, the lower end Android handset may not be particularly stellar, while the entry level Lumia (etc.) might actually be a better performer. Give us a little more info if you can.
Also, you might simply look online @ the Verizon site for your upgrades. It's so easy now that it might not be worth driving 2 hrs for IMO.
I only found one thread on this topic (which means there were probably a bunch of them), and I didn't really see any reply that answered the question.
I'm giving consideration to upgrading my Verizon phone. Prior to my upgrade eligibility date, a high end Android phone went for $50 with an upgrade. Now that same phone is $150 on upgrade. The salesman suggested that I upgrade to a free Windows phone (seems to be high end also), stating Windows phones were as good or better than Android phones, but he really couldn't give a reason why. I didn't get a demonstration of what the phone would do, because that would require activation of the phone. ??? Seems to me you want the customer to know what a phone can do.
I talked to a super IT specialist I know, but his only response was "It's a matter of preference." I realize that features and benefits vary by phone brands and models, but in general... without taking price into consideration... which operating system is the better choice? And is there a reason to consider the fact that my tablet is an Android into the equation, or is it of no consequence?
My gut says go with the free phone and save the $150 I don't have, but I keep hearing about how great Android phones are. No rush... I'm nearly 2 hours from a real Verizon store and on Saturday I'll be passing the one I visited last week.