6
This content is rated TV-MA, and is for viewers 18 years or older. Are you of age?
Sorry, you are not old enough to view this content.

First Look: Verizon iPhone 4

About Video Transcript

First Look: Verizon iPhone 4

3:30 /

The Verizon iPhone has much in common with its AT&T counterpart, but varying features and differing performance give it enough room to stand apart. It won't vastly change your iPhone experience, but we welcome the consumer choice that it brings.

Hi, I'm Kent German, senior editor for cnet.com. Today, we'll take a first look at the Verizon iPhone 4. Indeed, I was very happy when the Verizon and Apple announced this phone in early January. Sure it's great that AT&T is no longer an exclusive carrier, but I'm more excited that longest cast rumors finally have been put to rest. So, what is the Verizon iPhone? Well, the answer is the Verizon iPhone is almost the same devices of the AT&T counterpart. There is couple of differences and one is pretty important, but it's still the same phone in most regards. I'll start with the one difference in the design. To accommodate the CDMA antenna that bring your switch has to move slightly closer to the volume racker. Also, the gap that's currently on top of the AT&T handset has been moved to the top left side. Apple wouldn't discuss the specifics of the re-design, but in preliminary testing, we didn't encounter death grip that we found on the AT&T iPhone. Unfortunately though, the antenna change means that many current iPhone cases like this here won't fit, so you need to buy new ones. Also, because it runs on CDMA, the Verizon iPhone doesn't have a SIM card slot. Otherwise, the price in handset is exactly the same. You'll find the same controls, camera features, headset and charger jacks, speaker and microphone, and retina display. Verizon will carry the Y iPhone, but we will have no idea when that will be. Last time I heard was sometime in spring. Now, inside the Verizon iPhone is one major difference. Unlike the AT&T handset, the Verizon iPhone can function as a personal hotspot for up to 5 devices. You will need to activate the hotspot functionality with Verizon first, once you do, it will appear in the settings menu. So, after you set a password and you turn on the feature, you can get started. You can connect devices through Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and also USB cable. It's really nice you can use all 3 connections types at once. Another difference is the Verizon iPhone currently runs iOS 4.2.6 while in comparison, the AT&T iPhone runs iOS 4.2.1. Apples in 4.2.6 is a version unique to the Verizon handset and the only change it brings are CDMA support and hotspot feature. The other features of the device are exactly the same, so expect to see no changes from the AT&T phone. Of course, there are few things that Verizon iPhone can't do. Unlike AT&T's handset, it can't perform simultaneous voice and data. If you're on Wi-Fi, it does do that, but if you're on the cellular network, no, and it doesn't offer global roaming for GSM networks. Also, the Verizon is growing its LTE 4G network. It's currently Verizon iPhone with top out of 3G. We're still on the midst of testing the device, you'll have read the review for a full performance analysis. Voice quality, however, we notice few differences, but it's a preliminary testing, so I won't emphasize that. Whatever our results though, I have to stress that you shouldn't expect the Verizon iPhone to be a miracle device. You will see differences, no doubt, but don't expect to completely cure your reception loads. You're still using the cellular network that will vary according to your location, interference, and how many people using at one time. The expectations for Verizon iPhone are immensely and ridiculously high and this handset I have to say runs a big risk of not living up it. That's why it's important to keep those hopes and check. Just recognize this is a phone, still gonna have problems once in a while. More importantly though, the latest smart phone landscape is very, very different than it was in 2007 when the first iPhone went on sale. Not only other, many other fantastic smart phones in the market, but also there are a lot of people that are perfectly happy with their non-Apple device and don't wanna buy one. The iPhone is on a new carrier. That's great. There's more customer choice and remains a very good phone, but it remains just one player in a very competitive field. I'm Kent German here with the first look at the Verizon iPhone 4.

New releases

Tomorrow Daily 118: Bill Nye's spacecraft, Mozilla's in-browser VR and more
26:20 January 26, 2015
On today's show, we check out Bill Nye and the Planetary Society's new privately funded spacecraft, discuss Mozilla's plan to include...
Play video
2015 Subaru Outback 3.6L Limited
6:00 January 26, 2015
Does the new Outback do enough to keep Subaru drivers coming back? Brian Cooley gets behind the wheel and checks the tech.
Play video
Icy adventure in the Land Rover Discovery Sport
1:10 January 26, 2015
Land Rover takes CNET editor Wayne Cunningham for a drive across Iceland, covering snow, ice and a river, in its new Discovery Sport...
Play video
iSmartAlarm's new camera sets out to secure the smart home
2:33 January 26, 2015
For $150, the iCamera Keep looks like a promising addition to one of our favorite security systems.
Play video
The thinnest tablet (so far) houses a stereoscopic camera
2:48 January 26, 2015
The Dell Venue 8 7000 is a skinny tablet with phat photography chops.
Play video
This tough garage fridge chills under extreme conditions
1:27 January 26, 2015
Designed to tame the harsh temperature swings of your garage, the Gladiator Chillerator works to keep its insides cool no matter w...
Play video
Sling TV launches with a new twist on Internet TV
2:54 January 26, 2015
Television service makes an evolutionary leap with Dish's $20 monthly plan, the NFL arrives on YouTube, and Freewheel offers Wi-Fi-only...
Play video
Is this the most exciting Mini in the world?
6:25 January 26, 2015
The Gen 3 Mini is a new category for the Mini Challenge, a racing series in the UK featuring the iconic little hatchback. XCAR tried...
Play video