You usually won't need a tri-mode phone if you'll always be on Verizon's Network, but if you go into extended coverage areas (technically roaming off-network), analog might come in handy if you travel in an area that might not have been upgraded to digital yet. For me when I travel into Michigan, just a few feet from the Indiana/Michigan line, my phone switches to a flashing roaming indicator and at least while traveling through Benton Harbor and Niles areas, that area has not been upgraded to digital. The carrier in that area is Alltel and they have not upgraded their netowrk fast enough for people to drop digital completely. If you look at their phones, they're still tri-mode, where nearly all of Verizon's flip-phones are all digital (CDMA 800/1900mhz). Alltel uses CDMA too. It's because of other carriers that haven't upgraded their CDMA networks fast enough that I won't go to an all digital phone yet.
I am planning to enroll in the Verizon Wireless National Coverage plans. I was looking at their phones and have shortlisted either the Samsung SCH-a650 (Tri Mode Phone but No External LCD) or the Samsung SCH-a530s (All Digital Handset but with External LCD). I like the External LCD Feature which allows you to see the Caller Id without opening the Flip Phone.
Does somebody have any problems with the All Digital Handset ? Do we really need Tri Mode ?
Also any other phone recommendations would be greatly appreciated.