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Verizon iPhone hands-on (photos)

The much-awaited Verizon iPhone is here. Check out CNET's hands-on photos here.

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headshots_bonnie_cha_140x100.jpg

Bonnie Cha

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1 of 13 Bonnie Cha/CNET

Verizon iPhone 4

As expected, the Verizon iPhone was unveiled at a media event in New York on Tuesday. Current Verizon customers will be able to preorder the device starting February 3 with general availability starting February 10. The price is $199.99 for the 16GB version with a two-year contract and $299.99 for the 32GB model.
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Verizon iPhone 4

Aside from the CDMA antenna, the features of the Verizon iPhone 4 are largely the same as those of the GSM AT&T version. This includes the 940x640-pixel Retina display, 5-megapixel camera with HD video capture, and FaceTime.
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Top

The top of the Verizon iPhone features a power button and a 3.5mm headphone jack. As you'll notice later on in the slideshow, the Verizon iPhone does not have an antenna on top.
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Left side

On the left side of the phone is the ringer switch and volume rocker. Apple did slightly redesign the antenna for the Verizon iPhone. The CDMA antennas are located on the top left and right sides of the phone. As a result, the ringer switch was moved slightly down, so you won't be able to use the bumpers designed for the AT&T iPhone with the Verizon version. New bumpers will be available, but Verizon will not offer them for free with the purchase of an iPhone.
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Back

The glass back features a 5-megapixel camera and an LED flash in the upper left-hand corner. As we mentioned, the phone is capable of HD video capture and FaceTime video calls. For now, Verizon and Apple say FaceTime calls can be made over Wi-Fi only.
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Bottom

The bottom of the device is unchanged, housing the 30-pin connector, microphone, and speaker.
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AT&T versus Verizon

Here is a side-by-side comparison of the AT&T and Verizon iPhones. The AT&T model is on the left and the Verizon version is on the right. From the front, the two handset look very similar.
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AT&T versus Verizon

Here is a top view of both iPhones, with Verizon shown on top, AT&T on bottom. As you can see, the antenna has been removed on the Verizon model.
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AT&T versus Verizon

The CDMA antennas are located on the sides of the phone. Shown here is the left spine, again with the Verizon model on top and AT&T's on the bottom.
We did try the death grip test while at the demo stations, covering all four antennas, and didn't see any attenuation. However, we'll be sure to do more extensive testing once we get a unit in for review.
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AT&T versus Verizon

Here's a view of the right side. The AT&T iPhone features a SIM card slot, but Verizon operates on the CDMA network, which does not use SIM cards.
The Verizon iPhone 4 is not a dual-mode GSM/CDMA device; it's CDMA only, meaning that it will have extremely limited world-roaming capabilities.
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Mobile hot spot

One feature we are happy to see on the Verizon iPhone is the ability to use the smartphone as a mobile hot spot. The feature is built into the phone's settings and is not a separate app, and allows you to connect up to five devices.
Verizon did not announce pricing for the mobile hot-spot feature. However, on other such equipped Verizon phones, the cost is $20 per month with a 2GB data cap (5 cents per MB overage fees).
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Browser

We did a little speed test during the launch event. Obviously, the iPhone isn't widely available yet, so test results may not be accurate. However, compared with the AT&T iPhone, the Verizon model felt blazing fast. It pulled up the New York Times' full site at least a couple of seconds before AT&T's did. Again, we'll do more testing once we get a device in for review, but in the meantime, check back soon for our speed test video to see it in action.
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Keyboard

The iPhone's onboard keyboard has always been great, and it's no different on the Verizon model.

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