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iPhone or Droid Incredible? In other words, is AT&T really so bad?


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#1 of 352 Cameron Yee

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Posted May 01 2010 - 12:28 PM

Thinking about making the smart phone plunge, doing away with my landline. The iPhone would be a no-brainer as I own and enjoy my iPod Touch, but I've heard many complaints about AT&T and wishes that iPhone would be available with Verizon. I was considering the Nexus One when it became available on Verizon, but as of a few days ago they are shuffling everyone off to the Droid Incredible. So...is AT&T really so bad as to make getting the iPhone a do not recommend? Or is it overblown?

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#2 of 352 mattCR

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Posted May 01 2010 - 01:06 PM

Some of these complaints are way overblown and depend on where you are.  I have ATT full coverage throughout the whole state of Kansas, damn near everywhere I go, and they are the only one to do that.  When I travel, I rarely have issues.  Admittedly, I've been with ATT for about 6 years now, and I can tell you about 2 years ago, their network vastly improved, but they are doing the same again this year with the largest spending increase for network of any of the companies.  Love or hate ATT, they have deeper pockets then anyone else to upgrade their network.   Part of the issue with the iPhone/etc. is that ATT serves up way more data then anyone else as a result, so the demand on their network is much higher then on anyone elses.. (I'm a blackberry user, so I live and die by that, but the wife uses an iPhone)

ATT is spending another 2B this year for more infrastructure:

http://mashable.com/.../att-2-billion/

In some ways, the Verizon "accessible everywhere" thing for "3g" is a bit misleading; my father has Verizon.. and while it shows 3G damn near everywhere, the performance on that network near us just flat out sucks.  So, while they can show it as red, assuming probably most people in Kansas and Northern Oklahoma don't really have room to balk or make a stink, the map is pretty misleading.

In most recent tests, ATT bests pretty much everyone for performance, in part because they have a better wired infrastructure:

http://www.pcworld.c...age=1&zoomIdx=2

Posted Image

The reality is ATT's subscriber base and number of connected data driven devices is so much greater then Verizon, Sprint, or anyone else that it means a hell of a lot more pressure on their network then anyone else.   Verizon couldn't sustain the sheer # of smart phones that ATT deals with, along with other offerings.  But at the same time, it means ATT has more cash to continue upgrading to try and stay ahead. 

It's a costly growing pain.  2008 was the worst for ATT, network stretched thin for number of users.. they just weren't prepared for the iPhone level of data use.  2009 wasn't bad at all, and 2010 has been very good.. and speeds have been very, very good in most areas.   ATT will also be one of the first to move to a full 7.2/LTE network, which means they will offer more sustainable bandwidth then most, sooner. 

That's what spending $2B on Cellular and another $1.5B on wired infrastructure in a year will get you.


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#3 of 352 Cameron Yee

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Posted May 01 2010 - 01:19 PM

Wow, thanks Matt. Very helpful. I have a co-worker with AT&T and she lives out in the country, travels a fair amount and has had no complaints (and she's a network person), so that seemed to be quite different from what people were saying a couple years ago.

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#4 of 352 mattCR

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Posted May 01 2010 - 01:35 PM

About two years ago, between Oct 08-Feb 09, they invested about a billion in more access.  And this year, they are putting in another $3.5B.   There are things I don't like about ATT (their billing practices -SUCK-) but the service is quite good.

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#5 of 352 TonyD

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Posted May 01 2010 - 02:02 PM

I'm very Happy with ATT.
The Iphone is amazing.
I'm just south of Phiily and rarely have a dropped call. When we had verizon I couldn't get a signal in my house so I had to move around the house of go outside to make calls sometimes.

I have heard from a few people on htf that Manhattan isn't so good for ATT.

the only time I have a problem is when I'm at a Phillies game.

I see 3-4 bars and 3g but my MLB AT BAT doesn't work well and It takes a minute or so for a dial tone

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#6 of 352 Patrick_S

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Posted May 02 2010 - 08:53 AM

It really depends on where you live. I live in the East Bay and AT&T is just fine. In San Francisco I still have friends who say it by far the worst provider in town.



#7 of 352 mattCR

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Posted May 02 2010 - 08:56 AM

Makes sense  Look at the "Reliability" category in San Fran ;)

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#8 of 352 nolesrule

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Posted May 02 2010 - 03:03 PM

I'm happy with my AT&T service, but I'd be more interested in an Android phone than an iPhone (I'm not a hater, but I have issues with Apple's "control the platform above all" philosophy). I'm 6 months past the end of my contract holding out hope for a real Android phone on AT&T, not the piece of junk called the Backflip.


#9 of 352 mattCR

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Posted May 02 2010 - 03:15 PM

I have been a life-long blackberry user.  But I admit, Motorola's Shadow may be the phone that gets my attention:

http://www.androidcentral.com/moto-shadow-gets-its-wifi-cert

But I find it doubtful I'll leave blackberry anytime soon.   But it's good to look ;)

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#10 of 352 Scott Merryfield

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Posted May 03 2010 - 01:14 AM

I've never had AT&T or an iPhone, so I cannot comment on them. However, I have been using an HTC Droid Eris on Verizon since January and have been very pleased with the device.  The Incredible is the successor to the Eris, with very similar design and functionality.

I went with the Eris over the Motorola Droid due to price -- it only cost me $30 for the phone, and with the discount on Verizon service offered through my employer, I only pay $56 per month for voice and data service.

The Eris has a better ergonomic design than the Motorola Droid, IMO. It's thinner, lighter and fits my hand better (the Motorola feels like a brick in comparison).




#11 of 352 DaveF

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Posted May 06 2010 - 09:27 AM

By all accounts the Droid Incredible is a great phone. And many reviewers say very positive things about the Android system (and some Mac pundits switched from iPhone to Android phones).

That said, be sure to play do a decent demo of the phone. I played with the iPhone and it made sense; it it seemed great. I spent some time with the Droid and immediately hated it (keyboard was miserable and the software was like working with Windows 2.0). That's me. Others feel differently. But be sure to try a phone out before you lock into spending thousands of dollars in a two-year contract.


As for AT&T: talk with customers in your area. I've read the same reports that AT&T is lousy in San Fran and NYC. But all the iPhone owners here in Rochester, NY have no problems with AT&T.



#12 of 352 Peter-PP

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Posted July 05 2010 - 05:20 AM

Wait till the Samsung Captivate comes out later this month for ATT, very impressive and more so than the Iphone 4 and will go head to head with the Iphone 4. I can't wait to get it.



#13 of 352 Joseph Bolus

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Posted July 05 2010 - 09:56 AM

Just remember that *none* of those Android phones link to iTunes!  Since you already own an iPod Touch all of the songs, apps, games, movies, and TV shows which you acquired via iTunes will *seamlessly* port over to your new iPhone.  None of the other phones can claim that!


As far as AT&T:  I have no complaints with them whatsoever.  For awhile last year I had to live with EDGE for data access when I went to see my Auburn Tigers play, but that area has now been updated to full 3G access.   So literally everywhere I go in a tri-state area (Alabama, Georgia, Florida) now has 3G.  And I drop a call perhaps once a year ...


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#14 of 352 Scott Merryfield

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Posted July 05 2010 - 10:02 AM



Originally Posted by Joseph Bolus 

Just remember that *none* of those Android phones link to iTunes!  Since you already own an iPod Touch all of the songs, apps, games, movies, and TV shows which you acquired via iTunes will *seamlessly* port over to your new iPhone.  None of the other phones can claim that!



Actually, there is a free application that will allow you to synch iTunes with your Android phone -- Easy Phone Tunes.  I have it installed on my Droid Eris and my PC, although I usually just manually copy any video or movies to the phone. I do not currently use the phone for music, since I have a non-video iPod Nano, and I do not normally put videos in iTunes. I did synch some music just to try it out, though, and it works fine. It should work fine for video, too, although one of the advantages of an Android phone is that you are not forced to use iTunes if you do not want to.



#15 of 352 TonyD

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Posted July 05 2010 - 11:18 AM

My friend just got an incredible.

It's a very good phone and from what I could see most of the same apps are in the market place on the INcredible.

I couldn't find anything for music so I guess any music will have to be added another way.


Don't like the way the back comes off. Seems to be just a thin molded plastic back that can pop off for changing the battery and I guess the memory card is back there too. Just seemed flimsy.


Internet was fine and superfast on 3g.

Couldn't figure out if there's a way to open extra windows or tabs like the iphone.


The screen was super clear. I opened up the map on both the iphone 3gs and the incredible and the droid was much clearer then the 3gs. I havent seen the iphone 4 yet i guess it will be as clear as the droid.


The blue dot location indicator wasn't even close to where I was, the 3gs was exact.

There may have been a setting that needed to be adjusted to make the dot accurate, I didn't have a chance to check.


If I was on Verizon I would strongly consider the Incredible or the Droid X if that is on Verizon, I'm not really sure if it is.

I still prefer the iphone.

It feels better in my hand feels solid, I just like it more.


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#16 of 352 Hanson

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Posted July 05 2010 - 12:35 PM

Originally Posted by Scott Merryfield 


one of the advantages of an Android phone is that you are not forced to use iTunes if you do not want to.


Amen brother!  I find iTunes to be one of the worst, bloated, POS software I've ever used.  Plus, it needs updates seemingly every day or two.  It's a huge reason I would never get an iPhone -- is there something about copy/paste that needs to be improved upon?  Just a horrible piece of software.  And Jobs complains about Flash being unstable?

I have read comments from former iPhone users who switched to Android phones and don't understand that you can just copy and paste media files like the phone was a USB drive.  Talk about learned helplessness!  You're free from synching!  Run away!



#17 of 352 TonyD

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Posted July 05 2010 - 12:55 PM



Originally Posted by Hanson Yoo 


Amen brother!  I find iTunes to be one of the worst, bloated, POS software I've ever used.  Plus, it needs updates seemingly every day or two.  It's a huge reason I would never get an iPhone -- is there something about copy/paste that needs to be improved upon?  Just a horrible piece of software.  And Jobs complains about Flash being unstable?

I have read comments from former iPhone users who switched to Android phones and don't understand that you can just copy and paste media files like the phone was a USB drive.  Talk about learned helplessness!  You're free from synching!  Run away!

Well some of that is an exaggeration.
once every few months or more it gets an update, and what's wrong with being able to do a quick update like that anyway. the PS3 does the same thing, whenever there is an update I just do the update, I guess the ps3 is no good too.

I'm not sure what you're saying about copy/paste.

Are you saying I could c/p media files on a droid? why would I need to do that?

If by bloated you mean a large piece of software that uses a lot of resources, that is probably true but so what. It doesn't bother my macbook in anyway, it just works.


I love that I can synch my iphone to itunes, it synchs everything including notes and address books and whatever else is on the phone.

If I get another phone I just synch it up and put all my contacts and everything else right on the new phone.


Maybe the droid does all that too, and if it does, awsome.

If one doesn't like to use itunes to manage the phone and phone stuff then you don't get an iphone, you get a droid or something else and live happily ever after.


I don't get why when someone doesn't like a piece of software like itunes for example, the person has to take a dump all over it. Itunes works very well for me.


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#18 of 352 Hanson

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Posted July 05 2010 - 01:14 PM



Originally Posted by TonyD 
I'm not sure what you're saying about copy/paste.

Are you saying I could c/p media files on a droid? why would I need to do that?


I can copy and paste media files directly from my computer to a Winmo or Android device in storage mode in a fraction of the time it would take me synch the iPhone.  I can also copy and paste files from home, from work, and basically from any PC that has a USB port.  I suppose if you know nothing else, you wouldn't know what to do with this kind of functionality and would find it unnecessary.


If you think I'm taking a dump on the software because I have valid criticisms, then so be it.


#19 of 352 Scott Merryfield

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Posted July 05 2010 - 01:35 PM



Originally Posted by TonyD 
I love that I can synch my iphone to itunes, it synchs everything including notes and address books and whatever else is on the phone. If I get another phone I just synch it up and put all my contacts and everything else right on the new phone.


Maybe the droid does all that too, and if it does, awsome.

If one doesn't like to use itunes to manage the phone and phone stuff then you don't get an iphone, you get a droid or something else and live happily ever after.



The Droid phones automatically synch calendars, contacts and email with Gmail over the air without any need to connect to a PC.  It's actually quite slick. You can copy any files, including music and videos, from your PC like any other USB storage device. And, as I mentioned earlier, if you are an iTunes user, there are applications that will allow you to synch your Droid with your iTunes library if you desire.


As I said a while ago, I've never used an iPhone (although I am an iPod owner many times over), but I have been very impressed with the flexibility and usability of the Android phones. I'm sure the iPhones are also very slick (my sister and brother-in-law love theirs), but I have been very happy with my Droid. I got it at a fraction of the price of an iPhone, and I was not forced to give up using the Verizon network -- which costs me much less, and has better coverage in my area. Also, I received solid network coverage in northern Michigan while my sister struggled to get coverage with her iPhone. The application marketplace is filled with thousands of applications, just like with the iPhone (many are useless crap -- just like the iPhone, too /img/vbsmilies/htf/smile.gif).




#20 of 352 TonyD

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Posted July 05 2010 - 02:25 PM



Originally Posted by Scott Merryfield 



 The application marketplace is filled with thousands of applications, just like with the iPhone (many are useless crap -- just like the iPhone, too /img/vbsmilies/htf/smile.gif).


So true.

btw while there are many who don't like the need to use itunes the biggest complaint I see and hear is the bad ATT connectivity/the actual phone usage, dropped calls bad coverage.

Where my wife and I live Verizon was terrible, dropped calls and NO bars in certain areas of our house, no such trouble with ATT yet.

If we weren't on att then we would both have droids and be very happy.


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