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SHOOTOUT:
Apple iPhone
versus Verizon Voyager

Originally posted December 28th, by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist
updated December 29th, 2007 with more links and comments

VERIZON's VOYAGER = iPHONE "WANNABEE"?
Though I have an iPhone that I use exclusively for Bare Feats business calls, my family stays in touch via Verizon Wireless family plan. Since I recently qualified for a $100 phone upgrade credit, I went shopping at the Verizon Wireless online store. The phone that intrigued me the most was the LG Voyager. It was the most "iPhone-ish" of all the choices.


(click to zoom in)

Beside the touch screen, the two features that grabbed my attention were:
1) GPS location along with VZ Navigator ($10/month) which makes the Voyager a portable GPS device.
2) It supports Broadband Access (3G). Though the Verizon techs will tell you that feature is designed to be used with a USB tether to enable your laptop to surf the net, it actually speeds up the Voyager's connection to the internet when using the moblie web browser. But activating 3G support is pricey at $60/month.

So how does the Voyager stack up against the iPhone on key features?

FEATURE
iPhone
Voyager
GPS location
no
yes
mobile data speed
144Kbps
144Kbps or 1.4Mbps
data service charge
$20/mo
$15/mo or $60/mo
WiFi support
yes
no
web browsing
yes
yes
email client
yes
no
voice dial and memo
no
yes
sync with computer
Mac and PC
PC only
camera Mpixels
2+
2+
video capture
no
yes
built-in memory
8,000MB
184MB
memory card slot
no
yes (up to 8GB)
screen size
320x480
240x400
talk time
8 hours
4 hours
standby
10.4 days
20 days
interface
touch screen
touch screen
+ keyboard

For complete feature comparison, visit the feature comparison page on PhoneScoop.com.

The photo below illustrates more accurately the relative size of the screens when using the mobile web browser in landscape mode.


(click photo to zoom in)

SIZE COMPARISON?
The height and width are similar but the iPhone is much thinner (.45 inch vs .71 inch or 11.7 mm vs 18 mm). Keep in mind, though, that the Voyager opens up to reveal a keyboard. (Some functions can be accessed using the touch screen or its "virtual" keyboard but some require the "real" keyboard.)

They weigh about the same (4.8 vs 4.7 ounces or 136 vs 133 grams).

WHAT THE iPHONE CAN "LEARN"
The key features of the Voyager that I'd like to see added to the iPhone include the 3G broadband data support (so I don't have to find a WiFi hotspot) and GPS location. A MicroSD would be nice.

WHAT THE VOYAGER CAN "LEARN"
The Voyager doesn't hold a candle elegant touch-screen interface, automatic portrait/landscape orientation, advanced feature set, desktop-class apps, multi-tasking OS of the iPhone.

It could also use a bigger screen, WiFi support, and the ability to sync it with the Mac's contacts, calendar, music, video, etc. (Only Windows PC sync is available currently.)

IF I HAD TO CHOOSE,
I would choose the 3G iPhone with GPS location integrated with Google Earth. Obviously such an iPhone does not currently exist -- and certainly not for Verizon Wireless (CDMA) customers any time soon.

But even in its current version, I prefer the iPhone over the Voyager. Though they have some features in common, they are really two different "animals."


RELATED ARTICLES ON THE iPHONE
Original iPhone review by Bare Feats

Bare Feats' list of 9 suggested enhancements to the iPhone

How to create custom ringtones on your iPhone using GarageBand

Phone Scoop had details and user reviews of the iPhone

Apple may be using the forthcoming Moorestown Mobile chip in future iPhone models which will make possible support for 3G and WiMAX.

RELATED ARTICLES ON THE VOYAGER
Phone Scoop has details and user reviews of the LG Voyager

CNET compares the iPhone and Voyager


MORE COMMENTS ON VOYAGER
I activated Broadband Access (3G) on the Voyager, but I never saw the 1.4Mbps burst rate that I often see on my laptop's Verizon Rev A aircard. The best results using DSL Report's Mobile Speed Test was 419Kbps. That's signficantly faster than the 144K burst rate of the free National Access but I doubt it's worth $60/month.

Voyager does offer zoom in the web browser but it's much more awkward to use than the iPhone's "pinch." And when you do zoom, it's very slow to activate and redraw.

In the recent wild fires in San Diego County, we lost service with AT&T Wireless for over a week, rendering our iPhone useless. However, Verizon Wireless service never wavered.

WHERE TO BUY NEW APPLE PRODUCTS like the iPhone
USA readers can help us earn a commission by using this Apple Store USA link or by clicking on any Apple display ad. For UK readers, visit Apple Store UK.

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