Here are five popular phones bought by Verizon customers before the iPhone arrived

Here are five popular phones bought by Verizon customers before the iPhone arrived
February 10th, 2011 was a historic day in the history of Verizon Wireless. On that day, Big Red finally started ringing up sales of the Apple iPhone. To be certain, Verizon customers had to wait a long time for the opportunity to buy the device. But that doesn't mean that during those years, Apple didn't have models that it tried to position as challengers to the iPhone.

The first name on this list is the LG Voyager. Verizon certainly positioned this model as a challenger to Apple's smartphone as it was the first featurephone to offer an HTML browser. The clamshell device had a pair of 2.81-inch screens that were considered "generous" for the time. The screen on the outside featured a resistive touchscreen, and inside the clamshell was a physical QWERTY keyboard. A brick of a phone at 118mm x 54mm x 18mm, Voyager owners could receive television using Qualcomm's MediaFLO service.

The Voyager's touchscreen was not smooth at all, and the HTML browser was not as pleasant to use as mobile Safari. On the other hand, the Voyager did offer 3G connectivity allowing users to receive phone calls while using the browser. That was something that the iPhone could not do at the time. In addition, the Voyager could send pictures via MMS, something foreign to the OG Apple iPhone.

The LG Dare was another resistive phone offered by Verizon and LG. With a 3-inch screen, Verizon pushed the 3.2MP camera on the back of the phone, which was one of the better rear snappers on a featurephone. The Dare included a new UI, which was a slight improvement on the one used on the Voyager. Unlike the Voyager, the LG Dare featured an accelerometer, and at 107 grams, it was much lighter. The phone was equipped with an HTML Browser and users could get as many as three days of battery life with one charge. The resistive touchscreen on the Dare was a vast improvement over the one used on the Voyager

The Samsung Omnia was a Windows Mobile smartphone that featured an early version of TouchWiz and also offered some widgets for the home screen. In fact, users could set up two different home screen set ups, one for the office and one for home. The 3.2-inch screen had resolution of 240 x 400 and employed a single-core 624MHz processor with 128MHz of RAM. This is what passed for a high-end smartphone at the time, with support for DivX and XviD video out of the box. A 5MP rear snapper was included. The Omnia had one of the best browsers of that time, with a customized version of the Opera Mobile 9.5 rendering websites.

The Motorola DROID was the first Verizon phone that could stand up to the Apple iPhone. The handset was the first to come with Android 2.0 and as we all know by now, the device kicked off the Android revolution. The 3.7-inch capacitive touchscreen topped the 3.5-inch display on the iPhone, and the unit was powered by a single-core 600MHz TI OMAP 3430 CPU with 256MB of RAM. The DROID was accompanied by a fantastic marketing campaign by Verizon, stating that "everything iCan't, DROID Does". The Motorola DROID included a side-sliding QWERTY keyboard and featured voice guided turn-by-turn directions out of the box via Google Maps. The DROID also had a special car dock that would automatically put the device in a special hands-free mode. The handset had a spectacular build quality, and was built like the proverbial tank.

Available at Verizon months before the Apple iPhone 4 came, was the Motorola DROID X. This was a version of the DROID that came with a huge (for the time) 4.3 inch screen. A Single-core 1GHz processor was under the hood, with 512MB of RAM inside. An 8MP camera adorned the back with Android 2.1 (eventually updated to Android 2,3) pre-installed. The DROID X had a unique design, and launched without a physical QWERTY keyboard.

Many of you might remember owning one or more of these models. For Verizon customers, these were the phones covering the years 2007-2010 that Verizon offered as an iPhone substitute. That all changed on that February day in 2011 when Verizon customers desiring an iPhone could actually buy one.






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27 Comments

1. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Look at those relics

2. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

I remember a co-worker getting a Droid X and thinking "Jeez that thing is huge, I'd never want something that big". Now I've got a Note 3. I guess Steve Jobs and I were both wrong.

8. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

Or, the market evolved. 3 1/2" screen seems novel when it was announced. Then, as time goes by, there are more things that can be done with smartphones that require a larger screen (being able to display a desktop version of a website on the smartphone comes to mind). At some point, critical mass is achieved. Sammy saw the handwriting on the wall before Steve did (Steve went to his grave denying the validity of the phablet segment). Rarely do markets remain static. BTW, I still have my OG Droid X….

11. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

The "X" in Droid_X_Doug.... ;-D That phone just blew me away. A friend of mine's daughter in law had one, and after I played with it, I just looked at whatever feature phone I had and just felt so unloved. I know the original Droid was the phone that kicked things off, but the "X" showed that Android, and smartphones, had just scratched the surface.

19. Droid_X_Doug

Posts: 5993; Member since: Dec 22, 2010

The Droid X marked the end of BlackBerry phones for me. By the time the X was released, the Play store had a very robust selection (dwarfing what was available for the BBs), and I never looked back. Over the years, Droid phones have been my smartphone of choice. Although, I must admit to spending time with Sammy's GS3 and Note 2 as well. Right now, the Droid Turbo has my attention. Trying to decide between the Turbo and the Note 4.

26. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Droid_Turbo_Doug has a nice ring. Almost a little "Power Rangers" to it. (Extra Phone Arena points if you got that reference...)

12. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

I still have both the OG Droid and a Droid X.

16. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

It's the technology that evolved, and the market followed. Back then, a smartphone was a phone first, with some capabilities with email, web browsing, productivity, and gaming. Now, smartphones are portable computers. My laptop: 2.2GHz dual core, 4GB RAM, 1366x768 screen. My phone: 2.3GHz quad core, 3GB RAM, 1920x1080 screen. Granted, my laptop is 5 years old, but if I had a smartphone back then, I would have stuck with a desktop, and if I had to choose between a computer and a smartphone, I'd stick with a smartphone. What I never understood about Steve Job's opinion regarding larger phones is that he and Apple ushered in the tablet. No, they weren't the first, but they were the first to be popular and successful. So their phones were successful, their tablets were successful, but they never thought about crossing the 2 until 3 years after Samsung proved that not only are phablets highly useful, but highly profitable? Jobs was blinded by his own "vision".

13. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Many were wrong on that front. Its wild because the last good Win Mo phone...IMO...was the HTC HD2...a 4.3" phone. That came out in 2009...well before the Droid X and EVO.

24. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

The best thing about the HD2 was that you could easily put android on it. lol.

15. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

By the way Planterz- the Big Boned Phone craze was the biggest miss of my mobile predictions. I thought the 4.7" screen of the HTC Titan was just stupid, and that 5.2" of the original Note was overcompensation gone insane. Now, even I want sceens that big, and my 4.5" screen seems so toy-like and cramped. I am right there with you. Swing and miss on that one.

17. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

Yep. When iPhones were the new thing, I had an LG Chocolate 2. My next phone was an SE C905, and it felt "huge". No way I'd get something as big as an iPhone. But that phone had internet (and a tiny screen), and I learned how useful internet away from my computer was. Next phone was a SE X10 running Android, and I've never looked back. My Note 3 (which I've had for all of 4 days) is by far the largest phone I've owned (a full inch bigger than my next biggest, a Nexus 4), and I'm wishing it was bigger. Then again, I'm halfway through my billing cycle and have used 150+GB and only 39 minutes, 30 of which were calling my mom on her birthday. So obviously my "phone" is less a phone and more a pocket computer. I like small phones too - my daily driver is the Nexus 4, and I've got a dinky Samsung Galaxy Light that I use when I want something even smaller. I really, really want a Z3 Compact. And a Z Ultra. And a Nexus 6. And a 2013 Moto X.

25. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

ROFL!! How many phones can Planterz shove in four pockets?? Let's find out...

27. Planterz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Apr 30, 2012

6 pockets. I wear cargo shorts. I only have the one SIM card though, so I only have one phone on me at any time (and one in my backpack when I go to work).

18. KParks23

Posts: 725; Member since: Oct 13, 2010

Its funny because i thought 4.3 was big also when i had my bolt then i was like i can go bigger and got the 4.7 inch s3 and was this is huge then got used to it and was again like i can go bigger now i got the g3 lol

3. Omarc07

Posts: 574; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

Ahh how i miss my LG dare!!

6. JC557

Posts: 1919; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

I still have my LG Dare but I sold off my LG Voyager and LG EnV Touch. Great phones those LGs. The EnV touch had one heck of a camera despite being only 3.2 MP. Some of my best photos came from that phone camera. Then I bought a Droid 1 used then a Droid X outright in 2010. Wow 4 years passed so quick...

4. Metropolis75

Posts: 196; Member since: Aug 28, 2012

I remember I had to pay full retail for the LG Dare because I was mid contract. Lord what did I spend money on lol. The phone did me well until I upgraded to the Droid X.

5. MpowerSkills

Posts: 47; Member since: Feb 19, 2011

I still have a Dare as a back up, that phone was great!

7. SupermanayrB

Posts: 1188; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

I thought the 3rd don't option on the Voyager was cool. Moms still has her Dare. I still have my Droid. I traded in my Droid X2 to get my RAZR Maxx.

9. spasticpat

Posts: 110; Member since: Dec 18, 2012

I had a Dare and loved it, my brother had the Voyager. I also had the Motorola Droid. I don't remember the Dare and Voyager being that thick haha

10. bossmt_2

Posts: 459; Member since: Oct 13, 2009

I had the last 2. Never bought into the hype on the first 3. Resistive touch sucks. I had the Blackberry Storm, which I feel belonged on this list. While a colossal failure of a device, it was the first "iPhone killer" that Verizon really went out of it's way. It sold incredibly well for Verizon, but was super s**tty. Certainly more memorable than the Omnia.

22. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Yes resistive sucks and so did the Omnia 1.

14. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Ah yes..... the "Droid" and that chin. Still miss physical keyboards to this very stinking day. I know CrackBerry fans would argue, but I thought the Droid series had the best keyboards on the market. Oh, what I missed being on AT&T all these years.

20. GoBears

Posts: 456; Member since: Apr 27, 2012

My Droid X is what switched me to Verizon.

21. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

And the article left out the HTC Droid Incredible. It came out after the Droid and was considered a worthy upgrade.

23. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3137; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Don't know why PA didn't use the HTC Imagio as the WM representative instead of the Omnia I. Even the i-920 Omnia II was a much better WM device.

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