Verizon or T-Mobile?
November 26, 2006 2:28 AM   Subscribe

What cellphone provider offers the fastest, most reliable internet connection for their PDA phones?

I'm thinking about going for a Sidekick or a Treo, and am trying to decide if I should go with T-Mobile or Verizon. I've heard that Verizon's network is faster, but T-Mobile's is cheaper.

Also, a bonus question - will either the Sidekick or the Treo let me view and listen to flash-enabled web pages, such as Because that would be, like, really cool.
posted by Afroblanco to Technology (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you're looking for fast data access, you definitely don't want a Sidekick - despite moving up to a faster network with the last revision, it's about 56k-level.

Owning both a Sidekick 3 and a Treo 700p (Verizon), I find that T-Mobile's is more reliable but Verizon's is considerably faster.

And neither have any flash support.
posted by Remy at 6:09 AM on November 26, 2006

The T-Mobile MDA does support some older version of Flash, but I just tried to load Pandora twice and both times it ran out of memory. It does handle MeFi Music like a champ though, and can play non-Flash streams like the ones on Sirius's site.
posted by revgeorge at 6:34 AM on November 26, 2006

I don't have much to compare it to, but Verizon EV-DO on my Treo 700p is pretty quick. Yesterday it loaded a 5MB page in about 30-45 seconds.
posted by anathema at 6:35 AM on November 26, 2006

You're probably better off sheling out the cash and getting a wifi enabled phone if you go the GSM route (I have no experience with verizon). Wifi is pretty speedy on my phone and my girlfriends' (Nokia N80, E61) but the EDGE (t-mobile) kind of blows. It seems you like QWERTY, so try an E61 if you can, or one of those HTC phones if that's how you roll...
posted by lovejones at 7:41 AM on November 26, 2006

Do not get a T-Mobile MDA unless you want to be really truly disappointed as far the speed of the device and usability go. Not sure about the Flash but I would look into a Blackberry if you want a reliable and fast device.
posted by eatcake at 7:48 AM on November 26, 2006

You didn't put this out there, but Sprint's internet/data is only $20/month. They have a variety of Treos.
posted by k8t at 8:30 AM on November 26, 2006

Response by poster: Yeah, I looked into Sprint, but I've heard that their coverage is unreliable.

It's a shame that neither device will support sites like Pandora. I wonder if either will support streaming MP3 sites like or
posted by Afroblanco at 9:51 AM on November 26, 2006

My understanding is that EV-DO is, of course, faster than anything else, and there are only two carriers actually deploying it: Sprint and Verizon.

Sprint has deployed it both wider and more deeply, from what I hear, and their policies are *much* easier to live with.

They're also starting to roll-out Rev A, which has faster upload speeds, though of course, that's unlikely to be as much of an issue on a PDA.

So while further diligence is probably called for, what I'm hearing is "go Sprint".
posted by baylink at 9:54 AM on November 26, 2006

Cingular is rolling out HSDPA in some markets, which, afaik, provides for the fastest (future) transfer speeds. But Verizon is probably your best bet for high speed in most places. But be careful of the functionality-crippled phones they offer.
posted by xiojason at 11:45 AM on November 26, 2006

You're in NYC? I work with a couple guys who used to work for Vindigo. They both prefer Verizon for coverage, hands-down.

That said, I have a Sprint phone (NOT a PDA) and have been happy with the coverage when browsing the web on it.
posted by A dead Quaker at 1:31 PM on November 26, 2006

I haven't used Sprint, but the Verizon service is fast and relatively reliable. One thing is that the burst speed is much higher than the sustained download speed. Loading big web pages is fast, but downloading big files is relatively slow...still faster than dial-up tho.
posted by tremolo1970 at 7:52 PM on November 26, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks for your help, all. It's looking like Verizon is the way to go. I'll be sad to leave T-Mobile, since their customer service has been so good, and Verizon's is, by all account, pretty lacking.

Still, performance is performance.
posted by Afroblanco at 9:24 PM on November 26, 2006

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