Would you buy a 4G phone without having any coverage?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| Published: May 26, 2012


While where I live may not be on the front of bleeding-edge technology, at least we have 3G. Well, from Sprint and Verizon, anyway. (That's right, even AT&T only has EDGE-connectivity where I live. Still.) And while 3G is great, I can't walk into a local Verizon retailer and not be greeted with 4G LTE-connected devices. Which is confusing to me, because it doesn't make any sense why I would want to buy a 4G phone when I don't have any way to use it the way it is intended to be used. 

Let me just say that I think Verizon is doing a great job of rolling out their 4G LTE network. Undoubtedly they are covering huge chunks of territory at a pretty quick rate, so that has to count for something.

But I still don't have LTE in my neck of the woods, and I know a few other people out there don't have it, either. That doesn't stop people from buying the latest and greatest device, though, which for Verizon means there's an LTE radio tucked away inside.

I wish I could jump on the bandwagon, but I am a firm believer in that when I buy something, I plan on using all of the device's features. That state of mind is what made me use (and ultimately fall in love with) Siri on the iPhone 4S. It also prevents me from buying a 4G phone because that's a selling point of the device, and I'd I can't use it why would I want to spend money on it?

I spoke with a local business owner here when I saw that he was using a Samsung DROID Charge. I asked him how he likes the phone, and he told me he was generally pleased with it. He was the one that actually brought up 4G-connectivity, and that he didn't have it at home. He travels to a bigger city from time to time, a city that does have 4G, and that's actually how the Verizon salesperson was able to convince him to buy the phone in the first place.

He doesn't actually regret purchasing the phone, though. For one, he says that he didn't want the iPhone, which was the only non-4G phone he was shown during his visit. And, perhaps most importantly, he likes having the 4G-connectivity when he has the chance. And, perhaps not coincidentally, I couldn't help but think of everyone out there who purchased an EVO 4G LTE by HTC for Sprint, which will run on Sprint's very own 4G LTE network, which is still in its infancy.

Which made me wonder, is 4G a core feature, or just a bonus? To me, it's a feature that defines a phone, even the network in and of itself. But for this business owner, it was just a bonus feature that he used when he had the opportunity, and nothing more. 

So where do you stand? Have you jumped onto the 4G boat and never looked back? Or are you waiting for your area to get coverage? Let me know!


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