It's an exciting time in the world of cellphones.
Verizon Wireless held a pep-rally for it's South Florida employees on Monday in Plantation to talk about the newest phones hitting the stores in October and November. Afterward I was able to take a gander at the new batch of phones, and some of the models are nothing like what customers have seen before.
First out will be the Verizon Wireless Juke by Samsung. It's not thin like a Razr, but it sure is long and skinny. Aside from it coming in a bright red, teal or blue, it's the way that it opens that will catch people's attention. It's not a clam shell, or a slider -- it's a switch blade. The cover flicks 180 degrees counter-clockwise to reveal a keypad.
As its name implies, it is designed for music lovers. But unlike other phones, it is not V CAST music capable.
"We listened to what young customers told us," said Verizon Wireless Florida spokesman Chuck Hamby, and young customers didn't think it was necessary to download through the V CAST network since they can just connect it with their computers to add music. So to bring down the price, the V CAST music technology is not included. It's certainly a device aimed at younger people. For starters, the cover is just so fun to flick it's like a toy. And secondly, the screen is pretty small, so young eyes will have a much easier time using it.
Next out this month is the BlackBerry Pearl, which only Verizon has in a silver-grey color. It's much thinner than other BlackBerrys, and big fingers might have trouble with the squished keypad. Aside from business professionals, Hamby said stores expect this phone to attract working moms on the go wanting a sleek-looking smart phone.
The Venus by LG will hit stores in November (no exact date released yet) and will have not one but two touch screens, one above the other. The larger screen on top slides upward to reveal a number keypad. It comes in both black and pink (we all know how important colors choices are) and has a 2.0 megapixel camera and camcorder. The lower touch screen menu gives a little vibration when a screen button is pressed to confirm you've hit a button.
Similar to the Venus (but much cooler in my opinion) is the Voyager by LG. It has one large touch screen with a great resolution to view videos and browse the web. Like the Venus, it also gives a slight vibration as feedback when an on-screen button is pressed. It flips open sideways to reveal a full QWERTY keyboard with easy-to-press, spaced-out buttons. (Now if only it'll come in pink...)
"I can't say that didn't push us," Hamby said of how the iPhone was marketed. But what also influenced the company was that customers were wanting to know what phones were coming out so that they could plan ahead.
Hamby has been visiting employees all over Florida, and South Florida store employees seemed to be most excited about selling The Voyager, he said. Customers in South Florida are serious about buying phones with the cool factor -- more so than in other areas, he said. And if you're not already aware, thin is no longer the big fad. Touch screens are the new thin. These phones may not be paper thin, but it's just not an exceptionally important feature anymore to consumers, Hamby said.
So if you're looking to buy a new phone from Verizon, I'd definitely hold out for another month for these phones to hit stores. If you want to be notified when the phones become available or pre-register to buy any of them, visit verizonwireless.com/next.