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Can the Nexus Prime and HTC Vigor Survive Verizon Retail?



The HTC Vigor and the Samsung Nexus Prime are two hot Android devices we expect to land on Verizon within the next few months. Both of these devices pack impressive specs, and now that we’ve seen the Nexus Prime — impressive looks.

There’s no doubt that the Nexus Prime will go head to head with the iPhone 4S, and it will be counting on Android Ice Cream Sandwich to get a leg up.

The HTC Vigor won’t have the latest version of Android, but it should have Sense 3.5 which delivers a highly styled skin on top of Android.

In short, these will be flagship devices — going head to head with the best competition Apple could deliver — but can they survive the Verizon retail experience.

What’s Wrong?

If you go into your local Verizon store and purchase a top of the line Android phone, you’re lucky to make it out the door without a smattering of bad advice that will ruin your Android experience.

One user who recently returned his Android phone for to go back to BlackBerry (Yes, BlackBerry) described his experience with Android as, “The worst 30 hours of my existence.”

Thanks to a lack of training, many of the front line sales staff are giving poor advice to Android buyers, which results in a sub-par user experience and ultimately drives people away from the brand. Android has enough issues without misinformed sales staff giving advice on getting started.

Here’s a list of things I have seen on phones that come straight from Verizon, and advice that has been given;

  • Gmail checking on the built-in Gmail App, and on the Mail App (great way to kill battery life)
  • Bloatware pre-installed
  • “Lookout Mobile is rubbish, and is the reason your phone is slow.”
  • “You need to use a Task Manager to kill all running apps to keep your phone running right.”
  • Many variations of the same.

Back when the Motorola Droid launched, there was a need for task killers, and it was almost understandable that phones were heading out of the store checking Gmail accounts multiple times, but not anymore.

What Verizon Needs to Do

Verizon could use some help from HTC, Samsung and Google in launching these devices without hiccups. How could they do this? Deliver good in store training for the devices, and dispel the myths that many staff have about the right way to use and setup Android devices.

Look at the sales sheets that Apple has for the iPhone 4S. Apple has given retail staff three key demos to use to show off the power and features of the iPhone 4S — demos that real users can relate to. If Samsung and HTC provided two features to retail staff, and Google gave a short guide to showing off Android these devices, and other Android phones, would have a better chance at surviving the retail gauntlet.

While there are knowledgable Verizon employees, too often average consumers suffer from a bad Android experience because of bad advice given when they purchase their phone.

Image via dollen on Flickr



  1. Adam Truelove

    10/06/2011 at 8:03 am

    Task killers are the devil. Avoid them as such.

  2. Bigmouth

    10/06/2011 at 8:09 am

    Making this a Verizon exclusive is a really, really stupid move by Google, if true. They had a chance to really hurt Apple if they released this phone on multiple carriers.

    • Alexander Garcia

      10/06/2011 at 10:13 am

      Agreed. One thing (the only thing actually) that I love about the iPhone4S is that a CDMA and a GSM radio are both installed in the device. They should have done the same with the NEXUS.

  3. Yo

    10/06/2011 at 8:12 am

    And this is considered NEWS because…???

  4. BrianB13

    10/06/2011 at 8:13 am

    These phones are expected to land on Verizon in the next few months?   Are you kidding me?  They better be hitting Verizon in the next few weeks.  Maybe it is a poor customer experience for novice Android buyers.  I don’t know about the rest of you, but I learn about different aspects of the OS from forums and from friends that are long time Android users so for me, I like the fact that I can go into a Verizon store and make their employees feel like morons.  I just sayin…

  5. Anonymous

    10/06/2011 at 8:25 am

    It will only be a Verizon exclusive for a short period of time and then will be branched out to the other carriers. This will be the first Nexus phone for Verizon and will have it exclusive for a few weeks…

  6. Savage937

    10/06/2011 at 8:43 am

    Wait, how are you supposed to check gmail on an android phone, if not with the built-in app? I’m a noob, preparing to make the switch from blackberry to android. Is the built-in gmail app on android phones no good? (As opposed to the phone-maker’s mail app, which I know is a different beast).

    • Bigmouth

      10/06/2011 at 9:09 am

      Android comes with both a stock email app and a dedicated gmail app. Personally, I only use the stock email for all my accounts, including gmail.

    • Anonymous

      11/02/2011 at 2:47 pm

      And there are aftermarket apps like K-9 which I use.  The problem is that if you don’t turn off checking on the one(s) you don’t use, you are having the battery do double or triple work.  If you have any after market apps which replace installed ones Like SMS or phone), turn off checking and notifications on the ones that you don’t use.

  7. 5John

    10/06/2011 at 8:44 am

    do what apple does because they are God….same old drum….keeping banging it for apple, they need the help.

  8. Johnhiggins

    10/06/2011 at 12:05 pm

    Did you see the new iPhone4C from Steve Jobs? It’s shaped like a coffin.

  9. jose cardona

    10/06/2011 at 12:42 pm

    It’s consumer ignorance. It’s not Verizon sales reps’ fault. The ultimate responsibility to learn how to use an Android phone falls on the owner. That would be like expecting a car salesmen to teach you how to drive. Pretty stupid, right?

    • Mrcold

      10/23/2011 at 5:54 am

      “Expecting a car salesman to teach you how to drive.”

      Not quite an accurate parallel.  You’re not asking them how to use a cell phone.  But the car salesman should at least know whether the car takes unleaded or diesel.

    • Anonymous

      11/02/2011 at 2:48 pm

      That would be stupid if it were an apt comparison but it’s not.  It’s more like the salesman selling you and automatic after he assured you that the car was a manual or his telling you that anti-lock brakes make you stop faster.

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