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verizon iphone 4After being rumored for years, Verizon’s iPhone is now one step closer to consumers. And early reviews signal that the device is worth the wait.

Verizon last night opened the floodgates to pre-orders from existing customers. Customers can claim their iPhone 4 via Verizon’s online store or through Apple’s web store. Verizon is giving its loyal users a head start before it starts taking orders from the masses, and in particular users who desperately want to leave AT&T, by offering them pre-orders for a full week before new users get their shot on February 10.

Reviews are also beginning to roll in for the device, with the likes of the New York Time’s David Pogue and the Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg praising its call quality and the fact that it doesn’t drop calls on a dime. Otherwise, the Verizon iPhone is pretty much the same as its AT&T counterpart. Reviewers point out that data speeds on the Verizon device are indeed slower than AT&T’s, but speeds are also on the whole more consistent, and reception more readily available.

The Verizon iPhone also sports mobile hotspot capabilities out of the box, which will let users share the device’s internet connection with up to 5 other wireless devices for $20 a month. AT&T users won’t have to wait too much longer for the feature though. According to Mossberg’s review, its hotspot capabilities will be enabled on February 13, following the release of version 4.3 of the iPhone OS.

In anticipation of heavy data usage from iPhone users, Verizon today will also begin throttling the speeds of its heaviest data users.

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