Monday, February 27, 2012

"The End Of Minutes": Full Vonage Mobile App Review

For Your Info: Just wanted to let you know that the two posts about this application were sponsored by Vonage. With that said, I will still be giving you my true and honest opinion about this application, expressing what I find, in as unbiased a manner, as I possibly can.


If you have yet to read my previous introduction post, I have used the new Vonage Mobile App for a week straight. Using it as much as I possibly could, here are my findings...


Clean and User Friendly UI
Using this app was great! As compared to other data calling apps I've used, this one is, by far, the easiest to use. It felt natural, as if I was using my "baked-in" phone program, but better.

Contact Oriented
I really enjoyed my contacts being front and center when I would start the App. When using Skype Mobile, the contacts section only included my Skype contacts. If I wanted the contacts already on my phone in my Skype contacts, I would have to add them manually.

Crisp Call Quality
When using this app, I did seem to notice a higher quality sound when talking. I'm not sure if this is just all in my head or what, but when I would call using this app and compare it to a call made with my provider, it just seemed like the Vonage sound quality was better.

This would even be the case if the person I was talking to wasn't using the Vonage App. I don't know if they run it through something that makes it sound better, but calls were just more crisp and high-def, as compared to not using it.

Free Calling (limited time)
I did go ahead and purchase some minutes to use for calling out of the States, also thinking that I would need it to call within the US, as well. You can imagine my surprise when I started calling my friends and family, and the price per minute on the screen was $0.00. It was awesome! But it is only for a limited time as of right now, so you better get to it if you want to take advantage of it.

Clearly Visible 'Per Minute Rates' During Calls
I would have never known that my phone calls in the U. S. were free if it hadn't been clearly displayed in front of me during the call. Underneath the name of person you are calling is the rate/minute value for the call, which cuts down worry of talking to long.

International Calls
I took a trip to Europe a few years back, and let me tell you -- if it wasn't for a certain data calling service by the name of Skype, I don't know how I would have communicated with my family back home.

Though Skype was a big help, it was also very inconvenient and complicated to use. Every contact number had to be added manually to get them to work right, and I had to use my computer whenever I wanted to make a call. All in all, lets just say I didn't have the best experience using it as my only communication and really started hating it by the end of the trip.

If I were to go back to Europe right now, I would definitely be using this Vonage Mobile App instead. I wouldn't even need to by a large data package for my phone if I was going to stay in a metropolitan area. I could just use Wifi (many times provided by the city itself for free) to call. And unlike Skype, I would have all my contacts right there in front of me when turning on the application.


Data Usage
Here is the biggie everyone is worried about: data overages! It can be avoided, however. There are just a few precautionary things that can be done in order to prevent it. The main thing is making sure to use a WiFi connection whenever possible. Simply turning on the WiFi receiver on your phone right when you walk in the door of your house could save you a lot of data usage trouble. Also, if you have WiFi at your workplace, you could be using that to make calls as well, instead of your 3G or 4G.

Calling Within the Carrier
The carrier I use (which will remain nameless) allows me to call others who are also using them as a carrier without sacrificing any of my minutes (or data). That circle of people includes my girlfriend, brother, mother, father and some other friends, which is pretty much all the people I talk to on a daily basis. So, unless I started using this application solely without a minutes package, it would be silly of me to use it when calling these people.

Emergency Calls
This one came as a shock to me when I first read it, but the more I think about it, the more it makes since. You can't call 911 using this app. This type of service is set up with the phone carriers to work with the local police, fire, and rescue services in your town. I can understand why this application may not have those capabilities; simply because they are not in place. If you do happen to make a 911 call using this App, it will exit out and dial using your service provider instead.

Can't SMS Text Contacts Not Currently Using the App
I did find it a little concerning that I could not text others that didn't already have this App. The only people I could text were the ones who had this App on their phone. I searched for a way to text someone who did not currently use the Vonage Mobile, but came up with no option.


If you can't already tell, I like this application. I think it is a great idea, and a wonderful start in the right direction. If I were going abroad right now, or wanted to call a friend who lived in another country, there would be no doubt that this is the app I would use to go about it.

The interface is clean and easy to use, the call quality is great, and the rates are lower than anyone else's right now by far. Also, I don't have to go out of my way to access all the contacts that I already have in my phone. Vonage Mobile blows the others out of the water! And trust me on this, I know!

Though I cannot yet say that this app is able to replace the need for a minutes package just yet, it's definitely making strides in the right direction so that hopefully someday soon, we can.