Verizon 'Hub' Features Surpass Typical Smart Phone

Dennis Faas's picture

When heard the term "smart phone," most people visualize a mobile phone that comes with a whole bunch of interesting features. But when people have to make a phone call and are not out living their busy lives, they still tend to use a landline-based home phone. It is this logic that spurred the new Verizon "Hub"; a home phone model that provides a multitude of Internet-based features similar to a "smart phone".

The Hub comes with a cordless handset that rests atop its charger like many home phone models, but attached to it is a miniaturized flat-panel screen.

The Hub Versus Smart Phones

The Hub works online using voice-over-Internet VoIP technology and setup is a breeze. After establishing a Verizon account, simply plug the phone into an electrical outlet and connect it to your home Internet service over WiFi or with an Ethernet cable. (Source:

The touch-screen launches a menu filled with telephone directories and other interesting features.

Want to go to the movies this evening? On regular home phones, people would have to call the box office for show times and ticket prices. The Hub lets its subscribers watch movie previews and order tickets and concessions right from the touch-screen.

The Hub also includes local news and traffic updates, sports scores and recipe suggestions all provided through the Verizon Wireless VCast service.

Another neat feature, "Relay", replaces the classic refrigerator door and notepad/answering machine for messages. Connect any Verizon Wireless phone to the Hub and leave text messages, videos and pictures for family members to see.

The Hub also features the "Chaperone" function. A simple click of the touch-screen lets concerned parents monitor the location of their children if they have a Verizon Wireless mobile phone. The touch-screen displays a map and an indicator of where the child is at all times. (Source:

Room for Improvement

There are two things that Verizon can work on to make the Hub even more appealing to the average consumer:

  • First, the Hub lacks a web browser, meaning that subscribers can't surf the Internet at their leisure.
  • Second, the Hub is rather expensive, selling for around $200 after a $50 rebate. It also requires a two-year, $35-a-month contract.

Despite these minor setbacks, Verizon should be able to entice more than a few people to ditch their standard models and purchase a more modern smart/home phone.

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