Verizon Wireless Smart Store in North Las Vegas
Verizon Wireless opened their newest Smart Store in Las Vegas, today. What is a Smart Store? I found that out after visiting their Destination Store at the Mall of America. I was intrigued to see what this store had to offer yesterday during a pre-opening tour. What I found was a combination of helpful people and cool tech in multiple zones.
— Chris Rauschnot (@24k) November 13, 2014
I have been a part of the Verizon Wireless Buzz Group for more than a year. In that time, I have seen first hand what the carrier is doing to stay ahead of retail trends and service with the rollout of XLTE.
Retail for VZW is trending towards an open layout with people and products that are accessible to the customer. The second Smart Store in Las Vegas might be smaller than the Destination Store in the Mall of America, but it has many of the core features plus a few premium ones as well.
My tour with Cory, Rachael and Ofelia began at the front of the store, just like it did at the Destination Store. The zones are named and designed like their larger counterparts in Minnesota.
New smartphones and wearable tech from Verizon Wireless is displayed steps from the front door. Those devices included the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Sony Z3v, Sony SmartWatch 3, Motorola Droid Turbo and more.
Top speakers and headsets were available to enjoy, including my favorite, the Ultimate Ears UE Boom, in the Amplify It zone. Around the corner, I found two floor-to-ceiling displays of portable backup batteries from Mophie and cases from Incipio and Otterbox.
Customers that want to customize a case for their smartphone can pick from a double accessory wheel to pair an inner and outer casing from Otterbox. Customers should enjoy being able to pick a certain type of material and color to match what they want. Changing colors of the case in the future is as easy as returning to the store and swapping out a new sleeve.
Battery cases, external battery packs in multiple colors and wireless charging solutions like the TYLT VU Qi charger are on a wall display behind the customization area. TYLT‘s VU charger is also carried at the Destination Store and one of the best single coil units I have reviewed.
Heading towards the back of the store took me past several SoftCard enabled payment machines and a donation bin. This bin is special because the cell phones donated go to the Verizon HopeLine program.
According to VZW’s website HopeLine has received 10.8 million cell phones, has given $21.4 million in cash grants to domestic violence organizations and donated 180k HopeLine phones to victims and survivors since 2001. Learn about how you can get involved by visiting the link above.
The very back of the store features all of the newest smartphones and tablets from several of the top brands like Motorola, Apple and HTC. There are pre-paid options available, a few flip phones and 4G LTE enabled hotspots.
How about a waiting area with a large padded circular red chair and charging ports? This Smart Store has that too. Digital toys are close by. They have several Parrot mini drones and the Sphero 2.0 ball that is ready for a spin.
Want an NFL branded Otterbox case for your smartphone? They are exclusively available from VZW and this store.
— Vegas BiLL (@VegasBiLL) November 13, 2014
BackBeat FIT Headphones Unboxing
BlueBuds X from Jaybird
VZW’s Home Zone gadgets are in the next section heading towards the front of the store. They include signal boosters and base units for wireless phones for the home.
Belkin WeMo gear, Philips HUE wireless lights, NEST thermostats and HD security cameras are the most popular in this zone. Home automation accessories are big right now and they have what need to get started.
Verizon’s SureResponse is a unique device that can help those closest to us in case of an emergency. A large button on the front summons an agent that can contact caregivers or an ambulance. It is waterproof, has a built-in speakerphone and works nationwide. GPS on the unit should locate anyone in need of help, within a few feet, depending on signal availability.
Getting the most out of wearable technology that tracks fitness is what the final zone on my tour was about. Products from Adidas, Fitbit, Withings, Jawbone and more were represented. I am a fan of Withings products, which are well designed and have an app with compelling visual reports that are easy to understand.
The center of the store is where trained employees will engage customers via workshops that will help them to setup new smartphones, how to use the cloud more efficiently and what popular apps to download.
One of the trainers for the workshops and Corey from Motorola were showing off the DROID Turbo and Moto 360 smartwatch has to offer.
Motorola’s DROID Turbo has 3GB of RAM, a 5.2” quad HD screen with a 565-pixel density (hundreds more PPI than the iPhone 5S) and a 3,900 mAh battery. The solidly built phone can charge to 60% in 30 minutes with a special Quick Charge 2.0 wall plug. That is enough juice for eight hours of use. What impressed me was the quad-core 2.7 GHz CPU and 4k video recording.
Google powered smart watches are making their way onto the tech scene more than ever this year. Sony and Motorola have their offerings at the Smart Store. The demo of turn-by-turn directions on the Moto 360 and other info at a glance are two ways I would mostly use it for. Wireless charging gets it ready for the next day.
Verizon Wireless has coined November 26th as Connection Day. The day before Thanksgiving in the USA is when millions of people travel. They want to help with Boingo WiFi passes, Gogo in flight WiFi passes and much more. Ask a rep for more info while in the store.
Zones, an open floor plan design, accessories, the latest smartphones and workshops led by trained staff are what you will find and should add up to a good experience.
Disclosure: I did not receive compensation for this review. I am a Verizon Wireless Buzz Group Ambassador. All thoughts and opinions are my own.