Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Flirting with Androids

So yeah... I was told that the organization I work for will buy me a new phone a few weeks ago. This is like taking a three year old to Toys R Us and telling them that they can only... have... one. So, naturally I spent the next few days (okaaaay... next week) looking at the phones that were out on the major carriers, and took a look at the phones that were expected to be released in the coming weeks, both rumored and confirmed.

I settled on waiting for the newest Android phone coming from Sprint, the Samsung Moment, because of what looked like a nice side sliding keyboard, and a best in class 800Mhz processor, but wanted to hold it in my hand before I took the plunge. It turns out that waiting to test this bad boy out was the right move.

With all due respect to Android, the problems that you may have read about it in regards being a little slow to respond at times are true. Even with that monster processor, Android had noticeable delays while handling simple tasks, an issue that you don't see in either Windows Mobile 6.5, or Palm's WebOS (or the iPhone for that matter). We will find out in a few days whether this will be less of an issue with the upcoming Verizon Droid, which comes with a much slower processor (550 Mhz) but is the first phone to come out with the revamped Android 2.0. Regardless, the phone that I had considered as a backup ended up exceeding my expectations, and I'm not waiting any longer to get a new phone.

While I lust after the future possibilities of Android (give me a sleeker version of the Droid, with one of those 1Ghz snapdragon processors and an OS thats a bit snappier... I'll be in line on opening day) Samsung's candy bar (shaped like a Blackberry) Windows Mobile phone has everything I need and then some.

Enter the Samsung Intrepid...

I owned a side slider with an older version of Windows Mobile a few years back, and I'll tell ya, WinMo 6.5 is an enormous improvement. It has everything I'm looking for in a phone, as there are literally tens of thousands of apps you can download for WinMo, both paid and free, its snappy, stylish and does everything I need it to do.

Most importantly, it has one of the best keyboards on any phone I've ever played with. Some reviewers have called it cheap feeling, but I thought the clicks were solid, the keys were huge in comparison to phones with similar layouts (the phone is quite wide and the keyboard covers the whole width) and the keys had a bit of a rubbery feel to them that reminded me of my old Palm Treo. I text, update, email and even occasionally blog from my phone... so they keyboard is the most important thing for me. I was typing away at nearly the same speed as I can on my Treo now in a matter of 3o seconds once the Intrepid was in my hand. Besides... and maybe this is because I was a bit of a Trekkie when I was a kid... I like the idea of being able to say my phone is called an 'Intrepid', hahaha.

If you're wondering why I am just looking at Sprint phones... Verizon is great and all, and has measurably better service in my experience, but isn't worth the extra cost (even when the company is paying for it). On top of that, Verizon just decided to double their early termination fees. As if the world isn't nickel and diming us enough... I have never made it the whole two years before upgrading to a new phone, so this is no small deal for me. Hopefully this shady move wont spread to Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile and the like...

So! Keep flirting with Android kids. If you're more concerned with the cool factor than function, then maybe its for you. But if you're like me (aka... your smartphone doubles as an extension of your brain) and don't have the patience for the quirky issues they're still working out, then I'd say stick with the Palm Pre (if you're fingers aren't too big, like mine). iPhone (if you don't need a keyboard at all) or a nicer WinMo phone.

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