I’ve used a Blackberry for the better part of 10 years, loyalty built because as a phone and an emailing tool it works and works well. Good design, great phone, great battery life. As a smart phone where it fails is the browser experience, the display is just too small, requiring zooming in and out to try to navigate pages. There are applications you can buy to add additional functionality, but nothing compared to the variety that I see for both the iPhone and the Android market.
Over the past several years my wife has been the iPhone user, and I’ve seen that more and more we would rely on her phone to do the lookups that you do when you’re out and about – where’s an ATM, where’s a coffee place, etc. It was just painful on the Blackberry. So, I’ve been thinking that I’m not availing myself of the latest tools, yet I knew that change would be painful. Giving up the real keyboard, learning new steps to do small things like a conference call, all contributed to not being in a really hurry to change. Less an aversion to change than an aversion to the pain that comes with the learning curve.
So, I’ve been watching the phone market, especially the Windows 7 phones, and the Android ones. My wife has an iPhone and I think they nail the consumer market, she’s been happy with it for the most part. But I wanted to try something newer, and after a lot of reading, decided to try the Android stuff now, and most likely will try a Win 7 phone sometime next year. That’s not a decision that Android is better, rather a decision that it’s further from my comfort zone and while changing, might as well change big.
I read the reviews, read some more, and had the same feeling I had when I buy jewelry or a car – am I making a good decision? What don’t I know? Will a new/better/cheaper version come out next week? Probably!
I liked the reviews on the Droid Incredible, and had a note to look at the Droid X as well. Picking those was arbitrary, as much as picking Ford vs Chevy or whatever, but seemed like new and had the features I wanted to try. Off to the Verizon store twice to look at them, and while 20 minutes of in store experimenting is hardly enough, it did show me that I preferred the X. Again, for subjective reasons, nothing that probably matters in the context of buying a phone.
Buying one was another leap because I’ve been on AT&T for a long time. I’ve had few problems with signal strength, and the only dropped calls are usually my friend Steve Jones who lives in the middle of no where, or at least drives through it frequently. Changing carriers meant reading new rate plans, trying to figure out my strategy if I didn’t like the phone and returned it, etc. More trivia.
I ended ordering the phone from Wirefly for $99. It was $299 in the store with a $100 gift card in the mail, a promotion I find especially annoying. The remaining $100 difference was that the in-store purchase included “$100 worth” of accessories, I’d rather just buy my own. Wirefly included 2 day Fedex delivery at no cost, so I’m about $70 ahead so far after ordering a screen protector and a case.
On the rate plan, it was $59 for 900 minutes, or $69 for unlimited. On ATT we have a 1200 or 1400 minute plan we share, but we also don’t get charged for calls between family or the “a list”. I’ve tried using Skype to manage minutes, but it was a pain, just didn’t fit the way I worked, and finally just used it in cases where it would help the other person save minutes. A text plan was another $20. My wife and I use SMS for routine stuff, but I swear it’s not worth $20, so we’ll switch to email or instant message. The data plan is $30 for unlimited, so I’m at about $100 a month before the many miscellaneous fees and taxes that get applied.
Tomorrow – the adventure continues!