Cell Phonez, Smartphones, & Dumb Phones

So if you have been a longtime fan of my site you’ll probably remember that I used to write about Palm phones all the time. Consulting with my archives shows however that I have not written about my personal smartphone use since August 1, 2005 when my Kyocera 7135 finally kicked the bucket. I honestly haven’t loved a phone as much since my old 7135. There were things it did that most cell phones today still don’t do. The old Palm OS was a great smartphone solution for many years but with the introduction of the iPhone it started showing its age. I still stayed true to Palm though because I was on Verizon. I had a Treo 650 & finally a Treo 755p. The 755p was my favorite of the Treos but it still didn’t compare with the 7135.

So what did I replace my Treo with? I got the original Droid from Verizon. It was the first Android phone on Verizon and it was the first major success for the Android OS. I had the Droid from the day it launched until I replaced it with a Windows 7 Phone back on June 20th, 2011. A lot of people wondered why I went I left the Android Device especially at a time of great prosperity for the OS. Not to mention people wondered why I didn’t go iPhone. We’ll get to all of that…

I left Android because the writing was on the wall for me. With Android’s OS fragmentation issues, OEM’s putting “custom skins” on top of the Android OS, and the lack of “vanilla Android” devices on Verizon I was starting to grow worried. You know what all of this reminded me of? The old Windows Mobile 6.x days. Microsoft had shortchanged itself big time with their choices in regards to old Windows Mobile and now Google it seemed was making those same mistakes. On top of that my old trusty original Droid started having stability issues even after a complete wipe! My stay at Hotel Android was over; it was time to check out…

So what were my alternatives? iPhone, Blackberry, HP Pre, or Windows Phone 7. I had a Blackberry for some time when I started working at Princeton University and I just never liked it. The OS was old and slow, you couldn’t surf the web that well, and their app selection was mega weak. But they did have nice keyboards! The HP Pre was the old Palm Pre and I was really excited about that phone when it was announced, but it took too long to get to Verizon and I stopped caring. So that leaves the iPhone and WP7…

I’ve never liked the iPhone and it seems I never will. Sure there are great apps on it but I have never enjoyed using the phones. Not to mention their call quality kind of stinks and there is that whole “Apple as big brother” thing. Now I’m not one to be paranoid but their attitude about everything just really disappointing. Not to mention that ever since I started supporting Mac’s exclusively in my professional life, the cracks have long been showing in the facade that is Apple. So the iPhone was out…

So that leaves Windows Phone 7. There has been a lot of positive buzz about these phones since they launched. In addition to that I have owned 2 Zunes which I absolutely love as portable media players. The Zune OS is basically what WP7 was based off of. One of my gripes with Android towards the end of my run was how I was plagued by a bug in Android Exchange mail support and was not able to get my work e-mail on my phone for a solid month. I live and die by Exchange because at Princeton that is what our mail platform is. I knew that going with a Microsoft phone, Exchange support and compatibility with be near 100% at all times since Exchange is a Microsoft product. I was worried too about the Android apps I had grown to rely on. I wondered about whether the young Windows Phone 7 Marketplace had the same apps or equivalents? Turned out All but 2 of the 12 apps I regularly used were represented in Windows Phone 7. Not to mention, I always wanted an OFFICIAL Flickr app on Android and there never was one but Windows Phone 7 has one! So that was a one up in my book. So at this point I decided that Windows Phone 7 was the OS I wanted but what phone did I actually want?

Verizon made the choice easy for me; there is only one Windows Phone 7 device on Verizon, the HTC Trophy. It’s got a nice size screen but no hard keyboard. You see I have fat fingers and I cannot for the life of me type on virtual keyboards. The only virtual keyboard I have ever been able to type on is the one on my Android Table and that’s because the green is like 9 inches wide. The iPhone keyboard and the default Android OS keyboard were always big stumbling blocks for me. I made a promise to myself that I had to try out the HTC Trophy before I would buy it. So when I arrived at the Verizon store on June 20th, 2011 I asked the saleslady to let me try one out. She went and got one for me and I typed an e-mail out very fast without any mistakes. I don’t know what it is about the Windows Phone 7 keyboard but its easier to type on for some reason. I think it’s because the screen is wider than an iPhone or Droid screen but maybe I’m wrong. I told her to wrap it up as I was sold.

So here we are almost two months later and I still love the phone to death. The Zune Marketplace integration is wonderful. All the TV Shows I purchased on my Xbox are available for my phone for no extra cost. The Xbox Live compatibility is amazing, the quality of the games for Windows Phone 7 are very impressive, and most importantly, not since my old Nokia 5110 have I had such excellent call quality. Seriously I feel like Smartphone makers don’t even care if your phone can make a call. The HTC Trophy is the clearest phone I’ve ever used. However I have one complaint, if your phone has no service your battery drains mega fast. This was also a problem on my Droid and seems to be a common issue for most smartphones these days.

So there you go, buy a Windows Phone 7. I can almost guarantee you’ll be satisfied with it more so than any other phone you have ever owned!

My next phone you ask?

Definitely a John’s Phone.

One thought on “Cell Phonez, Smartphones, & Dumb Phones

  1. The accidental unlocking when throwing it in your pocket, along with accidentally playing your music is my biggest issue with my torch. It may seem like a small thing, but when you live with it every day its very annoying. As for it feeling dated, it does. Its hard to describe but the entire user experience is just not on par with the competition, and if you own a playbook and go between the two devices often the “dated feeling” stands out big time. And Apple not making any major changes to iOS makes this fact all the more embarrising, going on 5 years in and they still haven’t been able to get it right. These are real complaints that the reviewer accurately described, if apple or google or ms came out with this crap they would get the same treatment. |

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