Thursday, December 11, 2008

no new pocket oracle for me (yet)

Our contract is pretty much up with Verizon, our current carrier. We've been with Verizon since 2002 and been very happy with our service. I've been very interested in upgrading from a cell phone to something a bit more feature-heavy. You know: something with a decent web browser, e-mail interface, camera, maybe some other features.

Despite what I recognize in the iPhone to be the epitome of such a device, I was so turned off by Apple's launch of the iPhone, and not interested in changing carriers, that I'd simply categorized the iPhone as something I would not have.

So... I was very interested in the new Blackberry Storm. Basically Blackberry and Verizon's answer to the iPhone, it also has a browser, GPS, what have you... I knew it wouldn't be as slick (this was Blackberry, after all), and so Jamie and I hopped in the car to check it out and maybe re-up our plan.

Basically, the thing never worked. The interface was relatively intuitive, and I liked that you literally clicked the screen to make selections. And my worries about fat-fingering the virtual keyboard were completely unfounded. That part of the technology was rock solid.

This was also true for the Samsung Omnia I looked at (Samsung's answer to the Storm, I guess). I actually liked the Omnia's interface better, but the screen seemed to have less real estate, and while I was able to look up a sample site (I looked up this site), I couldn't figure out how to click on a hyperlink from this page. And, honestly, it all just felt very, very cramped. Like... what's the point? It did use Windows, which was kind of cute.

I never could get a webpage to open on the Blackberry. It kept launching a Beyonce video whenever I clicked "Browser". The GPS didn't work on either device. Mail seemed iffy. I couldn't get a clear answer about web-mail versus signing up for some other mail... (I don't think the sales person was very educated on the devices and services) It just seemed like the foundational technology... the hardware... was fine. Everything else seemed like a mess.

Now, I know these devices have lots of people messing with them, and it was late, so who knows how many had pawed the devices before I touched them. But... their stuff didn't work. Not a strong sales pitch.

So... I don't know what we're going to do. Month-to-month with Verizon, but I think were going to go to an Apple store in January and look at the iPhone, check out the costs there (they are high, but so was the cost of the Storm and Omnia). But we may also just be in for phones. I dunno.

The whole thing was disappointing, to say the least. The iPhone has been out for a while, and the competitors just aren't keeping up. I predict another two years (at least) before they're at where iPhone is now, and who knows what Apple will have done by then...



mrshl said...

The Storm got what might be the worst reviews of any device I've ever seen. And, from what I've read, none of the iPhone wannabes are anywhere near as good. That said, I've been very happy with my BlackJack II, and everyone I know with a regular old BlackBerry Curve or Pearl has been SUPER happy.

You could get one of those, or you could wait until more Google Android phones come out. That's the Google Borg's answer to the iPhone, and the reaction to the T-Mobile model has been pretty positive. Don't rush.

J.S. said...

My phone lets me talk to people. Sometimes.

The League said...

Sound advice, MRSHL. I think Jamie is going to get dragged along on a lot more of these shopping trips before all is said and done. I just need to conivince her to be as patient with this as she was with The Great Car Search '07.

Anonymous said...

if you want a smartphone, you can't beat the iPhone. The issue with the Android Phone is that you are stuck with T-Mobile and that they are still at version 1, essentially. In a few months or a year, it could be a competitor to the iPhone, but it's not there yet.

Also, there's a rumour that's been floating about forever that Verizon will eventually carry the iPhone and that Apple will soon offer a 32GB version.

I've told Emily that I'm getting an iPhone in June when my contract runs out no matter how broke we are.

The League said...

I was under the impression the AT&T contract had iPhone locked in for a few more years. Part of why I'd wait for January to look at the iPhone is that I'm waiting for Jobs' next State of the Union, which, it seems, usually falls in January or February.

tachyonshuggy said...

The iPhone is the single best consumer electronics device I have ever owned.