Cell phone obsession

My contract with Verizon ends this week, and the battery on my Moto Q is about to go to its little Li-Ion reward, so I’m in the throes of my biennial obsession with cell phones. I’ve been a Verizon customer for about six years (three phones) and I don’t have any particular complaints…except that we pay two cell phone bills. Elise is stuck with ATT; they were nice enough to plop a microcell in the basement of her hospital so her phone works in the ORs. If I switched to AT&T, we can go to a family plan and I’d probably save enough in the first year to pay for the phone I’d have to buy. That’s a pretty compelling argument. If it wasn’t for the whole

thing, I’d be set.
So while I agonize about that, anybody got any smartphone recommendations? Due to some changes at work I’m no longer feeling the need to stick with Windows Mobile for the sake of political correctness. However, I gotta have Exchange integration. I admit that I’m now addicted to the whole email-in-the-pocket thing. I use that quite a bit, and I tend to do a fair bit of web browsing (mostly Google Reader) on the train. My major functional gripe with the Q is the lack of multiple vibrate alerts, or some way to differentiate text message alerts and calendar reminders from incoming email.
I downloaded the BlackBerry simulators for two new models (the Storm on Verizon, and the Bold on ATT) and they look pretty slick. The Storm in particular looks sexy, but I’m not sure it’s sexy enough to justify the extra recurring expense.
So besides the BlackBerrys, and what’s-it-called from that company in Cupertino, anything else I should consider?

6 thoughts on “Cell phone obsession

  1. I’m with AT&T and just got a Nokia N85 off eBay–it isn’t released in US markets yet so mine is an Asian model. I’m überhappy with it so far. It’s WiFi and 3G but–for a change–the battery really lasts all day under moderately heavy use, or 2 days under light use. I think that’s b/c of the OLED screen, which is a lot more energy-efficient than LCD. Compare this to my old AT&T 8525 (aka HTC TyTN), which just barely made it through the 30-minute train ride if I was reading news on it.
    The phone is quad-band GSM and is the first phone I’ve seen with tri-band 3G: 900/1900/2100 supports both Euro-frequencies and one US frequency. I’ll probably swap it for a NA model when it comes out just to cover 3G better on this continent, but for now I’m fine in any 3G 1900 market, notably Chicago.
    S60 3rd Ed reportedly supports Exchange now, although I haven’t tried it myself. The multimedia features on the phone are great: podcasting (audio & video), internet radio, etc. The camera is 5MP with Carl Zeiss optics, and it can use the onboard GPS (!) to geotag photos automatically.
    I spos I could have gotten one of those Cupertino things, but since I use my phone most heavily on the train where I often don’t get a seat, I need a phone that’s good for one-handed operation (snicker). My old 8525 was particularly bad on this point, and although I think the iPhone interface is better, I was unconvinced that it would really fit the bill. Also, the iPhone touch screen apparently does not work if you’re wearing gloves. How useful for Chicago!
    But then I’m a Nokia fan generally anyway, so YMMV.

  2. Marc has a friend in IT who spec’d out all the smartphones and compared not only features, but also memory, CPU speed, etc., and this friend says the Sprint Diamond is the winner and they’re getting one for everybody. Marc is also testing a Diamond right now (you may have seen him showing it off at Grace’s birthday party). I think it comes in touch and QWERTY varieties.

  3. When Elise calls you from work, do you say, “Hi honey. Let me call you back on a secure line.”

  4. Tim- Touché. I suppose if I were truly principled about it, we wouldn’t have ATT at all, regardless of inconvenience. The telecom immunity thing bugs me, though. . Maybe I should just send some of my savings to the EFF?
    I was kinda-sorta limiting myself to VZW and ATT, since I came to VZW from Sprint six years ago due to network issues. Maybe they’ve changed since then.
    And John – apparently you and Joel Spolsky are the two remaining Nokia fans in the US (although he has the slightly less-cool N71). You guys should form a club or something 🙂

  5. Yeah, it’s weird how low Nokia’s market share is in the US, considering they have nearly 40% market share worldwide. Granted, they’re typically very slow about releasing their phones in the US market, and some models are still non-US (e.g. N82, which has no US 3G for a year or two).
    But even when they do release phones here, AT&T seems really bad about carrying them: they carry only 4 Nokia models, only 1 of which is 3G. T-Mobile has a few more but still no N- or E-series phones.
    I’ll certainly admit that the N85 doesn’t have the “toy” appeal of the iPhone or the G1. But on the stuff I really need–good phone capabilities that don’t get hampered by the smartphone gorp, simple web browsing (mostly text for me), easy one-handed interface, good battery life–the N85 does really well.
    Anyway, glad to know that at least phone-wise I’m slightly sexier than Joel 🙂

  6. My Sprint phone is pretty poor, but it’s also a fairly crappy phone, so I hesitate to place blame.
    And John, Spolsky has nothing on you. 😉

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