Over the weekend I got a new cell phone. Not one that I necessarily needed. But one that I've been juicing over ever since I started reading reviews about it on the interwebs. I'm having a slight bit of buyers remorse, and MAY take it back. Let me outline the dilemma, the pros/cons, and everything else below. I may even post a poll about it and have you, my lovely readers, help me decide if I should keep it, or send it packin'.
I'm quite certain I haven't had my "old" cell phone all that long. IN FACT, I'm almost positive I've had it less than six months. OR, perhaps right around six months. The phone is a T-Mobile Shadow.
While talking to the T-Mobile rep yesterday about WHY I wanted a new phone, I shit talked the Shadow as a "fragile piece of shit". True, there's a screw in the upper left hand corner on the back side of the screen that keeps working it's way loose that I have to tighten about once a week so I don't lose it. True it's "tight" slide has loosened about as much as that Duggar chick's vajayjay. And it's true that the 5 and 8 keys had popped off this weekend in such a manner that they cannot be put back on. HOWEVER, in the Shadow's defense, as Jed points out, the Shadow managed to stay on the top of Jed's car from the fourth floor of the parking garage at Seton Medical Center; all the way down North Lamar; up a portion of HWY 183, before FINALLY falling off the top of Jed's car AS I was turning the corner into Discount Tires. Had I not forgotten to put my Shadow in it's case (AND in my pocket), it probably would have done a better job resisting scratches and nicks in the casing. That said, it survived the fall rather well. Particularly since I rounded the corner at APPROXIMATELY 30 mph. This weekend, while walking out of the bathroom, I tripped over a fat Bassett and sent my phone HURLING through the living room, slamming it against a bookcase (which caused the 5 & 8 keys to break loose). In other words, as hard as I am on my phones, it's held up a lot better than it should or could have. Jed's, for example, still looks like it came out of the box.
One of the things that I LOVE about the Shadow is the operating system. OH, did I mention, the Shadow is a "smartphone"? The Shadow runs off of a Windows Mobile platform. And shit talk it all you want, it's a system that I've used for at least the last 6 years and one that I'm very familiar with. I love that it syncs, wirelessly, to my laptop when the two objects are near each other, keeping my contacts and my calendars up to date on both devices. I love that I can open word documents, pdfs, and powerpoint presentations on my phone. I love the ease and simplicity of getting and reading my email on my phone. I was quite familiar with the navigation of the internet functions. I could live-blog ON THE SPOT in no time at all. The "windows live" feature was fantastic for quickly finding movie times/locations AND the cheapest gas wherever I happened to be at that particular moment. The craziest, most raddest function (which I actually used more than a few times) was that I could connect my phone via bluetooth to my computer (while I was, say, camping in the woods) and use my cell phone as a wireless modem for my computer for full-sized por…web browsing.
BUT, as I said, the 5 & 8 keys fell off this weekend, which left me in a bit of a tizzy, and I found myself, once again, standing in the middle of my local T-Mobile retailer lusting after the G1.
The G1 is apparently the "Looser's iPhone". It's got the cool touch screen, rotat-a-screen features. It's not based off a windows platform. It's Google's brain child. And it does have some really great APPLICATIONS. It's also got some limitations that I've found in the 16 hours that I've had it.
Shall we start with the limitations? Cuz I always like to start with the bad, so you have something nice to remember at the end.
You can't touch-tap the screen for SMS messages (*YET). You have to slide open the keyboard to peck out your message on a full keyboard. It makes it difficult to drive, eat, change the radio station, and message friends all at the same time. You can, however, dial on the touch screen (which is a HUGE improvement over the original Sidekick). I don't THINK there is a video camera feature (unlike the Shadow!)…UNLESS I just haven't found it yet, which is entirely possible…because there's just too much stuff on it to check out! The battery seems to drain itself every 4-6 hours, depending on which applications you have installed. For example, I've installed the "Weatherbug" application, and it appears to constantly be sending a GPS location to wherever and constantly updating the weather every 5 minutes (as IF it changes that often?). I'm sure there's some other "drains" I've added too, but can't think of them off the top of my head. The keys on the keyboard are flush mount, which makes it a little difficult to type. I don't suppose it's really any more difficult than a virtual "iPhone" type keyboard though. You CANNOT sync it with Outlook (*YET). DO NOT believe the hype that there has been an application (funamobl) that has corrected this. I've installed it and followed the directions and you STILL CANNOT SYNC WITH OUTLOOK (*). This is a pain in the ass. Because, while you can "import" your Outlook contacts into Gmail, it ONLY imports the names, email addys, and phone numbers of your contacts. You have to MANNUALLY add everything else to your Gmail address books. This is time consuming for people as popular as me.
I can't explain the simplicity in setting the phone up. You turn it on. Sign in with your gmail account name/password, and everything is immediately synced with Google. (Contacts, calendar, RSS feeds, anything else you've set Google up with). The applications store has LOTS of cool add ons, and since it's an android format, all the applications are free. The COOLEST application I've found, so far, is a price grabber program. You use the phones camera to scan the bar code of any item (and I tested it with SEVERAL items) and it instantaneously (I believe through nextag???) pulls all the local prices and internet prices of the item scanned and shows you in price order (low-to-high) where the item is cheapest. If the source happens to be an internet store, it will take you to that website as well. I think that's pretty amazing. The sound quality of the phone features is great. The 3G connectivity is phenomenal. Seriously, it's like the difference between dial-up and broadband.
I'm slowly but surely figuring things out on this phone. It's like when I went from a Windows based phone to the Sidekick several years ago. It took me months to get fully used to the Sidekick. I never grew to LOVE the Sidekick, whereas I felt really comfortable around my Shadow in the short time I had it. I'm getting the same feeling, initially, from the G1. It's got some really cool things, but I'm trying to figure out if they're things that are going to make me fall in love with it.
And so here's my true dilemma. I've always had insurance on all of my phones. So technically I could have gotten my Shadow replaced after paying the (I THINK) $100 deductible. I paid (after taxes) about $80 more than the deductible of the Shadow. I sort of feel like it was a bit silly to get the G1? Like I was having an affair on my Shadow? I have 13 more days to decide if I'm going to keep it. I'll see how this thing revolutionizes my life in the next 5 days (and I'll open up a poll for that length of time too!). If in 5 days y'all tell me to get rid of it, and it hasn't changed my life, I'll make my decision.
Any other G1 users that have applications I MUST have???
(* with the G1 being an Android format, applications are open to developers to make any type of application they want. New stuff is constantly being introduced, daily, so there's a very real chance that someone will come up with an application to sync Outlook, properly, very soon.)