Jun 19, 2011

Step back!

I'm amused to see that Tam now has a smart phone.

Odd how these things work. Last spring I got a Palm Pre Plus smart-phone so I could have something approaching reasonable-speed internet at home. It sort-of worked for that, but the phone was a miserable piece of shit and didn't do ANYTHING quite right. Conceptually, it should have been great, but functionally it was a disaster. Mostly minor nitpicks, at least after the last software upgrade. (Prior to that I could count on having to wipe and re-install the apps at least once a month.) This was compounded by miserable battery life. When the phone was brand new, I could get through most of a day - a "day" meaning "leaving the house until I get home 14 hours later" and "get through" as "send a dozen or two text messages, read a couple emails, and maybe check the weather".

Fast-forward to present. Battery life is down to *six hours*. Less than a full workday, and that's without heavy usage. Since I now have the Galaxy Tab for on-the-go internet, I decided I'd much prefer a phone that works as a phone and can send text messages. I went and talked to the drones at Verizon, who were less than helpful and told me that if I really wanted a "feature phone" (with the implied question of "why would anyone want that?") I should just pick one from their web site, since they only stocked a few in the store.

So I did just that. I played with my brother-in-law's Casio Brigade during our road trip last week and liked it. Easy to type on (full QWERTY), but still simply a phone. A ruggedized, dust-, shock-, water-proof phone. I got home and ordered one. $63 later ($50 for the phone and $13 for overnight shipping) I had a new Brigade in hand.

Then I discovered yet another failure in the Palm setup. There is no good way to export contacts. Yes, you can do the Palm equivalent of rooting the phone and export a .CSV, but then what? Verizon's own "Backup Assistant" software doesn't run on the Palm. Lovely. So I hand-copied all of my contacts out, and then entered them one-by-one into the Brigade after I activated it.

My initial impressions of the Brigade are pretty favorable. It's "chunky" - but that's good. I feel like I have something I can hang on to, instead of trying to keep a grip on a tiny (and slick-surfaced) smart phone. The surfaces are rubberized, which simply adds to the secure feeling. The displays (small external, large internal) are nothing to write home about but are perfectly functional. Battery life seems to be ok so far - I charged it up Friday night, took it off the charger Saturday morning, and I'll see how long it goes... Right now it's still showing a full charge.

Ignoring the internet-at-home I got via the Palm (which I can do on the tablet as well), I honestly was more aggravated by the extra connection. I don't NEED to be that reachable. I found myself glancing at the phone all the time, lest I somehow miss an urgent offer to enlarge my penis without surgery.

I'm not a doctor or stock trader. I can read email a few times a day and be content with that. There is far too much going on in the world right in front of me to get wrapped up in 24/7 access... not to mention that I like having a phone that can actually be used as a phone.


Weer'd Beard said...

For what its worth, the wife's DroidX and my Droid2 are pretty darn slick phones in general. Also the "Quick Contact" ap that comes with the modern Droid OS makes them all a very slick phone for calling and texting...and they're rock-solid web browsers.

I'm a huge fan.

ZerCool said...

I like the Android OS but don't have any real experience with the phones to make any judgment on that - just the tablet.

Palm did a few things right but never quite refined them enough.

This also, to a certain extent, falls under my "not all eggs in one basket" philosophy.

Old NFO said...

Novel concept :-)

Tam said...

Have you seen John's Phone?

Unknown said...

I had a Palm Pre. Same issues with the battery and yeah, still recovering from all the lost contacts since you can't export them. I went Android to replace it. Samsung Epic 4g to be specific. I am VERY happy with it so far