Life with a smartphone

For someone as nerdy as myself, it’s amazing how I survived so long with a “dumb phone.” The primary reason for not adopting a smartphone sooner was cost. Due to a series of impulsive decisions, I’ve finally joined the club, but where I ended up might be surprising to those who know me for my Apple Fanboy-ism.

Being locked down by a ball and chain (Verizon contract), my options for innovative cell phones looked as broad as toothpick splinter. Being on a family plan, simply opting to pay the Early Termination Fee to switch carriers posed more trouble and complications that it was worth. Desperately wanting a smartphone, I had only two choices; Blackberry (which I affectionally dubbed Suckberry), or Windows Mobile. I chose Suckberry despite my general dislike for it and due to the stagnant nature of WinMo development.

Not wanting to extend my contract with Verizon, I bought a Blackberry Storm off one of my teammates knowing this was one of the most hated Blackberry models RIM produced.  For the sake of not turning this post into a review of the Storm, I will summarize my experience so far.

  • The phone is usable, I have no qualms about the touch screen, and it is actually better than most of Verizon’s other touch screen phones.  Overall, the build quality of RIM’s products is very good.
  • The Blackberry OS leaves much to be desired.  It’s a one trick pony: messaging.  Especially Blackberry Messenger; it’s a very compelling app but not enough to keep me on a BlackBerry.
  • Ultimately, having a smartphone I don’t really like is still better than my old Samsung Alias.

Now that Apple’s exclusivity agreement with AT&T is near it’s end, Verizon has announced at least two Google Android phones as well as the Palm Pre coming to it’s network, the smartphone/network landscape is about to get a lot more interesting.  The availability of 4G networks within the next year will also be something to consider.

Hopefully, the race to land deals with phone makers and pressure from the FCC will make for a consumer-friendly smartphone market.  Call me a hypocrite with my BlackBerry, but my Storm has allowed me to figure out what I want from whatever smartphone I choose in the future.

Additional Reading:
Why You Can’t Get a Good Phone With Verizon

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