Every week there are four of us that post our thoughts, opinions and researched ideas about mobile phones here on this blog. We write about the latest cell phones, the most interesting devices and the hottest new mobile technology. But what do we actually have tucked away into our own pockets? If you have ever wondered about which cell phones we’re using, what we love and hate about them and which phones we might want instead then just read on because those secrets are all revealed here today.
Andrew uses an iPhone 3G. His first smartphone was the HTC Touch with Windows Mobile 6.1. Although he liked the phone’s smart features and its touchscreen, he couldn’t stand the Windows Mobile platform so he decided to make the switch to the iPhone … and he’s glad that he did.
Things Andrew loves about the iPhone 3G:
- Touchscreen. Andrew liked the first touchscreen he used so he was happy to get another phone that has one.
- iPhone OS. So much better than Windows Mobile! It’s a very user-friendly platform.
- Syncing. The iPhone 3G syncs really well with Mac particularly in the area of email. Andrew does a majority of his community via email so this is a really great feature of his phone.
- Twitter apps. If you like to use Twitter then it’s great to get an iPhone because there are so many iPhone apps available for this mobile social media site.
- Video iPod downloads. The iPhone 3G makes it easy to download video podcasts and watch them right on your mobile phone which is a feature that Andrew likes to use.
- Virtual keyboard. Some people type better with the virtual keyboard than with a physical QWERTY keyboard and Andrew is one of those people.
What Andrew doesn’t like about the iPhone 3G:
- Freezing issues. The last firmware update for this phone created a lot of hassles and freezing problems which has been frustrating.
- Lack of multi-tasking ability. Sometimes the iPhone can be really slow.
- Bad battery life. That’s just annoying to deal with.
The bottom line and what other phone Andrew would prefer:
Andrew is happy with this phone. He’s the first to admit that the iPhone has a lot of problems but he’s lucky because most of them don’t apply to him. He rarely makes or receives voice calls so the well-known problem of poor call quality on this phone doesn’t apply to him. He also doesn’t need to edit documents, swap networks or do a whole lot of multi-tasking so it’s not a big issue for him that the phone doesn’t do those things. He likes it well enough that if he traded it in then it would probably just be to upgrade to an iPhone 3GS but he’s got no plans to do that at this time. If he had to choose another phone then he’d probably go with the new HTC Touch HD2 but it’d be a tough switch since he really doesn’t like that Windows Mobile platform.
Luke actually has the first smartphone that Andrew was using: the HTC Touch. He is relatively happy with the phone although a lot of the things that he liked about it to begin with are things that he doesn’t really need anymore.
What Luke likes about the HTC Touch:
The main reason that Luke likes this phone is because it could double as a laptop. Luke originally got this phone because it was Windows capable and could connect to his iGo stowaway Bluetooth keyboard. (This keyboard is a full-size keyboard that folds into a size small enough to fit into your pocket.) This combination meant that he could use the phone to do his online writing from just about anywhere. It’s a great thing about the phone but now that Luke has a new Netbook he doesn’t actually need this function anymore.
What Luke dislikes about the HTC Touch:
The main complaint that Luke has about this smartphone is that it doesn’t seem to last very long. It’s wearing out quickly. The finish is grinding down. The touchscreen is getting fussy after less than a year of use. It’s just not designed to last as long as he’d like a phone to last.
The bottom line and what phone Luke would get instead:
Luke is pretty happy with his HTC Touch but doesn’t need the features that he originally got it for anymore. Like Andrew, if he was going to upgrade then he’d switch to an iPhone 3GS. This isn’t because he loves the hardware but rather, as he says, “that the iPhone has become the mass-market portable computer of choice for advances in Augmented Reality, swarm-ware and all sorts of cool custom applications becoming available today”.
Harriet currently has a Samsung Jet which was given to her by someone but she changes phones so quickly that she may have something different soon. She’s got a history of losing or breaking her phones quickly. (She’s smashed one in a car door, dropped one in the toilet, lost one in a bin at a restaurant and even broken one just from having it in her pocket!) Plus she’s always trying out new phones for her work so she gets to have fun with all of the latest models. She’s happy enough which this device for now.
What Harriet likes about the Samsung Jet:
She loves that this phone is slim and easy to use. She can easily stick it into her pocket or purse without worrying that it’s going to break. She finds the functions simple and says that she doesn’t need any advanced features from a phone because she mainly uses it for basic communication.
What Harriet dislikes about the Samsung Jet:
The two things that Harriet doesn’t like about this phone are that it regularly unlocks itself in her bag and that it loves to attract fingerprints. Neither of these are major problems but they’re definitely minor annoyances that it would be nice not to deal with.
The bottom line and what Harriet would get instead:
Harriet is happy with the Samsung Jet because it fits her limited needs for a phone that offers basic communication in a small package. She’s interested in the iPhone but doesn’t really need its advanced features or want a phone that is quite that bulky. Besides an iPhone is an expensive phone if you’re just going to lose it or break it. She’s holding out for a more compact version of that one at a future date. If she was going to switch right now then she’d probably go back to one of her previous phones, the Nokia 6230i which she loves simply because it was the one phone that she never broke or lost!
As for me, I have one of the simplest phones that you can possibly get: the Samsung a237. I’ve always stuck to whatever free phone I could get with my contract and made do with that. I’m always on my laptop anyway so I don’t need any of the advanced features of a smartphone. When I’m not at home, I don’t want to be online so I carry this phone around with me and love the fact that it’s super tiny. Still, part of me does long for a smartphone!
What I like about the Samsung SGH-A237:
- Small size. This is the tiniest, lightest phone that I’ve ever owned. I can stick it in my pocket and barely know it’s there.
- Red color. What can I say – I like having a pretty phone.
- Folder phone. I’m one of the few people I know who prefers the old folder phone design (as opposed to slider phones, etc.) and that’s one of the main reasons I chose this phone.
- Has all the basics. I rarely use my phone at all. The only thing I use it for is texting and voice calls which this phone is totally capable of handling. I can also take pictures (which I almost never do) and I think the phone has voice dialing features but I’ve never checked them out.
What I don’t like about the Samsung SGH-A237:
- It doesn’t do anything fancy. There’s a small part of me that does want a smartphone and sometimes I get annoyed that this phone can’t really do much.
- Battery life faded quickly. It was good to start out with but it went downhill fast.
- It seems to block people for no reason. This has happened several times. In particularly, it randomly blocks people from texting me and I have to go in manually and request that they not be blocked anymore. That’s probably the most annoying thing about this phone.
The bottom line about this phone and what I would get instead:
As far as the free phones go, this one is a great one. I’m happy with the fact that it’s a tiny phone that does what I need a phone to do which is to call and text people. I really don’t want a smartphone because I’m afraid I’d be online even more than I am now and I think I need downtime away from the Internet. That said, I do think I’ll make the smartphone leap eventually. Of the ones I’ve used, I do like the new iPhone best but the fact that the call quality on it is so poor is a real problem for me. What I’m really holding out for is to see what happens in the development of Android phones and hoping for a high-quality lightweight one to appeal to me in the future.
I can’t help but notice that there’s a gender split in the phones that we have here. Harriet and I have the simple phones and use them basically to talk. Andrew and Luke have the smartphones and use them for almost everything but talking. Ultimately, we all like our phones and aren’t looking to upgrade at the moment but we do have an idea of what we’d get if we did switch. Interesting!