Home > Uncategorized > Contemplating a new phone

Contemplating a new phone

My current phone’s agreement ends sometime in December, along with my wife’s; my daughter’s expires shortly thereafter. Plus, I believe my contract on my work phone is up (got it in 11/06). Factor in the fact that I’m tired of carrying around, charging and juggling three devices as I ride around on the bus. Ideally, this would all boil down to one device that would:

  1. Be a cell phone. Duh.
  2. Allow me to sync podcasts (which is what I seem to listen to most of the time) and a fair amount of music, but certainly not all of it.
  3. Let me do work stuff remotely without carrying around a laptop and needing a wifi connection. This includes server administration with Mobile Admin, telnet, etc.
  4. Get me access to my work and personal (gmail) e-mail, calendar, etc.
  5. Camera? Maybe, if it comes with it. Though we’re rapidly getting to the point where a cell phone can replace most compact digital cameras

I currently carry:

  1. Blackberry 8700g from work on the T-Mobile network
  2. LG VX8600 from Verizon. Reception at my desk is, um, problematic. It’s not unusual, for instance, to have my battery die mid-afternoon just sitting in my cube.
  3. iPod (Classic, 5th Gen, 30GB)

I suppose the first choice would be an iPhone. Could easily replace all three, but as for business support, it’s not quite there. The folks at Rove aren’t committing to porting their Mobile Admin application to the iPhone as they consider it still more of a consumer device, even though it’s a more solid platform than BB. I could potentially do it via VPN and a web browser, but I’ve never held an iPhone in my hand and tried that particular functionality. Since it’s a full OS with a full browser, it could work. I suppose I could try it with my daughter’s MacBook pro to see if it even supports Safari.

While it does use ActiveSync to get the mail, calendar and contacts (and my company does support this), I don’t know if it does notes (not Lotus Notes, the notes that come with the Outlook client) and other things I currently get on my BlackBerry. Suppose I could work around that, it’s pretty minor.

The next choice would be the BlackBerry Bold as John Head and Ed Brill have recently come to be amazed by. Apparently it can sync with iTunes, which is great, but the storage is limited – the biggest microSDHC card currently available is 8GB. Also, the Media Sync that connects to iTunes doesn’t support DRM’d music.

The T-Mobile G1 looks pretty nice, but folks are complaining that the battery doesn’t last until until noon, so that’s a show-stopper.

In order to truly get down to something like that, I would have to drop my own phone, and somehow keep the minutes down to my wife and daughter since they would be on a different network most likely. AT&T service around here isn’t that great; I’d prefer Verizon or T-Mobile. Then again, we could all jump ship, just depends on how I coordinate it. AT&T has a lock on the iPhone for another few years, but on the Bold for only a few months. So, scenarios:

We stick with Verizon This could work, as I could get the boss to buy a Bold on the Verizon network (as far as I know, our company doesn’t have a preferred network, we just tell users to pick a phone on a network that works best in their territory). Wouldn’t work for the iPhone. Also, Verizon doesn’t get the Bold until May, 2009, but neither does anyone else, except AT&T.

Jump to T-Mobile Could also work with the Bold, and there are plenty of good phones to choose from. Number portability should also work. But no iPhone.

Jump to AT&T Could then choose between the Bold and the iPhone, but the service is pretty mediocre around here.

Update Did I also mention that the battery life on my phone blows (mainly because of the poor reception in my office)? I can get an extended-life battery and OEM charger for about $22, if I need to hold out until May.

Update II I should also look at the upcoming BlackBerry Storm. It comes out soon (11/17 or 11/24, depending on who you read), and it’s about $200.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: