Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A New Perspective

I was a late adopter to the smart phone phenomenon, particularly given my job in IT Consulting.  When I graduated from college, I still used a Motorola RAZR (There's a new RAZR out now, but I'm talking about that old flip phone that was "amazingly thin" in 2003.)  For almost 2 years, I held out against strong peer pressure to get a smart phone - I really didn't see the need to spend $400 on a phone and then spend an extra $30 each month to use it.

iPhone 3G - My First Smart Phone
Eventually, though, I gave in and decided that the ability to check work email without lugging my computer around was worth the data plan.  We have a family plan with AT&T, and at the time (late 2009), the only option that met my criteria for a good smart phone with AT&T was the iPhone.  The 3S was already released, so I was able to buy a refurbished iPhone 3G for $50 from our employee discount program (I still wasn't going to pay a lot for the phone).

I had that phone for a little over 2 years.  For a while, it was quite nice and was a dramatic change to how I used my phone.  I never did figure out how to do some things I wanted (I didn't want to deal with jail breaking my phone), but it met my needs.  When iOS4 came out, the phone's performance deteriorated significantly.  Also, all the apps updated to fit with the capabilities of iPhone 4.  My iPhone 3G couldn't keep up.  My favorite example was to have someone else with a smart phone click on their Facebook app at the same time I did, and then watch the phones load the app.  My phone would take somewhere between 30 - 75 seconds to open the Facebook app... everyone else's phone opened the app in 10 seconds or less (generally less).

Since my iPhone purchase 2 years ago, AT&T has added several Android phones to their options, and I was pleased to get a much more customizable phone... It's a handheld computer; I ought to be a able to customize it like a computer (of course, I've never had an apple computer, but from what I hear, the "no options" thing appears to be a general apple issue).  Anywho, I again used my employee discounted phone rate and was able to get a refurbished phone for $0.01!  The case I got cost more than the phone!

HTC Inspire - My New Phone
I research for a while on which phone I would get to replace my iPhone.  The HTC Inspire was one of AT&T's first 4G phones.  It came out in early 2011, and I patiently waited to see how people reviewed it after having it for several months.  (It was very hard to be patient). I finally got my new phone last week, and after about 1 week of ownership - I Love It!

The hardware is nice and sleek, the camera takes much better pictures (If you want an example, just compare pictures in my recent posts - the stocking pictures taken with my iPhone and the Santa Stacker picture with my new phone), the screen is nice and big, and it still fits in my pocket.

The real improvement though is in the Android operating system.  I love the widget concept that means I don't have to open my favorite apps to get a quick view.  The people app links all my Facebook, Outlook (work), and Google (personal) contacts in one place, with no duplicates.  The Google Talk app puts my voice mails into text so I can read them in addition to hearing them (it's not perfect, but still pretty awesome).

I have done a lot of customization, and there's still more that I plan to tinker with to configure it just the way I want.  The Android is definitely a more open operating system.  I love all the options - It's giving me a whole new perspective on smart phones.

Yay for my new toy!

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