09 Dec 2008

new phone

I was hoping to have an Android phone by now.

Problem is, the only Android device is for T-Mobile, the world worst cellular provider (at least as far as their data (and non-existent 3G) network are concerned.

Also, the T-Mobile (HTC) G1 hardware isn’t that great. There’s no 3.5mm headphone jack. No on screen keyboard, no flash for the web browser, and the screen is only 480x320.

It’s still a great phone, but the best part is the software, not the hardware.

Since Sprint haven’t yet announced when they will release an Android phone, or any information about it, I don’t really want to wait around forever with my current phone.

I decided to buy an HTC Touch Pro (Raphael). The hardware is, in almost all respects, better than the G1 hardware.

It has a higher resolution screen 640x480 vs 480x320

288MB Ram vs 192MB

Same CPU (Qualcomm 7201A 528 Mhz)

The only thing worse is the resistive screen vs the glass (iPhone-like) capacitive screen. There was really just one main reasons, however, that I bought this phone. I’m on a now unavailable Sprint Sero plan. For just $30 /month I get:

  • 500 anytime minutes
  • 3 faves (unlimited anytime to any 3 numbers)
  • free night/weekend after 7pm
  • unlimited texts
  • unlimited internet

That’s a better plan than the $90 iPhone plan.

So, it seems clear that I don’t want to leave Sprint (Despite how terrible their customer service is).

So, back to the reason I got this phone. A few months ago Sprint (Samsung, really) launched the Instinct. It was a decent phone that tried to compare to the iPhone. The problem?

They restricted it to the ‘Everything’ plans. meaning I couldn’t have activated it on my plan.

Now, I didn’t want an instinct..BUT, I’m a little worried that they may try to play that game again when they release their first Android phone.

Imagine if after waiting a year for Sprint to launch their Android phone they tell me I have to switch to a $70 plan to get one. I’m better off getting a decent phone now, and then maybe switching down the road if I can.

Since I’m not up for a contract, I had to buy the phone on eBay. I got it new (with a clean ESN) for $315 (after discount). I figure I can sell my current phone (The sprint Mogul) for around $160, so it won’t be too bad.

So, on to the phone.

The software, which is Windows Mobile, is pretty rubbish. It doesn’t compare to iOS or Android. Fortunately, it’s extremely customisable.

It’s shocking that Microsoft haven’t fixed it, but Windows Mobile built in alarm doesn’t work (and doesn’t play MP3s). Pocket Internet Explorer is awful.

HTC have fixed a massive amount of problems. They’re used Opera Mobile 9.5, which is incredible, and every bit as good as Safari on an iPhone. They’re got TouchFlo 3d, which is sort of a menu system, but it makes you forget you’re using Windows Mobile. Your browser, music player, contacts, Calendar, Weather, Pictures/Videos etc.. can all be accessed through TouchFlo. It really is that good, and it’s all finger friendly.

The other nice thing, is that there are tens of thousands of apps available. I have an RPN calculator, Spanish/English dictionary, chess programs, scriptures, Google Calendar/Contacts sync, and, best of all, TomTom 7 navigator. It’s the full TomTom software found on a dedicated GPS device. It’s much better than Google Maps, as it’s 3D, and the maps are stored on the device (instead of downloaded each time, as in Google Maps).

I still plan on getting Android, but it likely won’t happen until it’s offered on better hardware, and on my Sprint Sero plan.