01 Nov 2011

(yet another) new phone.

HP wanted to compete with Apple and Google. Rather than just make hardware and license Windows, they wanted to own the complete product, both hardware and software. Rather than create this all from scratch, they decided to buy Palm for $1.2B. They of course then used this technology to create the HP Touchpad, and we all know what happened there… Because things didn’t go as planned, they decided to stop making webOS hardware, and focus on just the software (Palm’s webOS). webOS’s future is now uncertain. HP has mentioned either licensing it or selling it, but with Android being free, and doing really well, they’ve probably struggled.

Of course, when HP manufactured their own phones, they required that all employees with a company phone have an HP phone. This makes sense. They’re not going to buy their own employees a competitors device. But, just in the last week, HP decided that since they were no longer making their own devices, they’d approve non HP phones. That means I now have a Samsung Galaxy S2, and it’s amazing!

I love it. Being a lover of Linux, open source, and most things Google, this is the perfect device. I was a longtime Android fan before joining HP, and it was something I missed over the last 18 months.. Sure, with Android there are so many devices coming out that soon this won’t be super high end, but right now it’s pretty much the best Android device available. It has a great screen (4.3" 800x480), 1GB of RAM, and probably the best SoC available (similar overall to the A5. Better CPU, worse GPU). It uses a 1.2 Ghz dual core ARM A9 CPU with a 4 core ARM Mali GPU.

Sure, the new Galaxy Nexus will probably be a little nicer phone overall when it comes out next month, but mostly just because of the software and screen. The SoC (TI OMAP 4460) in the Galaxy Nexus is actually inferior to the Samsung Exynos 4210. I’m fairly certain that Google picked the TI OMAP as the Android 4.0 lead hardware because it would be fairer for other device manufacturers (especially their newly acquired Motorola Mobility). TI doesn’t make their own phones, so all their OMAP chips ship to other companies like Motorola and Nokia. Samsung will sell their chips to other companies, but the bulk of their chips go in their own devices.

Regardless of what may or may not come out in the future, I couldn’t be happier. My work approved and paid for the exact device I would have chosen for myself anyway! The only downside is that I had to switch from Verizon to AT&T to get it 🙁

It’s crazy, but in just the last two years this is my 7th smartphone (all company bought!).

At my last company I had an HTG G1. We then switched to Verizon and I got the original Droid. Then when I switched jobs to HP and got an HP windows mobile phone. Then, HP bought Palm, so I got a Palm Pre plus. Then they upgraded me to the Palm Pre 2. Then I requested to switch from Verizon to AT&T (so that I could use my phone in India), so I got an identical Palm Pre 2 for AT&T. And now finally, I upgraded to the Samsung Galaxy S2!

All’s Well That Ends Well 🙂