This is not the first time I’ve bought a smartphone. Back in 2004, I did a bunch of research and bought a Palm Tungsten W through Rogers.
Well, it’s been nearly seven years, which isn’t exactly never. But I bought a smartphone.
Keen observers of culture and technology will be the first to tell you that things have changed a bit in the meantime. Pretty much everyone I know has a smartphone. My sisters have smartphones.
Thing is, I have wanted access to email and IM ever since I held one of those LCD RIM email pager thingies back in 1998. But the combination and hatred and distrust of cellphone providers, coupled with a distate for the direction general purpose computing is being taken by device manufacturers has kept me out of the game.
This isn’t something I wanted to rush into. I’ve been thinking about it for months, mulling over the various options and trying to figure out what I’d be comfortable with.
The provider was a toss-up between Wind and Koodo. Koodo has the cheapest smartphone plan at $30/month with a sort of pay-as-you-go thing for data. But they’re tied to Telus, one of the Big Three cellphone providers in Canada (admittedly, the least offensive one, not that that’s saying much). Wind is a new entrant, and I have no small desire to help support new entrants in the market. Being new, however, they don’t have great coverage. Meaning I’d be without data service whenever I went home to Belleville.
For the phone, I really wanted something with a keyboard, but I also wanted to get the newest Android version, Ice Cream Sandwich. That, coupled with the recommendation of the awesome online comparison tool Sortable (and local startup), I decided to get the Galaxy Nexus.
Koodo doesn’t offer the Galaxy Nexus and it’s $600 unsubsidized, which tipped the balance towards Wind. And, honestly, not having to worry about data usage is pretty nice.
A few observations:
- A smartphone makes eating out alone slightly less socially awkward, but walking down the street slightly more.
- Twitter was made for smartphones, but I kinda knew that already.
- Podcasts work better this way, but podcast client software isn’t nearly as good as I’d like it to be. It’s better than my previous (mostly manual) process, and frustrating close to what I want, which makes the gaps that much more noticeable.
- Angry Birds Space! Woo!
- I miss having a physical keyboard. I’m using Swype, and it’s pretty cool, but auto-correct makes me sad.
- Another drawback of the Galaxy Nexus is the lack of an SD card and USB mass storage access. This probably isn’t a big deal to most people, but I like having access to file systems. And there are a whole bunch of apps that seem to expect you can access an SD card directly for import or export.
- Those are the only two faults I can find with the phone, really. I don’t have much to compare it to first hand, but it’s a great little machine.
- I’ll probably post a round-up of apps I like once I’ve done some more exploring.