Sunday, June 26, 2011

Phones, phones, phones

I've been watching as the new phones start coming out for Q3. With the new crop, devices will have more processor speed, a higher performance camera and a new OS version but do I want to upgrade? Luckily I've had some time to think about it while I talk to other people who are thinking of upgrading their phones.

I was golfing with a co-worker and he said that his carrier was trying to get him into a smartphone, what did I think. I asked what he used his phone for and he said calls and texting. I asked if he wanted to do more and he said no. No brainer, resist the smartphone pitches. Maybe look at a feature phone.

My SIL is thinking of upgrading although she's in a tough spot. She has SaskTel as the only available service provider and it, in spite of being a provincial utility, has decided that her ranch isn't really part of Saskatchewan, even though they pay Sask taxes, so they aren't going to have service there. She can use her phone most other places though. Smart phone or feature phone. She would like a large font so she can read texts without having to use her glasses. You can do that with a Blackberry, I can do that using Handcent, couldn't find the option in WP7 although I'm sure the feature is there sometime (or will be). Again, I think a feature phone would be the best for her, just one with adjustable text.

Friends come over with their kids who have iPods, she has Torch and iPad, he has iPhone. Kids start to get bored so, like many instances, we pull out our smart phones. The LG has nice hand feel, slide out keyboard and WP7. Big tiles that  are appealing to new users. The Galaxy S has beautiful screen and Android 2.2. but for this I actually pulled out my GTab as personal stuff is not on screen as widgets. Kids like to message and stuff so we played with LiveProfile.

This is where WP7 really falls down. No multi-tasking, not a big deal if the task swapping is well managed but out of the cross platform app loop is a deal breaker. I want more than a feature phone and to me WP7 is currently a feature phone with ties to Xbox and Zune. None of the stuff I do is supported by WP7. I haven't found a cross platform IM app, no reading/store apps - although overdrive (public libraries) has one, no Slingbox. Pretty games and expensive apps is all I see on a system that is no easier than any other if you want to do more than what's on the surface.

I got WP7 as a tester to see if I would want to upgrade to one. While it's great for a new user, it has failed on it's promise to upgrade frequently and OTA and still doesn't have platform support. In the end, even though I am one of the 2 people who liked the features of WM6.5 and was somewhat interested in WP7, it's not for me. Google tools are easy to use once you get over the initial learning bump. tiles are nice enough, widgets are awesome. Most of the stuff out there for Apple has a Android equivalent. From now on, when I'm asked about a smart phone suggestion, one of my questions will be whether anyone else they know has a WP7. It's way too easy to get left out of the loop with one.