Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Insights from: Why I Chose an HTC Mozart Windows Phone

Selecting a new gadget is a big deal. A digital camera is something I plan to keep for at least 3-4 years. My shiny new MacBook Air will have to hold the fort for 2-3 years. A mobile phone is supposed to be replaced only every two years, that is when my carrier will give me one for "free" under a two year contract. It would be a dream to be a writer for a tech blog and to be allowed to use the latest tech gadgets for even short periods of time, but that is not the case. 

For those of you who follow this blog, you probably have guessed that lately, I have been focused on mobile phones. Today, is the day that I qualify for early retention (and given that my carrier might take a month of two to get you a new phone, availing of retention early is not a bad thing to do). In the past two years, no product has evolved more than the smartphone, making my decision more difficult. I am on my third physical QWERTY phone, and if you asked me a year ago, I would have said I would never leave the QWERTY messenger phone factor. In the tech world, forever may mean one year.

Prowling my favorite online haunts and just randomly searching on Google for advice, I came across this article: Why I Chose an HTC Mozart Windows Phone
The best way to start is to discuss why I went with Windows Phone 7.  I want to be frank here, I both love and hate smartphones with equal measure.  I like being able to do a little light web browsing and check and update Facebook and Twitter, but primarily I want a phone to be a phone.  This is the overriding concern I have about modern smartphones, they’re simply not phones first!
x x x The thing I’ve always liked the most about it though is simply being able to switch it on and see at a glance the time and any forthcoming appointments.  Android can do this, but with widgets, the iPhone won’t do this at all, and I believe Windows Phone does this best of all.
I really have to agree with this. When I go my first smartphone it displayed my next appointment on its face. When I got my second one I assumed it would (which it did not do). My main consideration in selecting a smartphone ever since than has been one that displays my next appointment on its home page. I mainly rely my phone for voice calls, to keep track of my appointments and to-do list and handle my SMS and email.

Last time I selected a smartphone, it was between a Symbian and Windows Mobile powered QWERTY messenger. The Symbian OS does a better job of displaying appointments on the home page, displaying your next two appointments and it integrates the to-do list with your calendar. WinMobile only displays the next immediate appointment and does not integrate to to-do list with the calendar, but is does have a better month view and had threaded SMS. Threaded SMS better physical keyboard gave the nod to the WinMobile QWERTY messenger.

Luckily, my carrier (Smart Communications) does not offer the iPhone, so I do not have to worry about whether I should change my seven year philosophy of what I think a smartphone should do in exchange for Apple's shiny new toy. It would be offered at a plan higher than what I normally am willing to pay anyway and there is no way I am switching carriers. Smart has given me no reason to want to switch. Not even a super phone would be worth that. Short of buying a new phone, my options are really just limited to a pair of Android's (the HTC Wildfire and Acer Ferrari Liquid E), the BlackBerry 8520 (but I am guessing a 9300 should be available soon), the Symbian powered Nokia N8. Adding Php3,500 could get me a Samsung Galaxy Tab instead. The HTC Mozart is available but would cost another, Php12,500. 

Or maybe I should wait and see if they add new options in the next month or two... after all I am keeping the new phone for two years. But one thing is settled, I want my calendar on the home screen.

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