Thursday, December 16, 2010

Some random thoughts on acquiring a new smartphone

One option is to stick with my Samsung B7320 for a bit longer. It is just 14 months old and it has good reception, has threaded SMS and handles my Email more than adequately. My main beef with it is that it would not sync with Windows Vista Calendar and contacts. It required Microsoft Outlook and a copy was not bunched with the phone. I remember my first smartphone, a HTC Smart Amazing Phone came with a free copy of MS Outlook to be able to sync the phone with your personal computer. But that problem is not a non-issue. Now that I have it synced with Google's Calendar and Contacts so I don't miss this feature. As a plus, I can now claim to be a user of Cloud Computing. 

My main consideration is selecting this phone was the QWERTY keyboard. When I retired my Nokia E61i after almost two and a half years I wanted another QWERTY messenger. Nokia had its E71, but I preffered the keyboard of the B7320. I also was happier with the way Windows Mobile displayed smoother anti-aliased fonts over the Symbian OS in the E71. I have become so proficient in using a physical QWERTY keyboard that even long posts like this are being typed on my mobile phone., although I add the images and fix the format later on a laptop.

Another QWERTY messenger? One viable option is to stick to this phone longer or move on to the ultimate of QWERTY messenger phones, the BlackBerry. WinMobile is a decent OS for a QWERTY phone, with a good predictive text feature. BlackBerry's OS is better though especially when it comes to laying things out in a small screen to minimize the need to scroll. Adding appointments is easier with all the essential fields visible without the need to scroll down the screen. 

The main drawback is that a BlackBerry costs substantially more than other messenger smartphone. With BlackBerry's BIS (BlackBerry Internet Service) being available now to the regular consumer, the price premium looks like it could be worth it. 

Handheld browser. While all smartphones can be used to browse the web, nothing makes it as convenient as a large screen touschscreen phone. This is something I do not do much with right now, because it is not all that much fun with a 2.4-inch, 320 x 240 pixel resolution screen. Aside from web browsing, reading documents on a mobile phone would also be a better experience on a large touchscreen phone. 

Things like the 4.3-inch HTC Desire HD, a 4-inch Samsung i9000 Galaxy S or the 4-inch Google Nexus S. My carrier does not offer these phones, so it means buying one outside of a plan. Given the cost of these phones, which are a fair amount higher than my budget for a smartphone, I would probably settle for something more like a Php25K HTC Desire, a Php23K Motorola DEFY or the even more reasonably priced Motorola XT720 MILESTONE. The MILESTONE's web browser does not support flash, but a Android 2.2 (Froyo) update should (hopefully) resolve that.

A camera phone. My wife has been into photography a long time. When I followed her hobby, I got a big Panasonic Lumic DMC-FZ50 which has 12x zoom, a excellent Leica lens and a bigger than average sensor. It takes amazing pics, but being a monster of a camera (being the same size as a DLSR), I do not carry it around too much, and hence missed a great many photo opportunities. I have been thinking about buying a smaller snapper, but nothing would be as convenient as having a great camera on a mobile phone. One tool, two jobs. Nokia's N8 answers that requirement more than adequately. 

Decisions, decisions. I could hold on to this Samsung a bit longer. It was good enough to for me to type up this post. Okay, got to the office now, enough musing and time to get back to work. WinMobile out (for now).

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