babysimon: (me not you)
[personal profile] babysimon
It'll soon be time for me to get a new phone, and it's clear that the smartphone market is now mature enough for it to be the obvious choice. This is what I'm currently thinking; I'd be interested in your thoughts too.

iPhone
This is the 800lb gorilla, but I'm not convinced it's for me. I don't share Apple's love of locking everything down, I use multitasking all the time even on my semi-smart s60 phone now, I can't be arsed learning Objective-C.

Palm Pre
I was really stoked for this when it was announced but my enthusiasm has waned. People have reported that they're fragile and cheap-feeling, the OS is supposed to be very slow, and the development environment rather limiting.

Maemo / N900
Interesting, but: resistive touchscreen, must be used in landscape orientation much of the time, and the N800 tablet I had was the only gadget I ever got annoyed with enough to sell.

Android
So by a process of elimination this must be it. A reasonable degree of openness, quite a nice UI, choice of phones, development environment I can easily see myself using.

I am not even considering Windows Mobile or Blackberry for hopefully obvious reasons.

This then leads on to the next question: which Android phone? Although for most of the year there have only been a couple available, it seems like there's a real rush of launches and announcements now. I probably don't want any of the models that are available right now as they all have comparatively slow ARM 11 cores - but I'm not sure if this is meaningful or whether I'm just picking up on what the blogs are telling me to think.

A lot comes down to whether I want a keyboard or not. If I do then the Motorola Droid certainly has the right specs, but it really looks weird to me, and that gold accent? Ugh. If I don't then the field is a bit wider - the current-gen HTC Hero is quite tempting but if I can wait for something with no release date yet the Sony Ericsson Xperia X3 looks very nice, even if their UI enhancements look a little overblown.

So, do I need a keyboard or not? Do you have a smartphone with or without a keyboard? What do you think of it? My only experience is with T9 / predictive text phones.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-25 12:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tephramancy.livejournal.com
Moto Droid's aren't on release in the UK, and there's no indication of when they will be. Shame, I'd have rather liked one myself, but I've settled on a HTC Magic, since they're cheap, cheerful and highly functional :)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-25 02:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shadowdaddy.livejournal.com
I have a G1, as you know, and it's really all about the keyboard for me. The on-screen keys are kinda small and lead to lots of mistypes, and I don't find predictive text any faster at all. But that's very likely me - I've had a physical keyboard since my first Sidekick in 2003 or 2004 so have never really had the need to wrap my head around predictive txt typing.

Performancewise I know it's far slower than, say, an iphone, but I gather there's ways around it - mine's been unlocked as a dev phone so apparently I could install something other than the stock OS and a few other thing which would speed it rather dramatically.

Tha android market is loaded with apps, probably less than the apple market but I've yet to come up empty when looking for something.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-25 03:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ravenevermore.livejournal.com
I've got a current generation HTC Hero and I find the virtual keyboard to be thoroughly useable, and i've got fairly stumpy fingers. The predictive text is pretty good and 'custom' words are easily added to its dictionary, hence me now being able to get 'buggeration' within 5 letters. I find its virtual keyboard very usuable in both portrait and landscape modes.

I usually get 2 days or so of smartphone style usage out of my Hero, I have managed to almost kill the battery in a single day; but this involved a large amount of media playing, web browsing, tweeting, photo-uploading and general dicking about. One thing that was important to me over the iPhone was being able to carry a second battery. Thus far I have not needed it.

I got a very nice (and cheap) case online that doesn't add too much to the dimensions of an already slightly chunky phone but which does fit nice and tight and provide a lot of protection.

I went download crazy with the Android Market at first but have slowly whittled it down to a few killer apps, all of them (for now) free. Spotify (which ties in with my premium account) is a total killer app and I love it with a fiery passion. Twidroid keeps me attached to the world of Microblogging, I have a rather neat tube map which also does route planning and real-time updates on line status. The web browser is pretty good. It lacks some of the polish I've found on the iPod touches implementation of Safari but I can only imagine this will improve.
Google Maps combined with the GPS component is neat, I've also grabbed a shoutcast app which works remarkably be well over 3G. I was already with T-Mobile and stuck with them which gives me a very healthy package for both calls/txts and data. I never come close to to using the full amount of inclusive flexible credit.

I hope with time we see more features added, such as support for bluetooth keyboards, and other wifi device compatibility.

I truly love my HTC Hero. I could have waited for one of the next gen Android phones but I really really dig this.

As regards the HDD I said I'd take off you, should I send you £5 or so via paypal so you can just post it via Royal Snail?

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-25 04:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shadowdaddy.livejournal.com
which tube map app are you using?

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-25 05:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ravenevermore.livejournal.com
A freebie called 'London City'.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-26 09:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ravenevermore.livejournal.com
Chances are you're going to see David F before you are me, so may as well let it go more quickly to a home there :)

(no subject)

Date: 2009-10-25 11:04 pm (UTC)
adjectivegail: (geeky kitten)
From: [personal profile] adjectivegail
I can't really comment, other than to say that I agree with many of your comments here - particularly about iPhones and Blackberries. In case you're interested, I got a Palm Centro last November, and I'm still happy with it. The screen could be larger, but 1) it is just about big enough and 2) it has a qwerty keyboard that's big enough to be useable and there are no moving parts (e.g. folding, sliding, which I'm always convinced will break as soon as you look at them).

I haven't really looked at Android at all, so if you do go with this I'll be interested to know what you think.

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