Goodbye, Moto. I need a Moment.

As a first-time smartphone buyer, I really didn’t know what I was looking for when I picked up my Motorola Q9c a couple of years ago. All of my research centered around the checkbox features of the phone delivered at the price it was offered for. To be fair, getting a smartphone with a keyboard, camera, Bluetooth, and tethering for $150 was a good deal at the time. Not really knowing any better, I thought Windows Mobile would be a fine choice. So, with much enthusiasm, I went home with a phone that did more than any phone I previous had could ever do.

Gradually, though, it became painfully obvious that Windows Mobile was getting a bit dated. The number of apps available for it was limited at best, mainly because many required a touchscreen. I also found that many mobile websites didn’t much care for the shoddy browser that came with the phone. Alternatives like Skyfire, while functional, would often disconnect for no reason and prove only useful in absolute emergencies. While I was initially excited about all of the things I could now do that I couldn’t do before, I was now running into the frustrating wall of hardware and software limitations. It was time to swap out for something a bit more functional.

Being soured on Windows Mobile, I needed to look elsewhere. I already knew that Blackberries were right out. I had one about six years ago and didn’t much care for the way it worked at all. It also seemed like the application selection was running into the same limitations as Windows Mobile despite a very large user base. And the iPhone? As exciting as the initial announcement was, Apple has earned my ire over the years. I don’t want to deal with their insane application rejection behaviors (I would say policies, but that would imply consistency), I don’t want to deal with AT&T’s crappy and oversaturated data network, and I don’t want to suffer through an on-screen keyboard. Palm was also off of my list since it appears that company may not have long left in this world. WebOS is a pretty darn amazing platform, but the lagging sales make me think that Palm’s offering is too little, too late. I didn’t want to be bitten the same way we were by investing in Sandisk Sansa MP3 players.

Enter Google and Android. For those that don’t know, Android is what’s powering hot phones like the G1 and Motorola Droid. The open app store and easy-to-use SDK has lead to a lot of apps being available for it. The phones are also reasonably powerful and come with a lot of useful features. Once Sprint announced the Samsung Moment, I knew I had to have one. It had all of the hardware features of my old Q9c, but it also added WiFi and a large touchscreen. Once I heard it would be updated from Android 1.5 (Cupcake) to 2.1 (Elcair), I was sold.

Oddly enough, Shauna got kind of excited about the idea of a new phone too. Yes, my wife Shauna. No, she was not abducted by aliens, brainwashed by a cult in the jungles of South America, or the recipient of any blunt force trauma to the head. (For those of you not in on the joke, Shauna has used her phone so infrequently over the last several years that it often would have a dead battery for months at a go.) So two weeks ago, we jumped in the car and drove on down to the Sprint store to check this phone out. A few days later, we had them in our hot little hands and were excitedly grapping apps left and right and playing around with them to our heart’s content. Funny enough, the new plan we got on actually gives us triple the minutes of our old plan, adds unlimited texting, and gives Shauna unlimited data, yet we’re now paying less than we used to. Go figure.

Both of us love these things. I’m very excited to see Elcair rolled out sometime next month to unlock even more features. If you like Sprint’s data network (which, FYI, is the best as far as I’m concerned) and want an awesome smartphone, this is the way to go.

(I’ll be writing up my own review of the phone and what apps I think are must-haves later on. I’ve already rambled on enough.)

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4 Responses

  1. Jeremy says:

    I love the android phone with google. I have the mytouch for T-Mobile and love it!! I was tired of Blackberries slowing down when using any type of data.

    My only wish is that I had the same platform that has a thing pullout keyboard. I forget the name of it but it is the exact same as the mytouch but with that keyboard and is not bulky.

  2. Jesse says:

    You’re probably thinking of the G1. I don’t know that I would get one of those (the hardware is starting to show its age and weakness), but I can understand wanting a slider. I really don’t understand the obsession with touchscreen-only interfaces. They’re relatively low accuracy for any kind of fine detail and your typing speed is much better with a hardware keyboard. I’d happily take a little bit of extra cost and thickness in exchange for not being frustrated as snot at using the thing.

  3. Thogek says:

    Not to knock Samsung (which makes a lot of really good stuff) or Android (which I personally hope takes off like wildfire), but you might want to be a little more careful about some of your early elimination criteria…

    E.g., eliminating today’s BlackBerry because you didn’t like a BlackBerry model that you tried six years ago is a little odd. Six years ago, in 2004, the BlackBerry 7100t was current (featured in BusinessWeek magazine’s “Best Products” list for 2004). The difference between the 7100t and the recently-released 9700 is enormous. You may very well not like the 9700, either, but rejecting it based on experience with the 7100t (or another model from that time) would be a bit premature. (See vs.

    In comparison, how was Android or iPhone doing six years ago? 😉

    Again, not to knock Samsung or Android, and I hope you enjoy your new toy– er, phone. (Personally, I hope Samsung and HTC and others take on a lot more Android support over time. I’d also love to see some of the others like Symbian grow to push even more competition into the market.) That bit about right-outing BlackBerry based on a six-year-old test-run just bugged me a bit, and I hadda point it out.

    Enjoy. 🙂

  4. Jesse says:

    I’ve had a few other events that colored my opinion of the platform, but they didn’t make it in here. My boss has a Storm and has had a number of complaints about it including signal quality. I also have a friend who has had to return a number of Blackberry phones due to hardware failure. Both of those only served to reinforce my negative opinion of Blackberry. I also can’t imagine that the basic design philosophy has changed much over the last six years unless RIM did a full reboot at some point. If they had, it would have made more noise.

    I also have serious concerns about the platform longevity over the term of the contract. Blackberry is riding high today at #1, but the research and analysts all seem to agree that it’s going to drop to third place during that time frame with Android poised to get the lion’s share of the windfall. Given that many hot new apps today are Android and iPhone with Blackberry seemingly an afterthought, I can’t imagine that this will improve as market share decreases. I have these same concerns about Palm and webOS even though I have a generally positive opinion of the technology and devices.

    While it would be interesting if Symbian could actually penetrate the US market (something they seem to be unable to do), I think they’re going to be relegated to niche player as well as the Android boat comes to town. They’ve already begun to lose market share and given that Android has a better app selection and lower developer learning curve, the choice between these two royalty-free platforms seems obvious.

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