I love technology, obviously. I love my computers, my iPod, my PSP, televisions, and I love my cell phone. I’ve had a cellular phone since my junior year in high school around 2002. My parents and I had a plan with Cingular (remember them?) and we used our phones in normal emergency cases or cases where we needed to ask something ASAP. Minutes were scarce, and texting was totally out of the question, it was $0.25/text or something, and texting on my original phone; a Nokia 5120, you remember…the phone that EVERYONE had, was a real pain anyway.
Hi, remember me?
Finally in 2004 or so we got fed up with Cingular’s shitty service (me being in NY for school also made this easier as we needed some method of communication) and the lack of minutes, etc., I decided to drop my grandmothers Cingular plan (she got it for us) and pay for my own Verizon Wireless family plan. It cost a bit more, but we got nice new LG vx4500s, 700 minutes, and a MUCH better network. It was a big step. That was 5 1/2 years ago and after 5 different phones I’m still with Big Red. I have come to upgrade many things with my plan and demand much more from them, but not much else has changed.
My phones with verizon
There is a progression of my Verizon phones. “But you said 5, that’s only 3!” You’re right, and I’m sure you knew I wasn’t going to write about my cell phones since 2002 without a reason, right?
In September I was eligible for a new phone on my “new every two” offer. Psyched, I took to the interwebs and researched phones that I would love to have vibrate in my pocket when people decided to call me. I looked far and wide, and read review after review of phones. I went to the store and used the many phones offered, and used friends’ phones as benchmarking. I came to 2 conclusions while doing this:
- I wanted a phone with a touch screen. I don’t know why, I think it’s the “new thing” but I wanted a touch screen dammit.
- I wanted a full QWERTY keyboard. I do a shit-ton of texting now, and this became mandatory now. I didn’t know if a software keyboard would be alright for me, so I wanted a REAL keyboard.
With those in mind I nixed my previous idea of obtaining the LG Dare (a rather pretty touch screen phone, but NO keyboard) and instead opted for the new LG touch screen phone, the LG enV Touch (vx1100). I used the voyager for a little while from a friend, and I kinda liked it. When I started to test out the enV Touch I wanted it badly. It was everything I needed, beautiful screen, nice tactile keyboard, and even an HTML browser; which came in handy when I opted to get the unlimited data plan for it.
After using the phone for about a month I started noticing weird issues where the phone would turn itself off randomly, or reset to default screens or just not receive calls (it wouldn’t ring, it would just say I had a missed call). Verizon told me it was defective and sent me a new phone, free of charge of course, since it was still within 30 days from purchase. The second phone was even worse! It was to the point where I didn’t get ANY phone calls on it for days, and I would only text because that was truly the ONLY reliable means to contact me. Mind you, when the phone worked it was actually a great phone and texting device. But I got fed up and called Verizon about it.
Fuck you enV Touch
Now here is the side note, during my time owning the phone, Verizon came out with the DROID, Motorola’s Android-based smart phone. Reading reviews and playing with the system, I really really wanted this phone. I’ve become increasing interested in getting all of these mobile applications and using my phone for other things besides texting, calling, and occasionally searching Google for a place to eat. The issue was that I couldn’t upgrade because I just did, but if you have proper cause (which I’ll explain in a minute) you can get an early upgrade for your device without any penalty. I had to figure out a way to make my shitty phone turn into a DROID, and quickly.
I called Verizon and stated my issues about the phone. I informed the woman that this was my second one in 2 months, and I do not want just a refurb that is going to end up doing the same damn thing. I informed her that I have actually read reviews on THEIR OWN WEBSITE about people returning their phones 5 times in 3 months and still having the same issue. So I tell her I want a different phone, no bullshit. Finally she tells me, “This falls under our 2 in 90 rule [or some shit]. If you return a phone 2 times the next time you return it you get a choice of a different phone from a matrix.”
Apparently some phones can only allow you to get some other phones when you exchange them. Usually these “matrix phones” are refurb or pre-used pieces of shit or other phones “similar” to the current one (like the LG Chocolate Touch). I say “No, I want to choose my own phone like I was upgrading.” I inform the woman of my current status with them; I’m up-to-date on my payments, never missed a payment in 5 years, etc. After being on hold for a few moments the woman comes back and tells me that because of my continued loyalty to them they will give me a phone exchange for ANY phone they have at the store! All I have to do is pay the price difference of the phones and renew my 2-year contract. Fine. Signed, sealed, done!
I arrive at my store and to my amazement, it’s not a phone exchange (meaning I’d have to give my enV touch back in exchange for the DROID) it’s an early upgrade. I keep my enV Touch (which is not really a plus, but whatever) and get the DROID at the upgrade price. After paying my $300 + taxes I walk out of the store with the DROID.
Review of the DROID (Kinda)
So after having the phone for a bit now I’ve come to really love this phone more and more. Just a quick review (because this really isn’t a review blog) should suffice.
The screen on this phone is BEAUTIFUL. It’s huge, bright, responsive, and just amazing. The Android interface is actually very intuitive and easy to work with. The apps for it are pretty good; I wish some of them were a bit more refined with some things (the facebook app sometimes loads the browser for some things, which I think is a bit weird, but that’s not the phone’s fault, it’s the app).
It comes with a pre-installed 16GB microSD card. This is enough space for plenty of apps and music and if you need more go buy a 32GB card! I love that it uses microSD as storage instead of non-removable internal storage.
It’s one of the few android phones with a real keyboard. The keyboard is very flat, so it’s a bit tough to get used to typing on, but it functions very nicely. Even when not using the real keyboard the virtual one is surprisingly responsive and easy to type on, much better than the one on the enV Touch.
One thing that surprised me was it’s feel. Yeah, the feeling of the phone. What do I mean? It doesn’t feel like a piece of plastic that’s going to fall apart in your hand if you squeeze it. It’s heavy, sturdy, and just really solidly build. You could probably bludgeon someone to death with it, that’s how it feels.
Its also a very quick phone. Apps are pretty fast to load, websites load nicely (over wifi and Verizon’s network). It doesn’t feel laggy that much at all.
I know there are a lot more things to talk about with this phone, but I’m not going to go into it too much. I’m sure I’ll blog more about how much this thing kicks ass, and how much I prefer AndroidOS to the iPhone’s OS, but that’s going to be for later.
So, fuck the iPhone and AT&T, give me my DROID!