For the new job, I had to go out and get my own cellphone.  Since my last workphone had been Sprint (and that’s what Jackie has), I figured I’d stay with them. My last three phones had also been blackberries, and while they’d been fairly reliable, I couldn’t turn down the chance to get a new, shiny android phone.

I did a bit of research and found out there were only two android phones that sprint carried- the Hero and the Moment. I ended up choosing the Moment since I preferred the physical keyboard. Jackie and I upgraded her plan to family everything plan and away we went with one month to cancel if I didn’t like it.

Samsung Moment

The moment got off to a rough start.

  • Keyboard – The keyboard keys were tiny and smooth, which made it harder to type than a blackberry, despite the keyboard being wider. The tactile feel of it just wasn’t there.
  • Holster – They didn’t have a holster, only a belt clip, and it had the screen facing out, meaning I’d activate it when my wrist brushed up against it; I nearly made two emergency calls this way.
  • Slider – Since the phone slid open and didn’t have a holster, it would also get caught on my coat our office chair arm and get slid open. on top of that it felt wobbly when open, like you could accidentally snap it in half.
  • Camera – The optics were just bad. pictures were always fuzzy, and god forbid it was dark, because you couldn’t get people to hold still long enough for the picture to snap.
  • Touchpad – I’m not sure what the deal with the touchpad is, but it’s entirely too sensitive- you either press it too lightly and it doesn’t work, or you press too hard and it scrolls 3 places. the mechanics of it were hard to figure out- was it a slider like the kindle? a sloppy keyboard nub? a directional pad? I still don’t know, it was too sloppy.
  • Battery – The final nail in the coffin was a twofer; poor signal at home and at work. Since I spent most of my time in the basement (at both home and work), I somewhat expected the signal to be poor; but I didn’t expect to go to roaming several times an hour. This of course killed the battery, leaving a fully charged battery at 20% by noon, requiring a recharge for the next hour or so. I’d get home, go to the basement, and by 8pm need yet another charge. This got old real quick.

My first reaction was to go back to Sprint and make sure the phone wasn’t defective. They tried to “change frequencies” on it with a system reset, but it did no good. Truth be told I had already made up my mind, and just went in to get their pamphlet  with the plans for comparison’s sake.

After I decided to dump sprint, I tried to take the phone back (with two weeks to spare). Funny thing tho, when I bought the phone on the ~23rd of December, the packaging got recycled with the rest of the Christmas packaging. Little did I know that, by losing this 30 cent box, I could no longer return my $400 retail value phone, and by canceling the plan, I had to pay the $200 difference.

Needless to say I was furious, and the “tough shit” attitude from the counter jockeys who’d previously been decent did not help the situation. After I stormed out, jackie canceled the service with the intent of calling sprint’s customer service to deal with the rest. From there we went to the Verizon store. While I spoke to the Verizon people, Jackie rained fired and brimstone through her own phone until the sprint rep agreed to send us packaging so we could return the phone and be refunded. So we are back to square one at this point; I need a phone, and jackie’s plan is back to normal.

Motorola Droid

When I looked at android phones, I initially didn’t limit my search to sprint; the one phone that impressed me the most was the Droid, however a combination of crappy website, confusing plans and 30 minute wait in-store left me feeling like verizon was doing everything in it’s power to keep me from giving them money.

After realizing Sprint wasn’t a viable option, I waited the half hour and talked with the verizon rep. The verizon plan cost more and offered less, but honestly only cost $15 more a month. For the time being, Jackie is staying with sprint until next november, when she’ll transfer her number over to Verizon.

So, how is the droid?

  • Keyboard – Despite the keys being more crowded, their simple square shape and feedback lets you know when you press the button.
  • Holster – The holster slid in nicely and kept the screen facing inward. No more accidental 911 calls. That, plus the design of the holster prevents it from opening while in place.
  • Slider – On the verge of being “too hard” to open; it requires a good grip to open, and that’s not a bad thing in my book.
  • Camera – Faster reaction time to take a picture, but I haven’t played with it much. More settings for controlling focus, quality, etc.
  • Touchpad – despite the gold design making me think it was a fingerprint scanner, it turns out it’s a very obvious directional pad with a good feel to it.
  • Battery -  4 bars in my basement. 4 bars at work. After running from 6am-2am, the battery is at 60%.

That said, the droid isn’t perfect. In the dark it’s hard to tell which end is up, and when the alarm is going off, trying to find the power button is impossible.

The real test of the droid will be my attempts to write apps for it. I have a couple ideas in mind, so hopefully I’ll get a chance to toy with the Android toolkit. I played with it on the moment and found it slightly limited, but hey, it’s better than anything I had with the blackberry.

Anyways, the end result of the comparison is Verizon and Droid  beat the hell out of the moment, and it’s definitely worth the extra money if ya know, you value your phone conversations.

Ok, enough incoherent rambling, time for bed. Spellcheck tomorrow.