Monday, January 17, 2011

New Phone!

I was in the Verizon store earlier today to swap out a standard-definition set-top box for a high-definition one. My stepson and his girlfriend bought a new 42" TV yesterday, so I told them I'd go get an HD box so they can enjoy HD now that they have a TV capable of displaying it.
While I was waiting to be called, I started looking at the phones they had. The Droid X really caught my eye, so when I was swapping out the STB, I asked the young guy behind the counter if he handled the phone stuff, too. He told me the counter people handled everything, and was I interested in a phone, too? We started talking prices, and since my wife has the Verizon "Family Plan" for her phone and the kid's phones, he said it would be $9.95 a month to add a line. I asked him if the Droid required a data plan (DUH! I already knew it did), and he said yep, and the data plan was $30 a month for UNLIMITED data, like I had with my iPhone.
I about fell over!
I've been paying AT&T $68 a month for my iPhone, and now I find out I can get a newer phone, with more features, for $28 a month less! Then he tells me if I buy the Droid X, they'll WAIVE the $9.95 a month extra-line fee for two years!
I talked to my wife when I got back with the new HD STB, and we both agreed that saving $38 a month was worth coughing up the $200 to replace my iPhone, as the savings would pay for the phone in a little over 5 months.
I originally had Verizon, but I got tired of carrying around a cellphone AND a PDA. Besides, I really wanted a Smartphone, and at the time I bought my iPhone, the data plans Verizon had were more expensive than AT&T was charging, so I wound up with the "original" iPhone.
So far, with the little I've played with it, I think it's going to be quite a nifty gadget. One of the things I like is that it has a replaceable battery, something sadly lacking on the iPhone.


  1. My daughter just got one, and she's had problems with it locking up on data downloads, and it occasionally cuts off in the middle of phone calls for no reason. Buyer beware...

  2. Hasn't done anything weird yet, but I've got 30 days to return it for a different one if I need to, and a 1-year warranty on it.

  3. I got a Droid2 about three months ago and so far my main bitch is the total lack of instructions. It took me several days just to learn how to shut the damn thing off. I got the 2 because I'd have had to wait for several days for the X, plus I wasn't sure about the larger size, and I was still hooked on my keyboard on the Crackberry (which is better anyhoo). I hardly ever use the slide out keyboard anymore.

    I use the maps all the time. Today, I used it to check out the height of a railroad overpass I was routed under. I forgot how low it was, but I did remember where. So, I loaded 'er up in Maps, pinpointed the location, and went to Street View to read the posted height. I fit under it fine, btw.

    Don't expect too much from the Navigation app - about the only customizing you can do is keep from using toll roads. If there is a way to enter your own route, I've yet to find it.

    Advanced Task Killer is a pretty handy app - my Verizon store loaded it for me first thing. I also like how integrated all the information is - Contacts have all my Facebook, Twitter, email addresses and phone numbers - and it merged all the ones across the various networks. I started to enter my Sis's addy on a trip - messing around with Maps and Navigation - and it autocompleted her address. Little touches like that impress me.

    IMHO, voice recognition sucks - compared to the ol 'Berry. I couldn't even get it to understand the search command the other day, much less search + the string I wanted. I'd say search, and it would come back "Call?" I said f@#k no, and it said "not recognized." Guess it doesn't like being cursed.

    The reception is identical to the Blackberry I had (still have it saved) - it sucks. The last phone I had that had decent reception and transmission was an old Motorola V710 - it still had a retractable antenna and was analog/digital. Somewhere down the line it got wet and lost the ability to go online, which was a killer for me.

    These things have a certain percentage of junk examples - why else would Verizon offer "reconditioned" phones? Gotta get 'em somewhere. What that ratio might be - that is the question.

    Oh, and tethering? Don't waste your money on Verizon's plan - another twenty bucks a month. Get PDAnet - it cost me under twenty bucks and works like a charm. Tethering won't work with bluetooth, so you have to use the USB patch cable.

    Good luck with yours - it will be interesting how you think it stacks up with the iPhone. I've always had good luck with Motorolas and the idea that I can't replace the battery on an iPhone is a killer for me. Every phone I've ever owned has had at least one battery crap out. I'd have a bag full of phones if I'd had to buy new ones each time a battery went bad.

  4. Yeah, I went to the Motorola website and downloaded the manual. The "Quick Start" guide it came with is a joke, although I suppose they want these things to be so easy to use you don't really need a manual.
    The battery life seems much better than my iPhone "Gen 1", even when the iPhone was new. If I didn't plug that sucker in to charge overnight, it was dead just after lunch. If I turned it completely off the night before, it might make it through another day, but I wouldn't bet anything important on it.
    I'm still learning things like how to get applications out of the "Home" directory and on to one of the main pages you can flip through, and that was an advantage of the iPhone. Install an app, and it's right there for you. And at this point in time, there are more apps for the things I like (Ham radio and other tech stuff) for the iPhone than the Droid, but I'm sure that will change.
    I agree about the "VZ Navigator" applications. It's NOT worth the $8/month for me when you can freely use Google to find things, and I already have two GPS units that will give me turn-by-turn directions if I need them.
    I was planning on plugging it into my Windoze PC today to set it up so I could load some things to it, but that PC took a dump. Really pisses me off because I just built it a few weeks ago, and after the initial teething problems it was running fine. Ran "x86_memtest" on it all day, and the memory passed with flying colors, so I suspect the motherboard is bad.
    Guess that's what I get for buying "Bleeding Edge" hardware instead of buying a more stable motherboard one-step down from the top-of-the-pack!

  5. The money I save ($68/Mo!-WTF?) on not having a phone get's me a plane ticket to Hawaii each year, and the money I save on not buying Cable-TeeVee ($100+/-month) pays for the hotel and rental car. :-) I know, it's all a matter of priorities.

  6. I can get very expensive if you don't watch what you're doing, which is why I said bye-bye toe AT&T, which now saves me $38/month.
    It started acting a bit weird, and I was having trouble syncing my accounts, so I nuked by doing a complete "Factory Reset", and now it runs much smoother, and works like it should.
    I wouldn't have a cellphone if it wasn't to keep in touch with people from the jobs I work, and to have a place to store all my data for those jobs.
    Running around with a cheapie phone AND a PDA was jut too much hassle!

  7. Since I'm not working right now it's not a necessity either - saving money is thought!
    When Steve Jobs dies I'm afraid Apple is going to tank for the last time.


Keep it civil, please....