by Arthur Correa on 1/19/2010
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Yes its true, after three years with the same phone I finally pulled the trigger and upgraded.  It was a long time coming. 

For the last 3 or 4 months the battery life on my HTC 8525 had been nearly non existent.  On top of that the screen on the phone had been acting really funky for the last few weeks.  Every so often the screen would just go all white, and the only way to get it back would be to hard boot the phone.  Then just last week my screen developed what can best be described as a dying heartbeat.  The screen would fade to the all white state, then slowly come back to a normal screen, then fade back to white.  All within a very regular interval.  It was kind of bizarre.  Now I'm not complaining about my old phone.  Like I said it was three years old, thats gotta be like 90 in phone years right?

So I switched to Verizon and got myself a Motorola Droid.  In addition to needing a new phone I'd also I had a few problems with AT&T screwing up my billing and not doing anything to remedy the situation.  Silly me, I thought being their customer for 9 years would count for at least something.  So bye-bye AT&T hello Verizon.

It was kinda funny when I did the actual switch.  I was getting a new phone for my wife as well.  She was waiting in the car with our sleeping kids while I went into the Verizon store and signed us up.  At one point I had to ask her something so I called her on my old HTC phone.  The call length was 1:07 I know that, because when I hung up the phone, the screen stayed frozen on the the hang up screen.  It did not move from that screen at all.  The phone just stayed there displaying that hang up screen and not responding at all.  Like it gave its moments of life to help me place one more call.

I left my old phone in that state until the battery died, it was the least I could do to honor it.

So my old phone is dead, how do I like my new phone?  I'm loving it.  I chose the Droid specificaly because I have an iPod Touch.  Having that, and access to its app store made me realize that I'd want a phone I could extend with other apps.  I also knew from the Touch that I hated on screen keyboards, and as a result wanted to make sure got one with a QWERTY keyboard.  Once I made those decisions, picking the particular phone was simple.

I did some research on the phone and there were three things that really stood out as problems with people

  1. The lack of Outlook integration - Sure its kind of annoying, but I get why Google did it.  Google is all about the cloud.  So they want you to synch your data with the cloud.  Outlook is a client side app, to sync with that Google would have to make a client side app to move the data from your computer to your phone (just like Microsoft's ActiveSynch app does).  So to synch with Outlook would kill the whole vibe of what they were going for (although I'm sure the fact that Google provides cloud based email, calendar, and contacts helped the decision).  It took me all of 10 minutes to find an app to get my data moved, and it worked clean so this was a non problem for me.
  2. The lack of Bluetooth voice dialing - This is annoying, and a lot of people were saying that it was a deal breaker for them.  Then again these people also often claimed that their iPhone was better (and uhmm the iPhone doesn't have Bluetooth voice dialing either).  To me this was annoying, but not the end of the world, and I'm sure it will come in a an OS update soon enough.
  3. The battery life - Not much I can say here, it sucks the battery dry.  For crying out loud the phone has a huge display, a GPS chip, Bluetooth, and wifi, of course its going to suck the battery dry.  So turn of some of that stuff when you don't need it, and the battery life gets much better.

So the good about the phone?  The app store is great.  I've already added about a dozen apps to the phone, duplicating a lot of the ones on my Touch, but with the phone's always available data access those apps are now much more useful.  The pre-installed Google Maps and Facebook apps are a lot of fun to use (I especially like the traffic layer on the Google Maps, and the turn by turn directions).

The bad about the phone?  Well the battery life is short, so that problem hasn't gone away with the new phone, but at least the screen is working!

The ugly?  Honestly I can't think of any ugly.  Its a great phone with the potential to get even better over time as more apps are added.


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