10.08.2008

gadget update: i got it

After soliciting your advice here and here, and waiting til I was done with my project, yesterday I bought a new phone/pda.

I went to Wireless Wave, rather than a Rogers store, so I could see all my options.

I considered the LG Rumour, because I love the look and the sliding full keyboard. But even if I could manage without a pda now, I really don't want to. And I don't want to switch providers.

I also briefly considered the Samsung Jack, but apparently a lot of people have been complaining about them. They sound unreliable, so I ruled that out.

So it quickly came down to a choice between the Blackberry Pearl and the Blackberry Curve.

I prefer the look of the Pearl: smaller, trimmer, looks more like a phone. Downside for me: it doesn't have a full keyboard, it uses predictive text. The Curve has the full keyboard, so it's a little bigger and chunkier, and looks more business-like, a drawback for me.

I thought I didn't want to buy something without a full keyboard, but I didn't really understand that the "smart phones" don't use T9. My iPAQ uses predictive text, and I got used to that very quickly. And now predictive text is even smarter: the phone learns your vocabulary. That makes a big difference.

So I went with the Blackberry Pearl. I'll make sure I type on it a lot during the "buyer's remorse" grace period. If I can't get the hang of it, I'll exchange it for the Curve. But I think it will work out.

As you know, I don't want email push, and I don't want to pay extra for a data plan. Both these devices were quite expensive without a plan, upwards of $400. My helpful Wireless Wave guy suggested getting the phone free with the $25/month plan, then after a two-month minimum period, cancelling the plan and playing a termination fee. It brings the cost of the device down from $449 to $150.

And of course, extra bonus, as Alex pointed out: made-in-Canada technology! Some of the hardware is actually made in Canada, too, amazingly enough. Although this had nothing to do with my decision.

Thanks for your help, everyone. I still think it's ridiculous that I succumbed to perceived obsolescence and am recycling a perfectly good working cell phone. I recently added this book to my to-read list: Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are.

10 comments:

L-girl said...

Note to David Cho: it has a video camera. :)

Sarah O. said...

And of course, extra bonus, as Alex pointed out: made-in-Canada technology! Some of the hardware is actually made in Canada, too

Technical support is based in Canada, too (Waterloo and Halifax/Dartmouth).

David Cho said...

That will come in so handy. I wish I had video taped Noah more, and didn't know that my phone had a rather decent camera.

Oh well..

Not a big PDA person, believe it or not. Mine is purely out of necessity.

L-girl said...

I wish I had video taped Noah more, and didn't know that my phone had a rather decent camera.

Oh boo, I'm sorry. I left the comment only b/c you were always clamouring for video of Tala going nuts - at the hose, in the car, etc.

Of all our dogs, all the years, we have only one video, of Gypsy and Clyde playing upstate. I can never watch it, will never watch it. Too painful. Photos are ok, but video would knock me out.

James said...

At the moment, I can't stand Blackberries -- but only because the only time Lori & I deal with them is when we're on technical support for work, where a call on the BB usually means losing two hours' sleep in the middle of the night. Technically, they're very well-made devices. I hope it works well for you!

You might want to consider looking around to see if there are any organizations accepting cell phone donations to go to developing countries. I know Jean Chretien took flak for saying it, but cell phones are really useful in countries too poor to run physical cable all across their landscapes.

L-girl said...

Thanks James! Yes, the Blackberry in your life is by definition very different than it is in mine.

You might want to consider looking around to see if there are any organizations accepting cell phone donations to go to developing countries.

Good idea. I'm also going to see if it can be donated to a women's shelter or domestic violence program. In many US states, a phone can be used for free to call 911 or an emergency shelter. That's what I did with my first phone when I left the US. (This phone I'm getting rid of now is only the 2nd phone I've had.)

Rogers has a phone recycling program - they give you a postage paid mailer to send it in. Anyone know what happens to it then?

Sarah Gates said...

I don't quite think you were succumbing to perceived obsolescence in buying the blackberry, the old device was no longer keeping up with your needs. As texting becomes more and more the norm in quick communications, the availability of a device that facilitates that will be very helpful, and combining the phone and the PDA will simplify the stuff you carry around with you. I have a number of friends with both the Pearl and the Curve, and they all seem to be pretty happy with them, so I hope that you are as well.

Bonus that the sales guy suggested the work around for the high price tag, they aren't always so forthcoming!

L-girl said...

Thanks, Sarah. Good rationalizing there!

No, seriously, you're right. I do like texting, it's very useful, and my old phone was really annoying for that. Plus, the Wi-Fi on my iPAQ has become so iffy, it barely works anymore. The new toy should combine functions and simplify nicely.

It's true, though, that my original desire to get a new phone started from seeing other people's phones and feeling embarrassed about how old and ugly mine looked - the phone I once thought was so sleek and cool-looking. It's weird when something you imagine yourself immune to catches up with you anyway.

Hey, I saw you in the gamethread loving on your MacBook Pro. It's great when you get something you really enjoy and get lots of use from.

mister anchovy said...

One day maybe I'll be dragged into the 90s, or maybe it's the 80s...I don't even use a cell phone, and most of the time, I'm good with that.

L-girl said...

A postscript for anyone still subscribing to this post. I sold my old iPAQ for $90 on Craigslist. It continues to have a life, and I cancel out the cost of the new phone!