My journey started quite innocently enough. I had a pager for work, but I was tired of looking for a pay phone to call from. So I got a cell phone. It was big and heavy and expensive, and my was it also expensive to use! My first plan charged 50 cents a minute. No one called me on it. I still kept the pager and used the cell phone to return calls.
I worked my way through the technology advances and through the carriers. I remember being excited when I was able to order from Amazon on my Kyocera Sprint phone. I thought that was pretty smart. Then came the Treo 180; my first real smart phone with calling, text, email, and organizer, all in one. No more carrying my big leather Daytimer! There was a lot to love about that little monochrome device. I have been hooked ever since.
I spent a couple of generations with Palm Treo and eventually saw that the real action was over at Windows Mobile. I was frustrated with the technical support I was getting at Sprint. It seemed that in those days I often knew more about the phones than the support staff. Migrating from one platform and provider to the other took some work, but I was pretty happy with my Samsung slider and my new provider, Verizon. The first time I called tech support, a man told me that my problem was his problem and that he would work with me until it was resolved. Life was good.
I spent a few happy years with Verizon, but they were slow to get new phones. I was ready to upgrade my device, but there weren’t any phones available that were better than the phone I had. I started following phone forums to try to get word on release dates for “the next big thing.”
Then it happened, I came across and phone I wanted that was GSM. Verizon would never get it. Once again, I made the switch to a new carier. By then, we had number portability! No need to communicate the new number to the minions. My HTC Trinity and I were very happy together. It was my first phone without a keyboard and my first imported from abroad. I was giddy with the possibilities. For the first time in my cell phone history, I could buy the phone I liked and the carrier had no control over my selection. (Can you hear the angels singing?)
My next phone was an amazing device. The HTC Advantage was ahead of its time and was the best phone I had ever had for running my business. As I grew to use my phone more for data and less for talking, it was sheer perfection. Then a catastrophe occurred. It fell from desk height to the tile floor of my office. The screen didn’t break, but I was never able to keep the power on after the fall. It would be on for a while, but eventually I would check to see if I had any messages and it would be powered off. The best device on earth is no good if it won’t stay on.
I had my eye on the soon to be released Google Nexus One, but I couldn’t live without a phone while I waited, so I let AT&T sell me a Palm Treo. This was my last Windows Mobile device. To be fair to Windows, if they had released a Windows Phone in time, I might have stayed in that ecosystem. However, the new hotness was calling me and I didn’t want another phone with WM 6.5.
I had the Nexus One until the release of the next object of my lust was released. I caught a glimpse of the Dell Streak in January of 2010 and waited for the thing to be released. I was a long 9 months! While there were things about the Pure Google Experience I enjoyed on the Nexus One, I was delighted to return to my 5” screen. Everything I do on a phone is easier with a bigger screen.
And now I find myself reading the blogs and forums hoping to get a release date for my next phone. I could import a Galaxy Note from the UK, but the rumor mill has it launching (soon?) on AT&T with an LTE radio. We don’t have LTE in my city yet, but I imagine we will before I grow tired of the Note. And you know what? I am looking forward to the return of the stylus. I have never truly loved capacitive screens the way some people do. I prefer the ability to select finer objects than my fingertips allow, and I hate that I can’t use the phone while wearing gloves (yes, I know there are special gloves.) I miss using the corner of my fingernail to make selections on my resistive screen, and I HATE the fingerprints.
A smart phone is so integral to my life now that I shudder to think of returning to a world where I have to be at my computer to get email, at work to schedule appointments or at home to receive calls. I take more pictures than I ever have in my life, and I communicate with others more than ever. But more and more my conversations are text and Facebook, and less voice. (I use less than 200 minutes of voice a month.) If you tell me something on the phone, I can forget it, but if you send me a text or an email, I have a reminder. In my world, if it isn’t written down, it doesn’t exist.