Friday, June 11, 2010

Smartphone or Dumbphone

As you may know, my cell phone has been a little... under the weather lately. He likes to sleep. He gets crabby if you don't wake him up gently. Sometimes the screen is a little slow. It still works, just not well.

I need a new phone. I do qualify for an upgrade through T-Mobile, which means that I can get a new phone at a discounted rate.

Since I joined the ranks of Twitter earlier this week, I've been thinking about the merits of a smartphone. I don't feel like I'm getting any sort of fulfillment out of Twitter because I can only check it/update it when I'm using a computer, and it just seems sort of silly. A smartphone could help with this issue.

I don't want to go out and spend crazy money on a phone. No iPhone for me. I also really want to stay with T-Mobile. They're the only service provider I've used since I got my first phone oh so many years ago, and I've really been happy with that they've given me. Plus, I get the upgrade discount if I stay with them.

I'd rather not spend more than $150 - $170 on the phone itself. I'll probably have to subscribe to a data plan, and I'm not sure what that would cost on a monthly basis, so ideally I'd rather not break the bank on just the phone.

Based on those requirements, these are the eligible phones:

1. T-Mobile Sidekick LX: $29.99. Cheap. But it's a Sidekick. Aren't I too old for one of those? Plus side: not a touch-screen. For some reason, touch-screens just turn me off.

2. Nokia 5230 Nuron: $69.99. Affordable. Touch-screen. Only comes in one color. Also, I've never had a Nokia before. Not sure if I'd like it. But it looks sleek and seems to have a lot of positive features that I'm looking for in a smartphone.

3. T-Mobile Dash 3G: $89.99. Affordable. Kinda looks like a blackberry with a small screen. Not so sure how The Facebook and The Twitter will look on a screen that small. Also not a touch-screen. It's a "Windows Mobile" phone - anyone know anything about that? Never heard of it.

4. BlackBerry® Curve™ 8520: $94.99. Still fits the guidelines, but I don't think I really want a BlackBerry. It's not really me. On the plus side, it comes in a variety of colors.

5. T-Mobile® myTouch™ 3G 3.5mm Jack: $154.99. Starting to get a little expensive. Not sure how I feel about this one. It's "Android-powered," and I've actually heard of that. If I buy it online, I can customize it with my own picture or something like that - really make it my own. Touch screen and all that. Seems a lot like all the other Android phones out there.

6. Samsung Behold® II: $164.99. Most expensive one in the bunch. But, I gotta say, this one has the best look. The presence of a touch-screen is the only downfall. I respect Samsung as a brand (my current phone is a Samsung, and I love my current phone, even if it is broken - I'm going to assume it's a rare case). I like this phone, but is it worth $165, plus the cost of a data plan? Would the touch screen annoy me?

So that's the situation. I'm going to outright eliminate #1, #4, and #5. Not interested in the Sidekick, the BlackBerry, or the MyTouch.

Before I make my decision, I'm going to go out in search of reviews. I'm probably going to get in touch with T-Mobile to find out how much a data plan will cost, and then revisit my monthly budget. I have to figure out if I can actually afford to use a smartphone.

Admittedly, I've always said that I just need my phone to be a phone. Why shouldn't I just suck it up and get another little cheap-o phone? How badly do I actually want a phone that can do more?

Hmm. This still requires more thinking.

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