Sure, i was seduced by the iPhone for a long time, but because I was locked into a, um, long-term deal (i.e. If you die and no one is using the phone, they’ll still be billing you until you re-animate Frankenstyle and cancel… oh, of course only after the expiration of said long-term deal…) with Big Red. Anyway, my old Windows Mobile phone, a Samsung Omnia, was working just fine, but it was a little short on the cool factor. So, in the Springtime of my technology loving this year, I began research for a new phone. I should note that my research efforts delve to a depth and breadth that makes me wonder how I ever get to purchasing anything at all…

[On a related note, I’ve had the same blade in a Gillette Fusion Power razor since acquiring it in May of 2010. It’s a “weekend at the Happy Hollow” backup, so no, I’ve not been ripping my face off with it. Anyway, have you seen the price of blades for that freakin’ thing? I have, and I’ve been holding out, researching for a price somewhere South of the 4/$16.29 at CVS… That’s $4.0725 each for those of you not doing math in your head right now… So yesterday, the lovely Joyce and I am at an Estate Sale and I see a grungy, used model… Gross, right? Yeah, but underneath were 2 pristine replacement blades. I approached the lady doing the “slips” and held up the razor (hiding the blades) with a high degree of contriteness… I think I bowed my head a little. She looked at the gross, soap scummy razor and said, “fifty cents?” Folks, you do the math on that one. Woo hoo!]

Oh yeah. The phone thing. So, blah, blah, blah… There I am in the local Big Red store in May, and they finally had the iPhone. It’s a cool little device, and I get the whole “it just works” (unless you have the AT&T version and want to use it as a um, phone) thing, but it’s a little too slick and a little too vanilla for me. Plus, I’ve been using computer technology since before Windows, and I gotta tell you, none of it “just works.” That’s OK. Over the years I’ve become very self reliant (nod to all you Emerson fans), and from custom “bat” and “ini” files to “cooked” “ROM’s” for smartphones, I’ve learned to love technology tinkering. You really can’t mess with an iPhone. That baby is “locked down,” as they say in the biz. Yeah, yeah, you can “jailbreak” it and then customize, but Apple make it very difficult to do so. Plus, when I picked it up in the store, it felt too small and somewhat toy-like. No. I was going for an Android phone.

The three major hardware contenders were Motorola, Samsung and HTC. My Omnia was a Samsung product and had some issues, so it was nixed. Motorola and HTC seemed pretty even in terms of build quality, but the design, and especially the “Sense” interface software gave the edge to HTC. I liked the product I purchased, but the name was just so silly, I couldn’t say or write it until I read something funny referencing it on an online Android forum.

My experience with the phone has been a good one, but others have had serious issues including:

– Multiple, random reboots
– No voicemail notifications
– Dropped data connections
– A slow, and then botched rollout of the Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) upgrade
– Poor battery life

The random reboots was a real PITA for those experiencing it, but I wasn’t one of them. Nor did the voicemail thing affect me. The battery life is poor, but i usually have the phone plugged in whether home, in the office or driving, and I do get intermittent data connection issues, but that’s mostly when I’m using the phone as a wi-fi router. Yeah. Down the Cape we don’t have Internet, so my phone provides it. Just this morning Joyce was surfing on her laptop and I was Facebooking on my iPad, all via wireless Internet from my phone. Its fast, too. Just like at home. Then my now 20 year old son called. While we chatted with him via speakerphone, we remained connected to the Internet… Yep. Simultaneous voice and data to both devices. I’m not sure whether any other Big Red phones can do that yet, but mine was the first.

So while some phone website recently awarded my phone the Android Lemon Award for the worst phone of 2011, I disagree. In fact, I’m no longer embarrassed to say its name.

“Why yes, ma’am… That is a Thunderbolt in my pocket.”