Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Smartphone, Dumb Things

I have a new cell phone. A smartphone, in fact.

For those of you who know me, you'll know that this is Kind of a Big Deal. I use cell phones until they die. My second-most-recent phone was so busted I had to Liquid Nail the battery to the case; the smartphone replaces one I've had for 4 years, and the only reason I finally upgraded is because the screen was so busted from being sat on, that my workaround for reading text messages (zooming the screen and scrolling) didn't work any more:


So I finally gave in and got an HTC Evo 4G. I note with perverse glee, that days after I got locked into a new 2-year contract, the news came out that the Evo 4G will be discontinued this fall.

It seems perverse to do an unboxing for a phone that's been out for over a year, so here's a very uninstructive photo of the new phone and the old one:

New HTC Evo 4G and old Samsung M610
  • Battery life, or the lack of it, was the biggest shocker. I've got 2 replacement batteries now to have as spares, and am getting 2 more. They may or may not explode when used. I'm also getting used to the idea of having multiple chargers, carrying one around, and using a car charger with regularity.
  • Size and weight:  I'm still afraid of dropping the damn thing (cases are also on order) -- it's not really a one-hand phone. It's still pocketable, though, and am working on expanding my cargo pant wardrobe. I already have one clip-case holster too many on my belt.
  • Apps: After downloading an orgy of apps, I'm still figuring out which ones I actually need to use. I'm also trying to customize the widget and icon lineup on HTC's Sense interface so that the ones I need are where I need them.
  • Swype is neat, but there is absolutely no chance that I'll be texting while driving. It's just not workable.
  • The camera is really nice. One-handed photos are tough, due to the touchscreen button and because I keep putting my finger over the lens. I haven't used the front-facing one for anything yet.
  • Audio volume for phone functions (both handset and speakerphone) is way low. I know my hearing isn't great, and there's a software fix that could blow the speakers, but we'll see.
Other than that: I know it's really a palmtop computer, not a cellphone. As expected, my use of social and location apps has been getting more interactive (with my mostly-broken phone, it was a one-way, transmit-only experience.)

On the down side, phone sex is going to be a lot less interesting:


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