Sunday, May 01, 2011

Switching mobile phones

I finally broke down and switched mobile phones this week. I had been using an iPhone 3G (bought new and unlocked at duty free in the Rome airport) on T-Mobile. While not perfect it was a quite serviceable little phone, even though I could only use EDGE speeds for mobile broadband, not the 3G my wife's Android-based G1 used.

For two years, the iPhone was exactly what I had wanted and was a joy to use. Two things happened to make me choose to switch. (well three if geek wanderlust is factored in).

First off, iOS 4.0 came out and many apps started to require it. Because of this, I ended up having to upgrade. Now, for 3Gs and iPhone 4 users, that wasn't t a big issue, but for us 3G users, it wasn't the best upgrade. While it did work, there were a few limitations, most importantly, the speed dropped. iOS just needed a beefed CPU than what my older and aging 3G offered. Now, while annoying, Apple did say at the start, a 3Gs was the minimum for good performance.

While the speed thing was annoying, the second issue that started plaguing me was what appears to be an increasing reliance of mobile data. It seems that more and more applications I used frequently seemed to put a greater and greater strain in the data pipe. What this looked like is more and more apps just seemed to stall for no good reason. On wifi, the problem was less noticeable, so I'm inclined to think they were assuming there was a good 3G connection.

The other reason I chose now to upgrade was the AT&T buyout of T-Mobile. I've been a customer of T-Mobile since 2000, or when they were VoiceStream. I've loved their service and their pricing. And since I live in a big city, coverage was never an issue for me. Well, there was no coverage in my parent's hometown in southern Illinois, but I'm nit there too often, so it wasn't a real issue. Now, with AT&T buying them, I can only assume that means my bill will go up, and up, and up. (hooray for no competition). Upgrading phones now means I signed up for a two year contract extension which means that when our clueless government approves the deal (which it will, even though it's bad for everyone but AT&T), I will still be under contract and they have said they will honor all existing contracts.

Oh, and my current plan is unlimited everything (phone, data and SMS) for both Felicia and myself, for about the same price as everyone else's non unlimited plan. Take that death

I've really only started playing with my new phone, a Samsung Nexus S. So far I really like it. Switching is a strange experience, one I will document more as time goes on.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


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