In search of the ideal phone:
My initiation into the world of ‘smartphones’ has been a strange one. It all began when an iPhone 3GS landed in my palms a few days post its launch. But I had been a keyboard purist and the gorgeous Apple interface refused to do the tango with my podgy fingers. And, therein ended my short tryst with the iLife.
BlackBerry, First Impact:
At the time, BB was purely a ‘working’ person’s phone (Operating System) and I was as far from being a ‘professional’ as a person can be. Plus, I’d heard from users that it wasn’t that kind to people wanting to stream some music or go shutter happy at the world. And that made me give it a pass.
But, as luck would have it, a twist of fate some months after I picked up my Sony Xperia Pro MK16i, I had landed up with the BlackBerry Curve as my second smartphone. The phone was tough having had to withstand a lot of abuse since purchase. But that was as far as this love affair stretched till.
The OS was the biggest restricting factor, the hardware seemed slower than a dinosaur and the battery drained faster than I could type out my thoughts. The keyboard was a delight to use though and I soldiered on, clinging on to the messenger that was pretty much its saving grace.
I’m not kidding you. For a manufacturer that was trying to position itself as the new ‘king of cool’ the phones were a social nightmare. They had a tiny screen, abysmal app support, ‘hit n miss’ touchscreen support and a grainy camera that took worse snaps than five year old feature phones.
Entering the Droid Life:
Since Windows wasn’t anywhere on the smartphone scene either, it was a no-brainer of sorts that Android would have to be the way for me. After months of pondering, I made the tough decision of opting for the last of the android keyboard phones out there, having had to pass over Samsung’s (then) flagship – the S2.
At that time, all I wanted was to do the things i was doing before. Click and share photographs, listen to music, communicate with friends and colleagues sans barriers, use my Google services suite (Gmail, Gdocs, Gtalk, etc.) and so on. All this had to be in the most seamless and hassle-free way as possible. And if I could save a few rupees in the bargain, then it’d be the icing on the cake.
Yes, i have been frustrated by the fragmentation of the OS and the devices on which they are launched. Sony has perhaps been the worst of the manufacturers as it never could match up to Samsung, HTC or even Google, themselves. I had to wait a full eight months before i could upgrade to ICS and by then the phone specs had become woefully outdated.
Back to Square One:
And today, I’m back at the crossroads, wondering why is it that I’m going where I’m going. I decided to take a closer look at the options and here’s what I noticed:
At the risk of having the Apple’ fans baying for my blood, I’d say that the OS has lost some of its initial charm. I mean, while it was a breakthrough experience at the time of launch, it has started to look a little long in the tooth, according to me. Add to it the recent fiasco where it first blocked out the competition from helping out in the navigation field and then going on to make an absolute ass of themselves, before hastily going back again. This to me, came as a shocker, for I’d never expected Apple to put a wrong foot down in years. To me, an iPhone is an iPhone, however premium the pricing and the experience, it is pretty much the same across the zillion devices sold across the world.
C’mon, Apple, time to shake yourself out of that self-induced inertia – the world isn’t exactly waiting for you.
BlackBerry was dead. Long live the BlackBerry –
With the launch of their OS10 and subsequent devices, BlackBerry has indeed gotten a new life. Without having experienced either the phones or the OS, I can safely say that BB now has a much better chance at reclaiming their share of the pie, than they have ever had in recent years.
But it appears that they have finally managed to pull it off. After years of fervent prayer and pleading, they BlackBerry pulled the wraps off their “New Phones”. While the verdict is yet to be out over how good the new platform and phones are, I’m still happy for them. For, they not only showed the world that they aren’t ready yet to go into the sunset, but, they indeed could pull out a few rabbits from their magic hat.
Windows has been some sort of a mixed bag for me. It has been akin to taking all the OS’s and throwing them into the blender to come out with the Windows OS. Don’t get me wrong though. I’m in love with the whole ‘Metro’ tile interface. It is clean, doesn’t look jaded like iOS and is nice and colourful.
Why am I still cheering for Android?
This single word sums up my love towards Android. It allows me to do what i want, when i want, how i want it. Questions be dammed. Throw a document at any decent ‘Droid phone and it’ll open sans hiccups. Games – no problem. Photographs – yes it will. File transfers – check, Bluetooth streaming – check, communications options – check. Pretty much anything and everything that can be done on a smartphone, Android has a way to do it in the cheapest and most hassle free way possible.
What’s more, if I ever get tired of the official app store, there’s always the mod-community to enter an altogether new wonderland.
So thank you very much, Apple, Windows and BlackBerry, I sincerely wish you all the very best in your efforts. But unless you give me the freedom to do what I want and when i want; at minimal costs, without breaking into a sweat over it – it is going to be tough to win me over to your side.
The only thing that remains to be decided is – Which Android Phone do i buy?
And that’s a question for another conversation….
So long folks, thank you for your patience and sticking around. Do throw in your thoughts and suggestions in the comments section below.
Here’s to being back soon 🙂