Smart Phone Index




Jump to a specific review or subject with the links in the right panel. Look for "My Review Pages" under "Quick Links".

Introduction:

In late 2009 I needed to replace my OLD candy bar cell phone and had been lusting over the specs for the new crop of smart phones. These pages are the story of how this all unfolded.

Intro-Update:

As of the end of 2010, the need for updates has diminished to the point that I'll call these pages closed. I may update the pages titled Android Apps, Geocaching Tools and Hints and Tips, but no others, unless warranted. My dealer just closed the West mall Kiosks, but others in town are still open. As with ALL my web pages, check the bottom of the page in the blue bar for a copyright notice and "Revised on" date. That's the last date I updated that page.
      However: I do want to comment on the deplorable decision by Google to limit the Market return time to ONLY 15 minutes. What were they thinking? Raspberries.

My Qualifications:

Not much. I never owned a smart phone before 2010, though I did have a Palm, and some other devices. I have worked for about 30 years as an electronic technician (REF: Murphy's Laws). I did a little work on voting selectors, part of the forerunner to cell technology, and worked around radios most of my career. AND, I have some experience with PC's, from DOS 3 to Red Hat 5 and Debian Sarge (I hate putting this in writing, but I should include microsoft windows XP). I still write batch files too.

Carrier:

Because of the area I frequent, I just about have to use Verizon as a carrier. Each carrier has it's own pro's and con's. Caveat Emptor. I do believe that when choosing a cell phone, choose the carrier first.

Dealer:

The dealer I like is Z-Wireless. They have always been helpful. Z-Wireless has put up with a lot of my silly questions and quirky buying habits. I recommend them.

My Store

Above on the right is District Manager Victor Flores (316-351-2671). Wireless Consultant Phil, is on the bottom left, in Verizon Red.


[Update: ~ April 15th, 2012 I couldn't locate Phil or Victor. I did not try hard. Not sure if they left Z-Wireless, or just moved to another location. Let me know, guys.]



OS:

Because of my Unix/Linux background, and the way I prefer an open dev environment, my choice and my reviews are limited to the Android platform. I've thought about reviewing the O.S., but since I have so little to compare it to (cell phone wise), I'll try to resist that thought for now. I do think Linux demands a lot of administrative up-keep, which makes it hard for me to push the envelope of it's abilities.

Here are some more reasons I like the Android OS (from Google):
Data from Android Central (~ May 2010):
* Android is first in total Web and App usage in the U.S. and second in smartphone sales behind RIM's Blackberry.
* More than 1 billion miles have been navigated with Google Maps Navigation.
* Google experienced a 5x growth in mobile search (from 2008-2010).
* Google is seeing more than 100k daily activations.
* There are 60 compatible devices, 59 carriers, 48 countries, and 21 OEMs supporting Android.
* Android has more than 70,000 Apps (as of July 2010) with more than 180,000 developers.
Google plans to "blow our minds" within the next six months!

Pre-Purchase:

But I MUST say this: Long before I acquired a phone, I was shopping for compatible software, as I think most of us do. I found the official app store web site to be VERY poorly implemented (From viewing it on my PC). I mean it just su**ed! I had better results by Googling toward dev sites! The usability of that "Android Market" was just non-existent. I could not find much of anything. It was not categorized or even organized. I hope that this does not drive new users away, but I fear that it will. OK, that is all for this rant, sorry about that.

Update: About May 17th, 2010; just before the Google IO conference, there was an update to the Market. It is easier to navigate, but still lacks the punch I expect from a "Google" site. At least now I get SOME idea how many apps there are in a category. A SEARCH for keywords would be helpful. Maybe some one will hash-tag this! ? ! ? !

Update: About July 7th, 2010; AppBrain launched Fast Web Installer by Swiss Codemonkeys. It enables you to directly install apps from your web browser to your phone. More about it on my SPECIAL app review page.

Crunch Time:

I started studying the cell phone market in December 2009. At that time I decided that technology had evolved enough for me to be happy with a smart phone. This had as much to do with screen size, resolution and computing horse power as much as anything else. At that time, only the Motorola Droid was out and filled my criteria, but the Nexus One was expected on Verizon shortly. In mid April, 2010 I gave up waiting. It had been to long. I purchased a Motorola Droid with the intention of returning it within 30 days if something else came out that I could use on Verizon.

Late in April, Google announced that the Nexus One would NOT be coming to Verizon! So much for THAT one.

On April 29th, I traded in my Motorola Droid for the HTC Droid Incredible. I had no snafus porting the Motorola to the HTC.

Want MORE ?

Use the Quick Links in the right panel.

Bottom line:

Caveat Emptor.
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