Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Goodbye iPhone, Hello HTC Aria
Since I recently upgraded my wife's phone to iPhone using my number, I had absolutely zero wiggle room in terms of a deal on a phone. I think the best I could do was $500 something for a G3, I don't remember the exact amount because I stopped listening at "5".
So I logged on to Ebay hoping to find a better price on something used. But even there, any G3 that was being sold by someone I would consider buying from was over $300. Still too much - I have a way of going through phones and I just couldn't justify the money.
Since I avoid any Windows or RIM based devices like the plague, my other option was the Android OS. A few people told me they thought that Android was good, but much better through Verizon than AT&T. Unfortunately I'm stuck with AT&T.
Well, the marketing folks at HTC will be pleased to know that their sponsorship of the HTC - Highroad Professional Cycling Team paid off in America, at least once. Because even though I am usually dubious of marketing and sponsorship schemes, I have to admit that I felt just a little bit better about my decision to switch away from the iPhone when I found out that the AT&T Android phones where made by HTC.
HTC Aria. I got it for $200. It came today so I have not had too much time to play with it, but my initial impression is that it's OK. To the good, the resolution on the screen seems much better than that of the iPhone. The phone also runs faster, as in the applications open up lightning quick. And since Android is open source software, the features on the phone seem, well, more "open". That is to say, there is not a stylistic continuity cross-application or an "i" this or an "i" that to be found. And even though I am a die hard Mac guy, this is a little refreshing. You can also create custom scenes which will pre-load different applications depending on what scene you have the phone set to. This could come in handy - during the week it's all about email, but on the weekends it's all about Twitter for example.
That said, it's not as operationally intuitive as the iPhone and many basic functions require extra button pushes or key-strokes. Unfortunately, that mitigates any benefit from the faster OS. And the Aria is smaller than the iPhone, so it's going to take some time getting used to a more cramped keyboard.
But for $200 bucks, I think I'm going to be good. And besides, I'll probably loose it or break it within 6 months anyway. Because that's how I (unfortunately) roll with phones.