Yes, since March 2008 I had been a member of the elite “I own an iPhone” club. That is until I sold my iPhone this August, for $350, only losing $50 after owning it for just over 5 months. What phone do I own now? A Motorola Q9h (AT&T), and yes it is in fact a Windows Mobile Smartphone. This is quite a reversal of phones. Going from an Apple iPhone to a Windows smartphone. I will explain why I made the switch, and give you some insight if you too are deciding between similar phones.
First off I will tell you that I have a Macbook Pro, and a desktop that runs Windows XP and Ubuntu. So, I am neither a Apple, Linux, or Microsoft loyalist. I love my MBP, and OS X. I have no problem with Apple products. I also don’t mind Microsoft and Windows XP, as it does what I need it to do (Call of Duty 4). Thus, I have no bias. I use both Apple and Microsoft products, and enjoy both to some extent.
When I first got my iPhone, I really thought it was cool because of the fact that it simply was an iPhone. I wasn’t amazed by the touch screen, interface, and all of that stuff because I already owned a iPod Touch which is essentially the same thing minus the phone. It was simply cool to have, its phone and SMS functionality (and by that I mean chat-styled text messaging) worked great, and I was happy with it. Fast forward to a about 3 hours after I first opened the phone. I was paranoid about breaking the phone now. The thought of having it in my pockets all day, bumping up against desks and tables when I walked by them, etc made me worry about breaking the device, and the fact that the screen feels like glass makes it seem insanely fragile. Thus, I got a case for it, however it didn’t cover the screen so I was still worried about breaking it. Case in point, it seems just far too fragile for a phone.
Around that time, I also grew sick of the touch-screen typing. That was, and still is my major gripe about the phone. Not having physical buttons to type was such an annoyance, it was the major driving force to me selling the phone. I simply couldn’t type that well. If I was trying to walk and type, what I was saying was riddled with spelling mistakes and errors. To Apple’s credit, 70% of those spelling mistakes (from pressing the wrong button on the screen) were automatically corrected. But that means 30% of the time I looked like an idiot when sending messages. Yes, it was my fault for typing things wrong. But in all honesty, the touch screen typing is just not very intuitive. It seemed cumbersome and just too difficult to use.
Then we get to the fact that the iPhone is more of a computer than it is a phone. This is especially true after 2.0 came out. Whats wrong with that? Well, computers lock up. Thats common knowledge. However, my iPhone seemed to lock up and the wrong times. Every now and then, someone would call me when my phone was just in my pocket. I would grab the phone, and it would instruct me to slide my finger to answer the call. I do that, and guess what happens? It locks up. Freezes. The phone keeps ringing, but it does not respond to input. The fix? Forcing a reboot. Arg, that is annoying to say the least. Then comes the time to boot, which is fairly long for a phone. It takes too long for the phone to start up and be functional again. But thats understandable, since after all its a hand held computer.
The App-Store was one item I was waiting for before telling myself that the iPhone wasn’t right for me. When it came out, I installed some applications, and noticed a trend. More often than not, I would select an application to download and install, but for some reason it would freeze at the “Installing” operation. I then needed to force a phone reboot, which left a dummy icon on my desktop for the application… that did nothing. I couldn’t remove it either. I could however install the application AGAIN, reboot the phone, and then the dummy dead icon would go away. Annoying, again.
And the final annoyance was the fact that my phone would turn itself on ALL THE TIME. I would shut it off to save battery, and 3 hours later when I go to turn it back on I discover it took the liberty of turning itself on at some point. This was particularly annoying when I went camping and was trying to save battery since I had no way to charge the phone. I shut it off at night, woke up in the morning, and the phone was ON! Battery in the “Less than 20% Remaining” area. And its not just my phone because my iPod Touch does this as well. So frustrating.
I ran into a slew of other issues that I don’t care to even get into right now. Basically I spent $400 for a phone that I didn’t think was worth the price.
To summarize, my dislikes were:
- The fact the phone seemed so fragile (and AT&T insurance wouldn’t cover it)
- Touch-based text input was cumbersome and just a PITA
- Locking up when trying to answer calls
- Applications not installing properly and leaving dead, dummy icons on my phone
- Long boot times
- Mind of its own, turning itself on
However it wasn’t all bad. There were some high points:
+ People often said to me “Lucky! You have an iPhone!”
+ I had an iPhone
+ I got a majority of my money back when I sold it (-$50)
+ I was able to discover touch-screen phones are not all that and a bag of chips
+ It was cool and fun for about the first 3 hours
+ It had a secure reset option that I used before selling it
So now I have a Windows Mobile (v6.1) device. I always used to look at them and say “Ew, gross”. However I have since changed my tune. While Windows Mobile is clunky at times, the Moto Q(9h) is implemented in such a way that it works smoothly with what I want to do.
Pros to the Moto Q(9h) and Windows Mobile v6.1:
+ Text messaging with the buttons is very easy, and Windows Mobile 6.1 has chat-style messaging like the iPhone so in my book that is a major plus.
+ I can run AIM, Live Messenger, and Yahoo Messenger in the background.
+ The Opera Mobile web browser is nice, however Safari for iPhone wins.
+ I can download MP3′s from the web on Opera mobile and use them as ringtones or add them to the Windows Media Player library.
+ Accepts MicroSD cards for storage
+ Email abilities (iPhone wins here because Mail for the iPhone is very nice)
+ Insurance on the phone (major, major plus)
+ Only cost me $60 for the phone after Business discount
- Windows mobile can get slow with background apps
- No quick button to turn on Vibrate/Silent mode
- Not a status symbol (but people still like my Q)
- Anti-Windows people no longer speak to me