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Archive for November 28th, 2006

Good deals

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

A couple places to look for deals that I came across today:

  • Some of Hearst’s most popular magazines titles are offered at $5 per subscriptions, at least until Friday. Great gift idea for siblings, etc. You save a bundle and they get a gift that literally gives all year.
  • Also, CNET’s Holiday Treat Calendar is full of good offers and discounts. A lot of the ones so far are just tips. But hey, they’re free and helpful.

(Th)indecision about a new phone

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006

I need a new phone. I currently own a Razr. And I hate it. I remember drooling over it when I first saw the prototype in WIRED magazine a few years back. So, I finally broke down and bought it last year when I lost my phone. This was before everyone else had a Razr, back when the magenta one had just been released. Now, I’d say this is the most over-hyped, over-sold product on the market. I don’t know if it’s just my phone or T-Mobile or what, but my phone sucks. Plus I’ll admit, I like being ahead of the technology curve not behind it… so I need to upgrade.

Several of the guys in my office have smart phones and BlackBerrys. I like the idea of being able to be connected wherever I am, and in fact, I often check my e-mail, get movie times, find directions, etc. on my Razr. On a smart phone this would be more automatic and intuitive. Plus, it just sounds cool. The problem is their phones are HUGE. I’m a huge fan of small electronics, as anyone can tell you. My camera, my cell phone, my iPod. I can fit them all in my pockets, probably even all in the same pocket if I so desired. I like that. I can just grab it and go without worrying about it sticking or falling out. That’s a big factor for me.

Lucky for me, companies are starting to realize that slim is in and are responding with delightfully tiny products. Currently, I’m considering the BlackBerry Pearl, which is the smallest and cutest of the ones I’ve seen. It also has multimedia, a 1.3 megapixel camera and the BlackBerry namesake. But there are a few things that make me hesitant. It’s T-Mobile exclusive, and as a current T-Mobile customer, I know that coverage is spotty. Also, there is no wi-fi on it (a standard feature on most other smart phones) and the qwerty keyboard has two letters per button instead of the more standard one. So some things to consider.

Other phones I’ve looked at include the Motorola Q, which also comes with a whole set of pros and cons including how much I hate my current Motorola phone and that my Mac may not play nice with it because it runs Windows Mobile. It’s also significantly wider, though slim enough for my taste. But still it’s not out of the running. And finally, the Samsung BlackJack, which is the one I’ve researched least. But it looks good and has features I’m looking for in a phone. It has some of the pros and cons of the other phones, and is really the middle ground between the other two.

In the end, I’ll probably end up with the pearl, just because, as horrible as it is, form may preceed function on this one. I’ll also need to see, feel and hold each phone in person before I know for sure if it’s a good fit. But it doesn’t matter right now. I won’t make a purchase until my contract runs out next month, and even then, I’m going to wait to see where I end up. I would hate to sign a new contract with a company that gets crappy service where I take a job. It would be Findlay all over again, where my cell phone barely got reception in my apartment on Main Street. (What kind of company doesn’t have at least decent reception in the center of a city?) Plus, who knows. The job I take may well dictate the phone features I find necessary and important. Either way, suggestions welcome.