I bought a new phone on Saturday. So far, I’ve not received a single call on it. Which speaks volumes about what a phone is used for nowadays. I’ve checked personal and official email on it multiple times, done myriad Google searches, edited a spreadsheet, downloaded photos, played with the ringtones and other settings… I’ve even made a couple of phone calls on it and received some messages. But I still don’t know how to receive a call.
My previous mobile was a Nokia touchphone. I’ve had a Nokia phone for several years now – ever since my lovely red Sony Ericsson flip phone drowned in an epic flood in October 2005. I’m not the sort of person who changes phone every season. I had an E 61 which I loved even though it was quite frustrating to use and when the latter began to greatly outweigh the former, I passed it on to my father in law (who has infinite patience) and bought a 5800 Xpress Music a little over two years ago. Some of the frustrations remained; others were replaced by a new set; and the love quickly wore off. Still, the gadget was functional – I could do email (Gmail with some difficulty, but office email was seamless), browse the web, edit spreadsheets, and write notes. And the phone and messaging parts also worked ok. Blogging on it was a pain due to the superimposition of various bugs, but since I had a computer at my disposal most of the time, I chose to ignore this inconvenience.
Some things were really nice about a touch phone. So when the gravitometer (sorry, the accelerometer – but gravitometer sounds so much more likely, doesn’t it) went from being occasionally whimsical to being completely unpredictable and it became clear that a new phone was an inevitability in the near future, I decided to stay with touch. An iPhone looked like it might be the best – or at least, it was sure to be perceived as such – but iPhone 3 seems to be out of the market already, even though iPhone 4 is not yet in. So that ruled it out. Besides, I wasn’t really looking to spend that kind of money. I really wanted something in the sub-10-k range. Much to my surprise, it was possible to get touch phones with Microsoft Exchange in that range. After discarding Apple and glancing briefly at Nokia (but who wants a phone that is going to be end-of-lifed in a year?), I looked at Samsung – they had something for every range. But I didn’t like the form factor and the aesthetics of Galaxy Fit – it reminded me too much of Nokia and a cheap, shoddy replica at that (say I, at the risk of offending many Samsung fans).
I looked at Google Nexus, but it was too expensive. So in the end I found myself paying up for Dell XCD35 – a beautiful form factor, albeit in black (why, why, why? I want red! Or blue! Or purple – anything other than stupid, boring formal black!).
It’s less than 48 hours old now (or it was, when I started writing this post this morning) and the phone has not yet hung, crashed, or done anything dramatic. It seems that it does not allow one to synch one’s office Calendar (Outlook) unless you either shell out 900 bucks or do something fancy with the Gmail calendar, but this is not a serious drawback for me. And it has a sweet interface for WordPress (though I’m still typing this post on my computer from force of habit).
I’m still trying to figure out all the tricks, treats, and kinks of my new gadget. If I don’t take your call, it might be because I didn’t realize it was my phone that was ringing. Or maybe, I still haven’t figured out how to receive a call.
PS: To read Amit’s version of the story, click here.