(Originally Posted on June 14, 2009)
A lot of people ask me this question, so I thought I’d just post for fun. It’s been a while since I’ve posted… twitter and facebook will do that. I’m still waiting for someone to write about how facebook killed personal blogging…
Please note, these are just personal opinions. Also note, I like smartphones. I like phones that allow me to communicate, and I love text messaging and push email. My phone is a communication device for me, but I like having a bit of media handy for when I’m killing time.
My favorite network, even though I know it is considered the red-headed stepchild of the industry. Great data service, maybe even the best. It also is tied with Verizon Wireless for the best on the west coast. It also has the cheapest plans, if you want unlimited data and text (which I do). It helps that I get a great corporate discount.
The Palm Pre.
For Sprint, there is no contest. I don’t think there is any second place phones that close. Plenty of reviews online, although I think Precentral and Engadget have the best. Of note, Sprint doesn’t have a very good Blackberry lineup as of now (Curve is really old), and they are saddled with a whole bunch of Windows Mobile phones that are really not worth dealing with.
2. Verizon Wireless
Probably overall, the strongest all around network in the US. Verizon Wireless had the best network in New York by a large margin when I was last there (2 years ago), but it hadn’t changed in the 10 years I was there. They tend to cripple their phones though.
I’m gonna cheat a little here. I wouldn’t actually get ANY Verizon phone right now, I would wait. Of the flagship phones, the Storm is really a dud, in my opinion. The Blackberry Tour is supposed to be coming out within the next couple months, so if you can wait I’d go with that. Great messaging and email, beautiful screen, great size. Also as a plus, it is supposed to have a GSM chip so you can roam most of the rest of the world.
If you can’t wait… well, not sure why you can’t wait, but I guess you can get the Touch Pro, if you like hacking the phone, if you like resetting and rebooting to get it work, if you like losing a call randomly due to a phone crash. Or in other words, don’t.
Click on the pick for a very nicely done review from Crackberry.com.
The forgotten network. Consistently gets great customer satisfaction reviews for it’s size, even though it probably has the smallest 3G network, and network overall. But hey, they have Catherine Zeta-Jones. That’s gotta count for something. (Back in school, I still remember when a friend a mine said that they personally blame CZJ for overloading T-mobile’s network).
The Blackberry Curve 8900. Great email, great messaging. Good size, pretty good browser. Most of the important apps are available. No 3G, unfortunately, but you’re not gonna have a lot of 3G on T-Mobile anyway. Definitely get Opera Mini if you are using a blackberry, especially since you are used the narrow EDGE network.
If your life is on Google anyway (gmail, calendar, etc), you could seriously consider the G1. It’s a little ugly, and it’w already over 6 months old. You can also wait, since a lot of phones are supposed to come out on the Android OS in the 2nd half of 2009. Side-sliding keyboards are also a pain. Everyone I know who has one wants a virtual keyboard as well, which is telling.
Unfortunately, AT&T is a victim of its own success. It didn’t have a very good data network to begin with, and a certain fruit phone has completely choked the network.
What did you expect? If you are going to deal with AT&T you might as well the phone that causes most of the problems. Really, if you want a Blackberry or a Pre, there are better networks to go to. If you are on AT&T you are doing it for the iPhone. The network really hurts though, you should see how much faster the maps load on my Palm Pre compared the iPhone 3G. I don’t expect the iPhone 3GS (what’s this, are these Acuras Integras?) to be all that much faster. The problem isn’t the speed of the chip, it is the congestion. That said, the iPhone has the best virtual keyboard around, but everyone who owns an iPhone seems to text and email on their phones less than I do. That’s telling to me.
By the way, it is really too bad about the network. AT&T also has a very nice Blackberry Bold, which spacious keyboard. Although it is a bit big and bulky for some people. If you are going to be on AT&T, I would definitely choose a Blackberry though. Blackberries don’t seem to need a broadband nearly as much to be effective.
So you have it, my totally biased opinion. Well, we’re all a little bit biased, as they say.