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2009-05-04 02:20:19.122064+00 by Dan Lyke 10 comments

This morning I rode down to Novato, and it was raining cats and dogs. While I was sitting in Marvin's with Phil waiting for Dave, my cell phone started buzzing. I think it got wet enough to short something out. I'm waiting for it to dry out, but we were planning on re-upping our contracts and getting Charlene a new cell phone so that she'd have Bluetooth pairing for the new car, and something with good audio quality (Charlene wears hearing aids, and both of us generally think the cell phones we have suck, though Charlene's Nokia (that used to be mine) less so).

We looked at the Pantech BreEZe, amazing audio quality, and it'd be perfect for "just another cell phone", but we also looked at the iPhone, and it's seductive...

In comparison to the BreEZe, the audio quality of the iPhone sucks. I mean, it's not as bad as my crappy LG, but it ain't great. We read in multiple places that the Plantronics headsets have the best volume and quality, but that the iPhone's Bluetooth support is pretty buggy and lame (although there's some talk about much of that being fixed in the forthcoming 3.0 release).

The way we're thinking going is to get to iPhones, wait for the third phone on our plan to come around and, if the iPhone audio quality doesn't work for Charlene get a BreEZe when our third line rolls around (Forest currently has our third phone, he'd get the Nokia), and she can just swap the SIM card back and forth between the iPhone and the BreEZe.

So, here's where I open up the floor to the iPhone lovers and haters: Is there a Blackberry we should look at? Is there a Nokia with a web browser and a plan that just works? I think primary use cases will be looking stuff up and, probably, some sort of blog/journal/life update, with occasional minimal email, and Charlene and I really want a shared calendar. Oh, and if its there I'll probably use it to listen to podcasts.

[ related topics: Apple Computer Wireless Music Weblogs iPhone ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2009-05-04 02:28:41.466139+00 by: Dan Lyke

Oh, and is there a bomb-proof waterproof case for the iPhone (or whatever you recommend), so I can carry it on the bike and for all the other crazy stuff I do?

#Comment Re: made: 2009-05-04 03:09:31.252859+00 by: Jim S

I use a Pelican i1030 when taking my iPhone dangerous places. It may not survive a bomb being dropped on it, but would surely survive being dropped in a bombe. THe case insert was designed for older ipods, but works for my iPhone (original), thought it is slightly fiddly if I want to cram in the power adapter, cord, and headphones with it all at once. You probably won't hear the phone ring inside the case.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-05-04 03:21:22.59644+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, I'm thinking something just iPhone sized that'll fit in a pocket. Something like those flip-top cigarette cases, appropriately sized.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-05-04 04:02:56.053981+00 by: Diane Reese

As I mentioned on your FB page, I'm holding out for a Palm Pre later this month. (In fact, I expect to be standing in line whatever day they're first available to replace my aging Treo 700p immediately.) It helps that I'm a devoted Sprint customer, and a non-fan of Apple's dominance in these areas with not-always-best-quality product.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-05-04 11:54:33.327821+00 by: meuon

On the iPhone, The wired headset works best and I think it's pretty darn good. but normally (using the phone) it's good, but not as good as my MotoQ was.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-05-04 12:57:31.380856+00 by: Dan Lyke

Diane, I'd love something that worked like my old Palm Vx with the OmniSky back (although faster than that would be nice...). I think the Graffiti input was faster than these modern tiny keyboards, and definitely better than the iPhone keyboard, and the browser re-working was decent. I'd also love to not support Apple.

However, coverage where we use the phones (along with the ease of just carrying on our contract) means AT&T/Cingular, and we either need to pay full price for two phones to hold us over, or just re-up our contracts.

Here's a video of the Palm Pre that Diane linked.

If the OpenMoko folks had been a little more "with it", I'd buy one of those, but I think most of the funky stuff I'd want to do with a phone can be done with a web browser on one.

Meuon, yeah, we tried out the two phones yesterday and the iPhone isn't bad, but it's not great. We may actually get Charlene two phones and let her swap the SIM card.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-05-04 14:07:20.396823+00 by: Mark A. Hershberger

OpenMoko is now at the stage where they have practically taken themselves out of the market. Android is the only Open Source phone out there worth much -- I have an OpenMoko Neo1973, fwiw.

I bought a Palm last year and ended up giving it to my wife. Palm is really quite sad and fallen from their former greatness. The Palm Pre may bring them back -- *may* -- but, for an existing company was once a dominant player, I'm the the Pre is a case of one basket for too many eggs.

The iPhone certainly has gained a lot of traction. But I'm not a fan of the way Steve Jobs does things. Still, it isn't a bad choice.

There are rumors that Blackberries are gaining on iPhones again in sales. I've no idea if it is true or not. But a stock Blackberry works on more networks (including my carrier, Sprint) than a stock iPhone. The new app store for the Blackberry phones is decent and will provide developers with a reason to write for Blackberry that used to only exist for the iPhone.

Sound quality on my 8830 is decent. I haven't really done a lot of comparison shopping on sound, though, since I don't expect much.

I have thought about using the phone for listening to podcasts. But I'm not sure *when* I would listen to podcasts.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-05-04 23:24:08.749957+00 by: Dan Lyke

Okay, pulled the trigger: Two 16GB 3g iPhones with Plantronics Discovery 925 headsets and... stuff. Including a bike handle bar mount ordered from Semsons. Looks like I've got Google calendar syncing working, need to get Charlene set up for this too.

And I've already bought my first app: GPS Log, a simple app to log positions and stuff associated with them, but only when you tell it to, so it doesn't chew through your battery in two hours. That ought to keep me from needing to jailbreak it so I can install Locatable.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-05-05 12:39:30.638335+00 by: meuon

Yeah, you solved my problem right off.. iPhone envy from the spouse. I need to buy one for Nancy.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-05-05 13:30:31.715343+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, the impetus for this came from two things: Shared calendars, and Charlene having easy access to Internet access when she goes to Fresno. Then there's all the other cool apps.

Alas, I think we're going to have to take Charlene's iPhone in for warranty service already, there's fringing on the display. Sigh.

And though I like the core technology, it ticks me off that all of the real innovation is happening in the jailbroken space, that if you stay within the "nickle and dime you to death" arena of the Apple approved stuff you don't end up with the stuff from the good innovative coders.

After [eye roll] a day, I can see that this is the device that's going to make me love having a PDA again, but I can also see that when the contract rolls around I'll then know enough to find the better product in the marketplace. Because I'm sure it's out there, there's lots of rough edges on this device that the two-finger touch doesn't necessarily cover for.