The pleasant surprises in life, I love them. This past weekend I went through the bi-annual ritual of selecting a different cell phone plan and upgrading the device. I am aware of the unnecessary amount of trash generated by cell phones that got discarded simply because they lack certain whiz-bang features. I plan to eventually donate my old phone via Staples. For details, visit http://www.collectivegood.com/donate_phone_Staples.asp
I would rather keep using the old cell phone, even with a cracked outside screen a few weeks after I had it. Napping on the couch with a cell phone clipped to the belt is not a wise thing to do, trust me. But then some of the number keys were falling off, the antenna came off a few times and had to put back with Crazy Glue. Worst of all, the device had so little memory. For a while, I was using it as a personal digital assistant (PDA), entering notes, reminders, alerts, etc. but the phone quickly ran out of memory. With the new Razr2 v8's 2 gigabytes of memory, I am sure I will finally have a decent PDA to us one-handed while riding the subway or waiting on the platform. I still keep the Handspring Deluxe for other PDA tasks, but for simple tasks likes reminders, I would rather save on AAA batteries by using the cell phone's rechargeable battery.
The last time I changed cell phone, I didn't care too much about cell phones and regarded them just as tools, something to get a job done, i.e. stay connected. The iTune Phone was just out and the phone rep suckered me into getting a rip-off phone, from Motorola but not the real thing. There was some problem with it, besides the inability to easily load and play music, and I traded in for a Nokia phone. It served its goal, albeit I could use more, lots more, memory space.
Two years later, the iPhone, the real McKoy, is out and much as I love it I am not too keen on paying the premium it demands. A couple hundred dollars for the phone, stuck with AT&T possibly forever, limited number of apps, plus the costly monthly fee. This time next year maybe there will be more apps to make the device more useful, but for now I am not ready for it. I just wanted a cell phone with lots of memory to store my notes and calendar entries. The rep suggested the Motorola Razr2. I heard about the Razr before but never researched about it.
Ten hours after the phone was charged I started to play with it. It has one port mini-USB port for everything, from power to headset to data transmission. At 2 megapixel, the camera is pretty decent. My first digital camera was 2.2 MP. The nice thing is iPhoto readily recognized the phone's camera. With my old phone, I had to email myself photos taken with the phone camera, incurring whatever cents that do accumulate over time. The best feature I like so far is the ability to play music on the device. Bluetooth provides a somewhat painless way to send the music files over the air. I probably will explore the possibility of using the USB cable to send tons of files to fill up the 2 GB of memory quickly, but for now I don't mind sending songs one at a time. I get a peek at how iTunes categorize my music by digging into the its folder structure.
I especially like the Razr's ability to use any music files as ringtones or alarm sound. In these dark days of Digital Rights Management, it is probably illegal to do so, but at least there is no technical hurdle to overcome. With the iPhone, one needs to shell out $1 for the song then another dollar to convert it to a ringtone. Or rely on hacks and fight a game of cat-and-mouse with Apple.
My goal for now is to load all the songs in my son's playlist on the iPod to the Razr. It is only about 200 MB so in between I also sneaked in some from my own list. Now only if the Razr came with some decent full games instead of the lame demos...