Some of you may know that for the five years or so prior to joining TechnoBuffalo this year, I thought, talked and wrote about cell phones pretty much all day long. From Nokia’s N-Series to the first Windows Phone 7s, I read about, played with and usually reviewed just about every phone available in the U.S. for those sixty months. So it shouldn’t be surprising that once I joined the herd and had the chance to review things besides phones, my desire to mess around with every new celly to hit the market dwindled a little bit.
That, in turn, led to a growing level of comfort with my daily driver, Apple’s iPhone 4. Yes, I’ve kept abreast of the latest in smartphones this year (Android this, dual-core that, whither Nokia and Palm). And yes I’ve reviewed a good handful of the newest phones (Bigger! Faster! Thinner! Which ones run Netflix, again?). A few things have caught my attention, like Windows Phone 7’s UI and Samsung’s Super AMOLED displays. And a few have even blown my doors off, like Verizon’s LTE speeds and the Bold 9900’s keyboard. But nothing I’ve seen this year has made me jump ship. For a number of reasons ranging from how a phone fits into my computer-dependent lifestyle to how that phone meshes with my Apple-heavy personal technology ecosystem, I still carry an iPhone 4 every day.
The past two weeks of my life, however, have been a little bit different. I’ve been away from the office more and editing video less. I’ve been writing fewer articles and spending more time on email, messaging and phone calls with frequent checks of the Web and RSS feeds in between meetings. I had my head buffed in a film studio in San Francisco, sat waiting on pins and needles in a hospital in New Haven, and caught a few planes in a few different airports. In short, I’ve used my computer less and my smartphone more while still trying my best to get stuff done in all sorts of unexpected places.
Two weeks ago, knowing my daily routine was about to be shaken up, I decided to supplant my iPhone habit with two keyboard-packing smartphones I happened to have on loan for review: The BlackBerry Bold 9900 (T-Mobile) and the Android-powered Motorola XPRT (Sprint). I carried Bold with me everywhere I went the week before last, and packed XPRT into my carry-on bag when I set out for the East Coast last Friday night. A professional video shoot, reader meetup, and three days of hospital cafeteria food later, I’ve formed a few new opinions about getting stuff done with Android, BlackBerry 7 OS7, and iOS 4.
And before you ask, the hospital visits related to a loved one who’s pre-scheduled surgery resulted in some complications that are now under control. Last Tuesday night was scary, but things are stable and on the road to full recovery now.
As far as the smartphones are concerned, I’ll say this for now: Any of the three operating systems in question, and any of the three phones I used them on, is plenty capable of getting stuff done from more or less anywhere you might be. What and how much you’re able to do is obviously dependent on exactly what you’re trying to do, network conditions where you’re trying to do it, and your unique personal blend of apps, skills and magic.
As for the specifics of the devices and platforms I’ve been living with? That comes in Part Two …