The €40 iPhone: two years later

I wrote a post in this blog two years ago extolling the virtues of my LG KU990 cell phone. I deemed the device a bargain compared to the expensive (at the time) iPhone, since it offered a touch-screen interface, 3G connectivity, video playback capabilities, and a relatively sophisticated camera for a fraction of the price.

Has my early appraisal stood the test of time? Well… not quite. In fact, I’m almost set on picking up an iPhone after my two-year contract finally ends next month.

I don’t think I necessarily made a bad decision by picking up the KU990. However, as Apple continued to update iPhone software with more and more enhancements, and as third-party developers built up a huge library of apps, the KU990 received a grand total of zero software updates. That means the QWERTY keyboard still isn’t available in some parts of the interface, the only third-party software comes in the form of Java apps not designed for a touch screen, and I’ve just had to live with all of the annoying little bugs and imperfections.

Prolonged use also revealed some limitations. For example, while the KU990’s integrated web browser does use the WebKit rendering engine just like the iPhone’s, it also seems to crash when asked to render long pages every now and then. The device’s external speaker also died some months ago, so I have to rely on the admittedly loud vibrate function. I refuse to pay to get it fixed, though—I’d rather just put that money toward the purchase of a new, less terrible device.

In short, while iPhone users are now enjoying apps, still-solid web browsing, and many layers of added polish, time has left me with a device barely competitive with the original iPhone running the original OS. By today’s standards, that’s almost like having to use a smart phone with your right hand lopped off. Oh, Ben, why didn’t you tell me…

What’s done is done, though; all I can do now is just not screw up my next phone purchase. But that’s trickier than it sounds. If all goes well, I’ll be moving to Canada some time within the next couple of months—closer to other TR editors, the sources of our review samples, and the time zone in which I’ve worked for almost four years. However, I’m very much unfamiliar with Canadian cell phone carriers, and local conventions puzzle me.

As far as I can tell, all carriers in the Great White North seem either to tie smart phones to three-year contracts or to sell them contract-free for exorbitant amounts of money. The folks at Rogers, for example, sell the plain iPhone 3G for $99 CAD with a three-year plan and $580 CAD on its own. (The cheapest plan will set you back $65 CAD a month, though, which looks to be a little cheaper than in the U.S.) I’ve gotta admit, the idea of being stuck with the same phone for three years bothers me.

The release of new and exciting Android-powered phones from Motorola and HTC only complicates things further. Sure, the iPhone still looks very tempting, but phones like the Droid and Nexus One have bigger screens, and Android isn’t a dead-end like my KU990’s proprietary software. One of my friends who just got a Motorola Droid seems overjoyed with it. On the flip side, another acquaintance who got a T-Mobile G1 last year says that device already feels largely obsolete, and my latest brush with the emulator in the Android development kit has left me somewhat unimpressed. Generally speaking, I think Google’s user interfaces have a nice, minimalistic quality to them, but they can feel dull and awkward to use, too.

I’m just not sure what to think. Apple rumor sites seem to be hinting at a new iPhone launch in April, so perhaps that’ll make my decision easier—or harder.

What do TR’s loyal readers think? Would you stick with an iPhone or an Android device for three years, hoping software updates keep the device current despite the aging hardware? Would you pay the full price for a contract-free phone up front and upgrade sooner? Or is there another option I’ve entirely overlooked?

Comments closed
    • lammers
    • 10 years ago

    I’ve only used an Ipod touch never an Iphone, but I used the Droid Eris a few weeks ago and that phone seems to be seriously lacking in features maybe the moto droid and other android phones are much better.

    However, this past weekend I took Verizon up on the offer to upgrade to the Samsung Omnia for free. I have to say so far that the biggest thing that annoys me is the phone book which takes a little bit longer to navigate than my previous phone (LG Dare). The screen size 240×400 and the custom all-in-one port for charging/syncing, headphones and video are the major downfalls that can’t be changed. I’m not complaining though:
    – I wasn’t planning on switching networks so the 2 year contract extension is nothing to me.
    – The Dare doesn’t require data plan, so if at anytime the phone features/limitations of the Omnia or the increased monthly rate start to bother me too much, I will just go back to the Dare and cancel the data and I get to keep a wifi enabled pda with built in GPS and 5MP camera, 8GB MP3/dvix player and expandable memory slot and a user removable/replaceable battery.
    – The unlocked GPS with the software update and the enthusiast community that are making custom roms is an excellent plus.
    – The video out is a nice gimmick that I might use a few times.
    – I believe battery life with normal use is ~2-3 days.

    What does anyone else think??

    • LawrenceofArabia
    • 10 years ago

    I too find Palm’s offerings to be pretty solid and well engineered. The only really fault I can find with the Pre are the slightly too recessed keys, making it a bit harder to type on. I may just need to pick up a pixi plus when it arrives on Verizon.

    Android is certainly immature though, the product line feels similar to the SSD market before TRIM support, good concept but with a few not so minor caveats. But that also means Android can only really improve, and its still a very good platform and worth iPhone competitor especially in the states where the GSM coverage is pretty awful compared to the CDMA networks.

    • d0g_p00p
    • 10 years ago

    I think I might be the only person left on this planet that only uses a cell phone, to you know make phone calls. I use a RAZR for day to day stuff but I am tethered to a BB during work hours. Cheap too unlimited voice, LD and SMS for $35 flat a month.

      • Deanjo
      • 10 years ago

      Your not the only one, got a cheap nokia and all it’s used for is phone calls. No messaging, no surfing, no video, no music. It is, OMG, a phone! I’ve got better toys for the rest of the stuff and the phone goes 2 weeks inbetween charges.

      • glynor
      • 10 years ago

      See, I’m just the opposite… I absolutely *[

        • MadManOriginal
        • 10 years ago

        So text-based interactions with humans are good for you because you have a shitty memory? I guess that’s good…

          • A_Pickle
          • 10 years ago

          No, because it takes me ten seconds to read your comment where it would take several more to listen to you speak it. I’m happy speaking to people in person, but it’s much easier and much faster to communicate small bits of information via text.

          As it turns out, most of my small bits of information consist of getting people to be face-to-face with me. “Oh, but my phone is a PHONE, and I’m a better person because somehow that means I value human interaction!”

            • MadManOriginal
            • 10 years ago

            Actually, no, spoken language will always be faster than written not to mention that it lets you hash out the exact meaning better with a quick back and forth, includes tone of voice in purely auditory (phone) communication, and in person includes non-verbal cues. Written communication is not automatically more efficient than auditory or in person communication no matter what you think. So many times in an office setting I’ve seen emails/IMs go back and forth so many times more than would be necessary versus face-to-face or back-and-forth (phone) verbal communication. The text always>>voice line of thinking is the kind of bullcrap that’s lead to email-only customer service.

            The only way written communication can be faster is if you skim or use shortcuts which means you often end up needing to go back and forth a few times to get clarification. Such efficiency!

            • glynor
            • 10 years ago

            l[

            • MadManOriginal
            • 10 years ago

            Yes well I made a mistake in using an absolute which I don’t usually do. So change that to ‘almost always’ and then we can ignore lots of debate over it 😀

            Of course there are cases where written is better but not just because it’s i[

          • glynor
          • 10 years ago

          Work on the phones in a customer service call center for five years and then come talk to me. But not on the phone because I’ve had quite enough of that, thanks.

          Plus, I have a shitty memory and a technical job (now).

          I like my human interactions /[

    • wagsbags
    • 10 years ago

    This is exactly how I feel about my Samsung Instinct. Was it competitive with the original iPhone? Sure. But prolonged use revealed several problems, almost none of which were fixed. Meanwhile almost anything wrong with the original iPhone can be fixed through a firmware update or 3rd party software.

    I think the key is to get a phone popular enough that if there is a major problem with it, there will be an article on CNN, not just people complaining on a forum somewhere who can be easily ignored.

      • adisor19
      • 10 years ago

      LOL, did you just call the Samsung instinct “comparable” with the original iPhone ? oh man..

      Adi

        • A_Pickle
        • 10 years ago

        No, he actually said “competitive.” BRB, I need to clean the vomit off of my monitor.

    • Arag0n
    • 10 years ago

    I really thinkg that Android is better option if mobile gaming is not concerning you…. Multitasking is a must have on a modern phone. Also WM is more capable with a nice device like HTC HD2 since most of app’s are multi-plataform. I’m a happy user of WM but despite people usually hate it so much, i won’t try to convice you if you already are not aware of it’s capabilities. And i think that if nothing changes Android will have better app’s market in a year that blows up the WM market (im not talking about the marketplace, i talk about all the app’s you can actually get by the marketplace or web).

    The only hard point nowadays with the iPhone is the gaming abilities (that doesn’t mean that others doesn’t have, just that maybe iPhone is the phone with most software for this task), and some third party app’s that sometimes just come to him because is the market leader.

    But, most of the most interesting aplications like google maps, shazam, and more over, come to the 4 plataforms (BB-iPhone-Android-WM), with the difference that any other device despite iPhone can play music while you actually surf web, or you just play with google maps app’s to look for a street while iPhone can’t, and you have many options to look for your favourite specs, bigger screen for web? better color/contrast (OLED) for pictures? better camera? what is ur hard point on a mobile?

    I know someone would told me that the user-friendly interface of the iPhone is a hard point also but… well, we are all geeks here! so i think we all know how to modify a mobile to take what we want from this, and despite BB WM/Android are extremely customizable. With lot’s of 3d party GUI’s that nothing has to envy iphone. In fact, iPhone should envy them. Usually they are more sophisticated, they own more options and allow the ability of widgets for simple tasking on screen without need of open an app like tweet or facebook status and more over.

      • A_Pickle
      • 10 years ago

      Straight-up the best post I’ve read on this blog.

      It’s worth mentioning Windows Mobile 7, though. I mean, I know the haters of Windows Mobile probably won’t let up… but I’m on a Treo Pro using Windows Mobile 6.1 and I have no regrets. It’s a great platform, it’s unbelievably similar to Windows as to how you use and modify the platform… and reports of “finger unfriendliness” are greatly overstated — and I refer to versions 2003-6.1 when I say that.

      Finger friendliness on Windows Mobile 6.5 is largely a non-issue, and Windows Mobile 7 is on the horizon and will probably include a more natively finger-friendly UI. I’m actually VERY excited about Mobile World Congress this year, specifically because I’m excited about Windows Mobile 7.

    • YeuEmMaiMai
    • 10 years ago

    lol at thinking that the iphone is actually useful for anyone outside of att…….the nice thing about nearly every other phones are you can get them unlocked and don’t have to worry about locking them when you do a software update…….

    my current phone is a LG KM900 and it works nice for what I want it to do. my next phone is either going to be the LG GW900 or a HTC T8585

    Both are 1Ghz processor phones and the LG will have 16GB+SD and a 1024*480 trucolor LCD at 4.3″

    • Skrying
    • 10 years ago

    There are *[

      • eitje
      • 10 years ago

      I really like my Blackberry Pearl, with its little scrolly ball. 🙂

      • Arag0n
      • 10 years ago

      Well… i like to download manga and read it on my 4.1″ screen 800×480 res…. It’s much higher resolution than iphone and let’s you read it without have to zoom in every page, it’s actually readeable without zoom.

      I can do this with access to the file system, but extracting the SD card plug it in the computer, copy-paste, unplug and take it back to the phone is extremely more simple….

      I agree that WM has many non-friendly or out of date parts on the software but most of them can be patched with third party programs…

      I wouldn’t but another phone just cuz default software it’s not as good as it could be if there is an option to install that manages the problem… It’s like choose apple cuz safari it’s installed by default and IE sucks, without caring that firefox, opera and aslo safari could be installed to supply your needs… I agree that some people could not need or want to know of this kind of things, but… cmom, you are reading a tech geek website, you should know all this things before say that something sucks just because the default software it’s not pretty good.

    • Shobai
    • 10 years ago

    Say what you may, I just cannot choose Android or iPhone OS over WinMo. There is simply nothing more powerful or as easy to mod/hack on the market. Not to mention the variety of handsets available.

      • A_Pickle
      • 10 years ago

      Woooo! CHEER ON, BROTHER!!! WINDOWS MOBILE FOREVER!!!!

    • Philldoe
    • 10 years ago

    I’d go with Telus and get a Black Berry Storm 2.

    • FireGryphon
    • 10 years ago

    Yow, that was TWO YEARS AGO?! I remember it like it was yesterday. It feels like yesterday I was reading that blog post.

    I don’t know what’s more shocking, that the post was two years ago, or that TR has had blogs for that long (it seems that blogs are much more recent than two years).

    From reading the responses, here’s my summary:

    1. The cellular landscape is changing in Canada, so a three year contract or big investment in a phone is a bad idea
    2. Buy a phone in Europe or Asia to use in Canada
    3. Other options exist, but the iPhone is the safest bet for an easy to use and current platform.

      • A_Pickle
      • 10 years ago

      g[

    • runkelstrunk
    • 10 years ago

    Nokias N900 and its MAEMO-Linux distribution is definitly worth to be considered: Unlike all other smartphones mentioned (except for the Android-developer phones) it is really completely open.
    So you could change every single piece of software on it, including the Kernel and Bootloader: I expect Nokia’s software stack (MAEMO etc.) to continue to excel, so Nokia provided updates should do the job; but one could install something completely different, if one wants to.
    The important point is (to me) the (new) mindset (in some parts of Nokia: semi-qoute): “Sure you can do with the N900 (N800, N770) whatever you want: you bought it and it is your property.”

    Furthermore the N900 a full fleged little Linux computer with a proper package (=software) management, etc..
    On the hardware side it is equivalent to the current ARM-based smartphones (TI OMAP3 with PowerVR SGX 3D-Accelerator, 800×480 display, QUERTY-Keyboard, etc.).

    P.S.: Also, as already noted by others, IMHO a binding contract for multiple years with a “sponsored” phone does not really make sense: If you can get a contract with a shorter minimal run-time without a phone, which is cheaper, think and calculate twice, as the “sponsoring” most often is close to (or even the same as) the accumulated difference in monthy fees over the minimal runtime; is that really worth the downside of (more or less) having to keep a phone for all those years?

    • LaChupacabra
    • 10 years ago

    My vote is for the Palm Pre. I’ve had mine for months now and while it does have it’s slow moments, they usually come from having too many cards open at once. WebOS is a very elegant solution and once you start multi-tasking on your phone it is almost impossible to go back.

    • TurtlePerson2
    • 10 years ago

    I love that picture. I didn’t even see the iPhone in the reflection until looking at it for a little while.

    • adisor19
    • 10 years ago

    While i would like to make fun of you and your ridiculously short sighted and cheap choice of a phone, i will commend you for actually enduring the torture for 2 years.

    Now, it’s time to move on in and since you’re moving to my new home land, i’m gonna give you a quick primer in what to expect in the mobile phone space.

    1) There are 3 major cell carriers that are presently gouging the market with high prices and standard 3 year contracts if you actually don’t want to spend too much on a phone : Rogers, Tellus and Bell. All three have decent networks but arguably Tellus and Bell have better coverage as well as mode coverage in HSPA+ 21Mbps. Since they all pretty much charge you and arm and a leg for phones/service, if you HAD to pick one of them, i would go with either Bell or Tellus due to the greater high speed network coverage. All 3 work on the 850Mhz band for 3G while Rogers offers EDGE service on the 1900Mhz band as well.

    2) It makes 0 sense to sign a 3 year contract right now. This is very important and i will explain why. There was an auction last year for the 1.7Ghz AWS band in Canada. 40% of the specrum was bought by new entrants in the market who are now setting up their networks. Wind mobile has already launched in Toronto and Calgary and are soon to launch in Ottawa and Vancouver. You should go on Wind Mobile’s site and check out their plans and compare with what Rogers, Bell and Telus are offering and you very quickly understand what i mean. There is another company called Dave mobile that will launch their AWS network soon as well and while details are not yet known, you can expect lower prices to boot compared to the big 3 carriers.

    3) It makes 0 sense to buy an iPhone 3G or 3GS now, end especially on a 3 THREE year contract. The new iPhone is due in June/July and it will likely include support for the 1.7Ghz AWS band that the new mobile carriers in Canada are using(Wind mobile, Dave wireless, Videotron) so not only will you be able to use the iPhone on any network you please but you will also get to choose whatever plan/coverage will suit you better. Also, the 3GS is already half way past its 1 year freshness so why buy one now ?! It makes much more sense to wait for the refresh coming this summer. For the time being, just use any cheap pos dumb phone. Heck, you’ve managed 2 years with that sad excuse of a phone, what’s a few more months ?

    Hope this helps,

    Adi

      • internetsandman
      • 10 years ago

      I agree with points 2 and 3 of your post. However, just because a network has better coverage doesn’t mean they have better service or reception quality or any of those other important points. I have heard countless horror stories about the customer service, reception quality, and indeed, the coverage of telus and bell. One of my friends can’t even get reception from /[

      • MadManOriginal
      • 10 years ago

      This might hurt your Apple sensibilities but WinMo 7 phones are supposed to come out in late summer/fall of next year too. So getting a dumb phone, maybe a prepaid one, for a few months while settling in may very well be worth it even if just to see what options come out. It would be a bit of a shame to get a phone or contract only for significant updates to come out in 6-9 months.

    • IntelMole
    • 10 years ago

    If you have time, wait for the OLED phones?

    I’m biased since I got a Motorola Droid (over here they call it a -[

    • DrDillyBar
    • 10 years ago

    I bought my last two phones outright, and just had them attached to my existing service. I’ve not been locked in a contract for going on 7 years, which I get the impression really irritates Rogers as they try to upsell me to a plan on a frequent basis. My BB Curve cost me around $500 to buy outright.

    • asdsa
    • 10 years ago

    LG? I thought they only made microwave ovens.

    • nzunit
    • 10 years ago

    Don’t phones sold in France have to legally come unlocked? If that’s the case I would pick the 3GS up in France (not tied to a contract) and then go with the cheapest GSM carrrier once you arrive in Canada. Its more money up front but then you are free to switch carriers when better deals come out. Also, if you pop down to the states you can just pop in a US sim and not have to worry about high roaming charges.

      • dpaus
      • 10 years ago

      There is only one fully-rolled-out GSM carrier in Canada right now, and that’s -[

    • elty
    • 10 years ago

    In Canada 4 carriers (3 company) offer the iPhone, but all 4 gouge, rip off, abuse you with ridiculous fee. So pick your poison.

    • liquidsquid
    • 10 years ago

    Why do cell phones matter so much to people? I don’t understand.

      • xtalentx
      • 10 years ago

      because they do so much for people.

        • liquidsquid
        • 10 years ago

        And do so little. Yet cost so much. Sometimes I wonder how we ever survived before radios that can call specific people.

        Seems to me they are a status symbol more than anything these days.

        If I want to talk to someone, I pick up a phone, and it had better have these three features:

        1. Can dial to connect me to someone.
        2. Has a microphone.
        3. Has a speaker.

        I use a camera to take pictures, a watch to tell time, a PC to play games and get work done, a calendar to make/keep schedules, and a phone to call people. They all serve their intended purposes pretty well.

          • xtalentx
          • 10 years ago

          I like that my cell phone does so much for me. I don’t really even need a computer anymore. It manages my calendar, social contacts, entertainment, email, photos, movies, web…. It does them all very well. That’s why people like cell phones.

          Your attitude about being a social status symbol may have held water 6-8 years ago but cell phone will become more and more integrated into general life and are a very useful tool that enhances peoples lives.

          As technology improves and more features can be packed into phones they will only become more and more popular/needed.

            • grantmeaname
            • 10 years ago

            No, it’s definitely also a status symbol.

            • Arag0n
            • 10 years ago

            Some GPU or PC casses are also social symbols but doesn’t mean that they do not get anything done for the user man…

            Some phones enchances social symbol and others just usability and others both. It’s up to you look wich one is ready to you.

            • A_Pickle
            • 10 years ago

            Phones only enhance social status to to those who still view the quality of one’s property as his or her most significantly defining factor. As such, I would expect /[

            • MadManOriginal
            • 10 years ago

            I know right! Because it was, like, totally impossible to do those things without a smartphone!

            • xtalentx
            • 10 years ago

            Sure you can do those tasks in other ways but why when I have all that power and functionality right in my pocket at all times.

            • A_Pickle
            • 10 years ago

            Actually, yes, it was. That’s why smartphones are so popular, because it has now become reasonably affordable to have a /[

            • MadManOriginal
            • 10 years ago

            Sweet jesus dude. Chip, meet shoulder?

            Maybe if I’m bored tomorrow I’ll answer your questions. Many of them seem to be answerable with ‘Maybe not, but I don’t need to’ though.

            • A_Pickle
            • 10 years ago

            Well, that seems a bit subjective, don’t you think?

          • SPOOFE
          • 10 years ago

          Dude, this is about the high-end world of cell phones with the thousands of apps and Internet connectivity and Umpteen-G and all that. Lots of people extract lots of use out of smart phones; it’s not like there aren’t cheaper phones out there, many of which are practically being thrown away. Hell, my phone does exactly what I want it to do, which is two things: Make phone calls, and make text messages. And it cost me nothing.

            • A_Pickle
            • 10 years ago

            Thank you for defending those of us who have chosen to purchase smartphones, while personally not choosing that route. I can respect that.

      • SomeOtherGeek
      • 10 years ago

      Yea, for that matter, why do phones matter to hearing people?

      Wait… Remembers the AT&T slogan: “Reach out and ‘touch’ someone”

      • tfp
      • 10 years ago

      yeah I don’t get it either they are handy and useful but not a big deal.

      • PetMiceRnice
      • 10 years ago

      Me either. I’ve never owned one and can count on the fingers of one hand how many times one would have been genuinely helpful to me. To me, cell phones are not much more than an electronic leash.

        • Suspenders
        • 10 years ago

        I’ve never owned one either. They definitely have their uses for some (like my friend, who’s in a band and is constantly organizing something or another), but for me personally it’s never really been an issue not having one. In fact, I like being unreachable sometimes.

        It’s nice to know there are others out there like me who shun the cell phone 😉

          • A_Pickle
          • 10 years ago

          It’s funny, see, because I totally have a smartphone and… my friend, who is in a band, doesn’t. It’s not like you NEED a smartphone to organize… actually, I find Facebook much more useful for that.

          …o-oh. Am I supposed to irrationally hate social networks, too?

            • Suspenders
            • 10 years ago

            Is there a point to your post?

            • A_Pickle
            • 10 years ago

            I was just remarking on the coincidence that your situation and mine are seemingly exactly reversed.

            • Suspenders
            • 10 years ago

            I thought you were just mocking me. D’oh!

        • Turkina
        • 10 years ago

        Funny, I’ve never owned a landline, and can count on one hand how many times a landline would have been useful lol.

          • Suspenders
          • 10 years ago

          I sort of need one for my DSL connection.

          That and my rotary-style telephone 🙂

      • moritzgedig
      • 10 years ago

      ask woman !
      how come a gadget is popular among young woman ?
      aside from the cell I can only think of one other gadget that is as popular, the Vi*or.

    • magicstasis
    • 10 years ago

    Sticking with an iPhone or Android device for the next three years isn’t too bad considering you’ve held onto your LG for two years sans updates. I’m still on the original iPhone (though I plan on upgrading as soon as the next one comes out) and it treats me just fine. Upgraded to the latest firmware and it basically does everything I need it to. Still far superior to my other options at the moment.

    • djgandy
    • 10 years ago

    LG phones are terrible. No further discussion is required. Awful awful phones, awful touch screens and no support.

      • A_Pickle
      • 10 years ago

      I’d give an LG smartphone a try.

    • leor
    • 10 years ago

    I had every kind of smartphone on the market before I got my iphone and I’m never going back. Even with phones that have claimed to have better specs, the iphone is just better to use. Maybe I’ve grown out of the high level tinkering stage of my life but I just don’t have the patience to sit there and screw with every little thing to get this tweak or that enhancement when there’s something available that requires no effort.

    I have loads of friends who jailbroke their iphones, and I just can’t be bothered. I’m playing Arkanoid, a game I’ve been trying to find for the PC for the last 10 years – I’m pretty happy.

      • Corrado
      • 10 years ago

      Same here. I’ve owned Palm, WinMo, BBerry, but no Android yet. I now have a 3GS and couldn’t be happier. I had a BBerry Curve and a Storm 1. I loved the Storm, except for the slowness that would creep in. I reinstalled the latest software every 3 months, and every 3 months like clockwork, the phone would slow down so much it was unbearable to me. I loved it when it was fresh, but having to reinstall every 3 months was a deal breaker. I’ve had the iPhone for close to 5 months now, and its still every bit as snappy as the day I bought it. AT&T works fine for me here in southeastern PA too, contrary to my fears.

    • brsett
    • 10 years ago

    The only problem with the iphone is the network. No phone is much better. And many are worse.

    But ATT sucks where I live. So for that reason, I would entertain droid — just to get back to verizon.

    Don’t waste time hating on the IPhone. The iphone is fine.

      • glynor
      • 10 years ago

      He’s moving to Canada, not the US. AT&T is irrelevant for him.

      Plus, frankly, AT&T has been fine for me in my area, and fine when I travel. Maybe not quite as wide ranging of a 3G network as Verizon, but it does come in handy that their EDGE network actually does work in rural areas where you’d get nothing at all with Verizon. I think most of the AT&T “problems” come from major metropolitan areas where the weight of iPhone usage is absolutely crushing on the network. We just hear about it a lot because the entire tech media crowd seems to live in either NY or the Bay area.

      I really think it is hilarious that people say “AT&T is terrible, consider a Nexus One on T-Mobile”.

      Really? Seriously? Unless you live in one of the top 40-or-so metropolitan areas in the US, T-Mobile is a joke. If you ever even drive *[

        • MadManOriginal
        • 10 years ago

        Plus on AT&T you can download a i[

    • Sargent Duck
    • 10 years ago

    I don’t own a cellphone, so I really don’t have much to add to this topic, but where in Canada are you moving to?

    A word of warning though, from what I’ve heard (by practically everyone I know that speaks french, I don’t), Quebec french is VERY different then France french.

    I’ve heard stories where Quebecers have gone over to France and spoken their french their, only to have the French people look at them dumbly and request the Quebercers to speak in English. As I don’t speak French or have been to France, I can’t comment on the validity of this, but I’ve heard it often enough from enough people that there seems to be some legitimacy there.

      • axeman
      • 10 years ago

      Pretty sure that’s a myth.

      • FireGryphon
      • 10 years ago

      I’ve heard it from multiple sources as well, though never actually anyone from France, so it’s hard to tell if it’s true or a really successful urban legend.

        • Cyril
        • 10 years ago

        I’ve watched movies in Quebecois French. I have no trouble understanding the lines unless the actors happen to speak very quickly in a thick, country accent. I suppose it’s like how Americans understand British people fine but can have trouble with rural UK English.

          • mattthemuppet
          • 10 years ago

          oi youse, gerrof moi laaaand!

          now, the Scottish on the other hand are completely unintelligible 🙂

      • RedDwarf
      • 10 years ago

      WTF!

      Where have you heard such nonsense? So, from what I can understand, Quebecers don’t speak french at all with the French people. If french Canadians are not able to communicate with their descendants, it must be the same thing with english Canadians and British, no?

      I’m from Montreal and I can assure you, that I can speak with French citizens and it’s true, that once in a while we have a few words that differ. But not being able to understand each other and use english to communicate… Please, refrain yourself from sharing such lies.

        • _Sigma
        • 10 years ago

        Actually I think there is some truth to this. I went through French Immersion (in Canada of course) and my French teacher had some horror stories of going to France, and asking for something, like the bathroom, and getting a blank look as the term was used differently. (Salle de bain vs. something-I-can’t-recall)

        I certainly find Québec French easier than France French, perhaps due to the more enlgish style pacing.

      • adisor19
      • 10 years ago

      WHAT ?! That’s BS. I learnt how to speak French from a tutor back in the old country so i learnt it with the Parisian accent. When i came to Quebec, indeed it was tough because of the accent is VERY different AND i didn’t master the language that well to begin with.

      The truth is that Quebecers have an easier time understanding the French spoken in France but the French from France have a tougher time understanding Quebec French but it’s nowhere near as bad as you make it sound.

      Adi

      • cheesyking
      • 10 years ago

      She spoke the French of Stratford -School, by Bow,
      The French of Paris She did never know.
      The French of Paris did to her appear
      Strange, as our Law-French to a Frenchman’s Ear.

    • codedivine
    • 10 years ago

    Gerbil from Canada. Cyril, where are you moving to? If you are moving to Toronto or Calgary, you can look for Wind Mobile. Other new carriers should launch this year too and that should reduce rates here in Canada. A new network should launch in Quebec in summer and another carrier should also launch in first half. Then you will probably get plenty of choices in devices and carriers and reduced contract prices probably.

    Current phones, Telus is supposed to bring Motorola Droid here and Wind Mobile has started negotiations for Nexus One.

    I would suggest not taking up a contract before summer. Also, carefully select your device if you don’t buy it from the carrier as some of the unlocked phones dont have compatible 3g bands.

      • Cyril
      • 10 years ago

      I’ll be moving to Vancouver, if everything goes as planned.

        • SomeOtherGeek
        • 10 years ago

        Traitor! You are leaving the US of A? Shame, oh the shame!

        Just kidding! Good luck with the move and if you need to off load your lab…?

        [EDIT]: Oops, you are from France… My bad. Got sick of the wine and women? Um. Boy, I’m sure giving you a hard time, huh? Anyway, Vancouver is one beautiful place to live – just make sure you get a mansion on the cliff by the ocean.

          • Meadows
          • 10 years ago

          He never went to the US of A.

            • Cyril
            • 10 years ago

            I did, actually. Just never lived there. 😉

            • sweatshopking
            • 10 years ago

            van eh? you should get across the strait to the island. its nice there, thats where im from. why the move? you’ll be under the queen you know…

        • dpaus
        • 10 years ago

        For God’s sake:
        1.) don’t go until /[

          • DrDillyBar
          • 10 years ago

          Good thing his desk is in walking distance.

        • Suspenders
        • 10 years ago

        I wish you the best in the Great White North, as one of Her Majesty’s loyal subjects 🙂

    • Hattig
    • 10 years ago

    The G1 was nothing more than a publicly released debug/testing/feedback phone, and subsequent designs have fixed the issues with that device.

    I have a HTC Hero (still stuck on Android 1.5 – carriers do the firmware updates rather than Google, so this is different from the Apple iPhone) and it’s certainly not too bad, but having a web browser in bed means your girlfriend making you search for pictures of the My Little Pony she had as a kid (“Bluebell” apparently)… Android does fit in well with Google’s services though, as well as Facebook and Twitter and Flickr, amongst others. The 1.5 app store is rather primitive on the phone.

    Android 2.1 does appear to offer a lot more, but I can’t comment on it until it’s available for my phone. Grr!

      • glynor
      • 10 years ago

      l[

        • Darkmage
        • 10 years ago

        Well, let’s see… the iPhone 3G came out in July of 2008. The other way to look at it is that in the past 18 months, the iPhone OS has been updated with the three versions you mentioned. BTW – I hardly consider “Genius, better battery life” to be a major update, but whatever. You’ll know it’s a “major update” when Apple throws another number on the left and charges you money to get it.

        The Android OS has gone from 1.0 to 1.5 to 1.6 to 2.0 to 2.01 to 2.1 in 12 months at no cost to customers. Additionally, MMS, cut & paste, street view, stereo Bluetooth, etc. were available from version 1.0.

        I think the differences between the platforms are not nearly as severe as you are making them out to be. Both have their strengths & weaknesses.

        That said, what really strikes me about the Android/iPhone competition is how well the iPhone has held up over time. Only now with the Nexus One is it a serious competitor to the iPhone experience, which started in 2007(!). The original iPhone was literally years ahead of its time.

          • Disco
          • 10 years ago

          I have an HTC hero from Telus (i live a few hours from Vancouver, in the wild wilderness of interior British Columbia!). I currently have a 3-yr contract with Telus, but after 2 yrs (Nov 2009) I was able to upgrade my previous phone as if I was getting a new contract. So, once the Hero became available I got it for $50, and required no extension of my existing contract. One the better deals I’ve ever had in terms of electronic gadgets.

          Regarding the HTC specific updates to the android platform… I’m looking forward to the update, but the reason for the delay is that HTC is trying to incorporate their UI of android (HTC Sense) into the new 2.1 version. From everyting I’ve seen and read, the HTC Sense UI is much better than the standard android, so I’m willing to wait until the update, which should be within the month.

          Even without the update, the HTC Hero is a pretty awesome phone. The only issues I’ve had are with the contacts/calendar sync between MS outlook and the phone, but it seems to have sorted itself out, and now everything syncs automagically when I plug it in.

          • glynor
          • 10 years ago

          I didn’t list every minor update to the iPhone *[

        • TO11MTM
        • 10 years ago

        I’m fairly convinced that any Android Phone stuck at 1.5 is stuck there because of valiation concerns. As it stands 1.6 is a buggy pile that got me to endure the pain of dealing with T-Mobile customer service. 2 replacement phones that like the original all worked fine with Android 1.5. Come update time, the things would turn into a pile of garbage. Maybe it’s the network equipment in the area I’m in, but it really put my trust in Android into question, and the resulting fallout with the carrier resulted in me having to file complaints with the BBB and FCC.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 10 years ago

      Sorry, dude, I giggled. I thought you wrote “Blueball”

    • dragmor
    • 10 years ago

    Is Canada GSM?

    If so take the long way from France to Canada, stop by Asia (Hong Kong, Japan or Taiwan) and pick up a phone years ahead of what you can get in USA.

      • Da_Boss
      • 10 years ago

      Rogers and Fido are GSM. Bell and Telus are CDMA AFAIK.

      Cyril, I’d say go for the iPhone 3GS now. As much as I like the fancy new Android phones, There’s still nothing on the Android side that can match the sheer polish, speed, feature set of the iPhone. That’s why despite the horde of new Android ‘iPhone killers’ that were released last year, people are still flocking to the iPhone in record numbers. Besides, over 100,000 apps is hard to argue with.

      Also, Rogers usually provides big discounts to those who want to upgrade from and older iPhone to a new one. That’s how I got my 3GS. Presumably, you can get a new 3GS now, then get the latest iPhone in a little over a year at a pretty nice discount.

        • _Sigma
        • 10 years ago

        Bell and Telus (Belus 😉 ) rolled out a joint GSM network to compete with Rogers/Fido.

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 10 years ago

    I just got the htc Droid Eris… it gets an B+ for features but a C grade for performance. Needs beefier hardware. Also gets a C- for battery life.

    • A_Pickle
    • 10 years ago

    I don’t mean to criticize harshly, Cyril…

    …but you bought a bona-fide /[

      • sweatshopking
      • 10 years ago

      the instinct is a sprint problem. it was marketed that way in europe and canada.

        • A_Pickle
        • 10 years ago

        I don’t deny this, but it’s not the only dumbphone-marketed-as-a-smartphone. Every telco does this.

        Every. Single. One.

        I hate telcos. I hate them. Worst companies ever.

          • axeman
          • 10 years ago

          yep me too, which is why i stick with an old nokia. I’m not forking over more money than my ISP charges just for them to restrict what I can or can’t do with a phone, so they’re getting as little money out of me as possible. for example:

          oh, didn’t choose the appropriate data plan, that will be $10,000 this month, thank you.

          sorry, telcos can take a $%#$ leap

    • human_error
    • 10 years ago

    I had a viewty from launch and replaced it in June last year with a renoir (very bad decision btw). I was so fed up i almost got a iphone/droid in november until the nexus one’s early january launch seemed legit so i decided to wait for it to launch and got that – i’m extremely pleased with my N1 so i can really reccomend it (tons of awesome free apps, ability to install apps from outside the marketplace is a nice feature, as is the micro SD card slot for user expandable memory).

    The only thing you need to worry about is which carriers have the frequencies to support which phones, coming from the UK i don’t have to worry about that but in the US/canada you need carrier specific models it seems, which will limit your choice depending which carriers have decent reception where you’re moving to.

    • Buzzard44
    • 10 years ago

    Nokia 6010 – the last cell phone you’ll ever need.

    I’m still using mine, and it’s plenty advanced for me. In fact, if its model number means anything, it’s from four thousand years in the future.

    • potatochobit
    • 10 years ago

    only techie geeks who are not allowed to be cool don’t choose iphone.
    I can install linux and wares on my phone!
    good for you!
    /slap

    what it comes down to is the determination of what you want out of your phone. Too many people who choose android think they are carrying around a mini PC. they are just fooling themselves.

    iphone has had a good thing going for many years and will continue to do so. you can bet apple will do what it can to protect that. there should always be decent support for the latest models. And I seriously doubt you will see phone exclusivity laws changed due to the demand for android next summer.

    iphone is indeed girly. and that is why it is so popular. if you are looking for a mini communication hub to your world then this is it. you can buy music, download games, even use MSN messenger all in a convenient package. Android phones are great I am sure, but they offer nothing substantially better than what an iphone already does. oh, my gosh! this new phone has .025 more screen space! if you have ever had a girlfriend before then you know she doesnt care about the size of your TV.

      • UberGerbil
      • 10 years ago

      “Many years”? The iPhone is three years old, just barely. I know that seems like ancient history in internet time (or at least to teenagers) but really, it’s still a fairly new product.

      And “even use MSN messenger”? Even that bare-bones Nokia 6010 that Buzzard44 mentions can do that (though you have to be pretty good with your T9 skillz to put up with it).

        • potatochobit
        • 10 years ago

        the iphone was built upon ipod and MacOS technology, so indeed it has many years of support.

        also the iphone is an apple product. So using MSN is indeed an out of the box idea similar to what so many other iphone applications offer. I was not implying text typing is new to the iphone. You can use whatever chat service you prefer.

      • IntelMole
      • 10 years ago

      I didn’t choose my droid to compile the linux kernel. I doubt most people who know the underlying tech in the platform are that silly either. I chose android over iphone for a variety of reasons. Off the top of my head:

      – I’m sick of having to transfer every single setting and address book entry and incompatible format from one phone to the next. Who remembers buying java games on your phone and having absolutely no way to transfer anything like that over. And so I am buying a phone that is built on an open platform. This way, either the next phone I really really really want will hopefully use the same platform or compatible standards and I can just move my data straight across instead of giving up like I have every other time. Given almost identical feature sets, I’ll chose a droid over an iphone and whatever proprietary tech they bring out next, for that reason.

      – In related reasoning, I have watched with disdain as apple have repeatedly made it clear that they, not you, own the iphone. “You may not install third-party applications, full stop”, “Doing so is a violation of the DCMA”, “You may not download Google Voice from the app store because it would enable you to make life cheaper and our carriers don’t like this”. Just three of the statements made by Apple’s policy decisions with the iphone and the app store. I chose not to buy an iphone because I believe that part of what makes a piece of technology great is not what it can do, but what it can do when you combine it with other great technology. Choosing a platform that is locked down, and so strictly regimented is orthogonal to this. I am no fan of the java only requirement of android (and they could have picked a better language than java), but I understand the reasoning, I appreciate the fact that you can compile down into C (or I assume your favourite language) if you absolutely need to, and if you don’t like it *[

    • designerfx
    • 10 years ago

    depends on how it turns out. I’d suggest android over iphone due to ease of rooting/freedoms given as a result. Even the original android phone can easily handle the new 2.0 and 2.1 features – voice input, full navigation, and better hardware is clearly on the horizon (nexus one/nexus two). Either way, 3 years is a long time, and you might want to look into how the costs look on the horizon too.

    Although I prefer android, if it’s significantly cheaper to stick with your current plan but get a new unsubsidized phone, maybe you want to look at that.

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