Zero needs your help! Help me pick a new phone!

The Zero Corporate Communicator is due for an upgrade… My AT&T Tilt has taken quite the beating from me. For 7 months of loyal service, being subject to my drunken rages every now and then, but also being hacked to fit my needs… I am amazed it has last me 7 months. I mean with respect to things… Check out my phone chronology! (Disclaimer: Times are approximate…)

10/2004 – 10/2005: Nokia 3120 (1 Year)
10/2005 – 1/2006: Motorola RAZR V3 (3 Months)
1/2006 – 3/2006: Motorola SLVR L6 (2 Months)
3/2006 – 5/2006: Motorola MPx 220 (2 Months)
5/2006 – 7/2006: Sony Ericsson T637 (2 Months)
7/2006 – 10/2006: Motorola SLVR L7 Unbranded without iTunes (3 Months)
10/2006 – 1/2007: HTC Wizard as a T-mobile USA MDA (3 Months)
1/2007 – 5/2007: Nokia E62 (4 Months)
5/2007 – 10/2007: Palm Treo 680 (4 Months)
10/2007 – 4/2008: DUAL PHONES – Sony Ericsson P990i AND Sony Ericsson w300i (6 Months)
4/2008 – Present [12/2/2008] – HTC Kaiser as an AT&T Tilt 8925 (7 months onward…)

Lately, my phone is going through issues… The slider mechanism is getting loose, unless I lock it in the angular position if I somewhat slack with the screen angle. I am going through a RAM leak issue that my phones go through… So something like the phone’s alarm or an event reminder will lock up or even crash my phone. I have to reboot the phone every other day now rather than every 4 days to keep the phone functional. The worst part… I have tried almost EVERY cooked and stock OEM HTC TyTN II ROM possible to flash into my phone in hopes of having a functional phone that was stable since the maladies happened… But alas… even a bare stripped out BASE ROM that is on the original HTC TyTN II without the garbage still has my phone crashing and locking up.

So yeah… I have been looking at new phones. At the moment, I am eligible through T-Mobile to enjoy the same deals as new users from being eligible for an upgrade as long as I do the 2 year hitch. However, should I choose to hop back to the Death Star and be subject to their funny taxes, rollover minutes and etc… I’d have to wait until around until June of 2009. Time is not of the essence, yet… Unless my phone just purely becomes dysfunctional that it is unstable. I do need a smartphone, as the ability to see my calendar of events and keep my contacts at ready access. Messaging is highly important to me as I do a lot of mobile contact when voice is not an option. Internet plans are being considered, as e-mail and instant messages are my alternative lifelines other than texting and voice calls.

Here’s the line-up… so far that is:

BlackBerry Bold (To be unlocked…)
BlackBerry Javelin (aka 8900 Curve) [Unfortunately no official link yet, link from Boy Genius Report]
Nokia XpressMusic 5800 (The wicked touch screen music phone)
Palm Centro (Unlocked from Palm)
HTC/T-Mobile G1 by Google

My common themes seem to be phones with physical keyboards that are exposed, the only exceptions being the G1 and the Nokia Xpress Music 5800. The G1 has a slider keyboard like my Tilt, while the Nokia has a soft keyboard and it does support written input via stylus.

The issue of billing is not too bad… cause at the moment, I pay $70 for my current plan after taxes and such. However should I go with any device with the optional net plan (for the G1, the net plan is MANDATORY), the price totals out at $80. So it’s about 1 take out meal a month less. Not a big deal, cause I don’t have much time for that anyways. The only pressing issue would really be the $35 activation fee and the device prices.

The BlackBerry devices may be fun, but the Bold, for example is only available in the US as a locked AT&T phone and I would have to spend a little extra coin to get it unlocked for use. The Javelin is not known if it’s coming to T-Mobile USA, but there is already an AT&T unit under testing. For either the Bold or Javelin, this is probably the most expensive route ranging from sniping one off of craiglist at $450+ before any unlocking services.

The Palm is a rather nice and pint sized little smartphone and at roughly $300 unlocked from Palm is a great deal. The sad selection of white only is a little sobering… Though the final issue is compatibility with the T-Mobile mobile web… I am highly considering mobile web, so it puts the Centro on a very thin edge. The Nokia XpressMusic 5800 ($500+) is also on that same thin edge with the mobile web compatibility… Though the XpressMusic is more media centric rather than a corporate looking communicator.

The T-Mobile G1 is probably the underdog of them all… Priced at $180 with a 2 year renewal, fully Linux and open source, and quickly becoming versatile. It’s made by HTC, so I am not too afraid of build issues. Sure, it looks a little caddish and far from corporate professional… But to know that it can basically give me near remote control over my own site is damn near staggering, especially when there are times I’d kill to blog something but only to find that I have to pay for a wireless LAN at Starbucks for an hour I may not use entirely.

I digress…

If anyone has an opinion, feel free to comment and let me know! If you have a recommendation, tell me your reasoning why! Any reasonable insight is welcome and encouraged!

12 thoughts on “Zero needs your help! Help me pick a new phone!”

  1. Whoa… Look at Nokia N97 – there is a review on already!!! Touch screen, full QWERTY board! Whoa… Hot.

    Before I saw that… I was gonna suggest E63 or E71 only difference… E63 has a 3.5mm headphone jack. The E71 doesn't have a jack, but it comes in white.

  2. Hmm…I would have to say to go with the one that makes you happy. =P I've only had 2 cellies in the 6 – 7 years I've owned a cellie. XD The sign will come if you haven't chosen. ;P

  3. Hey dude….G1, Big? dunno….Iphone (corporate lockdown) Blackberry (would it be customizable) I would go with the G1, Open OS, Appstore like Iphone. receiving updates often…

  4. Nijnsky, I have checked out the Nokia N97 and that is speculated at 550 Euros (Approximately $697 USD) before markups from shops like No lies though, it's beautiful though as it merges the concept of a Nokia N-Series tablet with the principles of a Nokia XpressMusic 5800.

    Correction about your statement about the G1/Android being partially open source. As of October 21st, 2008, Google has broken the Android platform open to the world ( The market place has gotten rather interesting, as users have basically been able to essentially proof of concept things like multi-touch, accelerometer control, hell… even barcode comparison shopping! Motorola, Samsung, and LG have mentioned making Android phones very soon… just no penned dates yet.

    I will agree with Tad that I am not much for an iPhone from the level of control from Apple is not in my interests.

    Blackberries as far as service should be the same, just the only difference would be reconfiguring of proxy servers that are provider specific. As far as pricing for BlackBerry Network services, T-mobile's pricing for a smartphone, the G1, and even consumer phones are all equaled out now.

    Nijnsky, I am aware of the E-series devices, but with T-Mobile, it would be a bit useless. Most of Nokia's E-series lines only support 850/1900 UMTS/HSPDA while T-Mobile USA runs 1700/1900 UMTS/HSPDA. The other factor is price of a Nokia E-series is at $260 before any applicable shipping/handling fees. Compare that to the price of some of T-Mobile's offerings for $150 in store and it narrows Nokia out of my picks, for the most part. I have no hate to Nokia, just I worry about compatibility with their 3G and if they will play well with T-Mobile's data services on top of the price point concerns.

    Sadly, Sony Ericsson has fallen a bit behind as with their staff cuts… it's mixed their priorities on device builds. They now have a plethora of cheap consumer phones and any of their good phones like the Xperia X1 are currently about $800+ USD before shipping and handling. The staff cuts have killed some of their mid-range smartphones sadly as a result, but this can be attributed to the ultimate failure of the Symbian UIQ interface and them adopting Windows Mobile for their Xperia product line.

    However… There's the issue that Sony Ericsson is not considering Android as it fails to give them the draconian control that they wish to exert on their devices for their PlayNow Service. ( So anything that Sony Ericsson plans to offer to business/entertainment oriented device will basically run the price of an Xperia device.

  5. NO no no… G1 whatever heavy and ugly, it’s only cool endless you have the white one. But still… The GPS is slow and never shows up and meh, sorta open source till they get some stuff out for it. It’s heavy… Arg.

    iPhones are expensive to maintain… You’re better of just buying the phone it’self.

    Blackberry is soo not customiseable, endless you are an e-mail freak… Nokia makes phones that are like the blackberry, but 10x better Like all the new E-series phones. It’s for people who want a blackberry, but don’t want to spend extra just to have blackberry service.

    I think get the unlocked, switchable phones, so when you break your phone, you can totally just sim card swap to another. You can’t swap sims with Side Kicks, Blackberries (not exactly bc of special services) and iPhones.

    Go for the phones like Sony Ericson… Or Nokia…

  6. I would run with what you have until it blew big chunks of techno goo out of every orifice before changing. But I ran with an old Motorola bag phone until the switch to the new signal style made it not work. From what I have heard most of those phones are fairly new and waiting will let you see what happens in time. This is coming from the person who has never had a cell phone that was more than a phone and really I wouldn't have any because my current Motorola w370 has taken several beating that would probably kill those phones.

    My personal take has always been for durability over function. I have played with the G-1 and I found the body to be shoddy it was like having a Mercedes with cloth seats, it didn't feel right. Never touched a Crackberry before so cant say anything about that but the Motorola Q4 I played with was surprisingly robust and has survived about a full year with the most clumsy person I know. He lost his glasses in a lake and dove in after them with the phone on in his pocket and it survived. If Motorola has kept the durability up on there phones I would lean more that way over any of the ones listed.

    I know you plan to customize the phone and I know jack squat about that. But If I where you I would wait until your phone is all but dead and then look at your choices there may be better options by then or at least the flaws in the new phones will have a better chance of being found.

  7. Don't get the Palm Centro!

    The keys are SO hard to type on and looks/feels quite cheap!

    As always, I highly encourage BlackBerry. The Bold looks nice — I saw it in the AT&T store shortly after I got my iPhone and was kind of upset I didn't know/see it sooner LOL. I've had the curve and loved it as well. Might possibly be one of my favorite phones behind that Moto E398 I had. But out of all BlackBerries, I prefer the Storm — not available for either of us LOL.

    Lemme know what you end up choosing.

  8. The HTC gets my vote simply because you know the thing's durable and going to last. If you think you'll be happy with that phone for another 7 months, do it.

    However, I'm not the phone guru here – you probably know far more about which phone will suit your needs better (if any one of these phones will suit your needs better than the rest).

  9. Aer, your input is appreciated. I have considered BlackBerry devices from the corporate aspect of things such as dedicated e-mail functions and BlackBerry Messenger. It hits the corporate sweet spot that I desire from a phone, but well… I am NOT a fan of the BlackBerry Pearl Flip available from T-Mobile, cause the top part is made with GREAT materials and the bottom half of the clamshell is made with ghetto plastics you'd find from a Samsung "free-after-rebates" junk phone. There are rumors of the BlackBerry Javelin (8900 Series Curve 2) coming to T-Mobile, but I won't hold my breath until I get official confirmation.

    There are some rumors milling from saying that there could be a possible "BlackBerry Blitz" in Feb of 2009 with 3 NEW BlackBerry devices hitting T-Mobile… I may post about that later on.

    Shae, my HTC has held up nicely since the chaos it's been through with me. I'd imagine the G1 would take the punishment of my life just the same… I may just try to see how long I can hold out with my phone, just in case T-Mobile throws some wicked promos… I do have the upgrade privileged, it's device selection is a bit lop-sided. LOL!

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