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February 9th, 2011

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12:56 am - Progress & a coming unification of pocket technology
In 2002, I got my first PDA, a Sony Clie. Since then, I've had four such devices - two Clie's, a Nokia n810, and a 3rd generation ipod Touch. What I wanted was a device for notes, addresses, pocket-sized ebook reading, media playing, and eventually portable web-browsing. My ipod Touch excels at all of these duties, and the only problem is that the screen is a bit small. I'm read at least two dozen novels on that 3.5" screen, and while it works very well indeed, it's not ideal, both because I'd like a slightly larger screen, and because I also need to carry a phone.

In 2007, I got my first cellphone, a cheap camera phone. I also wanted GPS and a good pocket camera, and so I got a Nokia n82, which was excellent at both, but once I started texting, I was stuck with the vile and deeply unpleasant evils of a t9 keyboard. I now have a Nokia X6, which has excellent GPS, a good camera, and a nice touchscreen. It also works as an ebook reader, notepad, and web-browser, but with sufficiently crappy software and hardware and only a 3.2" screen so, that I can never see any reason to use it for any of these purposes when I have my ipod. I buy unlocked phones because I don't have a phone plan - I use prepaid and approximately $90/year gives me all the voice and text that I need on T-Mobile (that's around 900 minutes or around 400 minutes and 500 texts per year.

What I've long wanted has been a phone that would work for all of this. However, I both cannot afford and have no need for an expensive iphone voice & data plan, and all other phones were either no better than my ipod touch, or were considerably worse for the purposes that I use it for. Having recently seen a friend's Android 2.2 phone, I was very impressed with the software, so I did some looking. The Dell Venue looks absolutely ideal. It's new, with a 4.1" screen, a far faster processor and far more memory than my ipod, an excellent camera, and Android 2.2. It even has a version that works with T-Mobile's data network, should I get enough money to get a cheap data-plan, which is increasingly looking like something I want.

Of course, I'm not considering buying it now, or even soon, since the phone is currently $500. However, when my birthday rolls around in August, I can use the cash my parents give me + the money I get from selling at least one (perhaps both, I'm undecided) of my current gadgets to buy one, especially since it will almost certainly be at least $50 & $100 cheaper then, since there will be even better phones available then. In any case this is definitely a change that I'm looking forward to. I'm especially looking forward to pocket web browsing and ebook reading using a 4.1" screen 480x800 screen - that sounds like a vast improvement over my ipod Touch. I've been wanting such a device for that past 5 years, and now it exists, technological progress is a wonderful thing.
Current Mood: pleasedpleased

(4 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:February 9th, 2011 10:16 am (UTC)
How can you read entire novels on a 3.5" screen without giving yourself a headache from eyestrain?
[User Picture]
Date:February 9th, 2011 10:24 am (UTC)
I'm not sure. It's far from perfect, but I don't seem to get eyestrain much. It's certainly not as pleasant as reading a normal-sized page, but reading on LCDs doesn't bother me and the small screen is only a minor annoyance.
[User Picture]
Date:February 9th, 2011 07:31 pm (UTC)
I have an iPhone 4. The screen is truly impressive -- 960 x 640 pixels -- but it's largely lost on me: presbyopia cut in when I hit 45 and I now need something bigger. However, the latest generation of iPod Touch has the same display unit as the iPhone 4.

If they'd make an iOS device with a 4" or larger screen I would be in there like a shot. Alas, I can see where you're coming from.

NB: here in the UK, you can buy unlocked iPhones from Apple and a micro-SIM from the telco of your choice. There are some cheap deals out there (although the phone itself is not cheap). It's possible that if you wait just a few months unlocked iPhones will be available in the US (once AT&T lose their monopoly vendor status).

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