The title of this post is a little extreme, but I have had some frustrations when looking to upgrade my Treo 650. Here are a few notes I’ve made over the past few days:
I’m not going to do business out of a goddamn mall kiosk
I’m willing to buy Dippin’ Dots from a flimsy stand in a mall concourse, but not sign a two-year contract for a vital utility like cell phone service. If I am paying for unlimited wireless broadband, and Verizon is going to charge $10 on top of that for text messages, then they can afford to rent out an actual store.
This isn’t the smartphone you’re looking for
Moving from the Treo 650 to the Treo 755p seemed like a pretty logical upgrade. Unfortunately, Verizon no longer carries the 755p. They have the 700wx which runs Windows Mobile (ugh, writing that made me feel like someone just kneed me in the balls), and the Centro which seems to be a smaller, sportier version of the 755p.
I tested out the Centro’s smaller keyboard and found that I could type just fine on it. The device also includes a number of software extras which addresses some of my previous complaints.
I may go with the Centro, but I have an odd hangup about doing so: it won’t fit in the case for my Treo 650. Pretty picky I know, but the case I have was a very nice present and probably cost somewhere between $50 and $100. Yeah, maybe I can eBay that stuff, but I still cringe at having to drop another big chunk of money to keep the thing from getting scratched up.
Planning for the future
Although I’ve come to rely on the standard Palm OS apps, I am very interested in Openmoko and Android phones. I don’t like being locked in by either a cell phone company or a device/OS vendor because they naturally use that exclusive relationship to milk you for as much money as they can. I’ve seen a few things online that indicate Verizon will be selling Linux-based phones in 2009, but nothing definite.
The Android-based HTC Dream will supposedly be available for T-Mobile later this year, but Verizon still has the best-coverage trump card. It may be that I should roll with the Centro for now, and see where things stand in a year or two.