What Phone to Get?

I really don’t know what phone I should get to replace my trusted Palm Treo 755p. I really think there won’t be a phone that can match its utility. It’s not a flashy phone (my friends call it “the brick”), but it’s useful. It has a great keyboard, at least before it started to break down after 3 years of use. It is customizable. Palm OS lets me do pretty much anything. It can do tethering. It has physical buttons to access common functions, so much quicker to use than just a touch screen. I can use it in my sleep. But it also does have a touch screen…

But I do need a new phone. The keyboard has been giving me trouble (the 1, 4 and i keys are bad), and obviously it’s not being maintained by Sprint or Palm anymore. My battery is also giving up, and I don’t really want to buy a new battery for an old phone. So, what phone to get?

I’ve been considering the BlackBerry Curve 9330 and the BlackBerry Bold 9650. It seems like the main advantage of the Curve is the price: $49 for the Curve, $199 for the Bold. But the Bold supports GSM networks, so I could use it when I’m in Europe, too. (But would I want to? International roaming is really expensive, and I have a phone that works in Europe. I just need to carry two phones.) The camera is also supposed to be better on the Bold. I was told by a Sprint store employee that the Bold does not have BlackBerry OS 6, but that appears to be incorrect.

On the other hand, while I like the BlackBerry keyboards, I think I may miss the touch screen a bit (even though I’m very much a physical keyboard person), and it seems like BlackBerries aren’t as customizable. So maybe Android? But the only decent Android phones are all Korean. Bleh.

The Samsung Epic 4G has a supposedly good slide-out keyboard. The HTC EVO 4G has a huge screen. Most people say they stop using a physical keyboard and start using Swype. Both apparently have Android 2.2 now. When it comes to battery live, I hear mixed reports. Both Android phones are $199 for Sprint.

I think I like Android better than BlackBerry OS, but I haven’t played with Android enough yet. Another downside (at least financially) is that the Android devices are 4G phones that require an additional $10 monthly charge.

There is a bit of urgency, since there may be another $10 monthly charge for unlimited data usage beginning on January 30, 2011, although I have read reports that this does not apply to SERO Premium plans.

I think I’ll have to go back to the Sprint store and play with the Android phones.


Here’s a feature matrix:

FeatureBlackBerry CurveBlackBerry BoldHTC EVOSamsung Epic
Price+ $49- $199- $199- $199
Touch screen++
BlackBerry OS 6++
Outlook Sync+++ (?)
Google Sync??++

About Mathias

Software development engineer. Principal developer of DrJava. Recent Ph.D. graduate from the Department of Computer Science at Rice University.
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