That’s Incredible Part 1: Decisions, Decisions

This image described by verizon iphone, HTC Incredible, Verizon Blackberry, Verizon Blackberry Curve, Blackberry_or_iphone_or_droid 
In our last thrilling episode, this intrepid correspondent was looking to upgrade his two-year-old Verizon Blackberry Curve.  The question, of course, was: upgrade to what?  My choices were:

  1. Get another Blackberry, either a Curve or a slightly snazzier model.
  2. Get the Verizon iPhone 4 that everyone and his mother knew was just over the horizon.
  3. Take a lateral step and get an Android phone, possibly the Moto Droid 2.

Here's how each option broke down, plus and minus:


Advantages: It's what I'm used to.  It syncs seemlessly with my home and work MS Outlook contacts and appointments (the main reason I went to a smartphone in the first place). It has the physical keyboard which I like; having played a bit with iPhones, I wasn't 100% sold on the on-screen typing, plus my past (bad) experiences with Palm Pilots made me leery of an all-touchscreen interface.  The phone itself could be as cheap as free, if I stayed with the Curve, or at most US$50.00 if I moved to a better Berry.

Disadvantages: Web browsing on that tiny screen was problematic at best.  The native browser wasn't much better than text-and-pictures; Opera's mobile browser, while showing more of a web site's true look, required more horsepower than my little Curve could muster.

Verizon iPhone

Advantages: It's an iPhone.  (Duh.)  Which meant, at the very least, more hands-on app reviews.

Disadvantages: I couldn't guarantee it would sync with Outlook.  I knew I couldn't install iTunes at the day job.  Plus I wasn't ready to drop US$200.00 on a phone.

Droid 2

Advantages: Lots of friends and acquaintences owned and loved their Android handsets.  As a phone OS, it's not going away any time soon (yeah, Palm Pre, we're talking to you).  Plus the Droid 2 had the slideout physical keyboard.  And I really, really wanted a Droid phone.

Disadvantages: At US$150.00 after all of Verizon's "New Every Two" discounts kicked it, it was still a bit pricy.  And the Outlook synching, at least at work, still wasn't a lock.

So I turned to this blog's founder and senior editor, who's not only an iPhone expert but also gave the Google Nexus One a thorough road test, and asked his advice.  Here's what he told me:

  1. Stay away from Motorola and Samsung phones.  If you're gonna go Droid, pick something made by HTC (the Nexus One, Sprint EVO, etc.).
  2. In two years, phones won't have a physical keyboard anyway.  Suck it up and deal with a touch screen.

Okay.  I went back to Verizon's list of available phones, and…

Hey, there's that Droid Incredible.  It's made by HTC.  It's only US$50.00 with another two years of Verizon service.  And even if I couldn't install the synch-up software on my work PC, a co-worker (and original Droid owner) hipped me to a clever workaround: extract my Outlook contacts and calendar as .CSV files, import them to Google Calendar and Gmail, then do an over-the-air synch.


NEXT TIME: The new phone's here!  Unpacking, initializing, setting up mail accounts, and — oh, yeah — cell carrier crapware.  Stay tuned.

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