For the better part of 5 years, I have carried a Windows Mobile device on a daily basis. My first Windows Mobile device was a Dell Axim X5 (And for the nitpickers, it actually ran Microsoft Pocket PC 2002). I had a short run with an SMT5600 Smart Phone, and an even longer run with an Axim X50v. Since last May I have been a happy Motorola Q owner. We’ve had some good times, checked email well over 1000 times, read blogs, navigated the eastern US.
But tomorrow, I’m saying goodbye, or at least fare-well to my Windows Mobile days. I’ve got an order in for a Samsung SCH-u740. When I first saw this phone, my initial gut reaction was “That’s going to be my next SmartPhone”, but after I realized that it didn’t run Windows Mobile, I brushed it aside. Yeah it’s a cool phone, and the form factor is pretty innovative, but what about all the cool Windows Mobile apps that it can’t run? You see, I had become a Windows Mobile snob.
Lately though, I’ve come to realize that Windows Mobile to me is like having a 800 watt home theater speaker setup. You don’t really need that much volume, but there’s some geek appeal to knowing that you could shake your neighbor’s fillings loose with a simple turn of a knob. Sports cars that can do 200mph fall into the same mental category for me. Same with giant SUV’s that never set a wheel off paved ground. It’s excess capacity, and frankly I don’t really need it.
My new SCH-u740 will let me check email, and I can browse blogs. And it’s supposed to be a pretty good phone as well. Plus it can do all of this without having Verizon’s outrageously priced unlimited data plan. I’ll sign up for Mobile Web 2.0, and that will give me all I need.
My Next SmartPhone
Now I’m sure there are many Windows Mobile fans out there that are thinking “He just doesn’t get it”. I used to be one of you. But now I feel like I do get it. My phone is a tool that I use to communicate, and I’ve found a phone that will let me communicate the way I like, at a lower cost, and in a form factor that I love. Just because I usually prefer Microsoft technology doesn’t mean I’m going to blindly follow the Microsoft brand, when better alternatives exist.
There’s a 30 day window where I can return the new phone if it doesn’t live up to my expectations, so I guess Windows Mobile and I are really on a trial separation. I’ll write up my post-Windows Mobile experience after I’ve had time to get used to the new phone, including what I think works better outside the Microsoft umbrella, and what I miss.