RecapWe're switching to AT&T. That's inevitable and (for all intents and purposes) out of my hands. So I have to pick a phone. And I find that Verizon has all the best phones... but nothing to do about that.
In the previous post's meta, I got a wonderful array of advice. Consensus was for the glorious iPhone, though pfk57 made a powerful case for a Fuze.
TIWIARNI've been to stores several times, and done a fair bit of reading, though not to the point where I really think I have a full grasp... at all. But here's where I've come:
HTC Fuze is impressive, but the keyboard is probably a pointless addition for me. I have these big sausagey man-fingers, and push 2-3 of those tiny little keys at a time. (Ditto for the BlackBerries with keyboards.) The touch-screen and features are okay, but didn't knock me over.
Samsung Eternity is very impressive. It's got a nice display, a haptic touch-screen (i.e. it vibrates when you connect), and reputedly has a lot of nice features. Its users are very enthusiastic about it, and it's called an "iPhone-killer." What's more is that the data plan is far better than the iPhone's. With the iPhone, you pay $30 a month, period, for unlimited internet access. With the Eclipse, it's $15 max for the same access. The internet is a Java-based html browser that might not "get" everything. The Eclipse (unlike the iPhone) is not categorized as a "smart" phone, and I'm not sure why. It seems to do just about everything.
Half-priced data pack, plus the battery is removable (see below), and you can upgrade memory with a card.
Plus, it is touch-sensitive, irrespective of temperature. So you can use your finger, or a stylus, or a toothpick or whatever's handy. It also has a "handwriting" feature that translates your scribble into words, which is nice.
It has a 3Mp camera that takes good pictures and video; but no flash. The camera has many settings available. But there is no comparable app-store, such as the iPhone has. Reportedly, it also has a pretty sweet GPS. It has an app-bar, but it's not customizable beyond the apps that come on it. You can load your own ring-tones.
iPhone. I went in not wanting to be impressed, wanting to love one of the others... but wow, what a phone. It's extremely impressive. The graphic interface is amazing and fairly intuitive. It comes with a truckload of apps, with more available for free or cost at the online app store.
Also, you can do two-finger touch, which others can't. So, like a science fiction movie, you can pinch in, then open out your fingers, and expand a picture.
The camera is only 2Mp, and gets varying reviews. It doesn't natively do video, or voice-dialing. But the calls (if recognized) identify the caller, and the voicemail is stored on the phone - so it can be listened to out of order, fast-forwarded, paused. Also, you can use it as an iPod (I wouldn't have to carry two little machines any more).
The on-screen keyboard is sweet for my fingers. Letters expand when you touch them, and you can slide to the right one if you miss it at first.
However, it's very expensive, and you can't get a "deal." It's $199 for 8GB, or $299 for 16GB, period. And you have to get their data plan, which is a whopping $30 a month for what Eclipse gives you for $15, not including text-messaging.
Also, you have to get apps from the Apple apps store. And, if the battery goes out, you can't replace it. You have to send it to Apple. I've read a battery only takes 300 charges, which means it'd only last a year. And you can't upgrade the memory card. This is what turned me off of Apple in the early '80s: I saw they'd get you and own you so you could only do business with them. They haven't changed.
Oh, and another thing. The Eternity is pressure-activated. So you can use it in any weather, with anything that will touch it. But the iPhone is heat-activated, meaning you can't use a stylus — nor, in cold weather, your hands in gloves, or your fingernails for precision.
Oh, and the iPhone has its glorious all-problems-solving system update coming out... in two months.
At which time there will be a new iPhone, reportedly, too — to be announced in June.
All that to say... I'm still stuck. Educateder, but stuck. Sigh.
UPDATE: I just added this question for iPhone users to the meta — is there a way to get the phone to record a conversation on it? That would have been very useful in the interview with Ryne Pearson; and I have other interview possibilities.