Choose your own adventure

17 Sep 10 02:40PM EST
Post by Jason Ranieri
Hands holding HTC Desire and iPhone 4

Being a geek and gadget lover I read all about Android and the promise it held (though I must admit I was tempted by the iPhone 4). So patiently I awaited a mobile phone that ticked all the boxes for me.

Some people can make snap purchasing decisions and buy on impulse. Others like to take their time and thoroughly research an item before deciding to buy it. I fall into the latter camp.

So with gadget lust upon me I knew I was going to buy a new smartphone... the only decision now was which one? With a sense of purpose I ramped up my research. I devoured every morsel of information I could find on the latest releases and rumoured release of smartphones. I watched hands-on videos of pre-release models from trade shows. I compared the on-paper specs for many a phone and whenever I found myself passing a telco store, I'd pop in and see what models they had on demo.

It was these hands-on sessions that really made it clear for me which phones were still in the running and which could be eliminated. Very quickly I found that the Android-based HTC Desire was the most likely candidate for me.

However, before making any final decision I camped out in my local Telstra store and played with the Desire for what must have been a couple of weeks. I quite literally spent many hours in the store (sometimes hours-long stretches).

I pestered their technical staff (who were surprisingly good about my being there) and generally gave the device a thorough working over, until satisfied I had all the answers on functionality and quirks needed.

This "play time" with the phone gave me food for thought when I had to leave, and I often came up with more questions/scenarios, so back to the store I'd go. I continued to read various reviews and blogs online and tested out the various things I'd read.

Each time I left the store, I'd be that little bit more confident I had found the right phone for me.

What I'm getting at is that if you have the time and inclination, I really would suggest spending some time in a store playing with the phones you are interested in... unless you know someone with a phone who you can coerce into lending it to you (but I doubt any owners of said devices would be willing to give up their "precious" for a length of time :)

Oh and in the end, I did buy the HTC Desire, and we couldn't be happier together :)

The factors that ultimately helped me decide on the HTC Desire:

  • Googles online products: Was already using Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Docs so integration with Android based phone was built in
  • Customise: Free to customise the interface to MY liking
  • Widgets: Support for widgets to display dynamic info without having to open an app
  • Install new base apps: Free to install new basic functionality apps eg SMS or onscreen keyboard
  • Decide for myself: Free to decide which apps I want to install (rather than having Apple's app approval police do that for me)
  • Android Apps: All apps I wanted/needed already on Android, with increasing numbers of apps being ported all the time (eg Angry Birds)
  • File management: Ability to plug phone into computer (via USB) and manage files. eg transfer files to/from phone.
  • Media Files: Play media files without having to go via iTunes. For example I can just drag and drop a movie file onto my phone and then play it.
  • Flash support: Upgraded OS (2.2) will support Flash! Again, I will decide if I want to use sites with Flash
  • Multitasking: run mulitple apps at the same time!
  • Hardware buttons: I like having hardware buttons. Dedicated Home, Menu and back button are really handy. So to is the optical trackball.

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