While fighting with my mobile phone last night, I contemplated throwing it against the wall to make the insane frustration stop. Having paid for it off-contract though, I quickly put that action out of my head. This, you see, is my first mobile phone with Android as the operating system. Saying that I’m underwhelmed with its ability is an understatement. We’ll get to why I have switched in a bit. Recalling all the awesome phones I’ve had in the past few years (list below), the Android tops my list of “meh” as far as my love for the phone. I’ve listed these in order of my ownership, newest to oldest, the numbers in ( )’s is my personal ranking of these phones. #1 and #2 I would gladly take back if they were still relevant and not obsolete.
- Samsung Galaxy Express Prime / Android 6.0 / (9)
- Microsoft Lumia 640 / Windows 10 for Mobile / (7)
- HTC One M8 for Windows / Windows Mobile 8.1 / (1*)
- Nokia Lumia 920 / Windows Mobile 8.1 / (2**)
- Samsung Focus / Windows Mobile 7.8 / (5)
- Blackberry Bold 9700 / Blackberry OS6 / (2**)
- AT&T Tilt / Windows Mobile 6.1 / (8)
- Samsung BlackJack / Windows Mobile 6.1 / (4)
- Palm Treo 650 / Palm OS / (6)
- Various analog non-smart phones, too many to list
*I’d still be using this phone if HTC and Microsoft had decided to upgrade it from Windows 8.1.
**A toss-up honestly, physical keyboard (BB) is on-par with superior build quality (Nokia).
What’s striking about this list is that phones, some used over a decade ago, rank higher than my current phone. My current phone is literally being used out of necessity as the specifications are definitely in the “budget” range making any task painful at best. I’m still paying off the HTC One M8 for Windows (previous posts, here (towards the end of the post) and here, have all the background detail) and refuse to get a newer phone with payments until the HTC is paid off…. in July 2017. Despite me ranking the Lumia 920 equal to the Blackberry Bold 9700, I would choose the Blackberry (assumption is that the OS on both of these would be current to make the choice relevant). That was my tank, always reliable, and just worked. I hardly ever had to reboot it and it had 3-4 days of battery on each charge. The last phone on that list above that could do that was the Palm Treo 650, the true champion of durability tankness. I’m still a little disappointed that Palm couldn’t keep up with the mobile device market.
I’m using an Android phone now because Microsoft has flipped off this fan for the last time. They’re pointing a finger at HTC for not updating the M8 and HTC pointing a finger at Microsoft for not updating the M8 was the last nail in a slowly built casket. Windows 10 for Mobile is a damn good operating system and up until I stopped using the One M8, the previews ran flawlessly. As much as I hate to admit it, there was a lot of “workarounds” required to do all the things you can easily do on Apple and Android OSs with a simple app download. I managed though and was hopeful that Microsoft had finally turned the right corner and was building the ecosystem that was required. That didn’t happen. Focus has been turned elsewhere and Windows 10 for Mobile has been relegated to the “we also have this” pile. The downturn of desktops/laptops for the 8th quarter in a row paired with Android claiming over 80% of the mobile market, I fear that Microsoft is slowly heading down the same path as Blackberry, HP (webOS), and Palm (which a purchase from HP didn’t save). Sure, Windows 10 is fantastic, been setup for long-term support, and unified experiences across multiple platforms…… but those platforms are, in a sense, dying. The only platform that is growing is the tablet/2-in-1 market, barely, but mobile phones, rather, mobile computers are taking over. Microsoft has failed to innovate and penetrate this market, and 2017 is going to be a pivotal year for them if they can’t get the rumored Surface Phone released.
Some serious thought has been invested in moving back to a simple, dumb, flip phone that costs $30. If it breaks, just get a new one and move the SIM card. I can buy over 25 flip phones for the price of a Samsung Galaxy S7 and I don’t have to be locked into a stupid finance agreement with my carrier. It would also only cost me $14 (with taxes) per month for a flip phone compared to the $40 (with taxes) per month I currently pay (there are 7 lines on our family plan). Something to be said about not being 24/7/365 “connected” to the world.