Thursday, March 6, 2014

Android vs. Apple

I hate my phone. Truly, deeply, viciously, I hate my phone. This is my phone, which I paid only $5 for through Tracfone:

The reason I use Tracfone is that I barely use my cell phone, and it's much, MUCH cheaper for me to pay $30 every two months for minutes (that never seem to run out) than to pay hundreds every month.

Granted, I'm not a teenage girl, so I don't constantly text and use up the minutes. Speaking of texting, though, I have an iPad Mini (and an older iPod Touch) which I can text with, using Wifi, so I haven't really needed a phone for texting. Except sometimes, when I'm not at home and I get a text on my cell phone and I struggle to reply because my current phone is a piece of garbage.

And I suck at texting.

But mostly it's my phone's fault. It looks like a touch screen, doesn't it? It's a lie.

It's more of a push screen. You have to not only touch, but hold and not jiggle even the slightest amount until the phone deigns to make the selection you are pressing. It's very frustrating. Especially while trying to text, because the T9 thing is insane (it won't let me make the words I want to make) so I turned that off and I have to tap and hold and tap and hold and tap and hold to get a "y" and it takes too long and comes out garbled half the time and it's just not worth the trouble.

I bought the phone primarily to make phone calls, though, so it shouldn't be too big of a deal, right? Wrong. Here's an example of a call I recently tried to make:
  • Press the unlock for a few seconds
  • Press it again because it didn't work
  • Press the green phone dialer button
  • Press "contacts"
  • Try to type in the number, but it goes in wrong, even though I was pressing the same # twice in a row
  • Press the red C button to clear the mistakes and try again.
  • Same thing happens, only this time it puts in a 9 instead of a 6. You might be thinking this is due to my fat fingers on a little keypad, but I did just fine on my tiny non-"fake-smart" phone in the old days, thankyouverymuch.
  • Finally the number is in, so I press the green call button and it dials.
  • And locks the screen.
  • The computer on the other end tells me to press a number on my phone to get the department I'm looking for.
  • I try to unlock my phone so I can press the #
  • It takes too long and the message kicks back to the beginning.
  • The phone locks again.
  • Finally, I get it unlocked in time to press the necessary #, but now I don't remember who I was calling or WHY
This happens when I try to access my voicemail, too. It locks the screen, then takes so long unlocking it that the computer decides I don't really want to delete that message, so I think I have 475 unwanted saved messages now. 

This sort of thing is very frustrating. 

12 year old kids are going to school with iPhones in their pockets, and I'm battling this idiotic device. 

So I've decided I need to replace it with another phone. And I would like one I am capable of texting on, so I don't have to have two phone #s (one for cell and one for texting).

I've looked at what Tracfone has to offer, but I'm leaning toward switching carriers. We've been with Tracfone for years, and it's fine and dandy unless you accidentally let your service days run out, which just happened to me last week. With Tracfone, you not only buy minutes of talk/text time, you also buy service days (that's how they get you), and I still had over 300 minutes left, but my days ran out, so not only did I have to buy more minutes that I didn't need, but I had to REACTIVATE my phone. Which took an hour to actually happen. Ugh.

I don't really NEED a touchy-smarty-pants phone. I've considered just getting an old-fashioned flip phone and calling it good. But sometimes I DO need to text on my phone, and it's much easier on a touch screen than on a keypad. I don't know if my fat fingers can handle the qwerty keypads on those slider phones. I think I would just find myself frustrated still. I think I'm ready for a real smartphone, but I'm cheap and don't like the idea of paying hundreds of dollars for a phone. 

So I'm looking at Text Now, which is the service I use for texting on my iPad. They have three phone choices right now, all Android and all much more money than I'm used to spending (obviously), so they would all be an upgrade. Well, an upgrade of my current phone. 

Here's my issue. I love my Apple devices. 
I really, really love them. They are super easy to use and I understand the way they work. If I had the money, I would be using an iPhone right now instead of toting around my iPad or iPod and my phone everywhere I go. So if I buy an Android phone so that I can text on it anywhere I go, I'm very nervous that a) I won't know how to use it to it's full capacity and b) that I will feel like I wasted my money (which is significantly more than I'm used to spending on a phone). 

The advantage of the Text Plus plan is that for under $20 a month, I get 500 mb of data (plenty, I think) and 750 roll-over minutes, which is way more than I use each month. I think it would be worth switching, but the phones offered are $89, $119 and $199 refurbished Samsung Nexus and Galaxy phones. Is it worth the switch? Will I end up replacing my iPad Touch with one of these phones? Will I regret that? 

Maybe part of my problem is misguided loyalty to Apple. I do love their products, but I'm pretty much priced out of buying most of them, unless I save my loose change for a couple of years (which is how I got my iPad Mini). I do think that in many ways the iPhone is the best product on the market, but I simply can't spend the money to have the best right now. 

So, I'm deciding between an older model Android smartphone for around $100, or another crappy cheaper Tracfone, I guess. Decisions, decisions...

1 comment:

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