2008/07/21

Verizon Samsung i760 Converged Device

Today is the start of a new experience for me -- using a converged device, sometimes referred to as a smartphone. The model chosen for this initial foray into the land of mobile internet devices is a Verizon Samsung SCH-i760.

My previous Verizon cell phone was a Motorola that was probably three or four years old. It was given to me for free by a friend because my Nokia had died and his wife wasn't using the Motorola. She had replaced it with one she liked better and had no need for her old phone.

My first decision was to stay with Verizon because I didn't want to hassle with switching my phone number to a new service provider and because it didn't appear to save me any money to switch. The two things I really don't like about Verizon are that I don't have free incoming calls (except for other Verizon users) and my free evening minutes start at 9 PM instead of 7 PM. US Cellular has free incoming calls and their evening free minutes start at 7 PM, so if I would have switched, it would probably have been to US Cellular.

I would have preferred to get a new basic cell phone for free from Verizon without renewing my contract, but I found out that wasn't possible. After having been with them for four years, the least I could spend to get a new phone without a contract was $80. When I found out there was no 'free lunch', I started thinking about getting a phone that would give me voice calling (the reason I 'need' a cell phone), internet browser access with 802.11 b/g wifi (so I don't have to spend several hundred dollars annually on surfing through the cell connection), and PDA functions (word processing, schedule, etc).

As far I as could determine, Verizon only has two phones with wifi. The i760 was $200 and the HTC XV6800 was $250. After reading many reviews online and checking with a few people, plus looking at the i760 in person at the Fox River Mall Verizon kiosk in Appleton, I decided the i760 was the better of the two choices for my needs.

Adam and Charlene at the Verizon kiosk were extremely helpful, friendly, professional and knowledgeable. Either of them are highly recommended if you are with Verizon or are considering switching. I also visited the Verizon store on Casaloma in Appleton and didn't have the same level of enjoyable service as at the kiosk.

I bought the i760 on 20 July, charged up the two batteries Sunday evening and started using the phone on Monday.

Seems to work -- no glitches so far. There is the annoying need to learn new ways to do things that seem more complicated than with my previous cell phone, such as pulling up a contact to call from the contact list. But over the next few weeks I'll become much more comfortable with the basics of the phone. Or else I'll take it back before the 30 day trial period is up and get a different phone...

Over the next couple weeks I'll be posting the results of this test with a converged device. Stay tuned for all the details if you're interested in a smartphone with wifi, and you can't afford the iPhone and don't want to wait for the Gphone (Android).

*****

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