Thursday, July 22, 2010

I Switched: Why One San Francisco Exec Ditched His iPhone For An EVO

Guest post by Daniel Stein
I have been an iPod advocate since the very beginning. Since the device launched in 2002, I have lost count at how many iPods I have purchased. I have a shoe box at home that is filled with my old hardware – the original 5GB (engraved, even), an iPod Shuffle; 2 iPod Minis (that I used with my Nike+ system); 2 Nanos, an iPod Touch (can’t remember why I bought that); a 60GB and 80GB iPod; and a few more that I am sure I forgot to mention.

When the iPhone launched in 2007, I was one of the first to own it. Since then, I have replaced or upgraded my iPhone 4 times. When the app store launched in July 2008, I was blown away. It made me realize how powerful mobile and location-based computing could be. It was probably the single most game changing device that I had ever experienced. It tied together entertainment, communications, social media, music and productivity in a simple, easy-to-use and very cool-looking package.

All that said, in early July of this year, I threw away my iPhone, paid my extortion money to AT&T to cancel my account and switched to Sprint and the HTC EVO. Regardless of how cool the iPhone was and how powerful the applications are, I made the decision that the reliability of the phone was more important than the power of the applications.

At the time I switched, I was dropping about 15-20 calls per day. Generally speaking, about every call over 3 minutes would be dropped at some point in the conversation. There was no rhyme or reason to when a call would be dropped. There was no pattern, no dead patch, no spotty reception. One minute you were there, the next minute you were gone. It was driving me insane and I eventually got to the point where I couldn’t take it anymore.

What I found when I switched was that I really did not give up as much as I thought I would. Although the Android market didn’t have near as many applications as the iPhone, it had many of the same applications and everything that I consistently use. Some of the native apps (like Google Maps) were actually much better than the apps on the iPhone. Best of all, the phone worked, everywhere and all the time. This may sound absurd to say in 2010, but having a phone that you can rely to simply work as promised changed my life.

Don’t get me wrong, the EVO isn’t perfect. There are a lot of shortcomings that I would love to see fixed in the future, but overall I am very happy with my decision to switch. Here is a quick list of pros and cons I have expected with the device.

  • Phone: Phone works great. I have had the EVO for over three weeks and have not dropped one call. There are a few “dead” spots that I have noticed in San Francisco and Oakland, but I assume that is expected with any service.
  • Apps: The Android Market has far more apps than I expected. There isn’t anything that I am “missing” from the iphone.
  • Mapping: The mapping software and turn-by-turn navigation was seamless, fast and accurate.
  • Social Integration: Integration with my Google, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr account, etc. worked right out of the box integrates with your address book, mail and SMS features.
  • Camera: The 8 mega-pixel camera and flash takes incredible pictures.
  • Sprint HotSpot (i.e. Tethering): By a simple click of a button (and an extra $29.95 per month), you can turn your mobile phone into a sprint mobile hotspot and share internet service to your Mac, PC or other device.
  • Battery Life: The battery life of the EVO is horrible. The first time I traveled with the device, it fully discharged in about 3 hours. Since then, I purchased a portable charger and reconfigured it to use less power.
  • Usability: After using as iPhone for so many years, I found the interface clunky and unintuitive. It took me a few weeks to feel “at home” with the device.
  • Size: The EVO is big. A co-worker of mine calls it the Hummer of smart phones. It doesn’t bother me, but it may be too big for some of you.
  • Typing: Typing without a physical keyboard is still frustrating. I find myself making many mistakes on the the any virtual keyboard, but the autocorrect on the iPhone worked pretty well. The autocorrect on the EVO doesn’t work near as well.
  • 4G: I am not really sure what this means, as I have never been able to access 4G. I am starting to think it’s like turning your stereo to 11. It doesn’t really exist, but it sounds very powerful.

Daniel Stein is Founder & CEO of the digital advertising & branding agency Evolution Bureau

1 comment:

  1. Nice post..