Last Wednesday, on my way to Hewlett-Packard’s WebOS and Touchpad launch, I dropped my BlackBerry somewhere. It was time for me to panic, considering how much I depend on that device to do everything. By chance, I had a Sprint Android-based Evo 4G phone that I could use, otherwise I would have been in trouble.
In an odd coincidence, I lost my phone a day before Apple launched the iPhone on Verizon Wireless. This past Thursday morning, a review unit from Apple showed up. Still without my BlackBerry, I used the Verizon iPhone (through Google Voice) as my primary phone. Boy, it sure was fun.
As you might remember, I had broken up with my iPhone in disgust about two years ago. Frustrated by AT&T’s network coverage in the two metro regions where I spend most of my time — the San Francisco Bay Area and New York — I knew it was time to switch to T-Mobile’s BlackBerry service with UMA.
I liked the idea of a Wi-Fi-enabled BlackBerry, which allowed me to make calls from any place there was Wi-Fi, without worrying too much about international roaming charges or pokey networks. And when all else failed, I could hop on to the Sprint Hotspot for making calls via UMA.
Sure I had an iPod Touch for testing out apps and mobile web services, and yes, I had access to all sorts of Android devices, but it was the ease with which I could BBM, text, email and use Google chat that made the BlackBerry an ideal solution for me. I missed the touch interface and a full-fledged browser, but my BlackBerry worked. T-Mobile has a decent network and UMA is a great workaround for any network shortcomings. Frankly, I preferred the BlackBerry over Google Android.
But then, the iPhone on Verizon happened and I got to play with it for four days — and today, I can safely declare, this is how the iPhone was meant to be. No dropped calls, decent Internet connectivity (1.2 Mbps to 1.4 Mbps) and SMS messages that show up without any delay. The apps performed, as they should, thanks to the stable network connectivity.
The only problem I can see when it comes to using the iPhone on a CDMA network will arise when I am traveling overseas. Sure, it is not possible to check the web when talking on the phone (which is a shortcoming of CDMA), but I will take ability to complete my phone calls without dropping them once a minute over that inconvenience.
I like the idea of carrying a single device. It’s like being in love again. I will miss my BBM, but it’s time for me to mosey over to the Apple store and make the switch back. I’m on my way!
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