You Are the Technology Choices You Make

I finally dumped my HTC Hero on Sprint. I just couldn’t take it anymore – missing calls and the “click lag” on the HTC Hero. In the bargain, I learnt a few things:

Tech reviewers are biased. If they were truly honest in their reviews they would end up trashing the odd deserving candidate. Which would cut off their access to deliberately leaked official rumours and pre-release device units. So their praise is fulsome and the tear downs are gentle to non-existent. The HTC Hero was praised to high heavens. And I got taken in.

The best way to decide on buying a new product is to trial the product or ask a friend who has similar proclivities when it comes to personal technology. Someone I know, strongly recommended the T-mobile G1 to me just about when I was in the market for a new phone – I should have at least given it a try. But no, I had to reach out for the new, shiny object.

I like physical keyboards. I used a blackberry for ever, before I got the touch screen only HTC Hero. It’s possible that a touch screen that performs better, like the iPhone’s, might have been a better experience, but I doubt that I would prefer it to something with a physical keyboard. I can touch type on a computer keyboard. I don’t know if that contributes to it, or its the way I am, but I just can’t stand typing on a touch screen. After just two days with the G1 I am already typing longer emails than I ever did with the Hero.

I like Google’s sense of design. The G1 is not a very good looking phone compared to the eyecandy you see out there nowadays. But it has everything I need, and very little that I don’t. For Google, functionality and performance trumps every thing else. But when it doesn’t get in the way, they do pay attention to the aesthetics. Which is very different from the idea of HTC Sense, which sits on top of Android and now T-mobile itself is adding on an additional layer. Blah! who needs all that crud.

I consider myself to be an early adopter of technology. Not bleeding edge, but definitely by the time version 2 rolls around (yes, that would still make me an early adopter, maybe not compared to you dear reader, but compared to the rest of humanity that includes my Dad).

Early adoption of technology involves two big sacrifices – switching costs of learning something new and the risk that all the pieces may not be working as well as they should. For me learning something new is not an investment – it is learning and even entertainment – a plus rather than a minus. But I would rather wait than take the frustration of something that has rickety performance. For a less important app, like say a utility for taking screen shots, its OK to have a few features missing. But if its your cell phone you don’t want to mess with it (although, I did). I expect, in this regard, I am not very different from a lot of folks who read this blog.

Like everyone else, I like a good deal. So I bought my G1 on eBay and got a no contract deal with T-mobile. Soon the Pradhan family will be moving over to T-mobile as well and we will save something like $100 a month.

The only problem – T-mobile wouldn’t give me a post-paid contract – it seems my credit isn’t good enough. Which left me scratching my head because there is no problem with my credit (I checked). I concluded that this must be because we don’t carry any debt, so we don’t have enough credit history. It is a sign of the times that you need to be indebted first to get more debt.

Which wouldn’t make any difference, except that for some reason Google Voice voice mail integration does not work with pre-paid T-mobile. Oh well, nothing’s perfect!


  1. Milind says:

    Even I am planning to dump my HTC Smart which I wrote few days back. Its battery is started showing signs. I think, for general purpose, Nokia is best. I don't know if I can return is or not as I bought online and never thought that I will return this product.


  2. Ashish Rastogi says:

    Unfortunately today's tech-savvy generation runs after what is popular, rather than what is usable. I've rarely heard iPhone users talk about call quality, but talk about apps and everyone has a suggestion. I would agree that Nokia manufactured, and still does, some of the best phones ever in the market. Unfortunately, it is not doing so well in this 'smartphone' era !

    By the way, do people also refer to you as 'BP' ? lol….


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