Lest you think I am some kind of technology goddess (far from it,) I will share with you my humanity. Yesterday, I dropped my beloved Evo 3G in water. This is actually the second time I dropped a cell phone in water. The last time was my beloved iPhone 3G. Actually, perhaps I should stay away from phones with the number 3 in the name? Note that whatever phone I have at the moment is the phone that is beloved. I am very phone fickle.
What to Do?
Once I dropped my phone, besides offering an expletive to the world at large, I immediately turned it off, pulled out the battery and the chip and dried off any water I could see. Then I put the open phone in a bag of rice. According to the Web at large, this is supposed to dry my phone out, and possibly make it usable.
I actually did the same thing with my iPhone. Unfortunately that time I was impatient and turned the phone on after a short 8 hours. I was ecstatic when the phone turned on. Less so when I heard a bzzzzt and the phone fried. I hadn’t waited long enough.
I expect a similar result this time, but I will leave the phone to dry for a week. Meaning, my phone will probably work when I turn it on, and this time, it shouldn’t fry.
But I Can’t Be Without a Cell Phone for a Week!
Yeah, neither can I. I actually had two choices as far as my plan with Sprint goes. There are few things for which I purchase insurance, cell phones are one of them; so I could have gone to Sprint, paid $70, and gotten a refurbished phone in return. But before I did so, I took a look at my other options. Like many companies, Sprint offers an upgrade option after a certain period of time. I have had my Evo for over a year, so I was pretty certain I qualified for an upgrade. I actually should have dropped the insurance after a year, would have saved me some money. Lesson learned.
Off I went to the store. The kind sales person at the store ran my phone number, and sure enough I qualified for a new phone. I needed to pay for the phone at the plan rate, and I would have to extend my contract for a year. This worked for me, since I really prefer to get a new phone every year. I don’t generally suggest people get a phone every year, but in my line of business I need to stay on top of the technology. I also had already decided to stay with Sprint so I didn’t mind extending my contract.
There are a lot of cell phones. It is too time consuming to look at every single one. I know what I need and what I like, so I was able to walk over to the display and quickly dismiss what I knew wouldn’t work for me. This process left me with 3 possible phones. They were, in no certain order:
Normally I buy my phones online, but in this case I had an opportunity to actually handle the phones. I just didn’t like the way the Nexus felt. I simply wasn’t into it, so I dropped that phone, leaving me with 2.
Look at the Reviews
Now, normally when I go to look at something in a store (a rare thing) I either have already looked up the reviews or I have my phone with me so I can look up reviews. Not possible in this case. So I asked the sales person to go to cNet.com so I could take a look. The Evo3D and the Motorola Photon both had really good reviews.
I actually focus on the negatives in reviews in a situation like this.
The Evo review noted that it had low internal memory and a tendency to drop calls. Both are a problem for me. A lot of apps are movable to the external memory, but I use a bunch that aren’t. I need the space. And dropped calls? I like a cell phone that is good for making calls, go figure.
The Photon review complained that the phone was bulky. I actually found it to be the opposite. The design has curved corners which fit comfortably in my probably smaller hand than most tech reviewers. That was the only real negative that impacted me and clearly, I didn’t find it to be a negative.
2. Here is where commercials matter.
I frankly find the Evo 3D commercials annoying. I am not particularly interested in 3D, to me that is just a gimmick. The salesperson agreed, he told me that you can only watch 3D for about 30 minutes without the phone plugged in. Also, 3D makes my head hurt. I knew I wouldn’t actually use that feature. I am not much for gimmicks.
I haven’t actually seen a Motorola Photon commercial. I have since looked. Stupid commercials. Lucky for Motorola, it hadn’t had a chance to irritate me.
3. Price matters too. Given the reviews and everything else, I was leaning towards the Photon pretty hard. Then I noticed that while the Evo 3D costs $199, the Photon only cost $99. Wow. Why? It simply must be that Motorola isn’t as known for Smart Phones so it is trying to break into the market.
Sold; Motorola Photon it is.
This process actually took no more than 5-10 minutes for me to complete. The salesperson activated my phone, and I was on my way to a lunch appointment, itching to play with my new phone. Entire process? Less than 30 minutes.
What to Do with the Old Phone?
What will I do with my old phone? As I mentioned, I will leave it in its bag of rice for quite a while, at least a week. Then I will turn it on. If it works, I will delete all of the information and return it back to its factory state. If it doesn’t work or it fries, I will sell it on eBay. In either case I will make it very clear what happened to the phone.
If I cannot turn the phone on, and therefore am unable to wipe it, I will change all of my passwords, just in case someone is able to turn it on eventually. I don’t want someone to be able to get into any of my accounts with saved passwords. This is extremely important when selling an old phone.
Since people buy phones for parts and are willing to buy water damaged phones, I probably will get back at least what I spent for the new phone. Since I have an extended battery with a case, the original box, and everything else, I might well get quite a bit more for it. We’ll see.
So there you go. That is how I go through the process of buying a new cell phone. When you need to buy a new phone, here are the steps you should take.
1. Think through what phones will meet your needs, for example, do you like a phone with a keyboard or are you into touch? I don’t like the keyboards so that removes a lot of choices for me.
2. How much power will you need? I need the top of the line phone, so I don’t bother looking at the lower end. What do you need?
3. Try to actually handle the phone so you can make sure it is comfortable in your hand. You can still buy the phone on line, but handling the phone might help you narrow down your choices even more.
4. Check the reviews. Look at the positives and the negatives. If the negatives are deal breakers, dismiss the phone.
Happy phone buying.