Over the years, I have always swung back and forth between Microsoft, Apple, Linux, etc. I get into Open Source moods, then realize there’s something I need on one the more ‘closed’ platforms of Microsoft or Apple and lean back towards those. Because of that, I currently have machines running all three major OSes. A PC Desktop running Windows 7, a Mac Mini (Intel) running the latest Mac OS X and my old Desktop running Linux (Ubuntu 10.04).
I’m sort of the same way with other devices, for phones and PDAs, I’ve used Palm (legacy and WebOS), Windows Mobile, Apple iOS (v. Original-4.x), Symbian, etc. But I had never taken the plunge into the newer Android OS. Perhaps I figured it wasn’t as stable or mature as iOS and some of the others that have been around for a while.
This past week, my wife lost her phone, so she met me at the Verizon store on her way home. I was there about 20 minutes earlier, so I was admiring the new Droid X, HTCs and the Samsung Fascinate. When she arrived, I suggested that we try the Fascinate since there was a “buy one get one free” special, we’d get rid of the MiFi 2200 since they have the WiFi Hotspot feature for only $20/mo more, and we’d come out a bit ahead. We were both Upgrade Eligible, so I did everything I could to sell her on it.
Now my wife is NOT really a techy person and since she already used her iPod touch as a PDA, I didn’t think she’d go for it, but she did. I was amazed. Now I’m the happy owner of a new Android phone.
My first impressions are good, it’s fast, has plenty of features and customization, a decent selection of apps, great hardware while still maintaining really good battery life and form factor.
Virtually everything I needed and had on my iPhone 3G plus more are now installed on my Fascinate and I only paid for one app (WebSharing). The camera (5mp) is excellent, the video (up to 720 HD) is also very crisp with GREAT audio quality for a phone. The screen is very bright and does a good job auto-adjusting based on the ambient light level.
The only minor con is that there is only a Bing search widget available. There is no factory option to change it to Google Search. This is just wrong in so many ways. Other than that. The Samsung skinning of the Android interface is a bit annoying, but since I’m a first time user, it’s not too bad, but I did like the interface better on the non-Touchwiz Droid phones.
My favorite feature so far is the Swype text input. You just draw the word on the popup screen keyboard and it intelligently pulls out the words, even if they’re names or website addresses and so on. It is very accurate and intuitive. The Swype website has a bunch of nice tutorials for more advanced input options.
Now that I’ve had it for a few days, I am sort of disappointed I waited so long. Perhaps it was a good thing to let some of the early bugs get worked out.