Thursday, July 1, 2010

Shiny New Gadgets...

Ok, so those who know and love me know that I am a gadget junkie. Full on, "Hi my name is Kat and I'm addict" kinda junkie. We all have our own computers (youngest had his own before he could hold a crayon) and we even have a little netbook that floats around as well. I have a 160GB iPod that travels with me and is constantly loaded with music, audiobooks, podcasts and even movies. For Valentine's Day my wonderful hubby got me the Nook e-reader which right now has about 200 books on there (of which I'm usually in the middle of no less than 3 at a time) and also usually travels with me wherever I go. All 4 members of my family (and even my Grandma) received a new DSi XL when it was released this year. Blu-Ray players, WiFi enabled TVs (Instant watching of Netflix FTW!), an Xbox, 2 Wii systems and Nigel, our trusty GPS, all reside here in my little Dork-dom. If it's new tech-y type stuffs, you can be sure it's on a wish list.

As much as I love all of those things, there is the one gadget that I can't go without and that's my cell phone. If it's not with me, expect whimpering and anxiety attacks. This little electronic piece of joy has a special place in my heart. I can't imagine life before cell phones, nor would I like to return to the days of yore. There are those people who could care less about having one and generally only have one in case of emergencies. There are those who do chat quite a bit on them, but that's all they do on them. Then there are those who text like fiends but rarely have anything to actually SAY on them.

Then there's me. I am definitely of the "smartphone" persuasion. I have my calendar which I heavily rely on. All of my contact information (what do you mean they still make paper address books?) stays on there. Couldn't tell you a single phone number, but I know if hit "Tracy" then it's going to call Tracy, lol. I can never remember to carry a camera anywhere, but fortunately I can whip out my phone (which usually...there's never any "whipping out" involved as it's normally in my hand to begin with) and snap a photo if need be. Facebook and Twitter? I only check them about every 10 minutes. I surf the web, play games, check on the weather and even pay bills with my phone. All of this, and I still manage to find myself talking on the thing a few times a day!

I am always on the lookout for "the next big thing" in cell phones. I usually keep a phone about 9-10 months before I need (NEED!) a new one. My last BlackBerry lasted a year, but that was only because I had used all of the available upgrades on our family plan and was really waiting to see what was coming out. I wouldn't say that I have a brand preference, but there are those that I like more than others. Don't really dig the Windows phones. Really think BlackBerry is like an old reliable friend...if all else fails, BB is there to back me up. WebOS and Palm are pretty good (WebOS is easily one of THE best operating systems out there IMO) but seem to be struggling right now. Then there is Apple.

What do you say about Apple? I'm a PC girl myself, but I know and understand the popularity of Apple. You won't find me ensnared in the great Mac Vs. PC debate. They each have points in their favor. I greatly dislike the proprietary aspects of Apple and can think of several media players that I prefer over iTunes. But no one can argue the ingenuity that is the iPhone. I even had a first generation iPhone when they came out a few years ago. Sure, it was a new technology that was incredibly cool. But unfortunately, after about 8 months I couldn’t wait to get rid of the thing and go to my BlackBerry.

There were just so many things I thought were wrong about it. Many simple features that were standard on other smartphones were missing on the iPhone. Things like MMS messaging, copying and pasting, a camera flash and push email for users other than those who have a Yahoo email address (seriously, who doesn’t have a Gmail address and why isn’t Gmail push on the thing??). So, I got rid of it and said I would never go back to Apple. I’m not a gadget noob. Engadget and Gizmodo are bookmarked in my favorite sites and I check them daily. I do know that the iPhone has come a long way since the first gen device I had. But I held onto my complaints, justifying myself by saying that the phone really should have had all of the features at launch that were later implemented in subsequent releases. I never recommended the iPhone to friends and stayed firm to the fact that I said I would never go back to Apple for a cell phone. Well, three BlackBerries (an 8320, 8900 and 9000) and a Palm Pre Plus later, I’m eating those words.

The iPhone 4 has supposedly addressed all of the issues I had with the previous versions of the iPhone. Every complaint I had (with the exception of the whole proprietary thing, but that’s never gonna change) seems to have been addressed and improved upon. Even the low/poor ringer volume problem I had before is a lot better. There’s a snazzier camera – finally with a flash! HD video recording. Better email capabilities with the ability to add more Exchange accounts. Multitasking. That’s a biggie. So much so in fact, I’m going to list it again. Multitasking. Supposedly better batter life, super quick processor speed and better reception thanks to the metal band that surrounds the phone being the antennae.

It’s so shiny and pretty…I’ve had it a couple of days and I find myself having a hard time putting it down! I can’t really give an in depth review just yet (don’t worry, it will come!) because it’s going to take a little while to see how the phone actually works. Don’t really have a good idea yet about reception and battery life and the like, but once I have more of an opportunity to give the thing a good workout, I will post back! :)

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