My adventures in cell phone hell

A little over two years ago I made a bad mistake. I had been pretty happy with my old Motorola Razer phone. It worked as a phone, it took 1.3 megapixel pictures, and I could text with it. Well, technically I could text with it. The keypad was hardly conducive to good typing. Morse code would have been simpler. But I persevered, knowing that one day I would upgrade to a phone with a QWERTY keyboard.

When the time came, I opted for the Motorola Krave. It was the same flip-phone style as my Razer, but updated. The lid was transparent, but with a fine mesh for the electronics--like the earpiece which seemed to float in the plastic. It was somewhere between the flip style that I loved, and the iPhone that I coveted. Ater all, it had a full touch screen under the lid, and when turned sideways it revealed a full QWERTY keyboard! Slick as snot and downright gorgeous. I was sold!

Then I used it. For a while I was able to forgive its faults, but after a few months it was clear: I was stuck with a shitty phone. The OS was awful. The touchscreen was atrocious. It was often downright unpleasant to use. I started using Google Voice on my computer just so I could avoid using the Krave's crappy touchscreen!

But what could I do? I was about six months into a two-year contract. I was stuck.

Then I realized that I could get a used Verizon phone on Ebay, activate that, and all would be well. After some data gathering I decided to get an LG enV in orange. How could I pass up an orange phone? Best of all, it had a full physical QWERTY keyboard. No more touchscreen! I was happy.

Mostly. Despite all of its advantages, it was big. Not as big as the old Nokias I used ten years earlier, mind you, but not far from them, either. But it was far more useful than that Krave ever was, so that was that.

A few months ago I decided to let my daughter use that enV after her own phone came up mostly lame. After all, I had the Krave to fall back on. So for the last few months I have been using the Krave. It didn't take long at all to remember why I ditched it a year earlier. What a piece of crap!

Last month we upgraded my daughter's phone. She now has a lovely new whatever-it-is phone and I'm back with my enV--and I need something else. This thing is just too big and heavy.

What are my options?

  • Upgrade my phone. I'm eligible for a free upgrade, so long as I sign on for another two years. Nice idea, but I don't like any of the available non-smartphones. Not one. Hardly a bargain to get locked into another bad phone for two years.
  • Resort to Plan B once more. Figure out a good, older phone to get, then find it on Ebay. A costlier solution, but it leaves me the flexibility to upgrade with Verizon later.

I decided to go with Plan B. I hunted down a blue LG enV3 for well under $100 last week. I thought I wouldn't see it until the end of this week, but it came today. Woo-hoo! Free at last! Free at last!

Not quite. When I tried to activate it, Verizon told me that it hasn't been "released" yet by the former owner. Great. I emailed her, she emailed back saying that she'd take care of that tomorrow. I hope so, because I am SO anxious to use this thing! It is markedly sleeker and smaller than my orange beast.

Many friends have wondered why this Macophile didn't jump on the iPhone train with Verizon. Two reasons:

  • Thanks to our lovely governor, my wife's job may well be eliminated next year. The first thing to go would be the required data plan.
  • Verizon's iPhone 4 used outdated technology that will become obsolete in 6-12 months when they roll out their LTE system. I don't want a two-year contract for a phone that's going to be technologically obsolete in 6-12 months. I've done my time with crappy phone. t's not fun.

If all goes well, I'll be able to start using my "new" phone tomorrow night. Next year when LTE is up and running on Verizon and if my wife still has her job, maybe then I'll score an iPhone. By then it'll surely be an iPhone 5. And I'll still be eligible for an upgrade. Sweet.