No, not my Mac. That’s a topic for another day. :-)
I don’t normally talk much about mobile technology because I tend to feel that I’m nowhere near an expert on the topic. Besides, there are plenty of other resources on the web for getting more qualified help.
That being said, I recently upgraded my phone, and I’m so pleased with the results that I wanted to share.
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Before: Motorola Razr
For the last two years, my mobile phone has been a Motorola Razr. It’s been a good phone – exceptionally light and quite capable.
I’ve traveled with it and used it as everything from a camera to an ebook reader to a MP3 player to even a mobile hotspot.1
One of the problems with the Razr, however, is its battery. For Razr to be as thin and light as it is, the battery had to be relatively small. As a result, the battery life was never that great. After two years, my phone was typically dead by the end of the day and that’s if I wasn’t using it much.
Oh, and the battery cannot be replaced. My wife’s Razr Maxx addresses this problem somewhat by including a bigger battery – at the cost of being a thicker, heavier phone.
On top of all of that, as applications become more and more functional, the phone itself began to slow down appreciably. Most notable was the Amazon Cloud Music Player. I have a very large collection of music in the Amazon Cloud, and the player took forever to load – presumably as it updated the offline database of my music.
All that (and a little bit of phone envy on my part) came together to have me paying close attention to the end of my two-year contract with my carrier. The day after that passed, I ordered a new, replacement phone.
After: Samsung Galaxy Note 3
My new phone is a Samsung Galaxy Note 3. I’ve had it for a couple of weeks and I couldn’t be happier.
My initial battery tests shocked me. With light use after three full days, the battery had decreased to only 25%. I probably could have gone the better part of another day without a recharge. While I know that heavy use will drain the battery much faster, I’m now fairly confident that the phone will actually last longer on those heavy-use days – not something I’ve experienced in the past.
My applications are fast and smooth once again, including the Amazon Player. That’s not because there are fewer apps on the phone either – when I transferred to the phone, I allowed it to automatically transfer all of the apps that I had installed (a convenient side effect of going all-in with the Android/Google ecosystem).
Interestingly, the Note is actually larger than the Razr – it has a bigger and (to me) more readable screen. I did have to stop by a store to see the phone in person before upgrading online, just to make sure that it would fit my pocket. Even though it’s bigger, it feels just about as light.
Oh, and the battery is replaceable. That’s awesome and bodes well for the next two years – perhaps even more. I don’t think I’ll even commit to a phone that doesn’t have a replaceable battery again.
My carrier: Verizon Wireless
Mobile carriers generate a lot of passion among many people. Some absolutely loathe their carriers and others passionately love them. And that’s true for just about every carrier out there.
I’ve been with Verizon Wireless for probably well over a decade now. The single biggest reason for me is coverage. When I do travel, the coverage that I need is almost anywhere I happen to be.
In fact, I rely on it. There’s more than coverage in the big cities where just about any carrier will do. I found a couple of years ago that Verizon covers a couple of the state parks that my wife and I visit fairly regularly. This actually gives me the opportunity to go more often and stay longer, knowing that I’ll be able to connect and deal with just about any issue that comes up online. In some cases, it’s just a relocation of Ask Leo! World Headquarters to a beach (which is awesome to be able to do). In other cases, it’s a true vacation.
I’m not a huge Verizon fanboy, but they’ve done well enough by me for long enough that it’s my expectation that I’ll be with them for a while.
At least the next two years, I guess. :-)