Not the Droids You’re Looking For
By contributor Matthew Ferrara
Posted by: RET Staff
In a world obsessed with touch-screen smartphones, is there still room for those of us who think correcting touch-typos and sitting on airport floors to recharge batteries isn’t really all that cool? Here’s my take.
My decision to get a new Blackberry 9900 isn’t for everyone; but for me, it’s like a return to sanity after two years of constant phone trauma. Let me take you back in time: A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… oh, sorry, where was I? Ah, yes, it started with the release of the Samsung Vibrant, a phone so promisingly marketed that I switched from years of Blackberry ownership to the Android world. Yet within a few weeks, it was evident that the Vibrant was so poorly designed that its most touted feature – the ultra bright AMOLED screen – was its worst feature: Too bright to use at night (even on the lowest setting) and guaranteed to drain your battery by your tenth tweet (I barely exaggerate), it was a disaster of untested-in-the-real-world technology.
Eventually, I switched to a HTC Sensation. Alas, I was destined for a journey past Scylla and Charybdis. On one hand, battery life improved to a whopping four hour average; on the other, the antenna design was so poor that signal strength required an alignment of the planets. But what really doomed that product, and so many other screen-touch typing handsets, was the impossibly inaccurate keynoard. Even after hacking the ROM and trying alternate keyboard layouts, my life became six-letters-forward-four-backspaced-back. Since voice dictation only works if you have a signal, it offered no solution. Still, I’ll take the blame and say that I simply couldn’t cross the distance from the analog keyboard to the VWLS NT NEEDD world of touch typing that casual smartphone users might find acceptable.