You know that phone I said I was getting… well, it turns out that it sucks monkey balls. Yeah, I know, I thought it was going to rock too. Apparently T-Mobile decided not to make a data plan available for that phone. That means that you have to pay for each and every text message, email and web browsing minute. The design of the phone was cool, it felt solid, but when you can’t check email on it, it defeats the purpose of having a keyboard doesn’t it?

So, whats the solution? A SideKick II of course!

I’ve wanted one of these things for about as long as they’ve existed and now I’m going to get one. It’s already been ordered, it should be here Friday. My choice of replacement phone was between 3 similar but different items. The Palm Treo 600, the BlackBerry 7730 and the SideKick II. I’ve had 3 different people tell me the Treos are nice but flimsy and that they didn’t last more than 6 months. Lauren’s old boss went through 3 of them in 2 months. The BlackBerry I know to be solid and of good design. The main problem with that is those things are 99% email oriented. Voice, web and everything else is secondary. I like to check my email, but it’s not going to be the top priority of my phone. I briefly considered staying with the A630 anyway just because it’s a cool phone and had the features I wanted. Then I reconsidered what I really wanted. My list is pretty short:

-email and easy text messaging FOR FREE
-mp3 ringtones

The Sidekick has all these features except bluetooth and the mp3 ringtones. I can live without mp3 ringtones but I was really looking forward to a little bluejacking and the wireless headset capabilities. I had to choose between bluetooth and free text basically. I chose the service. I want to be able to look up movie times, write emails and text msg and I valued that over being without a 2 foot piece of wire.

The A630 is a nice phone, just not the phone for me. It lacked the one reason I was getting it in the first place. My new Sidekick will be here Friday. I can’t wait. They’re really solid and I like them a lot. It should be a good phone.

I also went a little crazy and wrote up a whole diatribe about cell phones, stupid people and the dumbing of America. If you’d like to read it you can click “more” at the bottom. It was originally going to go in the main post, but it’s about as off topic as you can get. The summation here is that I’m getting a different new phone than I planned. Oh, and stupid people piss me off… but that’s not really a new thing is it?

…And, while we’re on the subject of phones, has anyone thought about importing phones and getting them unlocked. I was checking out a few today. Let me just say that as Americans, we’re being royal hosed when it comes to phones. We don’t get anything like the…

Nokia 9300

Nokia 7710

the Motorola Spinner

or the Samsung Matrix

I cry foul. I’m glad I’m not paying for this phone myself. If I ever buy myself a new phone you can bet your butt it won’t be from a domestic carrier. The phone companies are beating each other to death with bullshit plans, free anytime minutes and in-network calling while our European and Asian counterparts and figured this crap out years ago. They run on a single network, supported by all carriers. The competition is all about who has the latest and greatest phone, not who has the most minutes. Kids in Japan have had multi-megapixel phones since the techology was available. They’ve been downloading TV shows onto their phones since last year. They’re about to make the leap to a 4G system and we haven’t moved from a 2G to a 3G network yet. They are a decade ahead of us. Period. And that shit is just unacceptable.

This is the real point, then I’ll get off my soapbox for the day, but here in the US, companies have decided to sell products to the lowest common denominator: ie: the stupid people. If a complete moron is happy with a phone, then it’s a sucess. Stupid people will buy anything if you tell them enough times that they need to. Over and over again, things from cars, to phones, to food are given the dumbing down process in order to make their integration into society easier. The computer is a great example (which I won’t get into). The user base has expanded but the techology hasn’t gotten more complex. Why? Because stupid people need to use it too. Why make a phone with a camera, a web browser, bluetooth, voice activation, email and mpeg support standard? Because there’s no reason too. Stupid people feel uncomfortable when they don’t know how to use something, so they don’t. Nokia isn’t going to sell a 9300 to the US if half the people that buy one can’t use it’s features. They’d rather pump out a few hundred thousand more 3300s, a kid and computer-illiterate friendly phone.

The people who understand and LIKE new techology are being screwed because we have to wait for everyone else to catch up. I can almost guarrenty that the next version of Windows will be more user friendly. What it won’t be is more useful. Nope, not a chance in hell. It’ll have a few nice things to keep us entertained, but at heart it’ll be the same crap over and over again. Everyone from McDonalds, to Ford and Apple are guilty of this. Apple, personally, is a company that has great, fantastic product designs and innovative features. It’s a shame they make things like the Mac Mini though.

Technology is fucking complex. If you can’t understand it, learn. Buy a book about it, try it out for a while, get the feel for it. If you have no desire to learn about something new, get the hell out of the way. Go hide under a rock and wait for the next ice-age because I, for one, am frigging sick of you jaw dragging, mall shopping retards spoiling all the fun for us hard working geeks.

Ok, this has gone on longer than I wanted. My apologies. I’m just pissed that a phone with all the features I want is $1200 and is only available via a semi-black market import from another country.

To get back to the point. I like the SideKicks. I’ve seen them in action. I enjoy the features it does have and by Friday mine will be here. I’ll snap some pictures of it (or from it) and give you guys a decent review once I play with it for a while.

Matt out.