They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me

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Nearly 7 Years Ago -- 2520 Days

We bought a pair of Motorola RAZR V3a cellphones back on 16 February 2008 (DW). We didn't need to buy new phones, in terms of the phones, but the pair of Motorola V60i phones we were using covered both analog and digital bands -- and the FCC wanted to rid the country of analog band phones. So, Alltel had us come in and get new phones.

Realize that since 1994, we've only each had three cell phones: Motorola MicroTAC/TeleTAC, 2 x V60i, 2 x RAZR V3a.

In the course of time the RAZRs have done swell. We've replaced batteries twice. But Mrs. Dr. Phil, who in the last two years has left hers on most of the time, has had some flaky problems. Which came to a head Saturday around 1pm. Tried to turn it on and it hung while booting -- not a good sign. Got the Hello Moto splash screen and it stayed there. Except for flickering every now and then, momentarily showing a couple of vertical color strips against a black background. Oh that's never a good sign.

Ironically, we'd just been having a discussion the other day about which way we might go with phones the next time we needed to do phones. On the one hand, we really want our phones to be phones. On the other, it would be nice to be able to check a few things online from time to time. We have a Verizon WiFi hotspot which we use on a pay-as-you-go basis for travel and conferences. Mrs. Dr. Phil was even able to take a quick picture of some fall leaves in the U.P. on US-41 in the middle of nowhere with her Kindle Fire HDX, then post to Facebook using HAIKU, the hotspot.

But smartphones? Apple iPhone? Stick with Motorola and get a Droid MAXX or Turbo? The latter has really quick charge and with the Kindle Fires running a form of Android, it would make some sense. But they charge so much for the damned data plans. Our Alltel plan, grandfathered into Verizon, was so old -- and also pretty cheap for two phones.

So basically I figured we had three options: Plan A would be to just get Mrs. Dr. Phil a new phone. Plan B would be both get new phones. Plan C would be to jump to smart phones and get a data plan.

The little Verizon store in Standale was very pleasant -- it's actually a 3rd party franchise, but that's okay -- and they were very helpful. They even had just gotten in the Motorola Droid Turbo, so I could look at it.

But jumping to a usable data plan for smart phones would basically double the monthly cost for us.

Do they even make usable flip phones anymore? (grin) They had one, an LG model.

What about slider phones? I had always admired the original Motorola Droid when it came out. Actually they had two LG slider phones, one with a numeric keypad as well, and one with a touch screen.

Mrs. Dr. Phil finally decided on the last one:

The LG Extravert 2

And this turned out to be a problem. We could change our plan to one with unlimited voice and text and 500MB/month -- we have never really texted in our life -- for only about five bucks more a month. And at nearly seven years, we certainly qualified to get new phones. Our Alltel plan allowed my phone to have 20 texts a month, I think, but I never used it, except to receive free monthly notices from Alltel and Verizon about what the next bill would be. Mrs. Dr. Phil's number didn't have any free texts on it.

This is why we were looking at sliders, because if one was going to text, no way was I going to do the ABC DEF routine -- it was bad enough to input telephone numbers. And the Extravert 2 (which is not a typo by the way) with its touch screen AND slider could presumably text both ways. Plus, both phones would fit in the travel cases we already had.

The problem was... our Alltel plan couldn't be changed. To add a Verizon phone, we had to have a Verizon account. So Plan A, getting Mrs. Dr. Phil a new phone, was out. We were now on Plan D -- both get new phones and a new plan.

Our last two phones, covering a span of some twelve years, were identical models, which meant it was easy to trade batteries and use each other's phones. But I decided I liked the other, slightly smaller slider better:

The LG Cosmos 3

Now let's face it -- we had to do something today. LG is not a brand I would have just sought out if I was making a long-term purchase. I would've bought Motorola, Apple or Samsung. But I suspect that our text slider days are a stopgap before we go to smart phones, about the time that everyone has moved on phone glasses or Uberphones or something, and the ancient dinosaur smart phones will have become cheap. (grin) So I think these will be "good enough" for us for a couple of years. I am not expecting seven years plus from these phones.

Both phones have microSD card slots. A while back I had bought an 8GB SanDisk microSD card with SD card adapter for dirt cheap on Amazon, to provide some removable storage on OUEST, the College of Arts and Sciences laptop I got this year. Still available on Prime. Two cards for $13.90.

Most of the $99 we paid today covered taxes, a protector for the touch screen and other bits, not the phones themselves. The $10/month/phone credit on our bill pretty much covered the "cost" of my phone and just about all of Mrs. Dr. Phil's. It was actually cheaper than what we paid the day we got the RAZRs, partly because my Motorola 720 Bluetooth Borg implant works with the new phone. Must use handsfree while driving in Michigan.

The one problem we had was the age-old problem. Couldn't get the contact list off my RAZR onto the Cosmos, by either wire or Bluetooth. One of techs offered to take it home with him, but no... that would leave me (a) without a phone and (b) without the phone numbers I need. I was always too cheap to spend $50 and get Motorola's USB cable and CD-ROM software, and too not trusting to buy the same kit for $4.95 from any of a hundred vendors on eBay. Now, at least, the new phones have a backup through Verizon, which wasn't available in the Dark Ages seven years ago.

So, not the way I intended to spend the afternoon -- I had just booted ZEPPELIN to do writing when this all came down -- and not the way I intended to spend the weekend -- I have done A-G in the contact list manually. But we stopped what we were doing, had lunch, then hopped in the Blazer and drove on passable roads to Standale, then back to Allendale for the grocery run that had started all this. (grin) On the other hand, I'm getting good real world training of the slider keyboard, and a chance to see some of the crap I have in my contact list, so in a way, it's all good.

But I am glad I got my ConFusion reading story massaged into place last week. (evil-grin)

Dr. Phil
Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal
Tags: phones, technology, upgrades

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