A while ago I blegged in search of a new smart phone. Well disposed to Android I thought I’d buy Samsung Gallaxy II S which had had rave reviews. Anyway, some people expressed curiosity about how things would end up, but I ended up taking Neerav Bhatt’s advice on the thread and buying a Motorola Atrix. It’s got bigger battery capacity and possibly better reception than other phones on Telstra.
So far so good, though it seems a bit clunkier than the more consumer/gaming friendly phones. Also the greater battery capacity seems mostly consumed in greater power consumption rather than longer life, but reception does seem noticeably better – not a small benefit. For a while I was crestfallen that it didn’t auto-reformat webpages on zoom, but I found a way to do that – I still can’t do it on iPhones or iPads though perhaps the cognoscenti can tell us how.
And of course there are those things that you’d need to hire the phone for a week or so to really find out before you buy – which I didn’t do. I can’t get it to auto-format when I’m zooming on Google Reader where I spend a lot of time – even though my last Android did that. Is there another browser I can download that will? Atrix seems to have some cut down Firefox as a default rather than the standard Android browser. A quick search on the Android market doesn’t turn up anything answering to that description however.
I had also imagined that the phone would synch with Outlook if I asked it to. Not a bit of it. I’m amazed and a bit outraged, but there you go. I have set up a kludge where I synch contacts in g-mail, but you need to be a paying customer of Google Apps to have it cross synch to Outlook – though Google release their Calendar synch without ties.
Also, someone gave me a Samsung Gallaxy II S to play with on a plane. The guy who’d just bought it loved it and I was seriously impressed. It seemed very user friendly – and very thin which somehow more or less irrationally appealed to me. So I think I made the wrong choice, but I now have a new phone. I console myself with an analogy with Machiavelli’s suggestion that changing things is hard because the people you hurt hate you much more than the people you help love you. I notice the things that bug me about the Atrix, but I guess if I’d bought the Samsung I’d be noticing all the things that I didn’t like about it – perhaps its battery life is quite a bit shorter, which would be a pain.
Nevertheless all up, I leave you with the picture above. Only engineers could work out a docking arrangement in which you get to see the screen of the thing you’re docking with OR the screen of the thing you’re docking. In fact it’s worse than that – by the look of it. If you want to look at the screen of your Atrix, you can’t operate your computer. I don’t think the UX guys got a look in. (Stop Press: on going through to the page on which this picture appears it says that the laptop ends up with a picture of the Android screen on it. Why the two couldn’t be side by side – or have an option for that is a bit beyond me, but there you go. The review shows that the Atrix’s great merit is its power – it’s certainly fast.
The other part of the deal is Telstra for its better reception. They’ve already entirely stuffed up so many things, it makes me want to weep. But it will all work out no doubt.