2013: A Phone Odyssey

Posted by on April 23, 2013 at 11:23 pm
Phones suck. Really they do!

Phones suck. Really they do!

Ahhh, 2013: The Year My Phone Failed. Things have been crap so far this year, but hopefully I’m going to have more luck this time around.

I’ve owned a lot of phones over the years. The first was one of those old-fashioned bag phones that looked like a really lame purse with an antenna. From there I had one of the big brick phones, a bunch of flip phones from companies like Samsung, LG and Motorola; even that Nokia that was so popular back in the day… you know, the one they made clear cases and flashing batteries and all that crap for? Yeah, I had one.

I was one of the final holdouts for a smartphone. I put it off and put it off, going so far as to replace my Motorola RAZR with a Samsung slider a few years back so I would have an updated-ish phone without having to make the leap to a smartphone. I didn’t want one because I’d been on a corporate leash with company assigned pagers, cell phones, BlackBerries and PDAs for years. I was perfectly happy keeping my life in the Stone Age.

Finally, it the time came for me to get my first “smart” phone, which came in the form of a Motorola touch screen doohickey, which also functioned as a slider. It was slow and clunky and an overall huge piece of shit, but it did pretty well until it came time to make the leap to a real smartphone. I went ahead and upgraded to the HTC Droid Incredible. At the time, it was the best phone on the market and I’m pretty sure I got the last one in Phoenix after a long search.

Tasty Smart Phone!

My HTC Droid Incredible – STILL a damned good phone!

I used that little Droid Incredible for almost two years before I took the early upgrade option and, like a dumb shit, upgraded downgraded to the HTC Thunderbolt, which had me all in a tizzy because it had 4G, which was a whole extra G over my Incredible, which meant wicked fast networks, right? “Tee-hee,” said the HTC marketing exec.

Fact: 4G is way faster than 3G

Problem: Good luck getting the Thunderbolt to stay in 4G mode.

Yeah, even after two years and several “fixes” later, the thing still won’t stay in 4G mode all the time. That or the network just locks and won’t do a damned thing. Also, there’s the battery problem – even with a battery so big I had to get a special case for the phone, it won’t go two-thirds of a day without being on the charger. Oh, and some genius put the charging port on the same side the phone rests on so when the built-in kickstand is deployed – like, if you’re watching a video – you’re not charging your phone!

Wow, fail.

So, I tolerated the little glitches, mess-ups and various annoyances that made up the Thunderbolt experience and carried on because, for the most part, it did what I needed it to do. It was our sole source of semi-reliable and unlimited internet connectivity during E3 last year, Spotify worked just fine, Skype ran well and I could send and receive calls and text messages. That is, I could until they finally updated it to ICS a couple of months ago. Since then, I’ve had nothing but trouble with the thing. It randomly crashes, it runs so slowly that 50% of the incoming phone calls I get roll over to voice mail before the phone application even starts up. Tweetcaster takes up to two full minutes to launch and don’t even get me started on what happens when I get a text message.

…and then, the worst happened.

I dropped it.



I figured I’d just go on and deal with the phone having a broken screen. I see tons of people who have broken screens on their phones and they don’t seem to have any trouble. Sure it’s a little hard to read at some angles and there’s the issue with worrying about about amputating a finger while sending a KiK message, but I thought I’d be able to get through it.

Then the phone started getting worse. It started crashing on a regular basis and every time it locked up, I would have to pull the battery. When it started back up (five hours later), it would tell me that the phone was being activated and to please reboot after it said the activation was complete, so I would have to pull the battery again, remove and re-seat the SIM card and then restart the phone again.


Someone explain to me how the phone was riding in my pocket when I had my motorcycle accident and it hit the street at forty miles per hour, underneath me and it survived, but a drop from hip height killed the thing. Please?! Bah, whatever!

So I decided I had to get a new phone. I did some searching and decided I don’t really want to play $650 for a new smartphone, so I decided I would bit the bullet, give up my grandfathered “unlimited data” plan with Verizon and re-up my contract so I could get a new phone on the “cheap”. See those quotes? That’s because $300 isn’t really “on the cheap”, but it does beat $650 so you get my point. As of this evening, I am now the proud (?) owner of a Motorola Droid RAZR HD MAXX, the one with the 3000+ MaH battery in it.

That was a really long way of telling all of you that over the next few weeks I will touch base and let you all know how this new phone is doing and if the reviews I read are accurate. I’ll give you the real skinny on battery life, video, camera, streaming porn and all the other stuff that really matters to you, folks; you’ll finally have a reliable source.

Deal? Deal.

Check back!

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