I liked my LG Shine. Video calling and messaging were really well integrated and fun to use. It had a nice form factor, a reasonable web browser, streaming video, music, and all the rest of the usual mobile featuers. I was rather miffed when it started to bite the dust.
I tried to live with its increasingly deteriorating display issues, but it became too frustrating. It was time for it to be recycled and live life reincarnated as a polymer alloy or doorstop (or whatever they actually do with “recycled” cell phones). So I walked into one of my provider’s retail outlets and decided to see what I could do about my problem. Unfortunately it was out of warranty and I used up my upgrade allowance getting it. New phone it was.
What is surprising is that I ended up walking out with an iPhone 3G. Just days before I could be heard poking fun at the increasing mass of people fiddling with theirs on the buses and in lines at the coffee shops everywhere. Now I was one of the Starbucks-sipping, iPhone-toting hipsters I had so casually mocked. I felt like this was slightly out-of-place for me and that perhaps I had succumbed to a random impulse purchase. Maybe it was the pervasive advertising or the incessant gloating of early adopters and fan-boys. What was I thinking?
The truth of the matter is that it doesn’t matter. Yes, the iPhone is purely a status symbol for some people. However, the more time I’ve spent with the device, the more useful it has become. I have a functional ssh terminal that works well with screen, vim, and even emacs. I have my email being sorted and routed to my phone. It is nice and thin and has a brilliant display that is easy on the eyes. It’s a great device and it doesn’t matter what people think about it.
The plans aren’t really that bad either. I’m paying roughly \$15 more per month than with my previous plan in exchange for 1GB of data and unlimited calling with up to five numbers. I still get all the messaging, caller ID, and voicemail extras that I had enjoyed previously. In addition, the phone itself has much more to offer. As the ubiquitous TV ad states, it’s not as expensive as you might think.
If you’re in the market for a smartphone, I do recommend considering the iPhone.