So I bought a new cell phone yesterday. I have written before about new cell phones. I had a very bad experience with a model called the “Treo” which among other things would randomly dial people in my address book. Bad phone!
So for about the last seven years I have used a Blackberry 7520. It has a big QWERTY keyboard, a good clear speakerphone and I knew its features like the back of my hand. But it was on the Nextel network and it was web browsing capable but only in the sense that if you like to watch glaciers move then it’s perfect for you.
So I have for the past few months been looking around, asking and generally moving in the direction of upgrading.
My first instinct was to stay with a Blackberry. After all I know it and I am comfortable with it. Only now you can’t get a Blackberry with a track wheel. So if I was going to have to learn a new interface why not open up my options? I knew I wanted to wait till post Christmas as I was sure stuff would be on sale. So while in the mall yesterday (we visited the closing Walden bookstore. So sad. A subject for another day.) I stopped at the Sprint kiosk.
The lone service rep (Alex) was busy with a family of three upgrading all of their phones to unlimited service and new phones because in Mom’s words “These goddamn text bills are killing me!” More on this family later. But Alex stopped long enough to take a display Blackberry “Curve” out of the cabinet.
I played with it for a while. The keyboard seemed small and how much can you tell from a dummy model anyway? In another break from the action I showed Alex my 7520 and his eye’s opened wide. “A brick” he said.
I asked about web surfing and he told me Nextel’s network was not so good, but that I could switch over to Sprint-no harm no foul and no extra charge. He pulled his own “Curve” out an invited me to play with it. The web came right up and I was able to sign into EBAY and check my auctions in less than a minute, something I was never able to do on my7520.
Ok, I guess I am sold. But when Alex was able to give me his full attention I asked to look at the Samsung “Instinct.” My boss at the college has one and raved about it and he is a techno geek like me. Long and short I bought it.
List price was $499 but it cost me $99. It is on sale, last week it was $150. I was right about the post Christmas. Alex had me set up and running in very short order. The only things he couldn’t do were transfer the contacts from my 7520 but the store down the street could, no charge. He also was unable to get my email up and running and thought I needed to use my computer at home to load the software to do so.
So we went down the street and guess who was at the other store? Yup. The family of three was getting all their data transferred. Only one person at the counter and she was trying to answer phones, questions and transfer the data all at once. I learned a lot more about this family than I need to: “Do these jeans show my butt crack?” and lost half an hour of my life that I will never get back. But the very nice, overworked girl took only five minutes to get mine done. She looked at me and said “These are usually tricky.” But it sure beats typing in all that data!
Got it home and worked on setting it up and learning the interface. It’s a touch screen and takes a little getting used to. I still am not very good at typing and often get a “P” instead of an “O” but I am getting the hang of it.
Voicemail set up was screwy. Followed the instructions carefully but couldn’t get it to work. So my first call to tech support. I got the usual New Delhi accent but he was helpful in the extreme. The phone wasn’t ported to Sprint yet and once he took care of that VM setup was a snap.
Now to set up my email. Alex back at the Sprint store had mentioned he was having trouble getting a second email account on his Curve. I wanted to have my EPIX Pop 3 and my Hotmail on the Instinct something I knew was doable because my College boss had done it.
Downloaded the software and got the EPIX working. Sort of. The configuration I set up was activated through my lap top. It shadows the machines Outlook. So in other words if your laptop is down or off you get no email. That’s no good for rock and roll!
After further investigation I found out how to add a Pop3 account. Got it working and was able to do the same for my Hotmail. I sent messages back and forth for a while testing it out. Then the Pop 3 (Epix) just stopped working. Another call to tech support. This time I landed in Oklahoma and got Rob on the phone. I was so stunned to hear a non foreign accent that I was speechless for a bit. I said as much, just that way to Rob and he chuckled. Had me delete and re-input the parameters for the Pop 3 and today as I write this its working fine.
I need to mention here that the first time I set up my 7520 for email I was employed by a large corporation with an enterprise server. The protocol for setting up email was to fill out a form (of course) fax it to the IT department head and wait for a call. Being a little higher in the food chain in that company (I was an operations manager) I bypassed the fax form and got the IT head on the phone. As I recall it took a few hours.
When I left that company I kept the phone but needed to get my Pop 3 on the 7520. This took, and I am not exaggerating, three days of on and off tech support calls, averaging about two to three hours each.
So getting this “Instinct” up and running in what amounted to about an hour seems like a miracle to me.
It’s still very foreign to me. Last night it notified me of every email with a soft then not so soft ring tone. So today I figure out how to get it keep it to itself at night. I managed to get the music player working and I know how to use the camera.
Go back to today’s Blog post for 2/12/11