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Razr Burn

Having tried to resurrect mine last fall in hopes of unlocking it and using it Europe (and having just switched from Blackberry to a Galaxy S5 last week), this caught my attention: Razr Burn: My Month With 2004’s Most Exciting Phone.

Her cellphone experience is significantly different from mine.

Maps: I gave up using anything map-related on my past Blackberries. It was faster to look it up on a regular computer and write down what I needed on an an index card before leaving, or to text others for directions if I needed them en-route. I could be directly under a Sprint cell tower in downtown Denver and it would take a minute or more to load/refresh a map.

Digital Cameras: I very rarely ever use the camera on my phone. In offloading my recently retired Blackberry, I found that in two and a half years with the thing I’d taken about 150 pictures. Total. My Razr I think had about a dozen in it when I retired it in late 2008 after two years, and the first Blackberry had maybe three dozen on it in 2011. An increase, to be sure, but nothing compared to the several hundred pictures I will take on any outing involving a real digital camera (or the fact that one of the digital cameras I use is converted for infrared…try that on your phone.)

Threaded Conversations: I suppose she’s right on this, but I didn’t have text message service on my Razr, so I can’t really compare or relate. No, really. I didn’t have text service. That in itself is an interesting then/now comparison.

SMS vs. iMessage: Can’t compare since until last week Blackberry’s messaging app was the only one I’d ever used, Android’s doesn’t seem to be any different, and I will never use one of the iCult’s products or apps. While I don’t understand the nature of her iFrustration, I do feel a little schadenfreude that she feels it. Because cult.

Swiping Tick: Not sure this is the same thing, but I noticed after purchasing a tablet last year that I frequently forget my older Kindle is not touch-sensitive…typically after being momentarily baffled as to why it’s ignoring my swipes.

Battery Life: Amen, sister! Preach it! Just before I replaced my Razr with my first Blackberry, I took a two-week trip to Sweden and Central Europe. And even though it was two years old at that point, I only had to recharge the phone maybe twice. Not that I was using it much, but it was still active the whole time, serving as my watch/alarm clock. The last Blackberry, even after replacing its battery a year ago, needed to be put on the charger every night lest it be dead by dawn. Neither Blackberry traveled well – even starting with a full charge and being turned off during flights, they’d still die in a third or a quarter of the usual time. The S5 seemed to work fine on my trip last week…at least, on a full charge and in airplane mode, with active use during the layovers, it still had about 50% charge at the end of the travel day, which is a great improvement.

I would disagree with her, though, that “being without a smartphone is goddamn miserable”. I frequently forget mine, and have over the past year taken to carrying it in my laptop bag or loose in the car rather than on my person, and typically leave it in the car when I go to places I don’t need it with me for logistical reasons. I even debated getting a dumb phone rather than a smart phone when I replaced my old one last week, and am not entirely sure why I stayed with the smartphone (had they offered simply a phone with text capability and a wifi hotspot with which I could have used my tablet or laptop, I might have done things differently).

One thing I do miss about the Blackberry, however (and the reason I stayed with them for so long) is the keypad. I hate swiping. Hate it. After a week and a half, I’ve given up and just gone to pecking out each individual letter (or using voice entry if nobody’s around) since it’s faster and less frustrating than having to swipe and delete even the simplest words like “to”, “in”, “of”, and “at” three or four times. And even then, since it’s one finger doing all the work over a larger area and there is an almost-but-not-quite imperceptible lag as the onscreen keyboard interprets your taps, it’s still much slower than the phsyical keypad on the Blackberry.

And I still haven’t figured out why tapping the big green “Answer” button that appears onscreen when someone calls you does not, in fact, answer the incoming call…Blackberry had a physical button for that, wisely so I think.




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