The Newbie and the Smartphone

I’ve long been resistant to the idea of getting any kind of smart phone. I use my cell phone for phone calls, always have. I didn’t feel I had a need for anything else; if I wanted email or web-surfing, I would jump to my trusty laptop to do those things. I could not understand why people wanted to do so much with their phones, or expected so much of their phones. I go nowhere without my laptop, for the most part, and anywhere I might want to check email or look something up is also somewhere I will have my laptop with me (meetings, work, around the house, etc.).

Then it was time for me to upgrade from my quickly-failing slider Sony Ericcson walkman phone (which apparently played music but I never bothered to load any on it), and I headed to the AT&T Store to see what was available. One thing I knew I needed was a regular qwerty keyboard, since I do an awful lot of texting these days with my teenagers. The helpful, extremely young salesgirl (she looked younger than my 16 year old daughter) asked me a few questions and led me straight to the Pantech Insight, a slider with a full qwerty keyboard and some rather nifty features. Like a direct link to my gmail account if I wanted one, built-in GPS with turn-by-turn directions, and yes, a web browser. For looking things up and stuff.

I played with it for about ten minutes, and was sold. I’ve had it for three days now and can’t stop playing with it. I never knew I needed all this stuff. It dings at me when I get a message in my gmail inbox, and chimes sweetly when one of my kids texts me, and I can answer both emails and text messages with a full keyboard and plenty of special characters. Yes, I could do some of that on my Sony, but only if I didn’t mind waiting for each letter as I used the number pad to text with. How cumbersome!

What I have noticed is that most websites are a bit clunky to use, especially if I have to fill out forms or scroll more than a few lines, but for limited use, it’s perfect. If I need to look up a business to get their phone number or open hours, that works pretty easily. It is a bit slow even with the 3G network, but I expected that. I don’t expect this phone to replace my laptop or my normal accessing of the web, but it’s nice to have at least some capability on the go, even though I never thought I would ever use it.

I was the only holdout on our family plan (with the exception of my mother, and I never expect her to upgrade) without a smart phone and at least some web connection. Of course my teens have had it for a while, and my husband as well. Now I’m one of the Cool People. At least in my house.

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