First impressions of my new Android phone

Summary:It seems that my anti-Android rants have come back to haunt me like roadside Chili. Get the scoop on my first day with my new Android phone.

This post results from one of those "never say never" stories that you hear so much about but are never in the right place to experience one first hand. Well, neither you nor I can say that anymore. I just received my brand new Samsung Galaxy SII Android phone loaded out of the box with Android version 2.3.6, Gingerbread.UCKK6 and Kernel version 2.6.35.7. I'm both excited and worried at the same time. I'm excited because I've never had an Android-based device and I'm worried because my good friend Jason Perlow told me not to get one.

This whole Android situation began about two years ago when I wanted a tablet computer and started looking for one. I didn't want to plop down $600 on an iPad but I didn't want to settle for a tablet that wasn't going to meet my needs as a real portable computing platform either.

The topic arose again about two months ago, when Jason and I were talking about tablets, the new iPad 3, Android tablets and the general state of mobile devices in the workplace. From that conversation, I decided to write, "Why I'll never own an Android-based anything" and followed it up a few days later with "Android angst revisited. The saga continues."

I received much negative commentary over those two posts in the form of emails, Google+ rants, comments in the Talkback sections of those articles and on other websites. It was both stimulating and irritating to see so many people tell me how wrong I was for having rejected Android devices. You see, I eventually chose to purchase an iPad 1 and an iPhone 4.

In my opinion, a lot of people got the whole story wrong but I'm going to leave that in the past except for giving you a point of reference for this post.

My business phone, supplied by my employer is a Windows phone--an HTC Pro Touch 2. It's a very nice, reliable phone. However, it no longer holds a charge for even a full day's work. I have to plug it in after two or three hours of use. After a lot of frustration with having to keep the phone close to a power outlet, I requested a new phone through our online ordering system. To my surprise, the phones listed are all Android-based.

Since I had my choice of models and carriers, I selected the Samsung Galaxy SII. I made this decision based on a conversation I had with Jason (Perlow), another member of my team and a few other Android users.

Again, Jason advised me against the Android, stating that he was sick of messing with his. He was tired of all the crashes and problems he'd had with it. I think he was ready to toss it out the door. A few days later, he posted "I'm sick to death of Android." I haven't bothered to read the rancid commentary resulting from his post but I'm sure that his readers have told him how wrong he is to have come to the conclusion that Android just isn't working for him.

I went for the Android against his advice and against what I'd learned in my own research. I actually didn't have a choice, so that point is really moot. I needed a new phone. My choices were presented to me and I chose the one that other people on my team told me was the coolest of all. Even Jason said that it's a cool phone.

My new phone came yesterday. I've set it up to connect to my WiFi. I've connected to Google Play and grabbed InstaGram, Camera Effects and Cartoon Camera (All free Apps). I'm excited about the 8.0 Megapixel camera because I love photography and filmmaking. I'll never purchase any Apps for it but the free ones are hopefully OK. I won't use games on it but I can't let the awesome camera go to waste.

I don't have the SIM card yet but am enjoying the device as a computing platform so far. Aside from a few Google Play crashes, I'm pretty pleased with it. It seems a little touch-sensitive for my taste but maybe there's a way to change the sensitivity so that I don't accidentally make phone calls or open Apps that I don't want opened.

Now, I've only had the thing for about 24 hours but my first impressions are that it's pretty cool. I like the way the iPhone handles multiple Apps better but otherwise, it feels very iPhone-esque to me. So far, I don't have any major complaints about it but I'll keep you updated on that as I use it. After I'm able to make phone calls, I'll let you know how that goes for me as well.

I have to plug it in because I'm getting a message on the screen that reads, "Connect your charger." I must obey the Android.

Never say never.

What do you think? Did I make a good choice? Talk back and let me know.

Topics: Mobility, Telcos

About

Kenneth 'Ken' Hess is a full-time Windows and Linux system administrator with 20 years of experience with Mac, Linux, UNIX, and Windows systems in large multi-data center environments.

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