My hate of the iPhone is semi-well documented. At long, long last, my horrid contract with AT&T is almost up. (It's actually not up until February, so this might seem like counting my chickens before they hatch, but every day is another day closer. And I've been waiting for this for just about 2 years [yes, the whole time] at this point.) Based on my terrible experience with AT&T, I'm leaning toward either Verizon or T-Mobile after this dark period of my life ends, and I'd love to hear any feedback anyone has. I've excluded Sprint from this list because I don't know anyone who has Sprint service, so I've heard neither positive nor negative. I previously used T-Mobile to rock out with a Sidekick II, which I was in love with. Verizon, on the other hand, seems to be used by nearly everyone I know and 99% of those people love their service.
The phones I'm leaning toward are as follows:
The G1. Problem: it might not be sold in March of next year, which is the earliest I'll be shopping. Also, my good friend Greg has one and reports that, even now, it's still la bit buggy, as it was the first Android phone to be offered. Advantages: It seems like (and has been billed as) the grown-up Sidekick. It's been reported as having one of the best keyboards.
The Sidekick LX 2009. Problems: everyone talks smack on it, and I'm honestly not sure I'll be as enthralled with it as I was earlier in my life, after being under the spell of the iPhone. Advantages: I've had the Sidekick II in the past, as I said, and I loved it. It was the best phone I've ever had.
The Motorola CLIQ. Problems: as the newest phone on this list, I have little information on the CLIQ. Advantages: I'm ecstatic over this latest development, perhaps to a bad degree. My enthusiasm might blind me to some bad spots.
The HTC Hero. Problems: it's going to be on Sprint when it comes out. Plus, it doesn't have a physical keyboard, which, I think, is an issue for me. Advantages: the geek squads are saying that this is the single best Android phone that's dropped yet.
The Palm Pre. Problems: again, with the Sprint network. I don't know anything about their network and the last time I took a gamble on that (screw you, AT&T!) I didn't get service at either my home or my work. I know that I can check online, but that's hardly ever a reliable indicator in my hometown, seeing as we're not one of the coastal metropolises. Advantages: I'd love to support something that bills itself as the iPhone-killer. Plus, I love the fact that it runs multiple applications in the background, much like my Sidekick II did.
An unlocked iPhone 3GS. Yeah, I know, this makes very little sense. But here's the thing. I don't really hate the iPhone itself. I think it's an overhyped device, and I hate the cult of personality revolving around it (and all things Apple) at this time, but it works well enough. Problems with this idea, though, include the fact that if I wanted to unlock the iPhone 3GS, I'd have to buy it outright, which would up the price considerably, plus it still lacks a physical keyboard. Advantages: I've been using the iPhone for almost 2 years. I know how it works.
Some of the issues not mentioned above: I'm pretty sure that I need a physical keyboard. The virtual keyboard on the iPhone, while functioning pretty well for what it was, really dissuaded me from writing serious emails on the device. I'd like to be able to bang out responses to any email I get on my phone, not just ones that I convince myself will be short enough that the keyboard won't bother me.
I'd love to support an Android device, because I'm a fan of Google and (even more so) open source platforms. I think this is the way to go for someone like me, but it's not a must. If a phone turns out to be the best option, except it's not an Android device, this won't stop me from taking the plunge.
It's got to have an option for push email. I had no idea what a big thing this was while I had my Sidekick, but when I got the iPhone and it didn't support Exchange, I was shocked. Now, as I understand it, I don't need Exchange support. If the phone I end up with has it, that's great, but I don't care about the proprietary technology, I just care about the fact that when someone emails me, I get it on my phone in a timely manner.
One of the biggest things that I'd like to explore further is the interaction between phone calendar and online calendar. This is a large reason why I'm leaning Android, because I use my GCal pretty frequently and I'd love if there was some kind of consistency between that and my phone. I'd like to think, though, that that could be arranged even on a non-Android device.
Other than that, honestly, I don't give a shit about applications. I use plenty on my phone, but none so often or so thoroughly that I'd miss them. It's nice to have music on my phone, but it's not a must. The camera should be better than decent because, despite my love for my semi-recently purchased digi cam, I do find myself snapping flicks on the phone with regularity.
So, those are my general issues, and the phones that I'm thinking about. I know it's kind of a mishmash list, and there are some unbelievables up there, but I'm just trying, at this point, to keep an open mind. Please, let me know any opinions you have.