My experiment with Virgin Mobile and Android has come to an end a bit earlier than I expected. My Motorola Triumph came to an unexpected demise over Christmas. It was mostly my fault but my husband thinks that the Christmas elves had something to do with it. I plugged my phone into the outlet next to my bed at my sister’s house. The charging cord did not reach to the end table so I put the phone on the floor next to the wall. When my sister put a comforter on the bed she accidentally stepped on the phone cracking the screen. The phone technically worked but I could only see about a 1 inch width of the screen down the length of the phone. That seriously limited my smartphone usage.
Tired of hearing my complaints about my phone prior to being stepped on, (camera constantly failed, ringer unexpectantly went silent or loud despite my settings, it rebooted whenever, etc.) my husband declared that my Christmas present would be an iPhone 4s and I just had to pick the carrier. (I secretly wonder if my husband was in cahoots with my sister.)
After comparing the apples, oranges, and grapes of mobile service plans among AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint, that there is no concensus as to which mobile provider is better. There are almost an equal number of people who love/hate AT&T as they do Verizon and Sprint. I also learned several other things during this time. First, I don’t hate Androids. I simply like iPhones better because I like the simplicity and overall user experience with them. Androids have much more flexibility but I don’t want/need that. Additionally because there are many Android manufacturers there is wide varience in the product. I don’t know whether my Triumph was a lemon or all Triumphs are crummy devices, but it didn’t perform as I think it should have. If I have an iPhone I don’t have worry about that type of variance. Second, Virgin Mobile is a great way to get the smartphone experience at a fraction of the smartphone cost (compared to AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint). Its network is limited but if you live within the network, it isn’t too bad for the price. While I am not on Virgin Mobile any more, my husband still is and he is happy. He has 300 min. of talk, unlimited data, and unlimited texting for $25/month. If that plan suits you, you cannot beat that price. Things get a little more expensive and the differences between VM and the big 3 begin to get closer as you get more voice minutes. I was at 1200 min. of talk, unlimited data, and unlimited texting for $45/month. I will be paying $65 to AT&T for 900 min. of talk, 2G of data. I won’t have texting plan but I’m not a heavy texter so I will see how I do at .20 cent a minute. In the past I have observed my data usage and I hover around 800MB to 1.3G. So while I will be technically getting less stuff from AT&T, I am getting what I need at only $20 more than VM. To me $20 more is worth having the iPhone after having spent time with my lemon droid.
I considered Verizon, but the service cost more than AT&T and I really like the ability to surf and talk at the same time. So now begins my adventure with discovering my new 4s phone. I am glad that I decided to try things with Android and Virgin Mobile. I am now very comfortable helping users with their Androids as well as those who have iPhones. I enjoyed discovering the different apps and ways to make things different. The nice thing is that my husband still has an Android, and I can always “test” things on his phone to see how things work compared to the iPhone.
So even though I am back to the iPhone, I wouldn’t say this experiment was a total loss. I became quite familiar with another mobile platform and learned a lot of things in the process. Androids (perhaps not the Motorola Triumph) offer a great smartphone experience. You are not “losing” anything by not having an iPhone.