A few days ago I was passing by the neighborhood RadioShack and thought “Maybe I could get an Evo from RadioShack faster than directly from Sprint?”. I walked in, asked a few questions, and a few minutes later I was pre-ordering an Evo, only my second “smartphone”, my first being a Samsung SPH-i300 purchased in late 2001.
I think the i300 was the 2nd Palm OS (3.5.2) phone on the market (soon after a monochrome phone from Kyocera). I loaded it up with SSH, VNC, a PDF reader, Java ME, Java apps of my own devising and probably some less used apps I’ve forgotten. Using the i300 changed my thinking about email, about web browsing, and application development. But ultimately, the hardware and network weren’t up to what I wanted — I wanted much more screen area in both pixels and physical size, faster processing, and faster transfers.
By some time in 2006 I’d gotten to the point where the i300 sat in the charging cradle most of the time. Late last year I stopped using it entirely — I think it is in my office closet somewhere, along with a spare that a friend gave me. My current phone (an LG Muziq) will nominally browse the web, handle email (even IMAP), and play all the MP3s I put on a MicroSD card, but I rarely use it for more than voice calls, an occasional text message, and an occasional photo.
I couldn’t believe the iPhone, its predecessors and successors, could be all that fundamentally better than the i300. All the pre-3G and post-3G iPhone networking complaints, including the 2009 SXSW reports, didn’t help entice me. I didn’t even touch an iPhone for the longest time. I kept hoping for a larger scale device, bigger than a phone and smaller than a netbook, that I would find satisfying. My XO has not been that. The alluring iPad is too big and, so far, missing too much to convince me.
Since the HTC Evo was announced, it has seemed the closet fit I’m going to find anytime soon. Lots more pixels than the i300, modern processor, and, potentially satisfying networking. (WiMAX seems to cover our neighborhood and my most frequent travel spots.)
Having ordered the phone, now I can’t wait. Every new report or review, even Mossberg’s ambivalence (Sprint 4G Phone Hits New Speeds, but Battery Lags), raises anticipation. In less than two weeks I should be immersed in Evo.