The lure of Sprint was too strong to pass up, but ultimately ended in letdown and abandon.
Sprint's pitch was simple. Where else can you get an all you can eat data plan and ample minutes for $75.00 including the government’s taxation scheme that Karl Marx would be proud of? Done. Sign me up.
Choosing a phone for Sprint's network was not as easy. They offer three compelling choices.
First, you can speak random thoughts of consciousness in a Sprint store, and if a customer has pressed the Siri button on the display model iPhone 4s, you'll likely get verbal confirmation to choose it.
For those flirting with escape from Jobs’ utopia, the gorilla glass encased false god of Android is eager to entice, with a Samsung Galaxy S II. Like a hollywood celeb it's light weight and beautiful.
But for some, age brings truth, hence the third option, a year old Samsung Nexus S anointed with the purity of plain Gingerbread. I chose this option.
Despite the sweetness of Gingerbread, there is nothing tasty about Samsung’s Nexus S. Extremely poor antennas for wifi, 3g and 4g? Check. A battery that can’t last ½ day with light to moderate use? Check. Screen jitter while scrolling through your twitter feed? Check.
Needless to say the phone went back to the Sprint store. This left two choices left. The iPhone 4s and the Galaxy S II. I opted with the Galaxy S II.
The Galaxy S II represents everything that is right and wrong about Android, the device manufacturers, and the carriers.
On the Galaxy S II, gone is the jerky scrolling of the Nexus S. The screen is vibrant and huge. Samsung retained its use of a plastic enclosure, yet improved its sturdiness, a move that makes the device feel better quality. The antennas are dramatically better, resulting in greater wifi availability and improved call quality.
Unfortunately, the battery still sucks. And Samsung managed to load the device up with crap ware that you cannot delete from the application menu.
To mitigate the battery life, I bought a few chargers to plant at strategic locations at home, in the car and at the office. And most of the crap ware can be stashed in a folder on the desktop. This uncluttered things enough to pass inspection.
Just as I was getting used to the device, and on the last day of my free trial, Sprint dropped the mother of all bombs. They announced the ending of the unlimited data plan. Furthermore, current users would not be grandfathered in, and thus would be subject to huge data overage charges.
This triggered my immediate cancellation of the Sprint plan.
The data plan was the only reason why I went to Sprint in the first place. With Sprint customers faced a trade-off. You received unlimited data for a unreliable network that has poor coverage in rural areas.
With their latest decision, there is no tradeoff, and therefore no logical reason why anyone whould choose Sprint over another network.
I leveraged the "winback" program AT&T offers customers who made the transgression of choosing another carrier. They put you back on the program exactly as you left it at no charge.
So here I am, back with AT&T using a feature phone with nothing but time to ponder my next move.
Do I wait three weeks for Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus that boasts Ice Cream Sandwich, Google’s new OS? Do l let lust get the best of me, and choose a Windows Phone 7, with the Mango update, knowing I'll likely be ultiamtely dissapointed with its feature incompleteness? Or do I return to utopia with an iPhone 4s?
The reality is that in this temporal existence, utopia doesn’t exist and there is no perfect phone. Therefore, I’m sticking with my wife’s old feature phone.