View Full Version : Pretend iPhone doesn't (won't) exist...decent "smartphone" on Verizon?

2011-01-07, 15:58
My friend, who is not into tech, computers, etc. much at all is thinking about getting some sort of Internet access. She hates computers (has a laptop she never uses), so we've pretty much ruled out getting Internet for her house, simply because that's $45/month that she'll never use to its fullest.

Her latest idea is to upgrade from her little "phone/text-only" flip-phone to something Internet/e-mail capable. She doesn't want to leave Verizon (termination fees, etc.).

I told her about the iPhone coming soon, it looks like. She owned one before (a 3G) and gripes about it still. She's a bit of a pill, so I need to pin her down and find out exactly what she didn't like. But assuming she's dead-set against an iPhone (if/when it comes to Verizon), what else is there? I can go to the site (and I am), but all that stuff runs together for me. I told her that I don't follow and keep up with the "smartphone market", and that I'm probably not going to be much help (without some help of my own, which is what I'm doing now).

If she wants to get her head out of her butt and consider an iPhone, then yes...I'd be able to help her with that. But I need a "plan B" if she's not open to that (or if it doesn't come to Verizon in a timely manner). She lives near her 60-something parents, who, oddly enough, do have DSL/WiFi, so she could always zip over there if she had to do any sort of updates or registration (or my place too, for that matter).

But basically she'd just like something that she could put her Hotmail account on, and quickly check a website or other online info (weather, movie schedules, local attractions and events, etc.) while out and about. This woman is constantly on-the-go, has a three-year-old son who she's always doing things with, works a floating third-shift and, as I said, isn't impressed by tech and all this stuff. She's not wanting a bunch of overhead or spec-whore type features and functions.

My gut says "wait on the iPhone", since we're so close (and let's be honest...for a non-techie, it's the easiest, most straightforward of them all, IMO). But in the event she tells me "hell no!" (and means it), what else should I be looking at from Verizon? She doesn't have Internet or WiFi in her house. She does at her parents, my house, and her work, so something that is WiFi-capable would be great (save on data usage). While she's at home and out and about, it would be on 3G. But she's not the type to surf and keep her face buried in the thing, so I'm asking about phones themselves, BUT plans too.

I'm trying to help her out some, even though anything outside the Apple, the iPhone and iOS is just all meaningless, confusing gibberish to me...

Someone like Robo needs to come here and take me to Verizon-smartphone-options-for-a-non-techie school. :)

Give me something I can pass on to this person in the next few hours or days!

Meanwhile, I'm going to try and find out what she's got against the iPhone... :grumble:

2011-01-07, 16:19
First off, nearly every smartphone has WiFi. The only one I can think of that doesn't is the original Palm Pixi, which is only on Sprint. The Pixi Plus on Verizon does have it.

Secondly, if she finds the iPhone to be too difficult or frustrating, I don't see how an Android phone could possibly be an improvement. I guess maybe a WebOS phone could work, either the Palm Pre or Pixi.

Has she expressed any preference for a hardware keyboard perhaps? A lot of people have trouble getting used to software keyboards. I am fine with them and hardly ever use the hardware keyboard on my phone (I use Swype instead), but a lot of people would rather have a slide-out keyboard so they are more sure of which key they're hitting. In that case I guess the Motorola Droid 2 might be a good one.

2011-01-07, 16:31
If she wants a keyboard, as Luca suggests, the Droid 2 Global (slider) or Droid Pro (BlackBerry-style) would be the ones to get. Both run Android and are made by Motorola.

The Pre has a really nice portrait slider form factor. I just love that design, and I still sort of prefer HP/Palm's webOS to Android, but I wouldn't advise anyone to buy into it right now, even after the new webOS phones that will be announced in early February (at the very least, the Pre 2 is Verizon-bound) are out. When you buy a smartphone you're really buying into a platform, and I'm not sure webOS has good long-term prospects.

In some ways, I prefer Windows Phone 7 to Android, but even though the HTC Trophy could be hitting Verizon very soon, I'd take a wait-and-see approach there, too. Unless she really likes Xbox.

BlackBerries are right out.

But to be honest, the iPhone is the easiest to use smartphone. It's even easier than webOS. So, find out what she has against the iPhone.

It's hard, because Android is really the only other platform I'd recommend to anyone at this point, but it's not at all for people who find the iPhone too hard to use.

2011-01-07, 16:53
Exactly. That's what I was telling her. She specifically mentioned that the other day, but I told her "it's not as friendly as the iPhone".

I did get her, via text about five minutes ago, to say she was "constantly charging" her old iPhone (like twice a day).

She didn't go into much more detail, but if she was playing games, or had some background(?) thing running, maybe that was her beef? I told her that this iPhone 4 I've had for nearly three months is the best thing ever, and that it goes all day like a champ.

Yeah, I'm seeing her tomorrow and much of the day, so I'll be in a position to a) find out more of her gripes (real or imagined), b) convince her that quite a bit has changed from the iPhone 3G to the iPhone 4 and c) that iOS, for someone like her, is heads-and-shoulders above this other stuff, in terms of not being a pain-in-her-ass 24/7, or needlessly confusing/complex for someone with her modest needs.

And if she gets an iPhone, I'm much more in a position to help her out/answer her questions, recommend apps, have a local FaceTime buddy, etc.

I don't think, ultimately, she'll be happy with all those other things. I'll just have to make tomorrow a big iPhone kinda day. Let her play with mine a bit.

And then show her my iPhone to check out.


See what I did there?

2011-01-07, 17:25
On a related note, how do I go about setting up a Hotmail account in iOS's Mail? Or can I? :confused:

She's had that address for years, it's the one everyone knows, etc. I suppose I could get her to switch to a Yahoo! or Gmail one (perhaps with the same username, as it's funky/unique enough). But, just in case, can you set up Hotmail in the iPhone's Mail? It's not listed as one of the default types when you go to create a new e-mail account.

2011-01-07, 18:14
Hotmail still exists? I certainly didn't know that. Anyway, this (http://www.iphonedownloadblog.com/2010/08/30/hotmail-iphone/) was the first hit that came up on Google, but I don't have an account to verify it with.

2011-01-07, 18:27
Cool, thanks. So it seems to be possible. I figured it was probably going to go through that Microsoft Exchange stuff, but I wasn't sure quite how.

Like I said, she's not huge into this stuff (it's actually kinda neat to know somone, this day and age, who isn't a slave to their computer and the Internet...it's kinda endearing), but if she can keep what she has (Hotmail) account, and then use the other stuff to occasionally "connect to the world" when it suits her, she'll be happy (and she won't have to call me all the time, asking me to look something up on a site).

Not that I mind hearing from her, but she'll be better off having the ability of doing it herself.

2011-01-07, 20:29
Let her play with mine a bit.

And then show her my iPhone to check out.

See what I did there?

:lol: :lol: :lol: :D :)

2011-01-07, 20:32
What about an iPad?

You could set it up for her. Once it's set up it doesn't need to be plugged in to a computer again other than for backing up data and installing updates now and then. And with the large screens they're much less fiddly than an iPhone (not so many small targets to touch).

She could get one with a cheap data plan. Perhaps a iPad 2 will come in CDMA variety. Or alternatively one of those little WiFi hotspot things you can put in your pocket.

Her kid would love it as well, you could help her put some movies on there for car trips etc. and download some games and educational apps.