A few days ago I got a call from AT&T saying that I was likely going to have an increase on my cell phone bill due to the amount of SMS’es I send and receive. I had upgraded to the iPhone 3G shortly after it came out, and had an unlimited SMS plan.
Unlimited, to AT&T, doesn’t mean unlimited. Apparently if you go over some threshold that only they know, they consider you using this service beyond what “normal” users would, and as such, they would like to charge you more than even the unlimited amount.
After a few calls back and forth to AT&T and working my way up the chain, it was obvious that even without this increase in my plan, that there were other increases coming to iPhone customers, especially anyone who uses them for business reasons, as I did.
So at ~$120 a month after taxes and use, I felt it was time to look for another provider that not only charged less, but also had better coverage. For several years I had been struggling with getting good coverage both at home and at friends houses nearby. In many cases I would have no service at all for long periods of time. This was with three different phones, iPhone 1st gen, AT&T Tilt, and the iPhone 3G. And this was in a pretty populated area of Seattle – Queen Anne.
I had used T-Mobile before, and had good success with them at home in terms of service coverage, but their phone models were lagging behind everyone else, and at the time I wanted the iPhone, so hence AT&T.
A friend of mine had the new G1 phone, and after playing around a little with it, and with the G1 simulator, I decided to go with the G1 on T-Mobile.
The phone itself has a few quirks, including the Jay Leno-like chin at the bottom of the phone, which has taken some getting used to. But the rest of it is well designed and thought out. Battery life is an issue, just like any other 3G capable phone. All of the neat features everyone talks about can’t be used unless you charge it every 4-6 hours.
The real exciting thing to me is the Android operating system. It’s been well thought out, and being a bit of a Google centric person myself, I really like the integration with their services. In addition, many usability things that I have wished for in past phones have been well thought out here.
So far, the coverage at home is excellent, and the phone has worked exactly as I would expect. Even by this point on other phones and networks, I would have found a few problems. I’m sure there will be some, but I’m pretty confident they’ll be small, or someone will fix them in the open source community.
Looking forward to posts on the phone over the next few weeks as I learn more…