The big benefit of being a gadget writer is that I get to carry around a pile of phones in my big purse. I learn the most about myself observing my own cell-phone behavior (like reaching for a Motorola DROID over my very own BlackBerry Curve when I need instant directions somewhere).
But would I pay a stiff several-hundred-dollar fee to switch to the DROID?
Probably not, though the last time I tried typing in a request for directions last-minute on my pink BlackBerry proved a bit frustrating.
So when analysts and media types debate whether Google's new Nexus One, unveiled just hours ago, will be the "iPhone killer," what they're really debating is whether cell subscribers at the end of their contracts will opt to upgrade to Nexus One. Or, if those of us stuck on another plan will be persuaded to switch.
But if you're like me and get attached to things, even the most killer of iPhone killers might not carry much weight.
See, I like a lot of things about Google's first Google-branded smartphone. It's super-skinny, at 11.5 millimeters, weighing just 130 grams. Second, it's got technology that makes it super-fast, in the form of Qualcomm Snapdragon 3G QSD8250 chipset, delivering speeds up to 1GHz. Third, it's not an iPhone. I'm honestly sick of hearing iPhone lovers rhapsodize about its out-of-this-world qualities, while ignoring sucky battery life and other issues.
Perhaps what I like most is that Google seems to be thumbing its nose at the idea that to get a super-cool phone, you need to be stuck with a particular carrier (a la AT&T and the iPhone).
Through the web store found at www.google.com/phone, consumers can buy the Nexus One without service (meaning any GSM network SIM card can be inserted into the device), or purchase the phone with service from one of Google's operator partners, Google said in a press release.
"As new phones come to market through this channel, consumers will benefit from the ability to match a phone of their choice with the service plan that best meets their needs," Google continued. "Operator prices and plan details will be featured on the site."
But as more than one media outlet pointed out, Nexus One uses GSM technology, which is more common in Europe (most phones here in the States are CDMA-based). Therefore, choices appear to be limited to AT&T and T-Mobile.
My BlackBerry, and the LG handset I had before it, I got from Verizon. And I've always been happy with Verizon. So happy, in fact, that I didn't even give the iPhone a second glace in 2007 when it came time for me to shop for an upgrade.
I've come around since: The iPhone does have some awesome apps, once you get used to using the touchscreen interface. But am I ready to jump ship and leave Verizon just to experience it? Not quite.
So until there's the definite option to use some version of the Google Nexus One but not abandon Verizon, I'm much more likely to choose a DROID. Of course, I'd have to give up my BlackBerry, and that might be just too traumatic a compromise (even if I never make it anywhere on time).