Sunday, May 6, 2012

New Droid...

Well, after much flailing and gnashing of teeth, I finally joined the 21st Century and upgraded my 1st Generation Droid to the new Droid RAZR 16G...

Oooh!  It's Purple!
(Last photo taken with Old Droid!)

Old Droid was just getting increasingly "buggy" and required fairly regular "Battery-Pulls" to re-boot after a freeze-up....

Simple things like taking pictures and uploading to FB were just getting frustratingly annoying - or annoyingly frustrating! (including the phone "completely forgetting" that it had *just* taken a picture).  Many-many cuss-words were uttered and I finally decided "To Hell With It" and ordered a new phone, online, from Verizon Wireless...

Now I'm supposed to get an Employee Discount (b/c my company has some kind of "arrangement" with Verizon), and a "Customer Loyalty Discount" and a whole bunch of other Happy Horsesh*t...

The Droid RAZR 16G was "on special" and "My Price" was supposed to have been $69.99, right?

The other contender was the Samsung Galaxy Nexus - and it was cool.  I mean, I saw it "up-close-and-personal" in the Verizon Store - but it didn't totally "Take my breath away" (plus, the GUI was just different-enough that there would have been a "learning curve!" :::GASP:::).  The Galaxy Nexus was *not* as deeply discounted - so I opted for the RAZR.  I also contemplated the RAZR MAXX - but pricing on that was outrageous.  Screw it.  Just go with the RAZR...

Okay, well, mini-rant here...  Dear Verizon:  DON'T tell me you're giving me a Super-Duper-Stupendous Deal unless you are prepared to deliver, k???  Apparently the "regular" price for the phone (as listed on their website) was $149.99...  "On Sale" for $99.99 - but with my "Loyalty" discount, I get $30.00 off, so $69.99.  Sounds good, right?

Well, THEN they add-in a $30.00 "Upgrade Fee" (thus negating the "Customer Loyalty" Discount!).  I'm not sure WHAT happened to my "Employee Discount" but then, with taxes (on the Full-Bust-Out-Retail-Price of $599.99 - WTF?!!) (NOT clearly-stated on the website, I should note!), I ended up paying $149.49.  Or exactly fifty cents LESS than the Advertised Price.  Gimme a break!!!

Sorry - didn't mean to rant - but srsly, Verizon?!  Don't bullsh*t me, okay?  If the price is $150.00 - then just f**king say so!!!

Honestly, I don't mind that I paid $150.00 for a new Smart-Phone.  I DO mind that you TELL me I'm gonna pay $69.99 to "lure me in" - but then charge me full-price anyway...  I'm not stupid - I *hate* deceptive advertising practices...

And, had I not been SO fed-up with the old phone, I probably woulda pitched a b*tch and tried to get the "Final Price" a tad closer to the $69.99 "Advertised Price" (Which probably would have necessitated a trip to the Verizon-store - and I wasn't up for that).

To be fair...  Prior to my upgrading my phone, I received an email from Verizon - promising me a "Totally Free" Accessory for my phone (Snap-on case, or Screen Protector).  Well, the stuff for the OLD Droid wouldn't fit the NEW Droid, so I emailed them.  Turned out that NEW Droid wasn't part of that "Totally Free" Accessory Offer, but they ARE honoring that and will allow me to pick a protective case for my new phone.  So that is a "partial" offset to my pissed-offedness!

Annnnnnywaaaaaayyyy...  End of Rant #1!

Sooooo....  Rant #2:  I received my new phone a couple-days after ordering...  I'd left a note on the door for Fed-Ex - with my signature - so FedEx would leave the package on my doorstep.  Yay Fed-Ex, they DID!

So I excitedly opened up the package and read thru the set-up instructions.

Now I *did* have the presence of mind to download ALL of my personal files off of my old phone, to my PC (pictures, videos, music files, ringtones, yada-yada)...  The only thing I couldn't find was my Contact List.

Now, I did know that First Generation Droid was *not* compatible with many of Verizon's "proprietary" apps (which, honestly, I kinda liked!) (and that's a Big Reason why iPhone was never "on the table" for me - too proprietary!).  That included "Back-up Assistant" so there didn't appear to be an "Easy" way to transfer my contacts from my Old Droid, to the New...

I'm here to tell you: The Instructions provided by Verizon really-really-really sucked!

There was some sorta bullsh*t (directed from their website) where I needed to "Export" the contact list from OUTLOOK in csv format.  That's all very well and good except that I DON'T HAVE an Outlook Account set-up.  And when I tried to initiate the Export from my phone, it put it into vcf format (Outlook), and it included email addresses from about 400 years ago (and very few phone #'s, actually).  Now, I know that Droid relies heavily on your Google email acct - but the people I EMAIL from gmail are definitely "different" from the people I "call" on a regular basis...

Well, long story short (Too Late!), I ended up setting-up a dummy Outlook acct on my PC (no email associated with it), and I keyed in all of my important contacts into Outlook.  This, actually, was a good opportunity to do some "clean-up" since...  Well, my mom is no longer with us, so I don't really need to keep her in my Contact List, right?  Then I followed the instructions (from the Verizon site) to export the csv file, then I IMPORTED it into Google Mail, Contacts.

Well, SURPRISE!~  All of my original "Contacts" actually DID reside - with phone#'s intact! - in gmail's "Contacts." If you look on your GMAIL screen, there's actually a "drop-down" where it says "GMAIL" (directly under where it says "GOOGLE"), and THAT'S where your phone's "Contacts" reside - Duhhhh!

So, after I'd imported my new Contact List into Gmail (using their "Import" feature), I ended up with duplicate contacts - but, in the end, it was fairly easy to "clean-up" my contact list...

Anyway, it took me two days to get the Contacts squared-away, but when it was all said-and-done, it was fairly easy to "Activate" the phone, on my own.  I *really* didn't want to go to the Verizon Store and "don my Blond Hat," to convince them to do it for me - although I'm sure they would have.  But - given my experience with *my* company's I/T Dept, I was reasonably sure they'd find a way to f**k it up! (I definitely did NOT want the 400-yr.-old email contacts added to my phones contact list!!!)

And I am pretty "rabid" about NOT syncing ALL of my contacts (Facebook and multiple email accts).  I maintain "multiple personalities" online and I *don't* want everything smushed together!

Now one thing that *did* freak-me-out when I first fired-up the phone (and synced my "Contacts" from gmail), the phone ALSO added all of my Facebook Contacts.  No-No-No-No-Noooo!!!  But I *did* figure out how to suppress the FB contacts from my "Phone Numbers" list...

Bottom Line:  Setting up the phone really wasn't very intuitive - and the instructions from Verizon really sucked-eggs.  Thankfully, I was able to figure it out...

I'm guessing that the Verizon Store would have (reluctantly) taken care of it (but I think they work on commission, so be prepared for push-back!). Nevertheless, if you're considering an upgrade, you're not entirely "on your own..."

Once I got the phone set-up, I have to say that - overall - I am pretty happy with it.  The GUI is slightly different from the First Generation Droid, but not too difficult to figure out.

Features that I like:  
  • Once I got it hooked-up to our WiFi, I can actually play any music that's accessible on the network (i.e. stuff on my hard-drive on my laptop in the house).
  • Picture Quality seems vastly superior to Old Droid.  And uploads to FB happen almost instantaneously.
  • 4G speed is definitely far-superior to 3G (although I worry about them over-subscribing and slow-downs in the future)
  • Bluetooth uploads:  I can take a picture with the phone and upload it to my hard-drive on my laptop via Bluetooth (a little slow - but less of a pain than plugging in the usb cable)
  • So far, so good - no freeze-ups (but NO clue what I'm gonna do when/if that happens - the battery is NOT removable)
  • Most of the apps I use, appear to have come pre-installed (Yay!  But I *did* make a list before I shut-down the old phone)
  • Some of the Verizon-specific apps are also pre-installed (not sure if I like that - we'll see).  VZNavigator ($fee) is on the new phone, but I think I'll stick with Google Maps/Navigator (FREE!).
  • I'm guessing (hoping) that the memory is expandable (looks like there's a mini-SD card slot)
  • Can watch Netflix Movies on the new phone (that's actually pretty cool!)
Downside:  I'm worried that the battery is NOT user-replacable... We'll have to see how that pans out.  Right now, I am fully charging and discharging the battery, a few times...

Anyway - overall, I am pretty happy with the new phone.  I hope I can say that 6-months from now!!!

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