Achievement Unlocked: Obtain Android Phone

Got the Samsung Galaxy S (aka the Captivate) this weekend 🙂

Carphone Warehouse at the White Rose mall in Leeds had them (and the Desire) in stock and I couldn’t resist. Apparently they’re one of the biggest CPW locations in the area so they get priority on limited stock items like the Desire at the moment.

I got a pretty good monthly rate, too. Basically I’m going to be paying a few quid extra per month than I was before, for the privilege of one of the hottest devices available, and after a year I can drop my contract down to a cheaper rate, and in 23 months I can upgrade again. No money up front, £30 a month, 500 minutes (which I won’t hit), unlimited texts (actually limited to 500) and 500mb data transfer/internet (the Orange version of ‘unlimited’).

Right now I have the Geek Squad insurance cover, which is quick and pretty comprehensive, but because of the cost of the phone that’s £12 a month rather than the £5 or so I was paying for my older phone. I have a couple of weeks to cancel that, so I have to decide what I’m going to do with it. I found a website that will cover me for £5.99 per month, and 12 months of cover for the price of 9, and it looks very comparable to the Geek Squad  but I need to compare them side-by-side. I think the cheaper insurance wins out though.

I’ve started playing around with the various apps already but will wait a while before rooting it, mainly I want to be sure I can restore it to its default setting if it all goes wrong.

So far I’m running a bunch of free apps and have tried a few free games.

Right now I’m running the stock music player app and it seems pretty good so far. I’ll have to see how it handles album art. For podcasts I’m using Google Listen, but I need to be on a wifi connection to get downloads or my data limit will quickly be demolished. I’ve been using Gmail and Calendar for years, so I love how the system just integrates all that into the various Google apps.

I think the first  paid app I’ll try is Tasker, which is £4 and can do things like automatically send a text to someone when I get home, change the volume settings when I get to a certain location, change the GPS/locator functions of different apps, etc.

As for the phone itself, this particular one does look a lot like the iPhone, with a single ‘hard’ button and the volume switch where they’re at, but beyond that and the Apps screens the difference grows. Multiple configurable home screens can hold constant mail, weather, traffic or Twitter updates, Google search (by voice!) is right on the main screen, it’s very configurable and I haven’t even thought about rooting it yet.

There are some good things that it borrows from the iPhone, like the way it does speech bubbles with text messages, etc., but that’s not a bad thing at all.

So, moving up from my Nokia 5800 I’m looking forward to tightly integrated things like email, calendar, Twitpic and other services, all without paying much more than I was before.

And…no more iTunes 🙂

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