I picked up the Samsung Blackjack.
I needed a keyboard and push email now that email is so much critical now. My choices were down to the Blackjack, the Dash from t-mobile and the Q from Verizon.
To simplify my research by a factor of 50:
- T Mobile Dash: nice device, and plans are the cheapest, but they don’t have 3G high speed data access yet. bonus pro is they offer wifi (starbucks) on their network included in the data plan.
- Verizon Q: good device, high speed access, some minor gripes with the Q from a friend with one, best customer service. But at the end of the day I still consider myself a world traveler even if the ink of my passport is bone dry and I wanted a GSM phone to that end.
- Cingular Blackjack: brand new phone, w/ good reviews. High Speed 3G data access, I was an old AT&T customer so they gave me an upgrade priced plan that was $10 off rack rate.
There are so many more details in all of this, but I’ll keep it light for now. If you need help choosing between these guys, I’ll be happy to share more info.
So the other huge factor here is that I need some kind of EVDO/PC card coverage for my laptop. The brief time that I had my corporate provided card was enough to spoil me forever. I’m going to try and use my Blackjack’s data connection via the laptop (USB or Bluetooth) and see how that goes. I tested it briefly and it does work and is reasonably fast, I just need to use it for a while and test the reliability. If that fails I’ll just go to Verizon and pick up an EVDO card (~$20) and a data plan from them. The pathetic thing is none these companies were able to offer me any kind of benefit for getting a PC data plan and a mobile data plan and a voice plan from the same company, so I’m just going to take my business to another network. Plus this gives me “network diversity” which means that if I’m in a area with no GSM coverage, I’ll have CDMA data access, or obviously the reverse. This works for couples too, Emily and I use separate networks, so one of us is almost always going to have reception.