Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The HD7 goes in for repairs- Life without a smartphone

I've recently been having issues with my HTC HD7. It would like to reset itself randomly. I would be looking at maps and it would reset itself. I would be playing a game and it would hit the reset button. I would be updating my Twitter and it would reset. It became very annoying. So I got a hold of HTC and filled them in on the situation.

It started with an email. I've had my device since before launch so I wasn't even sure if it was still under warranty. The good news is that my warranty was still kicking. The bad news was the response I got from HTC was to essentially call them. I felt like this sort of thing could have been more fluid. I started my inquiry on the web, I would have liked to stay on the web. I avoid making calls to companies because I hate those stupid automated systems and I'm sick of pressing 1 for English.

The conservation I had when I called wasn't exactly enjoyable. I was informed that I would have to cover the shipping charges and that I would have to possibly pay a triage fee. The request for my credit card and all that just gave the whole transaction a bad taste. I was not impressed with HTC on this whole ordeal.

After finishing up the conversation, I was told I would be receiving an email with my RMA number and the shipping information. Once I got it, I had to go about getting a loaner device. HTC told me it would be more than a day or two until I got my phone back and I didn't want to go that long without a phone.

Now here's the really disappointing part of it all. HTC could tell that this was a T-Mobile device. It even said so in their email. But when asked by the person on the phone if I had another device lined up, he didn't mention anything about T-Mobile's loaner phone program. I'm just glad I knew about it. So I got in touch with my friends at my local T-Mobile store, got my loaner device, and shipped out my damaged phone.

My loaner device is a Sony Ericsson clamshell. It has a clock to tell me the time, a battery to keep the phone running when it's not plugged in, a speaker so I can hear who I'm talking to, and a microphone so people can hear me.

I shipped out my Windows Phone a few hours ago. It's been a rough few hours. I feel like I imagine a smoker feels the hours after they give up smoking.

The Sony is pretty basic. It's not a Windows Phone. It's not an Android. It's not even an old Windows Mobile device. It does... phone calls and not much else. I can't keep tabs on my 4 different email addresses. It doesn't update my Twitter. There's no Zune on it. I can't play Xbox Live games. It's just a phone. But that's a safety feature! No Facebooking behind the wheel with this baby!

I'm noticing a difference in how I operate. I'm normally no more than 3 feet from my Windows Phone. This loaner device, It's not even in the same room as me half the time. I don't mindlessly check it during commercials when I'm watching TV. I just have it for when I make phone calls.

I'm also finding myself so disconnected. Sure I can check my email at my PC. But I've gotten so used to checking if I have my by looking at my phone that I don't think to check my accounts.

I feel lost. I'm disconnected. I feel like I'm not in the know. Facebook has lost its pop. I can't even play Foursquare anymore. I'm glad I don't have any appointments that require me to sit in a waiting room any time soon. I wouldn't know what to do with myself while I wait.

Now some of you may think that this is just the cries of someone who's been spoiled by having a smartphone. However, the fact of the matter is that my productivity has dropped and that's what annoying.

  • I can no longer respond to emails on the go. I also have to check my messages instead of being told when I have them.
  • I can no longer record a quick note in OneNote
  • I've lost my GPS
  • I've lost the ability to search the web no matter where I'm at
I've had people who don't have a smartphone ask me what's so great about them and why they should get one. The why is simple, but hard to understand until one actually experiences it. All the technology in your life just becomes easier to manage. Losing your smartphone is like having a job that uses a computer and then you lose that. Sure, you could use a typewriter or a pen and paper, but it's just not the same. It doesn't work as well.

So I'm stuck with this piece of... phone for the next two weeks or so. I hope I make it. I'm already getting the Smartphone Shakes and it's not pretty.

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