My LG EnV2 (which I LOVE) has been giving me weird problems in the last couple months. It’d shut off by itself and I wouldn’t be aware of it until I come back to my phone and see that it’s been off for who knows how long. Sometimes it’d shut off when I’m in mid-text-message. This happens even when the battery’s fully charged. It was driving me nuts so I looked it up online and found numerous complaints from others with the identical problem on this phone. Turns out the culprit is the battery not making perfect contact with the phone. I had a case on the phone until fairly recently, and when I took the case off, this started happening, so the case must’ve kept the battery in place. The solution is to remove the battery, clean off the metal points of contact carefully and gently with a pencil eraser, then put the battery back in. Some problems are more severe in that the battery is too short to fit the phone so when the battery slides up the millimeter, the contact is broken and the phone shuts off. People have resolved this by putting a sliver of cardstock (such as piece of a business card) between the top of the battery and the case to push the battery downward toward the base of the phone, maintaining contact between the metal parts. Altho my problem seemed to have gone away with just my eraser-cleaning, I started looking into the new-every-two program just in case, and discovered I’ve been eligible for a new phone for about 2 weeks now.

What to get? I definitely was not gonna cave despite the pressure from coworkers and people at home to buy into Apple for the iPhone. Besides, I was happy with my LG enV2’s capabilities (especially Vcast and the VZNavigator system), and wanted to stay in a similar realm. I didn’t want to pay a bunch of money for crazy access to apps and data downloads and supernatural capabilities of a phone which I mainly used for phone calls, texting, and emailing. If the iPhone could come up with an app where a little chauffeur pops out and drives me around so I can nap in my morning work commutes, I’ll buy in. But I probably couldn’t afford that app. So I researched what phones would be free for my new-every-2, that had a qwerty keypad, and that worked without changing my current data and phone package. After reading many positive reviews from people exactly like me and even going from the same phone, I decided on the Samsung Reality. Another perk that I read from the reviews is that this phone uses the same charger as my enV2, so I don’t have to buy new accessories! Yay.

So hubby and I went to Verizon after work yesterday. Somehow, somewhere between the door and the cash register, I ended up with a purchased LG Ally, which is an Android phone. It’s larger, heavier and bulkier than my last phone so it no longer fits in a specific pocket on my purse, but oh well, that just means I need to get a new purse. =D I was warned of a few drawbacks of this phone (sort of a hybrid between a feature phone like my last one, and a smartphone like the Blackberry or Droid), things that aren’t as great compared to the Droid, but I have friends who aren’t entirely happy with their Droids AND its price tag and 4-month waiting list crossed it off as a possibility for me. Plus, I didn’t like the smoothness of the qwerty keyboard on the Droid; I need tactile feedback to know where the keys are. (This is also a problem on the Samsung Reality, I found when I finally touched one.) I also wasn’t sure I wanted such an extreme phone. Hubby pushed for the Droid Incredible (most similar thing Verizon has to the iPhone) but I was clearly reluctant. Somewhere in there I was talked into compromising with the LG Ally, and I’ve been playing with it off and on since I got it. It does require the costlier separate data access plan, but the difference between my old plan and this one ended up being about $8/month, and the phone was free with the new-every-2. Additional perk: turns out that all phone chargers have been standardized! So I still don’t have to get a new wall or car charger for the new phone.

The new phone has a learning curve for someone who isn’t used the Android OS or smartphones, and I also think it’s much more phone than I need. Having 1/4 of the battery life I’m used to is gonna suck. Not having a detailed phone user’s manual was uncomfortable (I’m actually one to spend a couple of hours going over the manual with my new phones), but the box does include a Tips, Hints and Shortcuts booklet that I’m gonna read. I was advised to check out the video tutorials online to learn the phone features. So far I’m still pretty confused because I don’t know what a lot of the symbols on the phone displays mean. I plan to take advantage of the 30-day return policy to see if this is something I could love. Oddly, Mr. W is almost giddily happy that I got this. He keeps talking about switching to Verizon for an Android phone if he finds out through mine that it’s better than his iPhone. I think he just sees this as free opportunity for him to play with a new tech toy that he wasn’t able to get for himself.