I gave Mark an Sony Xperia J last Christmas which he loved. Â He thought it was the greatest phone ever, even if it wasnâ€™t. Â The Sony Xperia J has a memory problem that means that it doesnâ€™t handle apps well. Â I am not sure why this version of Android on this phone acts so poorly but according to the tech forums, it does.
The phone broke this summer and all of a sudden Markâ€™s attitude changed for the better. Â So much that we had some very long talks about it. Â He told me he missed being able to talk to his friends and Wendy and I via text but he didnâ€™t really miss his phone very much. Â He was kind of glad that he didnâ€™t have it around. Â He was funnier, more laid back, and said he was sleeping better.
It wasnâ€™t the phone that was the problem, it was that he would find some time and play some games that would keep him on it for hours. Â He was like a lot of youth, addicted to their phone.
So we talked about the kind of phone that we would get. Â I decided on getting him a Blackberry Curve. It would let him text others and not be distracted by other stuff. Virgin Mobileâ€™s was $150 which I found a little steep. Â Telus had one for $100 so I decided to make the switch. Â He isnâ€™t under contract so I set off to Best Buy and get his phone. Â While I was there, I saw they had a Nokia Lumia 520 for Windows Phone for $110. Â I was torn over what phone to get but in the end it was the constant barrage of Windows Phone tweets by Darren Sproat that won me over. Â I havenâ€™t heard of anyone excited over a Blackberry since 2005.
I set it up with Telus who has far inferior pre-paid plans than Virgin Mobile and gave it to Mark. Â The next day the phone wasnâ€™t working. Â I called back and Telus said that they hadnâ€™t gotten paid. Â I had a receipt and a confirmation number from Mastercard and still that wasnâ€™t enough. Â It was kind of weird. Â
So I took Markâ€™s phone to Tech Box. Â I had never been in there and they unlocked the phone for $20. Â It took a couple of days more than they said (the first code was slow coming and then didnâ€™t work) but they told me that one of them would be in the office on a Sunday and to stop by. Â We did, they unlocked the doors, and the phone was working. Â He was thrilled.
So I set up Markâ€™s phone for him and I have really come to like it. Â It doesnâ€™t have all of the apps that the iPhone or Android does but I was able to get himâ€¦
- The Score
- A podcast app
- Weather app
He told me today that he misses having a StarPhoenix app but other than that, he is set. Â Internet Explorer isnâ€™t that bad on the phone either. Â I didnâ€™t install any games and he is fine with that. Â The phone is pretty snappy and the tiles feature of Windows 8 is designed for a phone (and not a computer screen). Â It works really well. Â I have told a couple of people that while I love my iPhone, I could switch to Windows Phone and be perfectly happy. Â Especially when I think that I spent $110 for the phone.
There are some other cool stuff installed for apps like a transit app (that doesnâ€™t work in Saskatoon because we donâ€™t make our route information available like most other cities). Â Bing Maps is no better or worse than Apple Maps (actually it is probably better).
So back to Mark. Â Heâ€™s happy with the phone. Â He likes not having a phone with the distractions of games and then frustrated over not getting other things done. Â Heâ€™s like a lot of 14 year olds but with this phone, he seems to have found a mix of being connected and not being too connected. Â We will see how it goes.