So here I am, practically in the same position I was last time my contract was up for renewal with AT&T. Everywhere I go on the internet, I’m flooded with images of spectacular Windows Phones (WP) other carriers are providing to their customers. My eyes are constantly greeted with their slim form, complimented by sleek edges, sexy metal and sturdy rubber; all well-designed and desirable slabs of technology.
Sadly, I will not be experiencing these phones in any way, other than admiring them on the web … all due to my wife’s insistence on getting an iPhone. So I’m stuck with AT&T, the only carrier that seems to drop the ball completely when it comes to providing its customers with desirable phones. The iPhone aside (it’s desirability is up for debate,) AT&T fails to offer even less–than-good examples from the three prominent platforms.
The only amazing thing about the phones AT&T offer, is how un-amazing these phones consistently are … like clockwork. Just look at their Android selection for Google’s sake! If per chance they release a phone that is considered top tier – without a doubt – they will release it so late that it ceases to be desirable when compared with the competition.
Don’t even get me started with the seemingly unnecessary hardware changes that occur somewhere between manufacturing and AT&T stamping their name on it. Why does AT&T have an obsession with fingerprint-magnet, shiny plastic that shows every scratch? I just don’t get it. Ok, my rant has now come to an end. Hopefully this is well-illustrated and provides a sufficient transition to my next point.
Despite claiming to be the mother of all WP providers, AT&T once again has failed its customers. We get to choose between quite possibly the three worst devices running the WP software. I will refer to them from this point on as LG Cheap, HTC Gimmick and Samsung Fugly. If AT&T were kind enough to give me options, neither Cheap, Gimmick nor Fugly would be considerations of mine.
The LG Cheap looks, and by all reports, feels like my nickname implies. The HTC Gimmick has got to be the worst HTC Windows Phone option that AT&T had to choose from. And the Samsung Fugly looks like a generation one iPhone reject design, pieced together from the plastic leftovers of all AT&T’s other phones. Like a rigged horserace, I can dismiss the LG and HTC right out of the gate. To me, the LG is a teen texting phone; enough said. The HTC has a slide-out speaker … no, not a keyboard, a speaker! It’s fatter, bulkier and heavier … for a speaker? AAAAAAGH. Seriously?
So, anyone who wants a physical keyboard is forced to submit to the LG’s cheapness, and those who want an HTC device are forced to use a phone with possibly the most useless “feature” a phone has ever endured.
This leaves us with the Samsung Fugly (Focus, to be exact). Hideous design aside, the phone is packing some serious heat. The 4-inch super AMOLED screen is supposedly spectacular and the five megapixel camera is apparently top notch. It’s obvious AT&T had some say in the materials used to make the phone, so be ready to purchase a sturdy case. The best part about the Samsung device, however, is the fact that it looks like you can expand its memory to whatever size your wallet can stomach.
To get to know the Fugly better, Slashgear has the best preview of the phone I have found to date. Just click here and pour over the Focus in all its subpar glory. A warning to all AT&T customers: Ignore the Samsung Omnia 7 in the preview, lying right there beside the Focus. That phone is most definitely NOT FOR YOU!
I’m curious to know what everyone else thinks about AT&T’s choices. Hit up the comments and tell me how wrong (or right) I am.