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For those of you that have been around for a while you know I’m stalking an upgrade around September-ish.  I’m on AT&T which has all sorts of awesome coverage here in my area.  Speed and connectivity are directly equivalent to my friends Verizon handsets (including a Moto Droid and an HTC Incredible,) in every corner of this town because we always give each other hell as often as possible though we both secretly hate our own carriers.  Which brings me to my point.  What is AT&T doing?  When they were still Cingular they were all sorts of awesome and had the best devices by far.  Since the switch back to AT&T and their subsequent exclusivity with the most evil company in the world, all their wireless carrier awesomeness has disappeared, or as my iPhone toting friend chose to say “Their e-penis is all flaccid and unused.”  E-penis is his equivalent of one’s technological clout.

I could live with the idea that AT&T wasn’t getting the HD2.  I understood this as a business move as they were going to be a launch partner for Windows Phone 7.  Disappointing but understandable. What got me worried though, was their adoption rate for Android phones.  How on earth is Verizon getting all the bad-ass Android phones when we get this and this?  It just seems like AT&T isn’t in any hurry to get awesome phones (and remember this is the iPhone-is-not-an-option discussion area.)  The problem is I’m likely going to wind up with few real options when it comes time to pull the trigger on my upgrade.

Android is still a non-option right now on AT&T for any power-user because there is no minimum standard for Android hardware.  Thank God for high standards for Windows Phone hardware or I’d be completely screwed.  My worst fear is that AT&T will only get that hideous LG prototype that the Dev’s are getting.  I hate not having choices.  I guess I could entertain the idea of a Nexus One, but I still don’t think I want to spend 500$ on a phone when I have an upgrade available, especially since the phone will be nearing a year old by that point.  Do any of you out there think AT&T will get some decent Android phones by this amorphous “holiday season” launch date crap that Microsoft can’t figure out?

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  1. Its been bugging me too. I am coming from a fuze which I loved for the first year than grew tired of trying to find the next big custom thing to do to it. Since AT&T is requiring all smart phones to have a data plan I am switching to the dark side. I simply can not wait to see what Windows Phone 7 is going to do and if At&t is going to have a decent phone for it. Sadly this will be my first apple product, I have been playing around with iTunes for the first time and it is as bad as everyone says :(.

  2. Im with you on this one Matt. Im due for upgrade this summer and im still waiting for something good to come out from AT&T, when i heard the news that theyre not getting the HD2 and the rumored HTC Desire, i was very disappointed, up to the point where i almost convinced my parents to switch back to T-Mobile, because T-Mob and Verizon and EVEN SPRINT are getting good kick ass phones and look at AT&T….nothing good, all the carriers are laughing at us because of the phone selections are soo dull, as Daniel mentioned there is going to be the Samsung Galaxy S or known as the Captivate on AT&T, i might have to go with Samsung…will be my first time owning a smartphone from Samsung soo its going to be something new unless they whip out something from HTC then my head will turn to them, hopefully this holiday season AT&T will bring out rack of new phones to choose from, but for now, im sticking with my Tilt 2

  3. hm maybe i’ll just have to wait until verizon launches lte for data AND voice because at this point, there are no good gsm carriers around: ATT sucks for phone selection, TMo sucks for service…

  4. Galaxy looks pretty cool. Samsung burned me on my last phone though. Epix was pretty good hardware until Samsung released an official update that would brick your GPS functionality. Plus AT&T locks down sideloading on Android phones so that’s a big turn off. Not that I’ll have sideloading with Windows Phone either. :(

  5. I’m still leaning towards the N1. It’s late ( i guess) in it’s life-cycle and might not be cutting edge anymore, but there just isn’t enough variety on at&t. I really hope windows phone 7 turns out nice but I’m tired of being a WPhone apologist. If they get it right and hit it out the park then I’d gladly go back to windows next upgrade. But I’m tired of feeling like a full time tester.

    I just wish at&t sub’d out the nexus, it’s gonna be hard to part with that cash when I have an upgrade sitting there available.

  6. If Verizon is really, really going to get the iPhone in January then I think you will see some good WP7 and Android choices at AT&T this holiday season. But if AT&T plans to hold the iPhone exclusivity beyond 2010, then the brainwashing will continue and I wouldn’t expect anything special. After all, they can’t have superior devices competing with the iPhone.

    I just got a Tilt2 to replace my Fuze. It’s a bit late, but the phone is still new for me. Not sure what Gen 1 WP7 will be like, and as Greg noted above, I am also getting weary of being a beta tester.

  7. I feel your frustration. The more I read, the more it seems that Android is the future for power, flexibility, and mobility. But, like you, I’m stuck with ATT for a while longer…hoping they release a quality Android handset. As a Tilt2 owner, I’m inclined to wait for WP7 but the longer it takes, the more it seems that WP7 will be too little too late.

  8. I bit the bullet and bought a Nexus one used off XDA. It was expensive but I wanted to get some play time with android before WP7 comes out. So far I love this phone, it is a very well built piece of equipment. I do like android, but it does have its flaws but i MUCH prefer it over my 3GS that I got from work, I haven’t touched that thing since I got this phone. The Galaxy S looks good but the UI looks too much like the iOS, which is what I hate most about the iPhone.

  9. Good article, and I am in the same place. My aging Fuze is due for upgrade this fall, and I am terribly disappointed with AT&T’s lack of good smartphones, other than the iPhone. I have the unlimited data plan on my Fuze, with custom ROM, multiple email accounts, and I install lots of apps. I have never wanted an iPhone. Here are my options, none of which are good:
    1. iPhone. The latest iPhone is so much better than the first one, and many of my original objections have been corrected. I will have to consider dropping my emotional objection to Apple and its closed OS. Microsoft is pushing me in this direction, since WP7 is also closed.
    2. Verizon and Android and LTE. Has awesome phones right now. Looks like Android may eventually become what Windows Mobile should have been — a robust, customizable OS. My friends at Verizon tell me that much of the LTE equipment from Motorola is already installed and being tested, and live operation will be ready to go about September. Even Sprint and T-Mobile have better phones than AT&T, but their networks suck in my part of the country.
    3. Windows Phone 7 on AT&T. Not yet interested. The Metro interface does not wow me. Closed APIs, no side-stream apps, and no file system access are big regressions. The early hardware for WP7 looks terrible. Maybe I will consider a WP7 phone a year or two down the road, after it has some real customer experience, but I do not want to be an early adopter.

    Right now I am leaning toward the iPhone upgrade (heresy!), but only because I have a family plan on AT&T with three other phones (BlackBerry and 2 feature phones). However, if LTE is really close and I can close the financial equation to switch all four phones, I will jump ship to Verizon and Android.

  10. i have heard of 2 LG handsets coming by years end that will be supporting android and AT&T, the smoke and thunder, (and of course the lightning also scheduled to come out before end of year but that will be running wp7) they both look like promising handsets but i am weary of anything made by LG after the incite… word on the street though is that AT&T is planning on bringing a dell handset as well, im sure im not the only one whos heard of these and given that noone else here mentioned them maybe the rumors were squashed by now but i thought it would be worth mentioning, and you shouldnt bag on the aria, its a really nice phone, i bet you wouldnt have known it has a 600mhz processor if you werent told what was in it… that thing is fast!

  11. It’s really easy to be fast when you’re rendering HVGA. Sorry, but that just doesn’t cut it. My three year old fuze has twice that res and I don’t go backwards. The Aria is getting all the bashing it deserves for being a low-end smartphone. I’m looking for top-tier awesomeness. WVGA or higher without a doubt.

  12. i owned a fuze for about a year and i will tell you the screen on the aria is way better than the fuze, regardless of what the specs say… and you missed my point, the point was really to lend some info and see if anyone can tell me its no longer correct…

  13. Been playing with the Dell Streak on AT&T for a bit and if you want a big screen it blows the HD2/Evo out of the water. It’s running Android 1.6 now, but FroYo is supposedly coming thia fall. When it’s released (soon?) you should take a look.

  14. Microsoft need to sort out their act with this business of restricting file system access. On my WM 6.5 I have books and comics where I own both the paperback version and the electronic version. I would like to be able to copy these files to my device and read them in a single application without having to re-purchase them.

    What about all my mp3’s? Will I have to upload them to the internet before being able to download them to my phone again?

    What about all my existing photos and videos, how will I be able to copy those up to my phone and view them with whatever app I choose.

    As far as I’m concerned, this takes content dictatorship to the next level (Apples level)!

    The only people that use phones that are so restricted (like the iPhone) are people like my Granmother who can’t be bothered with tweaking her phone, using her phone as a file storage device or having applications that can access the file system.

    It is pure evil that Microsoft think they can dictate the content I want to store on my own phone. Yes, by all means keep it simple for the majority of users, but please allow us power users to use the phone the way we choose.

    Yes the UI on touch screen mobile devices needs to be simplified a lot from the days of WM, but I want a computer in my pocket that I have full control over. Not some dumbed down device that can only do what Microsoft says it’s allowed to do.

    If Microsoft are truly worried about security, then just popup a notice before any app can access the file system, warning the user that they allow this at their own risk. This isn’t about security, this is about money and greed. Mark my words, watch what will happen to the iPhone as it eventually loses out to Android. Users will eventually realise that they want the freedom to use their phone however they want.

    I really hope Microsoft get burned by this. I love developing for Microsoft, but these sorts of limitations are regressive, and really make me angry.

  15. Wait till christmas at&t has 4 android phones at the moment. I just got the streak for my car and the lightening will be out by christmas at.

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