I finally got a Motorola Razr. I know I’m behind the times, but I was waiting until I wouldn’t have to pay for the phone. Amazon had a deal (and has had in the past) where I pay for the phone then get that money back as a rebate after my second month of service. T-Mobile can now officially offer the phone, and since I’ve been happy with them I went with them again.
The Razr is replacing my Nokia 3650, an ex-sexy phone. People were drooling on it when I got it, but I never really grew to like it. It’s a bulky candy bar design (remember when i said last year I liked the bulky design? Yeah, that lasted like two weeks). The Razr is everything I wanted last year: it’s a flip phone, it has bluetooth, it works with iSync, and it has a caller-id/time window. This is the phone I was describing while I looking at the Nokia. I could use it with Verizon, but right now it’s not to long after the Tour de France where
Telekom T-Mobile got a place on the podium and T-Mobile hasn’t really annoyed me in the past year. It’s thinner and lighter (3.4 ounces to Nokia’s 4.6 ounces). It charges with a regular USB cable, where the 3650 needed a weird booster thingy I never figured out. It came with a 312 area code, so people won’t have to ask where 773 is.
It took me a while to start playing with the Razr though. I needed iSync 2.1 (included with Tiger, which I still needed to put on some computers) to sync over bluetooth. I updated one of my bluetooth-capable Powerbooks to Tiger. I needed to get all my address book data to it since I did a clean install. I set up a free 60-day trial of .Mac and sync from another computer to .Mac, then .Mac to my new Tiger machine. Once I had the Powerbook sorted, I paired (which Motorola calls “bonding”) the Powerbook and Razr. No problems there. I sync-ed. No problems there. Everything looks like it just worked.
Things aren’t so sexy once I opened the Razr to look at the address book. I should have known something was up when I saw Motorola called it the “phone book”. In the phone book there was a single entry for every phone number. Not a single entry per person, but one for every one of their phone numbers. Some entries showed up on five different lines in the phone book. That’s annoying (and I later fixed it by going into the Phonebook settings and changing the view to only show the primary contact. I can cycle through the numbers by right clicking the joy-wheel thing). Each entry has a little icon on the right hand side: a little house, mobile phone, or office building. That doesn’t really help me that much since some entries have multiple numbers in any of those categories. Just which cell phone entry does this little icon represent?
The horror doesn’t end there. iSync didn’t send over any of the email addresses. What the heck’s going on? Oh, and where are the postal addresses? Why is the list sorted by first name (because there is only a name field)? Why do I have to edit multiple records just to fix a person’s name? Curiously, while I’m doing this I’m listening to David Pogue rant about bad user interfaces. I want to cry.
The Nokia address book is actually pretty good. I didn’t always like it, but at least it could show me all my data. Indeed, last weekend a friend called me while he was filling out some paperwork, and I was able to scroll through my Nokia address book to give him phone number, addresses, zip codes, and all sorts of other things. The Nokia address book is good enough that I didn’t have to carry a PDA with all that other stuff.
Okay, so the Motorola phone book sucks. No biggie. I’ll just buy some Razr app that’s good. I start googling around. Not only do I not find anything to buy, but I find very few people complaining about the sucky software. Even after I figured out it is “Razr” and not “Rzor”, I didn’t have much luck. Is it like lots of other consumer technology things where people just don’t realize how bad they have it?
I’m not really a power user. I don’t care to much about listening to music, doing fancy multimedia messaging, or playing games. I just want a useable address book. I’m sure to get that sorted, and then I’ll be happy. All the other software can suck, but give me a decent address book.