After a lot of thought and consideration -- I have decided to retire One Foot in Reality and leave it as an Archive. I will still monitor it to keep the trolls at bay, but will not be posting here any longer.

If you are looking for my new posts, please go to www.haroldlshaw.com .

Thank you for all they years of following One Foot In Reality.


Sunday, September 27, 2015

A New Smart Phone

Over the course of the last month, my old Motorola Droid was starting to act wonky and not be reliable. Which wasn't all that big of a deal, since about all I use it for is taking photos, an occasional call or text and checking my email.

One of my first pictures with my new phone

However, last week things got worse, the battery stopped holding a charge (either keep plugged in or 2 hours later no phone, it crashed four times and the final straw, the autofocus on the camera was having major issues locking in.

Which meant, it was time to go out and get a new one. Even TheWife was tired of listening to me whine and told me to go get something that would work reliably, as she pointed out that I had been through about a half dozen phones and she was still happily using her original flip phone. Which I pointedly ignored ;-).

Friday morning, I started looking for a new smartphone.

How do I actually use my smart phone?

  • As a phone
  • Send/receive texts
  • Check my email
  • Emergency GPS device
  • I do not use it for social media, all that was banished from my phone a while ago, except for Instagram
  • The biggest thing I use my phone for is taking photos for this blog. So the smartphone needs to have a Great camera, versus the just okay one that my Droid had.
  • I wasn't looking for a phablet, having a phone that is easy to carry is a big deal.
  • Since I have gone all in with Google, I wanted to stay with Android, so the IOS or Windows phones were not an option either.
  • Oh yeah, we have been happy with Verizon for the most part, so it had to be compatible with Verizon.


Unfortunately, I coordinated my search for a new phone with Apple's release of their new iPhone, so the phone stores were a LOT busier than usual and the salespeople at the Augusta Verizon store were less interested in selling me a mid-range Android with a decent camera, than pushing a new iPhone on me.

Even though I have bought several phones there, the experience has always been less than enjoyable. Every time I have been there, it seems like I am bothering them and that what I usually looked for is beneath their time and effort. The Augusta store has been and is or at least seems this way to me -- much more focused on a get them in, get them out attitude towards the customers and it has historically been that way, every time I have been in there over the last 7 years.

Which meant that Friday morning, I came home without a new phone. I just wasn't happy with my perception of how I was being treated, so I left.

Which was probably a good thing, because it gave me time to do a lot of research on Friday night and figured out that if I wanted a great camera, that I would probably have to compromise on the size factor.

What Pisses Me Off

Yes, I have gray hair and when the salesperson starts to "talk down" to me about how to use or how "they" use technology - that tends to piss me off.

I might be an old fart, but I have been using technology at a pretty advanced level for a while now and have a pretty good idea about how I will use my smart phone.

When I started asking questions about specs, memory cards, memory RAM & onboard, battery life, megapixels, etc., it seemed to "shock" the saleperson and flustered them a little. I didn't meet their expectations or stereotype of the doddering old fart, who needs to be lead gently and talked around the technology they are selling.

However, I expect the salesperson (if they are good) to "know" their products (especially when they only have 10-15 phones on the wall), instead of saying I have to look that up and then come back 10 minutes later and I have already looked it up, moved to a different phone and ready to discuss price.

When that happens I walk away, before I start acting like a jerk.


Saturday, I went up to Waterville and while I still had to wait about 45 minutes to get to see a salesman (still Apple release weekend), I felt a LOT more comfortable and the employees there seemed to "have more fun with the customers". There was a complete difference in how they talked to and treated the customers

I really think that was the big difference between the two stores the Waterville employees seemed take a more time, focused on what the customer was going to use the phone for and had some fun while they were working with the customers (yes they did upsell too, if you were listening closely).

So I bought my phone in Waterville.

I know which store I will go back to in the future - Waterville.

So what did I end up getting?

I stayed with the Motorola Droid series, I looked closely at the Samsung and HTC higher-end offerings, but I liked the Droid Plus and how it worked for me, better than the other two. Plus it was a better deal and cheaper for me to get into.

Yeah, it is a lot bigger than my old Droid, but it is also a LOT faster and the camera - well there is no comparison. I am hoping that the images that I use here will improve, at least a lot better than the blurry, slightly out of focus ones that seemed to be happening more and more over the last few months with my old phone.

Who knows maybe I can even get the header to look decent again ;-)

The reality is that

I do like having a smart phone and having one that can take good pictures is something that is an important consideration for me - this time. Important enough that I was willing to get a much larger phone than I really wanted. I am going to have to figure out how to carry the damn thing comfortably, but I will get a system and get used to it pretty quickly.

The other thing is that I don't really care if you have great products and you think that you are the only game in town, if your store/company/whatever has poor customer service, I will go elsewhere. There is enough competition out there that I can quite easily walk out that door and walk into someone else's.

Now that I have been able to play with my new Droid Plus for a while, I am very happy with it and can foresee me doing some of the things that I used to do on my laptop on the phone.

However, I still don't know if I will actually put the social media apps on the phone or not, I haven't decided on that one yet. I did put the Facebook app on the phone but haven't activated it yet.  I have a feeling that I might try it for a while and if it becomes too much of a distraction get rid of it again.

However, the photos are definitely a lot sharper and I can tell the difference between the old ones and the new ones. So that part will be good.

This post originally appeared on One Foot In Reality if you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission, please go to my site to see the original post.


  1. haha - I am not sure I have EVER had a pleasant experience in a Verizon store ... regardless of what level of technology we're buying. Heck, one guy ended up talking my wife and I out of getting her a new phone early this year by incorrectly stating fees and sticking to it even after I tried to correct him! Ugh!

    I have the new iPhone (surprise? Not really) and really like it, but since I had the 6 Plus I will be able to get back almost the whole purchase price. Nice thing about iPhones is the resale value :)

    I LOVE Motorola, and had them for years, and really miss my keyboard based Droid Pro and Droid 4 and would love another keyboard based system ... so I can't blame you sticking with them!

    Good luck!

    1. Yeah, until Saturday, I would have to agree with you. It is the worst part of being a Verizon customer from my experience, there is such a push to get you in out and gone. The Samsung's just didn't thrill me and HTC seemed too busy, I actually was happy with my first Droid, excepting the camera, so this had the camera that I was looking for - happy so far. I have had 2 iPhones and both times I was just not happy with how they worked for me or should I say how I work with them. Great phones, but I have pretty much gotten in bed with Google so Android seemed a better choice.


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