Smartphone Thoughts Revisited

I mentioned a few posts ago that I was beginning to succumb to the siren call of the smartphone. I am most assuredly the odd person out in that regard at my place of work. I used to have a Palm Treo about 5 years ago at a previous job, and thought it was pretty slick, so I'm not a total luddite in that regard. It's basically a cost thing for me, and I now see the opportunity to get a phone that will help me at work, for only a small additional outlay over my trusty Virgin Mobile clamshell.

My first choice is the new Virgin Mobile PCD Chaser for $80, with Android 2.3; second is the Boost Mobile Kyocera Hydro for $130, with Android 4.0 - and it's waterproof. Now while that sounds like a no-brainer - "Dude, the waterproof Android 4 one!!!" - the talk time on the Hydro is a pretty measly 3.5 hrs, and I do actually need to use my phone as a phone as well.

The Chaser is $50 cheaper to buy and has somewhat similar specs apart from the Android version, which Virgin Mobile won't be updating anytime soon, lets be honest. It also has a stated almost 6 hour talk time. The Virgin data plan is between $5-$10 per month less as well, for similar coverage and allowances (both Boost and Virgin use the Sprint network, I believe).

I also have never had any real problems with Virgin Mobile, and dealing with them has been a pleasant experience thus far. The Chaser does have one thing that annoys though - they apparently do not include a micro SD memory stick, so out of the box you are stuck with just the on board RAM. A 2GB or 4GB stick is cheap enough  (less than $10), but then why did they not include it? Just make the phone $85, and don't make folk fiddle around with teeny tiny memory cards. Correction, comes with a 2GB stick installed.

So the line up is below, and there are links to a few of reviews. What would you do? I fully realize these are both low-end or entry-level Android phones, but for my needs they both have appeal. I'm leaning more towards the cheaper Chaser, particularly if it really does have almost twice the talk time.

Chaser Review #1
Chaser Review #2

Hydro Review #1
Hydro Review #2

The old Palm Treo, the Chaser and the Hyrdro:


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