I don’t rate a BlackBerry at work – for which I am thankful. When I leave work I like to forget about work. But I had been wanting a smart phone for quite some time. I’m very dependent on e-mail for CUUPS and church work, and I like being able to look up something on the internet whenever I think about it. Plus any more it seems like everyone and their cat has a smart phone of one description or another.
So I did what I always do – I did a ton of reading and talked to people who had BlackBerries and iPhones. And when the new iPhone 3GS came out last month, I bought one. This past trip was my first time to vacation with more than a voice and text only cell phone. How was it? A mixed bag.
The iPhone worked very well. I connected to the Wi-Fi at the hotel and I had a cell signal in most places. The camera worked OK and gave me a chance to take a bunch of random shots on the chance that some of them might turn out well. A few did, although the lack of a zoom limits its usefulness. The GPS function came in handy when I made a wrong turn on the way back. The ability to get weather information any time was nice, as was keeping up with baseball scores.
Having e-mail was nice too. I sent my mother a few pictures straight out of the phone, and I was able to keep up with some things going on at church. While I can get into work e-mail via webmail, I can’t connect directly into the corporate server, so it was easy to stay away from work.
But I never felt like I was completely away. I could keep up with e-mail, news and even with sites like icanhascheezburger.com. Now, I didn’t skip doing anything I wanted to do to surf the net, but I stayed in pieces of my daily routine more than usual when I’m on vacation.
It’s a tradeoff – you can’t stay connected and truly “get away.” I think it was mostly a good tradeoff, and I’ll definitely be taking the iPhone with me on future trips. But there are costs to staying connected all the time.