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Switching to Android

Quite a few people are surprised when I tell them that my new phone is an Android phone and they are even more surprised when I tell them that it is a older Android phone. Let’s talk about how this came to be.

The long hard look at the phone bill

Now that the two-year contract that my wife and I were in with AT&T has come to an end I find myself re-examining our phone bill. The biggest thing that I notice is that we are paying a large sum of money each month for our two smartphones.

Wanting to reduce the cost of this bill, I do some research and find a service, Ting.com, that charges you reasonable rates for only what you use. We can start saving $100/month right off the bat!

While I’m doing this research my wife comes across an article on Offbeat Home where the author talks about having a $14 per month (or less) phone bill with her smartphone on Ting.com.

With both of us sold on the change, we start looking at phones. Ting will run nearly any phone that can run on the Sprint network, except for the most recent releases. (No iPhone 6, for instance.) Since Ting doesn’t subsidize phones, the true cost of a smartphone is what you have to pay to get a new phone.

Meet my new phone the Galaxy Note 2

Since this change is part of a cost-saving measure for the family, I temper my usual decision to go with the new and shiny. So I bought a used Samsung Galaxy Note 2.

I found a lot of positive reviews about the phone and it was within the budget that I had set for myself.

Another reason that I picked this phone is that it has a HUGE screen and I wanted to find out why folks prefer bigger screens. It also has a stylus and I’m hoping that encourages me to get back into the habit of sketching.


First sketch—Mocha, my cat.

Why did I go Android?

All of my smartphones have been iOS. As a designer whose bread and butter is tied to mobile, I’m doing a disservice to a lot of people by never experiencing Android. There are patterns and expectations in Android that I know nothing about. So I’m going to spend a year fixing that. I’m going to immerse myself and explore.

First impressions

I’ll post my first impressions in a separate article. For now, know that I like it but I’m not in love with it.