Search This Blog

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Pending decisions:

As previously noted here, I will be getting a new vehicle one of these weeks/months.  As it stands, I think I've at least narrowed down what is important to me in the vehicle department:

  • Size - Not tiny (hell, I drive a Kia Rio now; to get any smaller I'd need to be driving a golf cart), but not enormous either.  Something in the small SUV department.  I want something that I fit in...where "I" is a 6'3.5", 230 pound human being.  I also want something that can carry at least some "stuff".  
  • Reliability - Really important to me.  For example, I really like the Jeep Patriot, and I could potentially buy a new one, but I'm apprehensive about the reliability of just about any American made vehicle. I know, buying new means you get the full manufacturers warranty, but I still have fond memories of my PT Cruiser (another Chrysler product) that literally started to fall apart at 60,000 miles.  
  • Fuel Economy - I'm willing to give here a bit in exchange for something larger, realizing that nothing I get will end up having the fuel economy of my Kia Rio.
  • Accessories - A few accessories would be nice...key flob (I know, most cars have them now, but my option-less Rio does not, and I miss it), sunroof (would be super-cool), roof/luggage rack (Ms Rivers and I are contemplating the purchase of a canoe, so a roof rack would be very helpful), and AWD are all on the list.
The contenders as of this date?  Well here are the leaders, listed in my current order of thinking:

Toyota RAV4 - I love the size (just right) and the reliability.  I am not necessarily enamored with the styling.

Honda CRV - Love the reliability & the size.  Not wild about the styling.

Subaru Forester - I love the size & reliability.  I worry that the engine will eventually turn to a metal block (see Consumer Reports ratings).

Suzuki Grand Vitara - Great size & I like the styling.  I can't get any solid information on the reliability though.

Others I am considering:  Nissan Rogue & Toyota Highlander.

Cell Phone
I have a cell phone upgrading coming on November 1, and it can't come soon enough.  My current phone, a Palm Pre, suffers from several major flaws, including:
  • Falling Apart - It is actually falling apart.  The slide-out keyboard is loose and the keys (especially the 'm' key) stick.  The phone's data connection is very fragile, to the point here I frequently have to take it into and out of airplane mode just to get a connection.
  • Lack-O-Support - Sure enough, after I bought the phone in early 2011 HP decided to ditch the Palm cell phone business.  Needless to say, next time around I want something that will not turn into vapor-ware immediately after I buy it.
  • Size - The screen is tiny and web-pages don't render well.  Very frustrating.
The contenders to date?  Here are a few, listed in no particular order:

Nokia 920 - I love Windows 8 as an alternative to Android, and unlike RIM/Blackberry, I know that Microsoft will be in business for a long time to come.  The phone seems to have a great screen and terrific form factor.  App support is light at the moment, but I think that will change.  It also comes in red.  Downside?  I have no clue when this will actually go on sale.

Samsung Galaxy 3S - Great size, terrific app support & despite the court loss to Apple, Samsung will be in business for a long time.  Tons of accessories for this and I'm relatively familiar with Android.

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 - The picture compares the Galaxy (left) to the Note (right).  I love the larger size & the stylus entry (Steve Jobs was wrong...).  Might be too big though.

Motorola Razr Droid - Android + nice form factor.  

What will not be on my list?
  • Apple - I am just not a fan. I also use a lot of Google infrastructure (contacts, gmail, calendar, blogger).  I DESPISE iTunes with a passion.  
  • RIM/Blackberry - I love my work Blackberry's bullet-proof, decent app selection & functions really, really well for both voice and data.  I worry though that RIM will be going the way of the dinosaur in 2013, and I don't want to be back in the same bucket I am in now.

Decisions...decisions...decisions.  Next year there may be residence change...if I am this wrapped up in a car and a phone, imagine how I will be when it comes to housing?


Michelle HD said...

I know this will sound weird coming from an apple fan

Verizon WIreless gave me a Samsung Galaxy Tab to borrow for BlogCon for checking people in, tweeting and live blogging. It is a pretty solid device, I must say.

The google features on it are pretty great - I downloaded Docs and Reader and they work well. We use a lot of Google Docs to plan the event, to have them in a larger screened portable device (I have an iPhone 4s with the Google App already) is pretty handy!

I wonder what the phone would look like. I'm not a huge droid fan. But you have to give credit where credit is due.

Stephen Albert said...

Thanks for the comment Michelle. I have a Sony S tablet running Android 4.0, so I'm relatively familiar with the interface. I find that it's great for media, not so great for productivity. I have big hands, so the thought of a cellphone the size of a dinner plate isn't all that off-putting to me, but we shall see.