April 19, 2014

AndroidGals: Where are the Girlie Android Phones?

The first smart phone that I truly fell in love with was a Blackberry.  I loved it so much that I never thought I would see the day that I would switch to another phone.  To me, the Blackberry form factor was very female friendly.  There were two big things that appealed to me as a girl; It came in a variety of different colors and I could also buy hard shell cases to change with my moods.  The other was that it offered a full keyboard, with raised letters and great spacing.  Women with acrylic nails know what I am talking about.  Texting and writing emails were very quick and effortless. 

Near the end of my relationship with my BlackBerry, I  started gettting some operating issues, and began to consider a new phone.  Android had been out for a year and I was aware of the cool, new apps I wouldn’t be able to download if I stayed with BlackBerry.  I would have switched to Android earlier, but there weren’t any “girlie” phones out there and I had some specific needs as well. The G1 was completely out of the question because the chin made it difficult for me to type.  The soft keyboard of the G1 and myTouch 3G didn’t help because the screen is a capacitive display.  My previous experience with a Windows Mobile phone (T-Mobile Wing) was nice because I could use my fingernails in place of stylus on the resistive screen.  Along comes the Motorola CLIQ.  This would be the most appealing phone that I could find with Android on it.

I didn’t visit a store to try the CLIQ out before buying it because I didn’t want to over-analyze the phone and find features I didn’t like.  I liked the idea of the keyboard without a chin and the camera was quite a step up from the one in my BlackBerry.  After a few months, I can safely say that I am definitely not in love with this phone.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Android.  In fact, the apps are what have kept me from going back to BlackBerry.

I feel like I am using a man’s phone.  Call me picky, but I don’t like that it only comes in “Winter White” and “Titanium”.   The phone is somewhat bulky and rather heavy.  As thick as this phone is, I would expect more raised buttons or something easier for me to type quickly on.  I know it sounds like I hate this phone or that I wouldn’t recommend it to others, but that’s not the case.  It’s just not for me and my needs.

I’ve looked around at other carriers and don’t see anything else that really appeals to me.  I find the DROID to be downright ugly and lacking personality.  I know all that it can do inside, but on the outside it is very box-like and cold.  All of the Android phones I have seen so far have capacitive touch screens or don’t have a full keyboard. 

I remember seeing an upcoming HTC phone called the Salsa.  To me, that’s the perfect design.  At least from what I can tell in the pictures.  It would be a step down in camera quality, but I’d give that up for the 4-row QWERTY keyboard, directional pad, and full touch screen.  It looks just like a BlackBerry to me and I love that.

For now, I will continue to put up with my Motorola CLIQ and wait for something like the Salsa to come along. In the meanwhile, I see a bunch of Android phones on the horizon that appeal to males and/or the uninformed.  By that, I mean that I didn’t even know there were two types of displays – resistive and capacitive.  I learned the hard way that not all screens can be tapped with a fingernail.  I can imagine someone going to a carrier tomorrow to buy the “latest and greatest” and end up with something that doesn’t fit them like it should.  Over time, though, this problem should go away as more carriers and handset makers put out new products with unique features and designs.

I guess in the end, I just wish I had more choices as a female at this point.  Android has been out nearly a year and a half and I feel like my demographics doesn’t matter.  I’d love to sit in on some of these focus groups or test products for companies like HTC and Motorola. I think they could learn a thing or two about what us girls want in a phone.

Talk Back to Me!

Are there any other AndroidGals out there who feel like these companies aren’t speaking to them?  What is it that you want or need in a phone?  Are you happy with your Android phone or are you like me and just putting up with it?

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