Cellphone for CEO
August 27, 2007 8:52 AM   Subscribe

What Verizon cell phone should I choose for my non-techie, but curious CEO?

My boss came to me today to have me pick out his next phone. He has to stay with Verizon, that's non-negotiable. He's been using the free flip phone that came with his plan. He's been using his computer as his single tech center and feels he's somewhat ready to branch out. He is very concerned about the technology ruling him. He tried a pda a couple years ago and really disliked it. He's thinking it would be good to have his calendar, "maybe email, (even more hesitantly) maybe entering information." He's also concerned with appearing executive and up to date. And finally, he really doesn't want something very bulky - he hates things in his front pockets (but he carries his current phone there) and he doesn't even wear a watch.

Oh and one more related item: Verizon is supposed to get the Blackberry Pearl in November according to the Boy Genius Report

posted by birchhook to Technology (17 answers total)
Avoid Windows Mobile.
posted by contraption at 8:58 AM on August 27, 2007

All Verizon phones suck. There's a few newer models coming out for the rest of `07. Gizmodo has the scoop. I'm holding out for the XV6800 in October even though I'm eligible for a new phone since July and my plan expires in September (so I might leverage the iPhone angle), my current Treo650 is on the fast track to a dirt nap.
posted by knowles at 9:15 AM on August 27, 2007

the pearl is actually kinda nice. you should see if someone will let him fiddle around with theirs for an hour.
posted by krautland at 9:25 AM on August 27, 2007

Whats the problem with windows mobile? I was going to recommend a WM based treo, but am curious.
posted by damn dirty ape at 9:38 AM on August 27, 2007

What type of e-mail system does your company run? That will dictate a lot.
posted by k8t at 9:47 AM on August 27, 2007

We use imap, but we're switching to gmail soon.

I agree on windows mobile. I use Windows Mobile, but I'm not going to recommend it to him. Windows mobile is really for hackers who like to install apps to get around all the issues. I'm not going to tell him to go into task manager and close all the apps that didn't get closed, so his contact list will come up in a reasonable amount of time, or so he has enough memory to use the camera.
posted by birchhook at 9:53 AM on August 27, 2007

I'd suggest the RIM 8830 or waiting for the Pearl. Honestly, RIM makes totally excellent devices, that have a pretty easy learning curve. They can really do as much or as little as you need. Plus, nothing says "executive" like a Blackberry.
posted by Phoenix42 at 9:58 AM on August 27, 2007

I just got the 8830. It doesn't have windows mobile or VZW's nasty interface (that they plague the LG and Motorola phones with, blech!). Because its VZW, you're still gonna have some features crippled (on the 8830 it is the built in GPS that doesn't work).

Other than that, its a great phone. Easy to sync with Outlook and Blackberry Internet Service. It is a great size and comes with a belt holster for it. It also has that executive look that you're looking for.
posted by ijoyner at 10:07 AM on August 27, 2007

What about phones that sync with Outlook Calendar, but aren't Windows Mobile, Palm or BlackBerry? Just a phone.
posted by birchhook at 10:35 AM on August 27, 2007

To clarify about Windows Mobile:
I've got a WM5 phone (The HTC Apache aka Audiovox XV6700) and am really quite happy with it on the whole. It's a very powerful, flexible device and is even reasonably stable, now that I've spent some time tweaking it. I would never, ever recommend it to somebody who was at all technophobic or disinterested in tinkering.

I've never owned one, but I believe Blackberries are still the standard-issue CEO smartphones.
posted by contraption at 10:43 AM on August 27, 2007

I have a BB Pearl (switched from Verizon to T-Mobile to get it) and I'd suggest waiting till November to get it, if possible. Hands down the best phone I've ever used, and I'm still surprised at how small it is.

I also like my roommate's Palm (Palm OS), but it's too large for my tastes.
posted by PFL at 12:02 PM on August 27, 2007

If he's in the mood to wait, you might want to look at the Palm 'Centro' in a few months?
posted by Orb2069 at 12:37 PM on August 27, 2007

I just got the new 2nd generation Chocolate and so far I like it. I haven't played around with the music-player features, but as a phone it works well and looks sharp. It's tiny and pocketable, with no protruding antenna to catch on your pocket lining. Voice commands work pretty well. Reception and sound quality are good. Camera quality is decent. It can apparently do calendar & address book sync, too, though I haven't had a chance to try that yet. I found the click-wheel too twitchy until I set it to "low" sensitivity, but now it's very easy to navigate.

Overall it has a well-made, satisfyingly classy tactile feel to it that has me looking for reasons to make a call. I might end up loading MP3s on the thing after all...
posted by Tubes at 4:09 PM on August 27, 2007

I think you should look at the 8830. I am not into technical stuff at all but my phone was up for renewal and I thought that I'd want email at some point. He can use it as just a phone, or a phone and address book or get crazy and sync his calendar (i don't) the email is handy but he can ease into it. If he's asking you now he probably needs something soon. No sense to wait on something else that is not going to make a difference to him. Its a bit easier to use than the pearl because it has the entire alphabet on the key pad. Its very user friendly for someone who wants to change it up.
posted by bhkart at 6:58 PM on August 27, 2007

n'thing a BlackBerry. It'll also make him feel special cause all the cool kids big CEOs have them. They also can play with Google's "for your domain" stuff simply with the "internet only" BIS plan.
posted by jeversol at 9:18 PM on August 27, 2007

posted by heeeraldo at 10:26 PM on August 27, 2007

I have a Verizon LG env and I think it's a great "starter" hi-tech phone. It's got a qwerty keyboard and can receive/send email, but it's not the Massive Multimedia Center that the Trio and the Blackberry aspire to be. Maybe take him to a Verizon store so he can try out a few of these options himself? Given that he doesn't have super-strict tech requirements, he has the enviable luxury of basing his choice partly on what feels/looks best to him.
posted by ethorson at 8:46 PM on August 28, 2007

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