Monday, September 12, 2005

O, ROKR, you are so cruel

Now, I am quite the Apple fan. I love my Powermac, own an iPod or two and have been religious in upgrading my OS. So, when an iTunes phone is rumored to be coming out, naturally I wet myself with excitement.

Then I learned it was going to be a Motorola phone.

And it would only be carried by Cingular.

And then I felt stupid for wetting myself.

Motorola and Cingular are the last two companies I would have wanted touching my precious iTunes phone. Motorola has the worst UI on their phones that I've ever had the displeasure of using. It's completely confusing and difficult to navigate. Very un-Apple. Why could it not have been Samsung? Or, if the heavens aligned perfectly, Sony Ericsson?

Cingular. Ah, Cingular. You have done such an amazing job of marketing yourself. You sponsor everything under the sun and hit that 20-something crowd oh so well. In reality: your service blows. At least around here. And your customer service isn't much better based on what I've heard. Your plan prices are on the high-end and you need to be some kind of royalty to be able to afford your data features. I would have been thrilled for Apple to choose ANY other cell carrier to launch their debut into the wireless world. Nevertheless, my beloved Apple had come out with a new product and I must try it out.

I went into my friendly, neighborhood Cingular store and fiddled with the ROKR for a bit. The phone is much smaller than I thought it would be. The buttons big and feel sturdy. The UI sucked, as was expected. The iTunes bit seemed, well, like iTunes, except for a very noticable drag while sliding back and forth between menu items.

The 100 song cap seems absurd. Why would you lay down $250 hard-earned dollars (or, in the case of Ryan "sat on my lazy arse and did nothing" dollars) for a phone that can only play 100 songs? There are any number of phones out there that have memory card slots large enough to hold at LEAST 100 songs, and for much less.

The only reason I can see buying the ROKR is if you're somehow obsessed with the iTunes interface. Other than that, this is just another ugly Motorola on an expensive service plan. Save your money for the Sony Ericsson W800.