- Guest Commentary: Earth Day or April Fools Day?
- State Roundup: Concerns raised about proposed change in DUI pot standard
- Bill would decrease pot penalties; small amounts would draw only ticket, fine
- Senate votes to restore human service cuts; bill moves to House for consideration
- Bill to restrict red light cameras passes House
- State Roundup: Budget fix in current FY not yet done
- State Roundup: GOMB Director won’t support borrowing
- Economists: pros, cons to raising the state fuel tax
- ‘Hogs fall just shy of Midwest title
- Fork and Stein Urban Gourmet delivers beer infused delicacies to Rockford
Tech-Friendly: The Motorola Electrify M at U.S. Cellular is a great smartphone
By Paul Gorski
Existing U.S. Cellular customers looking to upgrade to a smartphone or new U.S. Cellular customers looking for an Android-based smartphone should take a good look at the Motorola Electrify M. I’m not easily impressed by technology, but the Electrify M at U.S. Cellular is one great Android-based smartphone.
Cellular service providers typically offer: basic cell phones to be used simply as phones; phones that have basic texting and e-mail functions; and smartphones. Smartphones are all the rage now.
Smartphones are really small computers running the Google Android, Apple iOS, Windows Phone, Blackberry OS or similar operating system. Smartphones support the installation of programs that allow you to edit documents, play games, bank online and more, in addition to texting and phoning.
I wanted to test the Electrify M because I’ve had voice reception problems with other phones, but my old Motorola phones always had good reception. The Electrify M doesn’t disappoint in this regard; the voice reception is great. Data reception is phenomenal, too, now that U.S. Cellular recently expanded its 4G LTE data network coverage in the Rockford area. This means faster Facebook, ESPN and Rock River Times browsing on your phone.
For the more technical types reading this article: the Electrify M ships with Android Jelly Bean 4.1, a fast 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, a bright 4.3-inch AMOLED screen and an 8MP camera. All that packed into an extremely thin, solidly built phone with a long battery life. Cool.
I wasn’t a big fan of the Android OS before I met the Electrify M. However, U.S. Cellular has kept the customization of the OS down to a minimum, providing a clean, easy-to-manage Android OS on this phone.
U.S. Cellular does include an app that will seek out and find known, good Wi-Fi data networks. Your phone will then automatically connect to one of these Wi-Fi networks, reducing the time spent using your allotted 3G/4G data minutes. An app that saves me money, I like that.
I also like U.S. Cellular (USC). I’ve been a USC customer for about eight years. I’ve used and still have phones/devices by three other major carriers, but my family plan is with USC. I like USC’s family plan rates and USC has great customer service. And no, this is not a paid endorsement.
My only quibble with the phone is with the Android OS. There are particular Apple iOS apps/features that I miss, but I do like customization flexibility that comes with Android. I’ll review these OS differences in an upcoming article.
The Motorola Electrify M at U.S. Cellular packs the best features of Android-based phones into one sleek, lightweight unit. If you’re shopping for an Android smartphone, look at the Electrify M at U.S. Cellular. Just don’t take my word for it — check out the positive reviews and the full specifications at: http://www.uscellular.com/uscellular/cell-phones/showPhoneDetails.jsp?productId=prod1830171.
Paul Gorski (www.paulgorski.com) has been a technology manager nearly 20 years, specializing in workflow solutions for printing, publishing and advertising computer users. Originally destined to be a chemist, his interest in computers began in college when he wrote a program to analyze data from lab instruments he hard-wired to the back of an Apple IIe.
Posted March 21, 2013