I decided it was time for a phone upgrade. Not sure why, I guess it comes down to the fact that I like to try to be up to date with technology. I moved to Android quite a few years ago and have stuck with it since. I started out with the Motorola Milestone after using a Blackberry for years. I chose the Milestone because it had a real keyboard. I was used to a Blackberry keyboard and didn’t want to lose the “real” keyboard and move to a virtual keyboard. Well, the keyboard on the Milestone was awful. It was a pull out keyboard, essentially doubling the size of the phone. After having the phone for a few weeks (days, perhaps), I switched to the virtual keyboard.
I moved, every year or year and a half to a new Android device. I had the Note at one point and other various Samsung devices. I then discovered the Nexus from Google, pure Android, none of the crap that is installed by the manufacturer included. A co-worker had the Nexus 4 and loved it, I tried it out and it seemed like a pretty cool phone. The Nexus 5 had just come out, so I upgraded.
Loved the Nexus 5 and had it for about a year and a half, until the Nexus 6 came out. That was an awesome phone as well. Two other Nexus devices were released after the Nexus 6 and then it was announced that the Nexus line of phones was being discontinued. That wasn’t good news to a guy who had owned 2 of them.
Google then came out with the Pixel and the Pixel XL. I was interested. I looked at pricing – wow… The Pixel XL was $1050. A tad steep. Telus was offering it at $350, with a 2 year contract. I previously had not paid anywhere near that for a smartphone so I wasn’t about to start now.
I ran into some minor issues with the Nexus 6 in the last few weeks and the only change that I can identify is that the OS had been upgraded to Nougat, Googles latest operating system. Not sure if the two were related, I just assumed they were. So, I decided to call Telus and see if there was a better deal to be had, afterall, I was a long time customer (11 years).
I was able to get the phone for $200 and the remaining device balance on the Nexus 6, $129 or so, was eliminated. Thanks, Telus, great deal. I changed my phone plan and now have 2GB of data, way more than I will ever need and unlimited nation-wide calling. No more unlimited calling to 10 numbers, not that I use a lot of phone time anyway.
I was still unable to get a good deal or unlimited calling to the US. I don’t make a lot of calls there, but I do have a cousin I like to talk to and when we do talk, it is for over an hour. My last bill of over $30 for long distance convinced me of the need for a US long distance package. Skype used to have unlimited North American plans pretty cheap, $3 per month or so, they got rid of those by the looks of it. Telus doesn’t have any good plans for US calling and I didn’t want to switch carriers (this was prior to upgrading to the Pixel XL). I had an Ooma device that I purchased two years ago and I figured I’d reactivate it. For $10 per month, you get unlimited North America calling plus you get a second number in a different area code, and those people can call you for free. So, I added a Niagara based number. I can also use that line for work calls, routing our work system through my Ooma system, if I need to. Lots of options.
So, I now have the Pixel XL. I did a comparison betweem the Pixel XL and the iPhone 6s Plus – really, there was no comparison. The only feature that the iPhone exceeded the Pixel XL was video. I don’t take a lot, if any video, so it wasn’t a concern. The scree was larger (although, to my surprise, the Pixel XL was noticably smaller than the Nexus 6), more internal memory, all in all, better features. I’m happy anyway, waiting for the protective case to arrive – should be sometime this week. I ordered it from Best Buy but it was available online only for home delivery, not available in store.
I decided to list my Nexus 6 on Kijiji. It is unlocked, as all Google phones are with all carriers so anyone can purchase it, put their SIM in the phone and start using it. I listed it for $250 which was reasonable considering the other Nexus 6 phones being listed. I’ve had a couple of very low-ball offers which I refused. I don’t need to sell it. I have actually swapped the SIM from my work iPhone into the Nexus so I am no longer using an iPhone at all. I am happy to keep doing that if I don’t get a decent offer on Kijiji. We will see.
Today is the start of a new work week. Two weeks until the Christmas break. I am working during the holidays, but it will be slow. A bit of downtime will be nice. Enjoy your week.