Saturday, 9 November 2013

Nerd High

My Samsung Nexus S has been a great phone for almost 3 years.  Solid, dependable, and infinitely customizable.  It has been dropped on concrete, asphalt, and gravel with just a few nicks in the bezel to show for it.  It even survived a quick dunk in the toilet.  It has far exceeded expectations.  But it's getting old.

Official support from Google stopped a few years ago and custom ROM's have been the only way to keep it up to date.  And with each revision to Android the phone was less optimized.  It lags and stutters and crashes when you see new phones that fly through the same maneuvers.  So I've been jonesing for a new phone most of this year

Every time it crashed, "I need a new phone".

Every time it dropped a call, "I need a new phone".

Every time I had to reboot it, "I need a new phone".

Finally, on my birthday, my darling wife handed me a wad of bills and said "Will you please shut up about your fucking phone?"

And I knew which phone I wanted, the latest in the Nexus line, the LG made Nexus 5.  Only problem, it hadn't been officially announced yet and wasn't for sale.  But the rumours and leaks showed impressive specs and a $350 price tag that would make it the best deal in the technoverse.  And, if the rumours were true, I'd only have to wait a couple weeks to buy it.

Sure enough, October 31 the Nexus 5 was released with little fanfare to the Google Play Store.  And I was right in there.  I had one in my shopping cart.  But I hesitated.  I knew I'd need a new SIM card so I'd have to wait for it to be delivered and then take it to a Koodo dealer and swap SIM's.  Then I wavered on whether to get the 16GB or 32GB models and as I switched models in and out of my shopping cart I let it slip through my fingers and the store was sold out of all models while I was dawdling.

Well, poop.  So I'd have to wait a bit more.  Other rumours indicated that retail locations were receiving inventory and that November 8 would be when sales would start outside of the Google Play Store.  So I waited.  Constantly hitting refresh on the Future Shop Nexus 5 web page.  Waiting for that "Coming Soon" to change to a "Shop Now!".

While waiting, other rumours popped up indicating that retail locations would be selling the phone for $500 compared to the Google Play price of $350.  This was a carrier move to get people to sign up for contracts and it made me sick but I was still going to justify the purchase by using the $150 Koodo tab to knock that $500 price down to the same $350 I would have paid on the Play Store.

Finally, November 8 was here.  I was up and checking the web site at 5:00 a.m.  Sure enough, the Nexus 5 was available for sale and reservable for in-store pick-up.  Better yet, it looked like the rumours were wrong as the price showed the phone as $0 on a Koodo $300 Tab.  Meaning they were valuing the phone at $300 which is $50 cheaper than from Google!  Score!

I reserved the phone and waited patiently for lunch time.  As soon as 11:30 hit I was out the door and tearing down the road to Kitchener.  I strode confidently into Future Shop, trying very hard not to look down my nose at all the poor saps who were not about to purchase a Nexus 5.

Customer support got my phone out of the reservation locker and escorted me over to the mobile area where they would handle the Koodo account set-up.  He mentioned that they had only got TWO phones into inventory for today and I was fortunate to get my reservation in so early.  I was quite pleased with myself as I sat down at the service bar and patiently waited for buddy to explain all about the Koodo account changes and what a fantastic deal it is to spend $10 a month on insurance for your phone.

I politely declined the extended warranty and asked that we wrap this up as I had to get back to work.  That's when buddy finds out they made a huge mistake on the web site pricing.  As he's punching in the details for my purchase, it's telling him it actually is a $500 phone and I'm supposed to be coughing up $200 to take the phone home with a $300 Tab.  I politely declined to pay that $200 and pointed out the information that was on their web site when I reserved the phone.  They were really good about it and right away assured me that I was going to be leaving the store with my new Nexus 5 and without having paid a cent.

But they had to figure out how to handle the $200 price difference on their end and, honestly, it was quite entertaining to watch them struggle with the accounting of it.  They got it done though and, as promised, I walked out the door with my gorgeous new phone and didn't even have to pull out my debit card.  The way the Tab works I will ultimately pay just over $100 for this phone over the next 18 months but it is still the sweetest gadget deal I have ever come across.

When I got back to work, I checked the Future Shop web page again and, sure enough, they had corrected the pricing on the phone.  There was a lot of angst spent over this little chunk of glass and plastic in the last week and a half but the payoff yesterday was so worth it.


  1. don't drop it in the toilet. Seriously, didn't you just get a new phone?

    1. No, I've had the same phone for 3 years. I did just get a tablet though. Those are different things.