if it’s free, does that mean you have to love it?

A little while ago I was contacted by a company who wanted to send me a free phone because I was a blogger, and because I have blog visitors (that's you), and they're looking for people to buzz about it, a viral campaign of sorts. At first, I was all "oh, I don't know about this free stuff for blogging - is that selling out?". But then I came to my senses when I remembered that the day before we left for China, the day I got back from Las Vegas with the most vicious food poisoning, like, ever, I accidentally dropped my cell phone (a shiny, pretty, barely four months old motorola razr) onto the concrete. Right in front of my house. Via a parking meter (as in, bounced off of). Ever since then it sometimes works a little strangely. But it was accidental and I love the thing an awful lot. Anyhow, I digress.

SO, I took the free phone. After all, it was harmless, and there was hardly any "committment". I didn't sign a contract and I didn't *have* to blog about the phone if I wasn't into it. And so I haven't. Blogged about it, I mean.

And the only reason I'm going to blog about it now is because, well, I don't really like it.

It's true. I tried really hard to like it. I abandoned my sensible motorola interface that let you intuitively know how to get to your Contacts list to make a call for a mobile operating system that was like trying to pronounce IKEA part names, which we all know is impossible unless you are Anna the ikea drone self-help robot.

So rather than continuously beat my head against the nokia-brick-freaking-wall of an interface (because seriously, shouldn't getting to your contacts list be easy? And obvious?), I sensibly put down my new phone so I wouldn't throw it. And I vowed to try to pick it up again in a few weeks. And I just couldn't bring myself to do it.

Don't get me wrong - we've managed to take a few aimless videos with it, and some rather un-pretty camera shots, but for the most part, it's been sitting on my desk, staring at me, whining because I don't love it. And I don't love the headset either (though I think *some* of us like it's space-age appeal). But it does take video, which, when your only digital camera is an SLR, is kind of a nice treat, come to think of it. If I could figure out how to use the phone itself, it might grow on me.

When it comes down to it, it's not a bad phone. Just a bit clunky, a bit too "shiny pearl" coloured for me, and well, un-intuitive. And when you spend your days trying to do "good design", bad design really gets on your nerves.