When I got my first smartphone five years ago -- a shiny new iPhone 3GS -- I was like a proud papa. I bragged about it everywhere I went, saying it had been the one piece of technology I'd wanted since I was a little kid lusting after Captain Kirk and Co.'s tricorders.
It played the soundtrack to sweaty walks in Singapore, kept me company with US podcasts in Prague, and helped me pass the time in many a passport control line with ease (thank you, TowerMadness). For five years it was my second brain, my boom box, and yes, I'd even go so far as to say, my friend.
Half a decade might seem an eternity to hold onto a smartphone, but personal economics dictate that I can't toss out a perfectly solid gadget for no good reason. When my trusty iPhone wouldn't make calls if I switched to 3G mode, however, and pretty much every new app I wanted couldn't run on the phone's aging innards, I knew it was finally time for us to part ways. After some research, I placed an order for a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 about a week ago. … Read more