Up till now I've been resisting the urge to get one. Really, one thing I've needed from a phone like the various smart phones previous was for them to expand on how I interact with the world. For gadgets, I've got the iPod Touch, Xbox for games, and laptop for the net. So really, I don't NEED a phone for those things.
My phone started to die - just a Sony Ericsson - and I needed a new one. I remembered reading about a few technologies available on the smart phones that really piqued my interest. Like I said I need the phone to expand my interaction with the world to make the investment worth while.
On my home computer the weather radar is important so we've got plenty of time to bring in the goats before the bad storms hit. The new phone does this. I have the same access to the weather radar at a coupla clicks while I'm out to see if I need to get home. Another one a program called "Layar". Layar is what they call 'Augmented Reality' where digital overlays the phone's camera to supply information you otherwise can't see, unless you're a Borg. What it does is when you point the camera in any given direction little icons come up showing you where restaurants, petrol stations, houses for sale, etc etc. You can even track other phones - with permission - and this feature would be perfect for planting a phone on your kid for big crowds.
Those two 'apps' are free to download but do use your data allowance. Layar coordinates between 'whereis.com', GPS on your phone, and the camera to come up with the information displayed on the screen.
Smart phones aren't just gadgets ... well they can be, but they can also make a difference if you want them to. Don't get me wrong, I've got Twitter on it and it has an exceptionally smart camera - where the ISO's can be naff - where you can download programs to make the camera work better. Below is a picture of the back yard from it using a filter called 'London' and a 35mm Film Full Bleed setting for framing. Click on the image, then click on it again, and then again. This from a phone.
I bought the HTC Desire on the Telstra - gag - $49 plan. That's the only reason I chose that over the iPhone4. That was on the $79 plan. Wouldn't use that much and the Desire does the same shit.
Oh, and Google Sky Maps blows my mind.