Phones are a lot like other products in that when you get the one you think you want, your main takeaway is to learn about what you want different on your next purchase.

My wife and I are always discussing key things we want in our next home purchase (like more garage space, for example) - though we have no plans to change houses anytime soon.  That has been the iPhone for me.  I knew immediately I didn't want one and knew that it wasn't going to change.

Why?  The dealbreaker for me is the lack of an actual phone number pad, where you have to use softkeys to dial your number.  I have that now.  I hate it and will never get a phone again that doesn't have a physical number pad for dialing (except maybe a really small one that is totally voice controlled - but that seems unlikely in the near-term.)

So, in case any phone vendors are out there, or if you are influential with a phone vendor, here are my asks:

  • Stylish, small, form-factor.  Lots of good examples of this.  I like the "Chocolate" and the Sony Ericsson W600i, for example.
  • Physical number pad.  The Nokia N series and the W600i are both good examples of having a good number pad, without a full keyboard.
  • NO full keyboard.  I've got one and don't use it.  I don't want to type email messages or IMs on my phone, but if I have to, a soft keyboard or the numberpad is good enough.
  • NO camera.  Get rid of it, reduce my price.  I have a camera and don't need a crappy one on my phone.
  • Outlook Mobile.  I want to emphasize this by itself.  The *main* reason I want to any sort of smart phone is to keep my schedule sync'd up and easy to access.
  • Good size screen with touch screen.  I do have to say I love the screen size on the iPhone - however, I do want the phone to be compact.  So, taking keyboard and screen together, I think the Nokia N73 is a good example of the right balance.
  • Bluetooth.

Now, in the cheapy version, that would be it.  Wouldn't it be great to have that option?  Of course, I do want a few other features which I think are implied.  I think if the phone uses Windows Mobile, I probably get these automatically:

  • I want to be able to play my mobile games (e.g. bejeweled 2, poker)
  • I want to be able to load up and run a VOIP client and connect to my home network to accept or make calls.
  • I would like to be able to access the Internet to check movie times.
  • I would like to play my music

So, in summary, I just want a small, stylish phone, with Outlook scheduling and good Internet usability.  It'd be nice if I could replace my music player with it, but I have no interest in replacing my camera or having a touch screen only.