I might be in the market for a new mobile phone.
The reason's simple: people I know in real life are starting up a WhatsApp group to keep in touch, and I don't want to be left out. But my old Nokia 5800 running SymbianOS doesn't do WhatsApp, and while there is a desktop version it requires you to have it installed on a phone as well. (The desktop version will display a QR code that you will have to scan using the WhatsApp app on your phone. If you don't have a phone, or if your fun doesn't have a camera, or if it can't run WhatsApp, you can't use WhatsApp on the desktop either.)
So, what do I get?
Last year at CFz a Danish fur (you know who you are :)) showed me his new Blackberry Passport, which I thought was a rather nice phone — I've always liked physical keyboards on phones anyway, all the way back to the Nokia 9210 Communicator (which I personally never had, mind). Leinir also noted that the Passport runs Android apps, which is a plus, even though WhatsApp is also available as a native BlackBerry app. The downside? The phone's very expensive, going for 400-500 EUR at the moment, without a contract. Yowch.
There's other Blackberry phones with physical keyboards, of course: the Classic (~300 EUR), Q10 (~175 EUR) and Q5 (discontinued). They should all be suitable for WhatsApp, as well as email etc. (which is what I'd really want; I don't care about playing games or watching movies on a phone), but cannot run Android apps.
On the other end, there's the Blackberry Priv, the first Blackberry actually running Android rather than Blackberry OS — a rather fancy phone from the looks of it, but even more expensive, going for about 650 EUR. Double yowch.
This leaves me in a bit of a bit. I'd like a phone with a physical keyboard, which I think is uncommon with other brands, but let's face it, Blackberry OS is a dead-end at this point, just like Symbian. Worse, while WhatsApp is available for Blackberry OS, e.g. Telegram is not; I might want to use that at some point (I think there's a CFz staff group, for instance), and I'd rather not have to buy another new phone a few years down the road. OTOH AFAIK the Priv is currently the ONLY Blackberry phone running Android.
So it seems like my requirements, namely basically
- physical keyboard,
- runs Android,
are mutually incompatible. Meh.
I've mentioned contracts before, and that's of course something else I'd have to look into. In fact I might get the phone for free then; OTOH I'd pay more for the contract than for the phone. (Contracts for the Priv, say, appear to start at 50 EUR/month, running for at least 24 months.) But OTOOH, I'd also have to pay with a prepaid card, so it's unclear to me right now how the numbers would work out in the end. (My gut feeling is that a contract would, all things considered, be more expensive despite being designed to appear cheaper.)
So, any ideas?
Perhaps I should just drop my "physical keyboard" requirement (I'll admit that's really just for the "cool/unusual" factor anyway). Or perhaps I should be looking for a used phone first.
Actually, I might as well as ask here. Since there's presumably people who have contracts and get new phones every few years reading this, do any of you have any older phones (Blackberry or not) lying around you'd like to part with?
If so, let me know! :) I'm sure we can work something out.
Alternatively, if you have other thoughts or recommendations, let me know below, too.
EDIT: I've since learned two things: one, there apparently is a Symbian client for WhatsApp after all; and two, both that and the Blackberry version will be discontinued at the end of 2016, whatever that means in practice.