Using the "Phone" - not my best experience

A unique concept... using the 'phone' on a smart phone. It's funny, I've been fixated on the features and haven't spent much time on this, most basic one:

At the very least, all of these devices are (or should be) a phone.

The Dialer Screen is simple and easy to use
The Dialer Screen is simple and easy to use
Clicking the Phone icon (Dialer), which comes pre-loaded on the Quick Launch bar at the bottom of the screen
Dialer icon
Dialer icon
launches the dialer. You are presented a keypad, where you can dial a number outright, search your contacts, or view a list of recent calls. You can also slide out the keyboard and dial a number straight up, and click on the dialed number to make a call as well. I think this all operates as expected. Once the call is connected, the 'in call' screen appears.


The 'In Call' Screen
The 'In Call' Screen

This is where things become less impressive. While in call, the phone gives you handy options to turn on the speaker (which works well), mute, bring back up the keypad (handy for when on automated systems) or add (conference) in another call (I haven't tried this yet). I suppose this is all well and good, but one of the most natural aspects of using a phone strikes me as surprisingly challenging, or more appropriately, unantural to do - hanging up!

The device itself has 3 buttons and a switch on the exterior of the phone, and none of them will hang up your call. The only way I have found to hang up a call is to press the red hang-up button on the screen (which goes dark in the middle of a call to save battery). While this might not seem all that challenging, you'd be surprised how many times I've close the phone keyboard, thinking I hung up, and stayed on the line. This could just be a personal habit, but I've never owned a phone that doesn't have a hang-up button, and this will require some real re-training for me.

One last gripe about the 'phone' aspect of Pre - No Voice Commands! None! You can use a bluetooth or wired headset with the phone for having conversations, but there is no voice enabled dialing. Aside from the fact that this makes 'hands free' for driving pretty much impossible (and there are many states requiring this now), this is a feature that comes with most free handsets you can get just for having a cell phone plan. How can this capability, which has been around for years, NOT be included on this phone? This shouldn't even be a 'planned' capability that we can cross our fingers to hope for in the future - like the copy/paste on an iphone - this is Voice Dialing!

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Phones
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