Last October, when I got my Blackberry, it was love at first site. I loved my rollie-ball. I loved that my Blackberry Internet wasn’t as restricted as the Internet on my previous phone (a Palm Centro, in case you were wondering). I loved to BBM, and, most of all, I loved the apps.

Fast-forward a year later: I hate my Blackberry. I hate how slow it is. I hate my under-developed mobile Internet. I absolutely can’t stand the lack of cool apps available for the phone, and it turns out I can text my friends just as easily as I can BBM them. So, this year, I am searching for a new phone. Naturally, I focused my efforts on the three major smartphone mobile platforms: the iPhone, Android and, of course, Blackberry.

Since I’ve always had a wonderful relationship with my MacBook as well as my iPod Touch, Apple’s latest model was my first stop. Despite the drama regarding the internal antenna this summer, Apple’s iPhone 4 is, in a word, amazing. The screen is huge, clear, and very high quality, which, in turn, gives you high quality pictures and video. I had no trouble with calls when I used the phone, and, when I asked my friends who owned an iPhone 4, they reported that even without the cover, they rarely, if ever, experienced dropped calls.

Despite these benefits, however, there are a few drawbacks. Primarily, the phone is available only through AT&T. While many of my friends live in the Madison area don’t experience service outages or other major problems, this is not the case nationally. Furthermore, there is no longer an unlimited data option for AT&T customers. Instead, customers can chose from two options: $15 a month for 200MB of data and $25 for 2GB.

Next, I checked out the Android platform. The thing that impressed me the most about the Android platform was the ability of the user to seemingly build his or her own phone. Nearly every member of my family has an Android phone and, despite having the same operating system, the phones feel and work differently depending on the various applications each individual has installed. Additionally, since the Android is a platform, there are a variety of hardware models to choose from rather forcing users to stick with one model like the iPhone. Because I am not a big fan of strictly touchscreen phones, I like having the option of a physical keyboard with the Droid system.

While I was very impressed with the Android operating system, I did find a flaw: the applications don’t close automatically, thus killing your battery. As someone who uses the very low-tech Blackberry applications throughout the day, this would pose a major problem for me. Moreover, because the Android applications do not have to go through the same “censors” as Apple applications, the sheer number of apps available for Droids can, at times, seem overwhelming.

Last, but not least, I went back to my Blackberry. Since my phone isn’t programmed with the latest software, I had to research some of the newest changes the company has made with its latest Blackberry Torch model. Primarily, the company has expanded the mobile Internet so it is more complete. The camera and video capabilities have been improved as well. And, thankfully, the company kept the Blackberry keyboard and BBM, which has kept so many users, including myself, dedicated to their “crackberries.”

Despite the improvements Blackberry has made, the platform still lacks many of the “cool” apps that can be found on the Droid and Apple operating system. Additionally, there still isn’t much room for customization within the operating system.

After my weeks of searching, I have decided to leave the world of crackberry and embrace the Droid. Sure, I’m going to miss my keyboard and my little red light that alerts me every time I have a text, or BBM or email, but ultimately, the Android system gives the user more choice, more apps and better Internet, all of which I’m sure will enhance my smartphone experience… at least until next October.

Rachel Vesco is a senior majoring in journalism, political science and Facebook stalking. For future column ideas, send her an email to [email protected] (or find her on Facebook).