Just two months shy of a year old, my T-Mobile MDA smartphone is behaving more like a redheaded step-phone. While it was touted as one of the best best PDA smartphones, it has not performed to my expectations. Not only did the touchscreen stop working when the keyboard was visible (which in and of itself is inconvenient enough); it also costs more than I expected to operate the Web & email access. For the price of email access on my phone, I could have premium cable television. To me, that is not good value for my consumer dollars.

When selecting a smartphone last year, T-Mobile was my only choice because they had the best phone plan rates. Sure, Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T probably offer more cool phones, but T-Mobile offered a deal for 1500 anytime minutes per month for something like $49.99. Phone options were fairly limited. It was either the T-Mobile Sidekick II, the MDA, the SDA, or a Blackberry. I knew I didn’t want a Blackberry, because at the time music players weren’t an option. Their functionalities were still too limited to work-centric. I wanted something more my style.

My choices were boiled down to the MDA and the Sidekick II. I loved the feel of the Sidekick keyboard. The bubbled out buttons made typing messages and emails easy. But, in the end, the Sidekick II lost out to the MDA because its screen display was much duller than the MDA. I’m wishing I had chosen the Sidekick now. Even with lower resolution, the screen wouldn’t crap out on me and typing would be much easier.

Now that my MDA is acting like it’s on the verge of crossing over, I look at what changes a year has wrought and I must say that I’m disappointed. Every other mobile phone service carrier has introduced great new smartphones like the Motorola Q and the Blackjack. T-Mobile seems to be behind the times now.

Who knows? I might give up and just settle for a Razr. I’d rather have a phone that works and is portable than a smartphone that costs as much as premium cable to operate.

Of course, now that I’m looking at switching to a family plan, T-Mobile still beats out the competition by at least $10 per month. I’m no cheapskate, but why spend more money than you have to, right? So we’re sticking with T-Mobile.

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