Here we go, folks. We've combed through a mountain of entries (sorry it took so long) as we look to give away an AT&T Fuze and HTC Touch Dual. And we've learned a lot about you. Namely:

  • You guys need to be more careful in the bathroom.
  • Some people just don't get that water and phones don't mix.
  • Yes, the dog can eat it.
  • A bunch of you shouldn't be allowed outdoors. Period.

That said, all of the entries were great, and we had a heck of a time narrowing them down. But narrow we did. After the break, the winners, and their stories.

AT&T Fuze winner - Kevin A.

Here's my WM sob story. I managed to damage my one and only
smartphone, a Moto Q, during a hurricane back in September. I was swept into a river and also ended up breaking my ankle and lower spine.

Although my leg has healed to a point where I can walk with some pain, the story with my phone is different. When I called customer support, they told me that since the phone was water damaged, I'd have to say full retail or else I was SOL. I ended begging a friend to give me his few-years-old dumb flip, and basically used that for over 5 months, just being able to call, but nothing else.

I finally managed to locate a not-so-dumb phone for cheap that can do basic data. But surfing on a 172x220 screen as well as having to type everything, including this e-mail, on t9 is just torture. I know I
should be appreciative just for being alive, but as a geek, not being
able to do what I used to be able to do under Windows Mobile that I
can barely do on a recent J2ME phone makes me very sad.

So there's my story. If I'm able to get a qwerty phone with a full
screen, that would make my day. Thank you for the consideration.

HTC Touch Dual winner - Craig Y.

I know, it’s hard to believe both because it's a cliché and because it
may seem like an unimaginative ruse, since it's depicted in the photo
right at the top of this post, but my dog ate my phone. Actually, she
munched three of them! One was only scratched, one was dinged a bit, and one was pretty well crushed.

I'm a techno junkie, and I'm always looking for the most balanced
device, both in terms of the work vs. personal-life balance and the
super-capable large phone vs. not-so-capable pocketable phone. The grass always seems greener on the other side.

My wife has been the gracious recipient of my cast-aways. Over roughly a year's period, a phone typically starts off with me, gets passed to my wife, and then hits eBay.

A little less than a year ago, we brought home an 8-pound Goldendoodle puppy named Dakota. Like most puppies, she craved attention, and hated any object that seemed to be taking our attention away from her. We tinker with our phones a lot. It seems she wanted to be rid of them.

One day, not too long after bringing our puppy home, my wife left her
inherited Samsung Blackjack on the coffee table. Now Dakota was
probably only about 12 - 15 pounds at this time and she put a few
scrapes and dings in the screen and back cover, but the phone was
still usable. I, however, try to keep my devices pristine and
couldn't stand to watch my wife pull out that adulterated device.
Plus, it was an excuse to upgrade myself, so I gave her my Moto Q9h and bought a Samsung Epix.

A few months later, when Dakota weighted closer to 40 or 50 pounds and was much taller, my wife left the Q9h on the dining room table. Now not only was Dakota bigger, she had apparently developed some serious jaw muscles. The Moto was absolutely mauled. To its credit, it still operated, but even my wife was completely unwilling to attempt to use it again. So guess what? Yep, time to upgrade again! I gave my wife my Epix and bought an unlocked US 3G Diamond (which, by the way, I later returned because text entry was abysmal).

Neither my wife nor I am quite sure where she left the Epix, but we
were fortunate to catch the now 70-pound dog in transit to her
favorite spot for orally-fixated destruction. The battery cover and
screen protector got a few cosmetic scratches, and if there was any
drool intrusion, it has yet to show itself.

I am happy to say that otherwise there's absolutely nothing wrong with the Epix, and my wife seems to have learned to keep anything she wants to remain intact out of reach of Dakota.