November 1st, 2008


Update and question ...

Update: We're in Hong Kong ! If anyone was planning to catch up with us in London (or Glasgow) ... errr, sorry, we're not there any more ...

Question: I'm thinking of getting a new phone. I currently have a Sony Ericsson 290i, which I dislike the interface on rather a lot. It looks like the sort of thing you'd get from handing a very basic spec. to a first-year CS student, i.e. someone said "There should be a way to manage contacts, and add new contacts, and view contacts" - so under the phonebook menu, you get options "1. View contact, 2. Manage contact, 3. Add contact" - which are as narrowly restricted in function as they sound.
To me, a basic principle of a phone interface should be that if I can see a phone number on the screen, I should be able to do anything with it - save it, text it, call it, etc, but this phone fails at every turn (it is a pretty basic phone which came with a pre-paid SIM).

So, primary feature would be a good interface. Unfortunately, few phone stores have live phones sitting there for you to play around with to test the interface. Obviously, the iPhone is worth considering, because everyone raves about the interface (and I admit, they are pretty cool). Please note - large fingers, so anything with too-fiddly buttons will be rejected too (I really dislike the shiny rounded centre button on the 290i, because I can only hit it with a fingernail, which promptly slides off and fails to depress the button half the time).

However, factor two - I'm a pretty light phone user in general. I've been using pre-paid plans for the last 4 years or so while in the UK, and I've probably never gone over £10 in calls/texts in a month (and typically more like £2-5). This may increase a bit, but I'm not sure I can justify the cost of the iPhone and plan for the usage I get.

However to the however, if it's a phone with wifi or 3G or some other useful (and non-extortionately-priced) way to access the Net while on the move, then my usage may well increase - but I'll still be making very few calls or texts, so 1000 free minutes or 500 free texts on a plan just to get a decent data capacity would feel a bit of a waste too.

I don't really care about the other features - music players, cameras, etc, although I wouldn't complain too much if they were there and reasonably easy to use. Also, it would be nice to be able to upload my own sounds as ringtones (because I don't plan to pay for a ringtone ... ever !).

So, anyone know what the phone is for me ? I'm intending to buy the phone outright and go pre-paid again, unless someone can convince me that there's a cheap plan which caters for the Net addict. Ideally, it might be something I could pick up cheap in the next few days while we're in Hong Kong !

(PS: The clock on rwrylsin's laptop is set strangely, could one or two people please let me know if this post appears on your friendspages ? Thanks ...)
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