Monday, January 21, 2008

JP talks phones

I'm slightly annoyed with myself, for last week my phone fell out of my pocket, cracking the outer case across the screen, and - more worryingly - around the on/off button. These things happen, I guess, but if I learned not to rush so much it might have been avoidable.

Anyway, I'm left with a bit of a dilemma. Despite being just over two years old, I really like my phone. It's a Nokia 6822 if you're interested in that sort of thing, the one with the fold out keyboard. I like the fact that it still 'turns heads', as it were, although looking good is a convenient by-product. More importantly it is incredibly useful for texting and writing emails on the move, whilst its small size and lack of software wizardry means that it fits comfortably in a pocket (unlike many "smartphones"), isn't prone to crashing, and doesn't guzzle too much battery juice.

For these reasons, along with the fact that I can save on line rental and the fact that I don't like the 'disposable' trend in society, I'm keen to keep my phone running as long as possible. But now, with a dodgy on/off button, my phone is edging ever closer to being 'on its last legs' and might need replacing sooner rather than later.

And so we come to the dilemma. Nokia do not make the 6822, or a direct replacement, any more. There was the 'E70' with some extra features, but it was bigger and apparently suffers from the aforementioned software glitches and battery life problems. Evidently most people want 'smartphones' which do everything, but I like my separate PDA for writing documents, watching movies and the like. If I don't need all that gadgetry I can leave it at home, and if I use up the battery watching movies the biggest problem is that I'll have to stop watching; I won't also have severed my communication in the process. And again, there's the size problem.

A quick eBay search reveals that I could get a 6822 for about GBP 50.00, but there are catches. The used ones might not be in great condition, and may well need unlocking, which is a murky world I'm loathe to delve in to. There are also some "new" ones from Hong Kong, allegedly fully unlocked for use in the UK and with a warranty. The problem here is that "new" actually means refurbished, and my experience with an aftermarket case from eBay for a similar phone was not pretty. Warranty or not GBP50.00 is a lot to splash on a phone which may be of dubious quality.

Then, if I'm honest, there are one or two things which I don't like about my phone, and as I want my phone to last, are worth considering if I'm going to have to live with them for another couple of years. The message memory is pitifully small, there is no High Speed Internet capability and the camera is rubbish. If there's one 'extra' I do appreciate on a phone, it's the camera, and it would be nice to blog some proper photographs rather than a blur of colours and a description of what you should be seeing. So, maybe I should get something different. Can I live without the keyboard? Probably - I have one for my PDA which I'm using now, but then again I don't always take my PDA and keyboard with me.

Are there any geeks* out there who would care to offer any advice, please?

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*Like me.

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