Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Dull phone talk

I got myself a nice new Nokia N80 today, a lovely upgrade over the annoying Samsung D600 I've been using for the last year.

It's worth mentioning, because being the geek that I am - it's one of the first phones available that sports a WiFi internet connection, 3 megapixel camera, and high resolution 352x416 screen, in a small form factor (it's quite chunky, but it's only 9cm tall). Seems a bit like a sales pitch, but so far, I'm loving it. It's a lovely hybrid of phone and PDA. It would probably benefit with a tiny QWERTY keyboard and touchscreen, but then it wouldn't be the nice size it is.

It runs the Symbian OS, so there's the potential to run almost any software on it - Skype is in the works, and with the phone's WiFi connection, that could be pretty great. The inbuilt Safari-based web browser it runs is lovely too, it renders pages in perfection, and modifies columns of text to fit in the screen width, so it doesn't feel like browsing a rubbish WAP version of the internet. Unfortunately 3G access is stupidly expensive, but if you're near a WiFi hotspot, it's great.

The media functions aren't bad too - 3 megapixel photos (which come out reasonably well, especially if you shrink them a bit in Photoshop, and it even has a proper flash), passable video capture, MP3 jukebox (which works ok when you stick a 1Gb MiniSD memory card in). And best of all, with the WiFi connection and Nokia software, you can run a media server between your phone and PC, to instantly transfer any media you want back and forth. Geeky!

The only possible downside, is that it's a bit bigger than my old phone, and the battery's supposed to die within 24-48 hours. But that's the price you pay for having a mini PC in a phone. I might post some proper photos with it eventually.

In other geek news, I got an IPEVO Skype phone too, which is a tiny little USB handset you plug in to use with Skype. There's nothing amazing about the phone itself, but it's much smaller and nicer than I originally expected, and it's simplicity to use. I already have a headset though, which has the benefit of being hands-free, but sometimes it's nice to use VoIP without looking like a telesales guy.

The pattern of this blog isn't going too well so far, is it? Phones, computers, eBay... Sorry for the geekery! I might try something more interesting later, but I'm not big on the personal diary stuff.


At 3:17 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Spike said...

I've been looking at reviews of this phone. One thing I noted from one of the reviews was it said even with the thing fully slid open, it was hard to reach the top row of keys. Do you find that too?

At 7:02 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Hamton said...

No, I have no problem rapidly typing away SMS and emails with the keypad. I have abnormally thin fingers, but still, I find the buttons easier to use than my last two phones (a Samsung and Sony Ericsson). I've always found it easiest typing on Nokia phones, they have good springy keypads and the best predictive text.

There are some hardware issues with the phone though (short battery life aside). The slide mechanism isn't spring assisted, and there's no grip to push it open, so you really need two hands to open it.

Also, the "OK" button in the middle of the D-stick, can be too easy to press - you might mean to press left, but press the centre OK button instead. This is rarely a problem though, but you might notice when using the web browser.

And last, the camera on the back has no lense cover It's constantly getting smudged, and I worry it will be scratched up pretty soon.

Otherwise it's a great phone, because it does practically everything and still manages to fit in my pocket.

At 8:09 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Spike said...

It does look good. Right now it's between that and the Dopod 818 Pro. I like the bigger screen on the Dopod but hate the thought of using Windows on a phone.

At 8:19 PM, May 25, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My K750i has been playing up over the last few weeks. Thinking of a replacement. Might check this one out.


At 9:31 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger Qe2 said...

How was the Skype phone audio quality?
Was it as good as your headset?

At 8:41 AM, May 26, 2006, Blogger Hamton said...

qe2, the IPEVO Skype phone's really good, great audio quality - and it's nice just to type calls in or control Skype using the handset (it has a scroll button to scroll through contacts). Only downside, is when you use it, a little driver app shows up in the system tray. Personally this doesn't bother me, it uses practically no resources and it lets the phone control Skype, but I can see some people being bugged by it.

I still use my headset too though. I'd suggest the IPEVO phone for people who like the feeling of using Skype as a real phone, rather than wearing a dorky handset. It would be nice if they eventually released a wireless version though.

So far my N80s good, not much to complain about. One small niggle, is that the Symbian OS isn't quite as sharp and responsive as a normal phone. This basically means a half second delay when you click to read a new text message and the phone redraws the new SMS screen... other than that it's fine. Battery life (48 hours or just over) isn't too bad really.

Hmm, I should update the blog today perhaps, been caught up with dull work so far this week.

At 7:45 PM, May 28, 2006, Blogger Qe2 said...

Thanks fella - useful words.


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