Thursday, May 7, 2009

All Mod Cons Goes Technical

I really really love gadgets, even though I've got a serious knack for breaking anything that runs on batteries or electricity. I've got quite a history of breaking phones, computers definitely aren't my thing, and at some point or another every personal music player I've had has been dropped in paint. But that doesn't stop me ogling at the newest shiny object to hit the stores.

Just before my mobile contract ran out, a little over 4 months ago, I started doing a little research as to what handsets were available to me on O2 (my network provider). I've got a few absolute essentials that I require from a phone. Obviously it has to be able to make phone calls, send text messages, have a decent camera (because I don't have a proper one), have WiFi and be Quadband (otherwise I can't use it in other countries). Other than that, I'm pretty flexible. Oh, and because of my job, touch screen phones have generally been a bad idea. If I'm covered in paint, as often happens, then I don't want to have to touch a screen to pick up or make a call. So, buttons are good. Also means I can text seriously fast and don't have to look at what I'm typing.

Anyway, the only handset that I wanted wasn't available on my network and I didn't want to sign up for a stupidly long 18 month contract only to have a phone that I didn't really want. Good news was that O2 offer this thing called a Simplicity Tariff which is a month by month contract that I can cancel at any time, but if I want to get a handset that they offer then I can have it and retain all my loyalty bonuses (O2, if you read this, please not that I am currently bigging you up, which means you have to be EVEN NICER TO ME!!). So I've been waiting and waiting for something new to turn up. I refuse to get sucked into buying an iPhone, the camera is arse, doesn't offer video capture, can't send multimedia messages to another phone (unless you download some jiggery software) and doesn't have an integrated flash. Although, it does have a seriously smooth user interface, looks great, and does a whole bunch of other cool stuff that I don't really know about and don't really use.

But on the horizon, supposedly for the 1H2009, is Nokia's new flagship phone. The N97. Whilst having a touch screen, it also has a full QWERTY keyboard (so buttons a plenty!). It packs a serious amount of memory, has a 5mp camera (the same as my N95), WiFi, it's Quadband, oh and makes calls and sends texts. I also really like the Symbian software that Nokia uses (although it's not as swish as the iPhones). And really, the phone looks great. I am a little worried about its size, might be a little chunkier than I'd ideally like, but for such a top notch handset I'm willing to let it slide.

But all this waiting around is causing a few problems. I've had my N95 for a couple of years and the battery life wasn't great to start with. Now, it's bloody hopeless. I have to charge it twice a day, and I don't spend all day on it. It's also getting slower and slower and is looking seriously shabby. Not that that matters. Well, maybe a little. I'm also having "Gadget Buying" withdrawals. In a big BIG way. I mean, I haven't purchased myself anything lovely and shiny for...err...well, since I had to get myself a new laptop over a year ago. My iPod is also taking a bit of a battering. The battery life on that used to be magnificent but, probably because it gets used all day everyday, it's now down to about 8 hours which means I have to take a charger to work. Seriously, can't work without tunes! And as with all Apple products, you can't just pop it open and change the battery. No, you have to take it to the Apple store where they send it off to have a new one put in, which costs an absolute FORTUNE. Way more than it's worth. In fact, more than my current iPod is worth. So, at some point in the future I'm going to have to buy a new iPod. Which is a bad thing, because I've been hypnotised by the 32gb iPod Touch. Not only is it shiny, very shiny in fact, but it's got slightly more memory than my current iPod. The battery life is waaaaaaaaaaaay longer than anything else I've seen, it has the same swish software on it, you can connect to the net via WiFi and about a million other things because of all the applications that have been developed for it. In fact, the only things it can't do are take photos and call people. Which is what my phone is for.

So, I figured that if I get an iPod touch, I can dispense with the waiting for the N97 and choose a different handset. Because I'll then have a phone with a decent camera and an iPod that connects me to the web.

And seriously, much as I don't really like the whole copyright issues with Apple when you download a song, they've really got it right when it comes to style and speed. Just looking at the photo of the Touch, hell it's sexy! All smooth and yummy...although there is the issue of the price tag. Work isn't great at the moment and I can't afford to be throwing away £300. At least the phone, whatever choice I make, will be "free" from O2. Yeah yeah, I know I end up paying for it with my line rental, as does everyone, but that does effectively mean that I'm only paying for it bit by bit each month and not all up front like I would with the Touch. Credit Cards are so not an option, in the slightest.

I don't expect anyone to actually comment on this post, it's more about me going through the choices in my head. Wishful thinking in fact.

Anyone got a Touch? What do you think of it?


arbyn said...

The only thing is the Touch is a touchscreen and when you change tunes at work it'll get all painty.

OR if you can deal with painty, just go for the iPhone and you'll have your phone and iPod all in one... I know iPhones are on the O2 network...

The Author Of This said...

Robyn - I use my playlists at work, so I rarely touch my iPod whilst covered in shite. Although, I'd have to get a cover for it, the one I have at the moment has got splatters all over it.

Re iPhone...see post...

"I refuse to get sucked into buying an iPhone, the camera is arse, doesn't offer video capture, can't send multimedia messages to another phone (unless you download some jiggery software) and doesn't have an integrated flash."

So the iPhone is a no go really.

Beth said...

Check with son #2 - via Facebook, whatever.
He's addicted to his.

The Author Of This said...

Beth - Sent him a message, thank you!

CiarĂ¡n said...

I've been going through a very similar thought process recently. After 9 years with T-Mobile I cancelled my contract after 1-day of appalling customer service. So I started looking around for a new network & phone (having also been vehemently anti-iPhone).

One of my main needs was a really good camera as I like to be able to snap things as I wander around. I had always liked Nokias so was thinking about the N95 or N96, but was also tempted by a few Samsungs.

What I eventually decided though was that as I have a work phone and have only kept a personal phone because of a naive thought that I will be able to switch off the work phone at the weekend (which I never do) I've decided to simply not bother getting a new phone contract.

So I went out and spent some of the money I will save over the next 18 months on a lovely camera :)

More Of The Good Stuff said...

Not in ANY way qualified to make any comment on technology so will not - and anyway, am an iPhone user, so my opinion won't mean much to you! But I Like the new look for your page. Dark, moody, nice. What happened to your edict, "My World Has A Beat....."????

The Author Of This said...

Ciaran - Sounds like a good idea to me. I'd much rather have a really decent camera, but then I'd end up carrying that around, with a phone and my iPod. One day there will be something that has all 3, that works well, and doesn't run out of power within a couple of hours. What camera did you get?

Good Stuff - Cheers muchly, thought I needed a little change. I hadn't noticed that font didn't change colour, so thanks for the heads up.

arbyn said...

Just another thought...

You can download Skype onto your iTouch and use it as a phone. Not optimum but kind of interesting.

Good for travelling.