O2 finally deigned to provide me with a porting code so I can liberate my mobile number from them and whisk it away to another provider. Any other provider, frankly, my experience with O2 over the last year having been less than stellar. The final straw should have been them tripling GPRS data charges last year, but in fact it was them once again failing to itemise my bill properly last week. That makes… 12 months in a row. Anyway, this afternoon I tried to buy a new phone, a Sony Ericsson V800.
“Oooh no,” said the ned in the Vodaphone shop. “You don’t want to go there.” I didn’t? “No no no. Lovely phone, really nice bit of kit, but 3G is bollocks.”
This was news to me. And, most likely, to whatever genius at Vodaphone paid £22bn or whatever it’s cost them. What, I wondered, was the problem?
“Coverage. It’s rubbish, unless you’re standing in a city centre.”
But surely the phone falls back to GSM?
“In theory, yes. Doesn’t work very well. Most people bring ’em back. Shame, they’re great phones.”
Somewhat disarmed by this rampant display of honesty from a mobile phone salesman, I beat a hasty retreat, pausing only to consider the S700. I considered it gigantic and ugly. Nice try, but some designs are clearly destined for greatness (clamshells), whilst others are clearly evolutionary dead-ends (twist things, which haven’t even penetrated the popular psyche enough to receive a decent name, despite there having been quite a few over the years).
On to Orange, who greet me with a beautifully-designed shop, neatly-displayed products, an ambience of modern professionalism, and a wildly smarmy salesman. Close, Orange, but no cigar. So, let’s have a look-see:
Motorola Razr v3: Beautiful object, crap camera, lousy memory, and the phone book allegedly can’t handle contacts with more than one number. Idiots.
Nokia 6170: Fab little Nokia clamshell. No Bluetooth: no sync, no Salling Clicker. Game over.
Nokia 3230: Terribly stylish new 1.2megapixel cameraphone, really rather handy thing. Still doesn’t sync properly with Macs. May be hackable, but dig around a little and there are some very negative reviews out there. It’s a low-end phone with lots of corners cut, like… it doesn’t have enough memory to actually work. Nope, not falling for that one.
Sony Ericsson K700: Cute thing, crap keypad, good software, fair camera… and the K750 is just around the corner. With a much better autofocus camera, but still a crap keypad. So… no, not just now.
Oh, why is it so hard? All I want is a phone that plays nicely with my Mac (ie. standards-based address syncing) and has a half-decent camera. Arrrghhhh!
(and to top it all, the realisation that I’m going to go through exactly this, every year)