My friend George is in the market for a new mobile phone. In the UK – where in theory we’ve had half-decent mobile phones for ten years – the iPhone isn’t as obvious a solution as in the US. There isn’t a deal-breaker as such, even the contract price being competitive if you’re buying unlimited data elsewhere. But the combination of lack of MMS support, lack of 3G, and dodgy camera start to add up; plus there’s the huge barrier of having to move to O2, the sole provider.

I don’t personally know any O2 customer who isn’t an ex-O2 customer, having had one nightmare or another. When I was with them I had horrid problems extracting itemised billing, having to suffer interminable calls with surly support staff for the first six months. Then I had a bit of a row with them when they called to offer an upgrade and demanded to know my account password. “Er, no, you called me. How do I know who you are?”

This discussion escalated a couple of levels up the customer support chain, the upshot of which was twofold: firstly, I became convinced that even relatively senior support staff at O2 had been given entirely erroneous briefing on data security and systems integrity. And secondly, they cut off my phone service as a result of my being ‘an unverified customer.’

Back to Orange for me. But I digress. George would drop for an iPhone on Vodaphone in a heartbeat. But he can’t get that. How about an N95 8Gb? My notes on that:

That would (presumably?) solve the memory problems I have with the original (it has more operating RAM too, I think?). My real concerns with the thing are the Series 60 UI, appalling quality of apps, interface inconsistencies, the slider being very loose, the battery life sucking rocks, system instability while on phone calls, camera startup times and white balance issues, nonfunctional state of software update, web browser failing mysteriously, unusably slow GPS, navigation app of indeterminate pricing, and clunky SMS app.

Apart from those things being dreadful, it’s merely poor.

I’ve been actively trying to drop mine off a kite in the hopes of blagging a K850 replacement. No joy yet.