My New Mobile Phone
I've finally retired my trusty Nokia 6210 (which has lasted me almost exactly 3 years) and gotten myself a Sony Ericsson T610 last week. It is a beautiful phone that is about the size of the venerable Nokia 8250 (maybe slightly thicker) yet it has a nice big colour LCD screen and all the bells and whistles of modern mobile phones including Bluetooth connectivity, a camera (which sucks and I doubt I'll be using much), polyphonic ringtones, Java (for games and utils), an email client, a WAP and XHTML browser and basic PIM functions.I know the successor to this model is the T630 but I decided it's not worth the extra expense just for a new casing and a new screen. As nice as a TFT LCD is, it still doesn't solve the problem of it being hard to see in direct sunlight. My Palm Tungsten T3 has a TFT screen and I can attest to that. The other change in the T630 is the software which has 'presence' features that, if supported on the network and other phones, will be able to show your phonebook contacts' status and connectivity methods much like ICQ or other IM programs. That way if you're in a meeting and you've set your own profile not to accept calls but only SMS, the other party will only be able to SMS you. As far as I know, no network in Australia supports this, and the new T630 is the only phone that has this feature. Though the T630 in white looks a bit like an iBook or iPod, I prefer the 2-toned colour scheme of the T610. I've been playing with my T610 for a week now, and have had it sent in to the service center for a firmware update which did wonders to the speed of the phone especially the Java VM. Still, menu navigation and predictive text input isn't as fast as some Nokia phones, but it's within acceptable range and I can live with it. That said I actually prefer how the T610 presents the word suggestions in a scrolling list rather than how my old Nokia changes the word in-line and you wouldn't be able to guess what word is going to appear next (or if it's in the dictionary at all). Bluetooth is fantastic. Immediately after I got the phone and had it charged up, I used iSync on my Powerbook and had my entire Address Book transferred over to the phone. No problems at all. Likewise with sending images (for use as wallpaper or picture Caller ID, MIDIs (as ringtones) and Java and Mophun games. I've even paired up my T3 and composed SMSes on the PDA and sent them through the phone. Having tried Salling Clicker on my Palm previously, I've now had the chance to play with it on the platform it was originally for, and it works great! Using the phone to control iTunes on my Mac or moving the mouse around is something you have to experience to believe. The phone's 2MB memory doesn't sound like a lot, but I won't be using the camera much for photos anyway. This leaves plenty of space for ringtones which are usually less than 10K and games averaging at 50K each. I got my new phone for 'free' on a 2 year contract plan with AAPT, where I pay $41.95 every month, and I get $40 worth of voice calls and SMS included. Call rates are cheaper than the Optus Prepaid I was on previously, and talk time is billed by the second, instead of 30-second blocks that most other carriers do. NB: Looks like my favourite blogger, Jason Kottke, also got the same phone as me, a few days after after I got mine. What a coincidence!