I don’t want a million devices in my pockets – a phone, occasional camera, personal music player and possibly some kind of GPS sat nav are typical of what might be weighing down my Next denim.
The answer is a pretty simple one, with the Nokia N95 being possibly the best all round solution for the above and with my Orange contract up for renewal shortly, I’ve been toying with the idea of leaving for O2 unless disconnections can come up with something of interest. But now I want to receive (and send) emails, it’s left me in a bit of a pickle as to which of the current breed of handsets are up to the job.
The N95 can receive email, plus with it’s Symbian operating system (I’m told) it will support a few email clients that have been cunningly written for the mobile device. The only thing that puts me off is the ABC character entry which is find for quick tapping an SMS but an email..? I don’t think so.
So maybe I could just get a Blackberry instead and use that for a phone? Thing is, everyone that’s let me have a play with their Blackberry has said the thing just isn’t great for making and receiving calls. It’s an email tool first and a phone second, which rules that one out.
The HTC TyTN II (Kaiser) looks funky enough to be a half decent phone handset but it would appear that I’m forced into using a stylus on a tiny screen. No thanks.
Samsung F700 definitely has the looks, but I felt Samsung lost their way a bit with the D900 and I’m not convinced their phone interface has gone back to the time when it “just worked”.
So begrudgingly I’m left with one handset left on my list. The one that everyone’s heard about and knows of someone that’s got one, probably on day one. It’s the ultimate geek fashion accessory, hell they even applaud you when you buy it. It’s the Apple iPhone.
I like the looks – it’s so simple and understated with it’s touch screen and single button interface. The size is perfect taking up no more footprint space than my 60GB iPod Photo.
It’s got WiFi so I can steal other people’s Internet connections to download my email. It’s also pretty shit hot as a web browser and a capable email client with a sideways-on QWERTY touch screen keyboard.
So why don’t I buy one? A recent Gizmodo article on the iPhone sales in the UK pretty much sums it up but the key points for me are:
The handset is expensive. £270 isn’t what most people pay for a handset, especially not on a new contract. No, normally (in the UK anyway) a new contract is the ultimate bargaining tool with mobile phone providers and free handsets are literally thrown at the feet of prospective customers. So to pay out for the handset it has to be a very special phone, which it is… just not £270 special.
The contract is bastardised. So O2 have signed an exclusive deal with Apple, good for them. So if you want an iPhone in the UK through the normal channels, you will need to go to O2. So which idiot decided that a handset at special as the iPhone needed a special tariff? Where typical O2 tariffs get you 500+ minutes with 500+ texts for £35 a month, the iPhone butchers the talk and text time to a paltry 200 a piece. I’m sorry to everyone that’s bought it but someone is taking the piss out of you.
I’d rather not be a victim. There’s always a certain stigma attached to using the latest “must have” technology in public, just look around you – freaks walking through Tesco wearing their bluetooth headset because their life doesn’t stop just because they’re buying baked beans and stale-within-the-hour freshly baked bread.
There’s also the feeling of selling out with every purchase of an Apple product. It’s like admitting that they really do make some good products and it’s not all smoke and mirrors.
So that’s why I haven’t bought one and won’t buy one, but it doesn’t stop me needing one. Lets hope Apple and O2 address the pricing issues shortly before I make my decision.