Sunday, February 16, 2003

Fone Frustrations

Dear Nokia

I've been a long-time customer of yours, but it's getting harder and harder to buy your phones now. Back in 1989 I had a Motorola 8800X (you remember, the brick shaped phone with the long, rubber aerial), then an NEC-P9 but then I found Nokia. I started with the 2110 (small, flat with a stubby aerial), from there to 6150s, 6190s, 8800 (the banana phone), 6210, 8850 (the first tiny phone), 8890 (my first tri-band), 6310 (and the i version too), 8910 (titanium), 7650 and, finally, the latest phone, the 6610. I'm a bit of a phone junky, I think that's obvious.

For those of you not familiar with the full Nokia range, the web proves a wonderful resource). From the first Nokia to today, I've only had one non-Nokia phone, the Ericsson T68i - because I wanted a triband phone and had lost my 8890. Today, nothing would make me buy another Motorola or an Ericsson. This weekend I spent a good two hours trying to take the settings from my 7650 (a Symbian phone) to the 6610 (not a Symbian phone). Why would I do that? Well, the 7650 is a great phone, with some useful and well-designed features. But, it has a terrible battery life. It rarely lasts a day, usually perhaps only until about 5pm - and that's after fully draining and re-charging. So, despite the fact that I think it's Nokia's best phone yet, it had to go.

So, dear Nokia people, here are some things for to consider for your next few versions:

- Keep all of the PC suite software the same. Use the same formats for everything. Today, the 7650 uses one kind of PC software, the 6610 another. So you can't just copy from one phone to the other. If you do that, then any piece of software will work with any phone, and you can just add modules for any new functions.

- I had the 7650 for a few months and, during that time, it learnt a lot of new words for its T9 dictionary. Those words are stored, never to be retrieved it seems in the 7650. Wouldn't it be great to be able to suck them out of there and blow them into the 6610? If it can be done, I can't find it.

 - I also had some ringtones on the 7650 that I liked a lot (naturally, many were assigned to individuals). First off, I can't just take the ringtones from the 7650 and move them to the 6610 - I can't even send them straight from PC via infrared to the 6610 as I did with the 7650 (I have to change the format first and that doesn't seem to work all the time). Second, if I had managed to get them off the 7650, I'd have wanted to keep them assigned to the same people. No dice.

- The 7650 had a couple of progammable keys on the front, one of which I set to divert (best way to get me during the day is via text, the phone is always on divert); the second was set to "new message" so that I could do text quickly. Those have gone on the new phone - so it's umpteen clicks for divert (menu, settings, call settings, call divert, divert all voice calls, activate, to voice mail box). Let's not even go into how many clicks to send a text.

- The 7650's stick was a joy to use (of course). The 4-way button on the 6610 is hopeless. It works intermittently ... no playing Repton on this phone.

- The 7650 stored well over 500 contacts. The 6610 only 300. I finally figured out how to get the contacts off the 7650 and onto the 6610 after a long bout of experimentation. It turns out to be simple, but I doubt it would be the first thing many people think of. I created a new contacts area in Outlook (Mobile Contacts), used the 7650 PC software to copy the entire phone book to Outlook, deleted over 200 contacts that I figured I no longer needed (or that were in my Ipaq) and then synced the 6610 to the Mobile Contacts folder. The PC software to do that is pretty poor, good luck if you have to use it.

- So far the 6610 seems bug free at a software level, which is more than can be said for the 6210 (frequent hangs), the 6310 (seemed to be on, but actually wasn't taking calls), the 7650 (regular log errors). Time will tell. The sad news is that I'll have to stick to this phone for a while. The battery life looks good, it's triband, 300 contacts is enough for now (although I'm sitting at 289 right now), the polyphonic tunes are reasonable (but not as good as the 7650) and it's small and lightweight.

But my Nokia friends, if anyone ever figures out how to do a phone at least as good as yours, I'll be gone in a flash. Just because Motorola and Ericsson aren't doing what you're doing, don't get complacent. Others will soon figure it out.

Given that the UK market looks pretty saturated, the odds are that most people are either going through or are about to go through their first upgrade - colour screens, polyphonics, cameras etc are all beckoning.

 I imagine that few of them will have stored all of their contacts on the SIM (which is no use if you store more than one phone number per person), many will have figured out predictive text and so filled up their T9 dictionaries and they'll want to move phones easily and quickly. Good luck to all those who try.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12:24 am

    does any one have for sale the unlocking software and lead for the old brick motorola 3200/8800x as i have a gsm type which is locked. text call +447799 888999

    ReplyDelete