Sunday, June 10, 2007

My New Phone

Okay, I know that y'all expect me to always have the latest and greatest when it comes to anything tech...well, when it comes to cell phones, I have to admit I've fallen behind the curve.

I went through a period a few years back where I was upgrading cell phones like they were going out of style. But somehow in my cell-phone-whoring, I came across the Nokia 6230 and fell in love. It was a small, candy-bar style phone that had everything I needed. In fact, I wound up keeping the darn thing for almost three years. (While that may seem short, in Shawn-world, that's almost an eternity!) Only recently did I start to have pangs for a better camera, larger screen, more customization options, etc.

The factor that threw me a curve was the price of some of the new cell phones on the market. Ones with all the bells and whistles were $500-700! Now, I may be a geek, but I'm not a wealthy geek. Even technology has its limits, and one of the big ones is price. If I can buy a laptop for the same price as a cell phone, there's something wrong with the universe. To appease my desire for a new cell phone, I did some research, dug around and came up with a suitable improvement over my current phone, but still not in the monthly-car-payment range. After waiting and watching some prices on eBay, I made the splurge and bought a used Nokia 6682. I was excited, it used the same battery and charger as my beloved 6230, meaning I wouldn't have to buy all new accessories (car charger, data cable, etc.). Then it arrived. Of course, it didn't work. A quick check on Nokia's site showed it was still under warranty, so I sent it off for fixin'. Turns out the website lied. It wasn't under warranty and would cost $150 to fix. (I'm cheap, remember?)

I happened to be in Denver when this news reached me and I reacted like a petulant child. I immediately hit the web and decided to get my idea phone, cost be damned. I wound up ordering an unlocked N80ie direct from Nokia. $500 smackers. But I wasn't done. I then went to Cingular's site to see if the new N75 from Nokia had arrived - it hadn't. But I did find the 8525 that integrated a Pocket PC with a phone....hmmm...that would mean I could "donate" my Pocket PC to my wife and have less to carry...intriguing. Plus, it offered 3G compatability for faster surfing, doubly intrigued. So I visited the Cingular store in Denver and upgraded to the 8525.

By the time I got home, the N80ie had arrived. I'd played with the 8525 for the whole trip and was once again reminded of how much I hate Windows Mobile. It awkward and clumsy and a pain in the ass to customize. It's bad enough that I have to deal with Windows on my laptop, I decided I definitely didn't want it on my cell phone! Even worse was the fact that I couldn't use the 8525 with only one hand - a definitely liability when you're running through airports as much as I am. Even worse, I had to add a data plan that added $30 to my cell phone bill. (Remember, I'm cheap?) So I returned the 8525 and focused my attention on the N80ie.

My first impression was that it was fat. No, not phat, just fat. The sliding keyboard thing sounded neat, even though I'd read in numerous reviews that it was too easy to slide. In reality, it was a pain-in-the-tuckus. Aside from a better camera, it wasn't that much of an improvement over the features of the 6682 (remember the phone that was sent for repairs to some facility in Minnesota?). Yeah, wifi sounded neat, but if I'm going to be surfing the web or checking email - its either going to be on my laptop or my Blackberry (laptop=web, Blackberry=email). So the N80ie was returned too.

That left me with my original 6230. After all of this, I simply wasn't going to admit defeat. So I went back to eBay and bought a new Cingular-branded 6682. Granted it cost me $200, but it was a brand-new phone and to date it worked beautifully. Great screen, great features (gotta love the Symbian OS!) and its a breeze to use with only one hand! Yes, I may have strange criteria for a cell phone, but they're born from experience - trust me.

Now the question is, what else can I do with it? Stay tuned as I try to max the sucker out...

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