I don’t buy much electronic stuff, but I have been on the look-out for a new phone since my old one died, letting my company Sony-Ericsson P800 double as my own phone in the meantime. Working for Opera makes buying a new phone harder as I can see products not yet on the market, tempting me to wait for the next generation, which in the phone world means 6-12 months in the future. The venerable P800 has already become a great grandfather of its line, it may be filled with wisdom, but not with verve.
So laden with cash I went out to buy me a phone. Of course nowadays buying means comparing what is in the market, their characteristics with my requirements, with some recommendations to seal the deal, then checking what price I could get (no operator binding please). The actual buying meant going into a store, pointing at a plastic dummy and saying “I want that one, please” and was done within minutes.
I had expected to go out with a 2006 generation smartphone, but I didn’t. Instead the winner was another Sony-Ericsson, K750i. This eminently unoriginal choice was simple, it provided a better package. The other and newer front runners had one flaw or another. As a bonus, as this phone was released in 2005, it was half price.
It isn’t the greatest data phone, but it is a good one. For demo/state of the art phones I would use an Opera phone, but it does Opera Mini well and the Bluetooth support is great. The phone is also my laptop link to the Internet whereWiFi is unavailable, which still includes my apartment. GPRS, which is all this phone does, isn’t exactly fast but it is available at practically any place in the republic with my unlimited data access plan.
It is among the greatest camera phones, which makes it into a decent camera. That matters as I can’t be bothered to carry a camera anywhere, making a separate camera useless. K750i doubles as a camera, and though there are some nags it has point-and-click usability.
The same goes for the music player and radio, a separate device is not an option. For me this is less crucial than the camera, and for a practical music player a bigger memory card than the one provided will be required.
Of course it needs telephony, and by that I primarily mean SMS. Anyone calling me will be redirected to my voice mail, and I never listens to my voice mail. I don’t listen to podcasts either. As an SMS machine the phone is fine, but not in the league of the nail-writing recognition of P800. Going back to T9 now seems archaic, and I discovered a problem I didn’t have last time I used it. I bought the phone in the Czech Republic, and it has Czech and English as well as a custom dictionary. That is fine, I’ve used them all, but I also need a Norwegian dictionary. I will have to figure out how to find and install such a dictionary, as well as find an external keyboard for the phone.
One small thing I depend on is the phone as an alarm clock. The timid P800 didn’t really perform, though with vibration on a sound board it usually was able to wake me up. No such troubles with the K750i, this one is really obnoxious.
Among the oddities that the phone adds is a light. It may seem extraneous, but I have navigated down a forested hill on a moonless night assisted by nothing but the strong glare from the P800. It may make me drop my Solitaire keychain flashlight too. I am less convinced by the SOS blinking function, especially given the low Morse code literacy, but I will consider it the next time I go down a forested hill and fall.
With continously running GPRS, Bluetooth, radio/music player, and active use of the camera, the flashlight, the alarm clock, and the odd text message the battery is getting a workout. Supposedly the K750i has a long battery life, but I still have to recharge several times a day.