Mobile Phones: Likes and Gripes

I have had a mobile phone since 1995 and have at the end of last year, 2012, have had a smartphone.  It is this smartphone that has caused me more issues and disappointment than any other phone.  My first two phones were Motorolas, MicroTACs to be exact. Not sure the exact model. They worked well, were fairly big, had good battery life and lasted me a few years. I then moved to Nokia with, and in this order I think, a 3210, 6210, 6310, 7250, 6021, 6300 and a C3-01 Touch & Type. My latest upgrade has seen me move away from Nokia to and HTC Desire X, not a move I am entirely happy with. I have had an iPhone 3GS to play with as well for comparison. All of the phones have been good in their own way and at the time I had them.

Q: Which was my favorite?

A: Nokia C3-01 with the 6300 as a close second.

Why? The Nokia phones in general I find have good navigation and are robust. I like having the keypad but with the touch screen as well it’s the best of both. The size is just right, has a long battery life and fits in my pocket perfectly. It has basic applications, Twitter, Mail and Foursquare for example which is about the limit of what I use. There are other reasons which I will come back to later.

Ignoring all but the C3-01, Desire X and iPhone, a quick comparison. First of the Nokia is not a smartphone. The smartphones have appaling battery life. The Desire X I got 3 days out of it at most so far. The iPhone I got 2 days. The Nokia I get 2 weeks without making any calls, rare, with calls still lasts a week. So no comparison the Nokia wins. Okay before anyone say it, I know the Nokia is not a smartphone and the smartphones are doing a lot more and will consume more power. But still having to charge a phone every day, not knowing if it will last the day or not, it is not a good thing.

Second issue, on the Nokia I have profiles. That is to say I can setup a profile, say “Friends”, which will make the phone ring only when someone in my friends list calls. I didn’t see this feature on the iPhone and the Desire X there is an application that does this, I have bought it and tested it and it works, but it was a basic feature of Nokia phones for a long time, why should I be paying for such a basic feature?

Third issue, the lack of customization. Ignoring rooting and the like at the moment, the iPhone looses hands down on this but the Nokia can be customized to a degree. Not perfect but I can have todays calender items, or one, on the home page with shortcuts to people and applications. The Desire X though wins, it is very customizable with widgets. The problem though is a lot of the widgets are over complicated and have bugs. I have one for showing the calender items, sometimes it works and another it will not.

Fourth issue is the size, the iPhone and Desire X have the right height, almost the same as the Nokia but I am finding the width of those to be just a little too wide. The Nokia I can easily slide into a pocket and sit down. Fifth issue, despite having a smartphone I hardly use half the features on it and wonder why I bothered in the first place. Yes it is nice to get push email and twitter, but at the same time it is also nice not to have it! I have used the maps and GPS, ignoring playtime with it, only once when I lost my way. So all this “smart” bit is being wasted.

Sixth issue, the synchronization of Google Contacts and Calendar is without a doubt fantastic on the Desire X, the iPhone works as well but the Nokia, I have to manually update.

Summary

A little pointless gripe post I know! What have I learnt about the phones? Well smartphones are neat, but power hungry. It doesn’t matter what smartphone you get, the battery life is going to be short and for me that is one of the biggest issues. A point for HTC to note here, the Nokia (C3-01) phone was a perfect size, if HTC, or someone else, produced a smartphone the same size you would have another market. Okay there are issues with that, the screen size for starters would need to be thought of carefully, or at least in terms of the OS icon placement. I would also say battery life should become a priority and not the speed or number of processors. The OS should be streamlined more, it comes bloated with Facebook and other pointless apps. Also put in the basics like profiles.

Photograph by Nokia

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