Right Hand Meet Left Hand

My quest for a Nokia E71 has come to an end. It hasn’t been a success.

I’ve been trying to buy one for some weeks. I wanted to get one from O2 (my current phone company) as being an existing customer has some small advantages (even if it’s only a few free texts each month). So about five weeks ago I called them to find out when it would be available through them. I was told that I would be able to order one in about a week’s time.

I called back on the suggested date only to be told that the release had been put back by a week. This pattern repeated twice more over the next couple of weeks.

I called them a couple of weeks ago and was told that there was no firm date. I asked for a PAC code so that I could take my business elsewhere. You have to get a PAC code from their retentions department so that they can try to offer you all sorts of things to tempt you into staying. They offered to halve my monthly fees whilst I was waiting for the phone to be released. I agreed.

Yesterday I heard rumours that some people has received E71s from O2, so I emailed O2 customer services to find out if it was true. Someone called Jagat Dave replied telling me that the phone was available and that I could either upgrade on their web site or call the upgrade department. I looked at the web site and couldn’t find the phone there at all.

Today, I called the upgrade department. They were very surprised to hear that the phone was available as it wasn’t on any of their systems and therefore they couldn’t order it for me. Their systems didn’t even have any firm date for the release (but were sure that it was imminent).

I gave up and asked, once more, for my PAC code. This time I made it clear to the retentions department that I wasn’t interested in anything other than a date for the E71. They couldn’t give me that and therefore have arranged for the PAC code to be sent to me. I should get it with 48 hours (actually, it has just arrived whilst I’ve been typing this).

I went off to the T-Mobile site and ordered a G1. It should arrive tomorrow.

I can’t believe that they’ve made this so difficult. I understand that sometimes releases get put back at the last minute. But for it to have happened so many times is ridiculous. And then for the customer services department to be telling me things that obviously aren’t true… well it’s just incredible.

Mind you, I fully expect to be writing some kind of customer services rant about T-Mobile in the next few months. It seems to have become a bit of a lost art.

Phone Strangeness

My current phone is a Nokia N91, I’ve had it for well over two years, which is probably the longest time I’ve owned any phone, and I’ve been very happy with it. Of course it’s showing its age technologically now, but I haven’t had any problems with it.

But last week, whilst I was in Copenhagen, it started acting very strangely.  Usually, it runs for two or three days between charges, but it started running out in less than a day. Also soon after turning it on, the user interface slowed to a crawl so that, for example, it took at least two minutes to open a text message. The longer the phone was on, the slower it got. After ten or fifteen minutes the phone became unusable.

My first thought was that the battery needed to be replaced. It’s still the battery that came with the phone and I’m not sure what the lifetime of these batteries is supposed to be. I found some selling the correct batteries cheaply on Amazon Marketplace and ordered a replacement.

But that hasn’t fixed the problem. Everything is still exactly how it was. My next plan was to upgrade the firmware and reset the phone. But both of these actions will delete all of the user data from the phone. So I needed to back it up first. This involved booting my laptop into Windows for the first time for months (and spending half an hour installing all the security updates that have been released since I last used Windows) so that I could use the Nokia PC Suite and the Nokia Software Updater. Having installed both of those I prepared to backup the phone’s data.

But it didn’t work. Remember the problem where phone slowly grinds to a halt? Well that also affects the backup process. You can only back stuff up in tiny chunks. And in the hour I spent trying it on Wednesday evening I didn’t manage to get everything backed up successfully. I’ll try again over the weekend. I suppose I should have been taking regular backups anyway. And I would if Nokia had software that ran on a sensible operating system.

My current theory is that there’s some kind of runaway process on the phone and that it is taking all of the processing power and draining the battery. Does that sound possible? And if that’s the case, how would I go about fixing that? What are the Nokia N Series equivalents of ‘ps’ and ‘kill’?

The most annoying thing about this is that my current contract with O2 only has another six weeks to run. So I’ll be getting another phone soon any way. I just need to resurrect the N91 for a few weeks until I can get an upgrade.

I cheer myself up by considering what I’ll upgrade to. The N96 is currently favourite, but I might just go with an N95 if their price drops following the release of the N96. Most of the phones I’ve had over the years have been Nokias and I’m used to the way they work.

Of course I’m not even going to consider an iPhone. There is some strange reaction between me and Apple hardware. It always ends with me wanting to throw the hardware at the wall.

Nokia N91

I’ve just been phoned by someone at the Nokia Club[1] offering me a chance to test drive a Nokia N91. I get three weeks to try the phone and fill in a questionnaire and then I get to keep the phone.

I said yes please. Should arrive in a couple of days.

Anyone got any opinions on this phone?

[1] I think I joined years ago.

New Phone

My Orange contract expired last week so I was in the market for a new phone. I had my eye on a Nokia 6630 as the Orange web site said that I could get one for £30. But when I called Orange to arrange it thy said that it would actually cost me £150. This is apparently because I’m on such a cheapskate tariff (long time readers may remember the hoops I had to jump through to get on it). I was told that Orange had introduced new pricing policies that would penalise (that’s not the word they used) light users like me.

I went back to the web site to check again but the 6630 was showing as out of stock. They still had the (newer and better) 6680 available for £80 but that’s more than I wanted to pay for a new phone (did I mention that I was a cheapskate). So I widened my search a bit to look at all of the 3G phones that Orange offered. And I found the Sony-Ericsson K600i which was apparently available as a free upgrade. After doing a bit of investigation it seemed like a pretty good phone so I ordered the upgrade.

At this point I was convinced that the web site had out of date prices on it. The email I got confirming my order said:

Your upgrade fee is dependant on the products and services that you subscribe to. If there is any change to the upgrade fee shown above, or any other problems in processing your order we will contact you.

So I was expecting an email saying that as I was on such a cheap tariff I would be charged more for the phone. But the next day I got another email confirming my order.

And the phone arrived yesterday. It doesn’t seem to be missing much that I would have had with the 6630 (WAP browser instead of HTML browser for example) so I’m happy with it.

I notice, however, that the section on the Orange web site where you can do online updates has vanished and they ask you to call them.

Now, what cool applications do I need for my new phone?