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Mobile Lineage | by barnoid
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Mobile Lineage

Here are all the mobile phones I've owned. Starting from the left we have:


Ericsson SH888

Originally introduced in 1998, I was given it in about 2000 by someone I used to work for who worked for Ericsson. It was one of the earliest dual-band phones and also one of the first with built in infrared. I think I managed to get it to talk to my Psion 5 once. Very solid and dependable.


Ericsson T39m

In 2001 I took out a contract with Vodafone and chose this phone to go with it. It features tri-band, Bluetooth, predictive text, GPRS and a WAP browser, nice clear screen and very good battery life. It's also very light and thin. It's seen a lot of use: I used it for just over two years I think, then I lent it to my housemate who used it for a year or so. It still works fine, though it is a little worn. One of the best phones Ericsson made.


Sony Ericsson T610

Oh dear. I don't know what came over me with this one. I thought it was time I had a new phone on renewing my contract and the T610 caught my eye with its retro styling. This was in 2003 or so. Ericsson and Sony had joined forces to make phones and my good experience with the T39 lead me to believe this one would be OK. How wrong I was. Sony brought nice styling to the partnership, unfortunately rather than combining it with Ericsson's robust content they apparently discarded it altogether. It features a colour screen which is unreadable outdoors and a camera which not only takes pointlessly small 288x352 pictures, but the sensor lends a green tint usually and the optics distort to the edge of recognition. The software is very sluggish, especially when opening the text message inbox. The keys and joystick are not great, though they're even worse when mango chutney is applied I found. Yet another negative is the level of bastardisation by Vodafone, most annoyingly that the right-hand soft key always goes to "Vodafone Live" which I hardly ever used and was not allowed to change.


Nokia 6630

Just as soon as that contract was up I got this phone. I realised my mistake and so was much more careful choosing this one. Put off Sony Ericsson I decided to switch to Nokia and to splash out some extra cash to get a fairly high end smart phone. Definitely content over looks this time, it is a bit bulbous, funny looking and bulky. After the T610 the content is a very large breath of lovely fresh air. The very first thing I did was reassign all the shortcuts on the standby screen, because I could. Features a nice bright screen which is very legible in all lighting conditions, especially with the sensor which varies the backlight brightness depending on the ambient light level. It has a 1.3MP camera with reasonable optics though like nearly all phone cameras it doesn't cope well with bright lights in the shot. Has 3G and the keys are good and responsive. The main feature though is Series 60 which is a version of the Symbian OS. There's a fair bit of software available for it, including a version of PuTTY which is very handy. It takes a reduced size dual-voltage MMC memory card, it took me a while to find a compatible one, but I eventually got a 256MB card off ebay. It didn't take too long to fill it with music, pictures and text messages. One gripe with the software implementation is the lack of integration between the Symbian apps and the phone functions, for instance the clock and calendar applications have no connection so there is a lack of sophistication in how alarms can be set, one can't have different alarms repeated on different weekdays. I'd like to be able to set alarms which switch profiles for meetings, lectures etc. One can include a person's birthday in their entry in the contacts database, but it doesn't show up on the calendar.


Nokia E70

I've just got this one. After a fair bit of research, I was seriously considering the N93 with its 3.2MP camera with auto focus and 3x optical zoom, but then I saw some results and came to the conclusion that the quality is still not that good. So Instead I went for this phone, the most exciting feature of which is the full and very nice to use qwerty keyboard, or is it the 802.11G wireless networking? Probably both equally. SSH on this phone is a joy, nethack is quite playable though the 'b' key is on the other side of the screen to the rest of the direction keys. The WLAN really is great, if I'm at home or near an accessible network (including unconfigured netgears) I can use the networking features of my phone without worrying about paying for every byte. The browser has had mixed reviews, I think it is mostly very good. It copes with just about every page, including flickr with all its javascript, and though you get a little frame view onto the entire page it always seems to be wide enough to fit the main text column without having to scroll sideways to read the text. A major problem with it is the lack of RAM. It often runs out of memory on graphics heavy pages, though sometimes just reloading helps. Quite a hassle for me is the lack of ability to download a file linked to from a page, all it can do is attempt to open it with an installed program. I can't even find a way to copy and paste the linked url nor indeed any text on a web page. Again it suffers from a lack of integration between phone and application functionality. Yesterday I looked up a restaurant's phone number on their web page and wanted to dial it, all I could do is commit it to memory, switch to the phone interface and type it in.

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Taken on November 17, 2006