Dispatches from Andyland "Your reality, sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever!" — The Adventures of Baron Munchausen

September 3, 2008

Ring Ring Ring, Bananaphone

Filed under: Uncategorized — Andrew @ 12:08 am

Ugh, this is frustrating.

Saturday morning, I went out with my kids to buy my older daughter a mobile phone. Yes, she seems a little young to have one, but she is away from us a bit more and payphones are slightly harder to be found for “I missed my ride” and “they let us out early” sort of calls. So after instilling in her the responsibility that we are placing on her to have this gadget (and her needing to show us that she won’t lose it, she won’t use it unecessarily, she won’t rack up a huge bill,  etc.) I go and do the stupidest thing possible. I lose my Nokia E61 phone.

I remember a point in the evening that I had it. (I was reading Google Reader over the phone’s WiFi mode) and I know a point when I’m sure I didn’t have it. (after putting my younger daughter to bed.) and I know I didn’t leave the house any time between the two. But two days later and it still hasn’t shown up.(and I did try calling it and listening for the ringing, but it seems likely that I left the web browser open with a WiFi connection, which drains the battery quickly.) I feel foolish doing this, but I’m at the point where I might just have to spring for a new phone, and this one will show up when it shows up.If I do spring for another phone, what to get?

I probably text message more than I talk, so data entry is a discriminating feature. I want what would be called a smartphone. One I can install applications onto. (and to explain the range of applications that I want,  I probably used “putty” on my E61 more often than I used its built in word processing app. The copy of Acrobat has been indispensable a few times. (like downloading the PDF of a user manual and reading it while trying to work on something.)  I’ve done lots of playing around with Bluetooth applications, and would like something with more than just HSP and HFP Bluetooth Profiles (HSP and HFP will give you enough support to connect to  a wireless headset, but I would want something to support OPP, FTP, DUN, PAN, etc.)

  • The iPhone looks like an interesting choice, but is at the high end of what I want to spend, its Bluetooth support is weak, and the only reasonable way of getting one would be to switch carriers. (which would then make me have my daughter give back her lovely bright pink phone that she is so proud of.) Application support seems to be great (it feels like selection is bigger than Nokia/Symbian apps, and they’ve been at this for years.), but no J2ME support. (which is the closest to crossplatorm that we’ve got.  Typing is probably a bit worse than I had with the E61, but better than T9 based text input. (I can’t imagine trying to run ssh over a 12 key keypad.)
  • A Treo has good application support. (I even know a bit about the Palm  API for writing apps.) and I might be able to find a used one cheap on Craigslist.
  • A Blackberry might work. Some have good text input support. Some have good bluetooth support. Has good application support. Its a new development environment to try.
  • A WinCE based system with a QWERTY keyboard might do. Good app support. Depending on the model it might have good bluetooth support. Its also a new development environment to try. Depending on the model it might not continuously crash on me.
  • A Sidekick? Some application support.  Poor bluetooth support. Great text entry support.
  • Wait for an HTC Dream (Google Phone) to be released? (I could  probably do with an old phone for a while if it would be worth the wait.)
  • Open Moko seems too pricey and unfinished (only a day worth of battery life and a great deal of buggy apps. About twice the price of the smaller iPhone)


  1. You’ve pretty much mapped out the whole field, so there’s not much to add.

    All I can really say is that the last time I was in the market for a phone, I was seriously looking at the E61, as all the phones I had to date were Nokias and I’d been happy with all of them. But then the iPhone got announced, and that was that. Yes, the Bluetooth support is thin, but that doesn’t bother me. Yes, you’re stuck with AT&T, but that doesn’t bother me either. It’s far & away the best such gadget I’ve ever used, and at this point I can’t picture using anything else.

    That said, my wife has one of the midrange Blackberries via TMobile, and is very happy with it. I’m not sure exactly what model it is, maybe a 8320, but in any case it does more or less all the things the iPhone does, and she’s happy with it.

    Comment by Chris Devers — September 3, 2008 @ 12:14 pm

  2. If you get a sidekick, it’s not fair that you said I can’t!

    Comment by Your oldest daughter — September 20, 2008 @ 3:39 pm

  3. […] her mobile phone and her keys, again. (I know there are limits to how much I can I can laugh at this.) I was thinking “well a thin RFID tag could probably be taped to the back of her […]

    Pingback by I’m fixing a hole where the rain gets in. It stops my mind from wandering (where it will go..) « Dispatches from Andyland — May 23, 2009 @ 10:00 am

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