Daily Archives: June 4, 2012

Phone search

I’m looking for a phone worthy of replacing my beloved Nokia E71.

My wonderful phone died on Saturday, aged just under three and a half years.  Drowned in a pool of rainwater, as I was walking a three-hour route across the moors.  It came down heavy, so I put the phone in my bag for protection against the kind of minor flooding it’s suffered a few times (and from which my wallet is still soggy even today).  Then it came down really seriously torrential (so even the dog fled for shelter), and breached the protection of the bag.  On arriving at the pub I made to get the phone out, but it was swimming in a pool of water and dead to the world.  RIP.

What makes a worthy replacement?

I want a phone that’s properly comfortable to carry in the pocket, comfortable to hold in the hand and to the ear, and comfortable to type on.  That rules out any iphone and most androids (as does their atrocious battery life).  The beautifully-made qwerty keyboard was such a huge asset!

In terms of apps, most of what I care about is pretty standard.  I think any modern candidate will have 3g, wifi, rudimentary web and mail, calendar and text notepad.   FM radio and GPS/maps are almost as widespread.  I want to be sure to have maps (like Nokia’s) I can pre-load, so I don’t have to load data on-the-fly (as with Google maps) when out of 3g contact or on extortionate international data rates.

An e-ink screen would be great, but I don’t believe anyone’s put one on a ‘phone :(

Nokia’s candidates today appear to be the E5 and E6.  Online reviews suggest the former is a step down: in particular it’s significantly fatter than the E71, making its impact in the pocket more of a problem even if it’s fine in the hand.  The E6 looks good, but at a price.

Other obvious candidates are some of the smaller blackberries.  Trying to find out about them, and not least whether their maps will pre-load data.  And this recent article points me to a few androids, which could be candidates if the keyboards are good enough and if there’s a maps app I can use.

Fortunately I can survive short-term using the pocket-‘puter as emergency phone, so this isn’t desperately urgent.  So I’m soliciting comments and insights.  Any advice?

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