Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Object of Desire - buying a new mobile phone

My monthly contract ended at Christmas and I've been looking for a new mobile phone.

I did the usual checking what was around, visiting the mobile phone shops and the choice seemed to be either Blackberry or iPhone. The service and interest in most of the shops tended towards the supreme disinterest end of the scale. 

When asked for a recommendation, the choice came down to iPhone or Blackberry with the "wildcard" of the managers bonus model, - usually a Windows mobile based phone or a flaky network branded special.
The poor choice and other distractions led me to have an un-usual level of indifference to the whole process. Valued colleagues at work provided guidance, one having HTC Hero, one a Blackberry and one an iPhone, each meeting their needs.

News from a twitter follower that the HTC Android models were coming out in April was very welcome. I had a meeting with some phone software developers in Belfast 3 years ago and they told me about the wonders to come out of the Google Android operating system.
This sounded good - a non mainstream phone from a relatively unknown manufacturer.

The HTC Desire was displayed in the Vodafone shop and after total disappointing service from the staff who didn't have any information and asked me to look it up on the internet, I ended up getting an HTC Desire from the Carphone Warehouse.
Very nice people and the same deal I could have got from Vodafone. I predict the demise of mobile network shops. There doesn't seem to be much point in them other than brand awareness.

The days of huge boxes full of CDs and thick books are gone. The desire is presented in a  smart small box with the instructions preloaded as a PDF and very little else. They clearly trust the intuitive nature of the product with just a small getting started leaflet in the box 
First thoughts after the purchase were to buy a case and screen protector to keep it pristine.
My old N95 was consigned to a belt pouch for the two years i had it mainly on the basis of the sheer weight in my pocket. Style is not one of my strong points so i might end up with another belt pouch but the fact the Desire is so new there are few options available was quite exciting.

There are no official cases in any of the shops yet and a search on Amazon turned up a few different  options- all third party and some very expensive.The HTC Desire is slightly larger than the iPhone 3GS so the accessories for that are a snug fit.
I selected a Mofi Fashion case, an inexpensive red velour pouch from Amazon. It has a stylish two tone design which is very soft - this inner cream micro fibre ensures the phone is kept free of dust and fingerprints. A simple yet practical locking bead appealed to my buddhist sense and locks the phone gently in place. The headphone socket is on the top of the phone so it can be encased with access to the socket. Ideal. "Pamper your Phone and your senses" it says on the box.

I also purchased a DuraSec HighTec display protection film for HTC Desire that spoils the visibility of the screen.  Why do we buy these miracles of design and then cover them all up because we don't want them damaged? The screen protector might come off yet.
Using the phone (so far) 
My first steps were a little frustrating as this is my first touch screen phone (previously had an N95) and I have big fingers. Now, one week on I have total trust in the predictive text and rarely find a mis-type. The text input software appears to be amazingly adaptive. The menus are simple to navigate and the music player is great. I am still delighted by the wee touches like the screen weather animation when it is powered from standby andI;ve found how to turn off the auto sync to save battery power. Can get two days out of a charge without auto sync and one day with.

The flexibility of the HTC auto-sense means that I've customised six of the seven available screen to suit myself. Nice and easy to add switches to switch things like aircraft mode on, bluetooth and wifi on & off etc.

Camera is fine (used it to take the above photos) and has loads of effects. Tranferring dtata and music to the phone is extremely simple and making and taking calls a doddle.

All in all, I am very happy and having fun with my HTC Desire, getting strange looks on the train with the case and downloading apps.
Happy with HTC Desire, Carphone Warehouse Irvine store service, fluffy red case 
Unhappy with Vodafone shop in Irvine
The jury is still out on the screen protector


Kenny Legg said...

I'm not being seen with you again if you wear a belt pouch!

Ken Gordon said...

Point noted sir.

Smartphone/PDAs said...

Belt pouches are cool and if you want to protect this phone you are going to need HTC Desire Cases to protect against scratches and bumps