(Especially for Andy)
Irony is such a wonderful thing. The situation was simple, so I thought; Orange offer their new customer deals to their existing customers, if they sign up for a new contract. Simple. Only it doesn't really work like that at all. What you are offered is based on your last 6 months bills and, if they don't take into account your previous discounts, it looks like you haven't spent enough, so they tell you you have to pay £X amount to get a new phone with your new contract. If you are a new customer, with no loyalty or history, you can have most phones with any extras that are going. Beautiful.
So, in order to get the deal you want, you have to leave. That is, port your number away and then back again. Perfect irony. The main flaw for them is that if you port away, you are quite likely to find a better deal elsewhere and not bother going back.
However, after some work from the orange retentions team, I managed to secure a much better contract with my first smartphone.
Introducing the SPV E650...
I've always loved Nokias and hated everything else. There's something about their operating software that's just been right for me (Hol's Samsung drives me mad!) I originally wanted to get an N73 to take advantage of the great camera, now that I have two (three) girls to get pictures of. It'd be great not to have to carry our digi camera everywhere. This was a bit of a departure for me, as I've only ever wanted to make calls and text people, so extras have been very low on my list. Then I got the chance to look into some other phones, like the Nokia E65. This got me thinking about longevity and WiFi. After a bit of hunting and research I ended up with a very good deal on the SPV E650. It's actually made by HTC who have a great reputation for phones and PDA s, though mine has been 'Oranged'.
It runs Windows Mobile 6, Internet Explorer, Outlook and Windows Media Player. I can easily connect to my own wireless network and can surf the web from it. As parts of Norwich have free WiFi I can connect around town (though it amazes me how many businesses have unsecured networks around Norwich. Not that I would ever connect to one, but I do feel a loud shout of 'Muppet!' is required.)
It has a slide out QWERTY keyboard which is pretty sturdy and makes entering web addresses and emails nice and easy.
Being Windows, it's really easy to navigate; I have switched my email to Outlook and have sync'd my contacts, which makes it so much easier to manage my numbers, email and regular addresses.
It has a 2 meg camera with video/sound, so I can easily capture those moments with Elle and Eva. It has some internal memory capacity which you can add to with the micro SD card slot, HD versions of which are up to about 4 GB. If that's not enough for you music and photos, then it's not a phone you're looking for!
Then, the web is your oyster. As well as the usual ring tones and games, you can download real applications. Google maps mobile is awesome. Not only can you get directions and look up maps and satellite photos but you can 'find contacts' and if I had GPS, Google maps could interface with it for live tracking.
A very cool piece of technology indeed.
Oh, and the phone works too.
It's the most advanced piece of kit I have ever owned, and, back to the irony, I didn't pay a penny for it!