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Tag / mobile

If you have been following this blog for a while you realise that I do follow the mobile phone technology quite closely. The proud owner of one of the best camera phone N82, and the first Symbian S60 touch screen phone, the 5800. (I do use both of them with separate phone lines)


However, ever since Mellissa started to use a Blackberry, I’ve been thinking of getting one for myself too. Blackberries are pretty unique and offer two biggest distinctions from other phones:

  • real push mail services – unlike most other “pull” services that drains the battery faster
  • blackberry messaging services – with blackberry services and unlimited data plan, you can message your friend essentially for free. It works somewhat like between SMS and Instant Messaging

There are only two service providers in this country currently offering Blackberry plans for general consumers and not only for business customers alone.

Of these two, Celcom seems to have the better deal out there. The package for Blackberry Storm are:

  • RM 1699 with Celcom Exec 50 – RM 148 monthly commitment
  • RM 1399 with Celcom Exec 250 – RM 250 monthly commitment

Both packages comes with unlimited internet and Blackberry email usage for a contract period of 12 months. More information here.

Telco M, on the other hand, has the same phone priced at RM 2199 with their Value 150 plan with a 24 months commitment. While they are some differences in call rates and minor details, it seems that in this case, Celcom is providing a better deal when you put two of them together.

About the phone:

As for the phone, well, Blackberry Storm is the first phone from the company that comes with a touch screen rather than a QWERTY keyboard. There is always a debate on whether the lack of physical keys is a good thing on mobile phones in general, and even more so with a messaging centric device like Blackberry. At the end of the day, it boils down to personal preference.

blackberry storm 9500

The reviews are somewhat mixed, my friend Terence who has been using the Storm for a while really loved it. I’ve played with it for a few minutes and found that the touch screen tactile  feedback is pretty different and needs a bit of getting used to. The display itself though, is gorgeous. 3.25″ with 360×480 pixel makes viewing webpages and email a breeze.

Comparing it to the iPhone (which is the most common comparison out there), the Blackberry does offer quite a few functionalities not found in the competitor. The messaging functions alone, with the two mentioned features above and full sms/mms functions, is clearly superior. The ability to carry and change battery too is always welcomed.

With the unlimited data plan (the only way to go with a device like this anyway), you can also use the phone as a tethered modem to a netbook or laptop like how I used to do with the Nokia. Very useful especially when streamyx isn’t the most reliable thing lately.

I’m seriously thinking of making the switch, what do you think?

A few weeks ago, David asked if I would like to play with a couple Nokia XpressMusic phones for review. Being somewhat a gadget junky, I take up the offer without any hesitation. He assured me that these stuff come in fantastic “review” package that will impress anyone.

Instead of a paper bag or cardboard box with phones inside, what I received was this mysterious looking briefcase with a very subtle Nokia logo on it. I thought it look more like those used by drug dealers carrying huge amount of cash instead, certainly makes me look a lot more cool than (I already am) if I were to carry this thing and walk around 1-U or something.

nokia xpressmusic 5610 5310
the mysterious briefcase

Inside the briefcase were two pretty cool looking phones, the Nokia 5610 and 5310 in slide and candy bar format. A set of very impressive Panasonic headphones, an Altec Lansing inMotion portable speaker, and the very neat JBL portable sound station for 5310 were included.

nokia xpressmusic 5610 5310
the impressive package design containing the two XpressMusic phones

The package looks great and all, but I was still very skeptical. I mean, what good are these tiny speakers compared with a traditional hifi system or even a boombox? And then I boot up the phones and hook it up to the speakers.

The very small Altec Lansing was actually very impressive, it doesn’t even come with battery and only draws power from the phones yet still able to produce very quality sound to reasonable volume. I can totally see this as a very compact solution for going to picnic or even listening to music in a hotel room when you’re travelling, a very portable solution. In fact, I would buy this now if I know where to find it! (I’ve searched the website to no avail, maybe I should tell David the dog ate it)

nokia xpressmusic 5610 5310
Nokia 5610 and Nokia 5310

The sleek 5310 and the JBL portable sound station combination is just perfect for someone who wants an uncomplicated phone with great music ability. Put the phone on the station and it instantly become both a charger and an impressive boombox solution, and I assume, a very good alarm clock that will surely wake you up in this morning. The station can be made portable by using AA batteries too. This baby can go pretty loud as well.

nokia xpressmusic 5610 5310, JBL portable sound station
I love the 5310’s JBL Portable sound station

I shall not need to repeat the specs of these phones as you can easily find here: Nokia 5610, Nokia 5310. Both are Series40 phones that has a camera, cool design, and very great music functionality. I think they are reasonably priced too, my ex-colleague just bought the 5310 a month ago and is very happy about his phone, kept showing it off (especially to impress girls)