Sunday, 6 April 2008

My Next Phone

I have recently sold my phone, the LG KU990, after having it for just over a month. I've been meaning to write a review for it but never had the time. My final year project has been keeping me busy. So I am now on the lookout for a new phone, but finding a decent phone has been trickier than I thought it would be.

Firstly, I'll say why I got rid of the ku990. I had some pretty decent phones up until I bought the LG, I can honestly say it is one of the worst phones I have owned. The only decent thing I can say about this phone is the 5 megapixel camera. I'll make a quick list of some of the things I hate about this phone:

  • The phone is very slow, even when opening empty folders.
  • The user interface is inconsistent, feels like it's been bodged together. Navigating through it is a real pain.
  • There is only 3 official themes. People have had to hack it to install more themes.
  • Battery life is very poor and the battery indicator is not accurate.
  • Music capabilities is very basic and if you have a lot of songs, the player takes forever to load.
  • Typing messages is a little annoying, slow due to being able to press one letter at a time.
What annoyed me more than all of the above is LG the company itself. They don't give a s**t about their customers. Support for their phones and software is pretty much non-existent. Just go over to and read some of the complaints about LG and this phone. Their business model seems to be to throw as much s**t at the wall as they can and see what sticks, then move onto the next model. Having been a Sony Ericsson user for so long I now realise what I have been taking for granted. I can safely say that I wont be buying anything from LG again.

Anyway, that's all in the past and now on to the matter of my next phone. Here's what I'm looking for:
  • A large screen
  • Good user interface
  • It has been be fast and stable
  • A decent camera
  • Prefer touchscreen but could go without
  • Would like wifi, browsing over wap and 3G is just inadequate
  • Also prefer a smart phone
I've noticed that everything I've looked at I've compared it to the iphone, even though it is lacking in several ways as a phone there are things which it does better than anything else by a mile. The software and user interface for example is amazing, my friend recently bought an ipod touch, I've played around with it for a while and like the interface a lot. Up until the iphone came out manufacturers have paid very little attention to the user interface. There have been touchscreen phones long before the iphone but they all have been lacking in the usability department. In that sense I would say the iphone has been ground breaking. Also, the third party software available for the iphone is so much better quality than the java based crap that's been coming out for every other phone. The mini OS X and the new SDK makes everything else including Symbian look cheap and a little half-arsed. However despite all this the iphone has not been one of the phones I've been looking at, mainly due to the fact I am a Linux user and also because there is a lot of talk of the next version of the iphone coming out soon so it's a bit pointless buying one now.

I have been trying to avoid windows mobile phones but I cant ignore the fact that there are a lot of them out there and some have very nice features. My first encounter with a WinMob came a few years back when I bought a O2 XDA (I cant remember the exact model). The phone had an impressive specs sheet but using windows mobile felt very debilitating because there was so many restrictions placed on the phone. I didn't feel that I had full control of the phone. Also the software was very buggy. I have never touched a WinMob since. I'm sure things have changed a lot since then but I'm going to avoid it for now. Anything Microsoft just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

I should also say that Symbian hasn't been doing too well either, I feel that there hasn't been a lot of innovation from them. They've been very slow until the iphone came out. Anything new that they have come up with isn't going to hit the market anytime soon.

Some new phones that have caught my eye are the new Sony Ericsson X1, G900 and G700. Unfortunately, no matter how cool the X1 looks inside it is Windows. Sony Ericsson must have been very desperate to come out with an iphone competitor, to have turned to Microsoft. Also all three wont be out until July or so and I cant wait that long.

My choice has been pretty limited, but here's two that have stood out.

Sony Ericsson P1i

Things I like:
  • Decent 3.2mpx camera
  • Runs pretty fast and is stable
  • WiFi
  • Fairly large touchscreen
  • It's a Sony Ericsson
  • Great battery life
  • Symbian
Things I don't like:
  • Getting old, has been out for over a year now
  • Wi-Fi 802.11b only, no 802.11g
  • user interface not as good as iphone
  • UIQ does not have as many third party software as the S60 for example

Sony Ericsson W960i

Pretty much the same as the P1i except for the different keypad and the 8Gb internal memory.

So far I've been leaning towards the P1i, mainly due to the slightly larger battery. The difference in memory is not an issue since I have a 2Gb card which is more than I need.

If anyone else has any other suggestions feel free to drop a comment.

Update: I have went ahead and bought the Sony Ericsson p1i. It's a pretty decent phone. The UI is fairly easy and straightforward to use, it's not as good as the iphones UI but then again nothing at the moment is. It's a fast and stable phone with an excellant battery life. The camera is ok, not as good as the k800i but miles better than the iphones. So, I am happy with my choice, the phone pretty much has everything I wanted. I only wish there was more decent applications and games for it. As I have said before I hate java applications for phones, they are ugly and don't work very well the the touchscreen.

As you probably have noticed there is alot of stories in the net about the next version of the iphone, most are just speculation about its features. If Apple manage to address the shortcoming of their first model then the next iphone is going to be absolutely amazing. Other manufacturers better have a decent answer for it, otherwise they are going to lose out big time.


  1. get the Nokia N95 black or wait for the N96

  2. i understand the dilemma your going through.

    ever since owning a sony ericcson (k800i to be specific) i havent found anything that matches the usability, reliability and the specification.

    camera is second to none, GUi is amazingly easy and comfortable to use.

    so its safe to say you should go for a sony ericcson.

    though the iphone is no doubt groundbreaking, it just lacks a few things that make it a god of a phone. shame.

    good luck on your search.

  3. You could always make due with something cheap & wait for openmoko. :)

    of course, there may be a long wait...