Sunday 15 May 2011

New Phones arrived

Our two new Samsung B2710 phones arrived unexpectedly on Friday - fortunately DW was having a day off work to take DS1 to see his eczema specialist, so she was at home to sign for the delivery.

I was initially informed by Three the week before (via an SMS) that my order for a pair of new Samsung B2710s to replace our old phones had been cancelled as it was out of stock, then I was told the next day (when I called customer service) that this model "might" be restocked and our order was actually "on hold" unless I chose to cancel it or change to a different model, and I should check for an update the next day. When I phoned again a week ago I was then told that the Samsung B2710 was going to be restocked but that I'd have to phone again in two weeks to check on availability... only to have the new phones delivered a week later!

I installed my old SIM card in one of the new Samsung B2710s on Friday (and gave my old Sony Ericsson G502 to DS1 to use with his new $1/mo TPG SIM) and have a favourable first impression. The handset is only a few mm large than our old phone, but seems a lot more "chunky" due to the larger keypad and rubberised casing which I like (but DW isn't too keen on). It weighs about the same as the old phone, which DW likes.

A test of the GPS outside on Friday night gave an accurate report of our Latitude and Longitude and didn't take long to get a fix, so that feature will come in handy when bush walking or setting up my telescope on field trips. The built-in LED torch is actually bright enough to be useful when camping, but I may have to make a red plastic cover so I can also use it when doing astronomy. As I haven't got a data plan on my current $14/mo phone plan I haven't tried using Google maps yet. I might subscribe to the Three casual data plan - it doesn't cost anything to add it to my plan, but casual data use costs a hefty $2/MB! I might be OK for checking the occasional map while walking around town - I don't need it for in-car use as I have a car GPS.

Walking around town on Saturday I started playing around with the phones pedometer app, and it actually was very accurate in recording my steps and might be a useful addition to my diet and exercise program.

The auto-lock feature for the keypad works well (stopping unintended key presses making accidental phone calls to "000" - which the old Sony Ericsson tended to make, even when its keypad was in "locked" mode) although it would be nice to be able to increase the amount of inactive time before the auto-lock feature kicks in. So far I can turn this feature on and off, but haven't worked out how to change the default time delay of around 5 seconds.

The built-in ring tones provided a sufficient range of choices (although I might try to find a Dr Who theme tune if I get very bored one day), and the alarm sound at maximum volume was sufficient to wake me up from the next room without any problem.

One feature that seems to be missing is report of the battery charge. I was used to having a short-cut key press setup to display the % charge remaining, but the new phone only seems to provide battery charge information very approximately via the 5-bar battery icon showing on the phones display.

A quick test of the camera function provided a reasonable snapshot of the stained glass window in the QVB, adequate results for a 2MP phone camera. It will be a handy standby for capturing unexpected family "moments", but for planned photography a phone camera is unlikely to ever replace my digital SLR and bad full of lenses no matter how many MP it has,

I might buy one of the 16MB "mini-SD" cards that this model can accommodate. That way I can make use of the voice dictation app for recoding study notes for my MAstron coursework, and also use the phone as a replacement for an MP3 player.

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