Well, that didn’t last long.
I took my coveted Z200 for a walk around the block a few days ago, and decided it wasn’t going to work out. It was very pretty, and the interface was exactly what I wanted, but it wasn’t, well, it wasn’t bluetoothy enough for me. And its infrared only sort of worked but didn’t really, and the USB cable didn’t work at all. And it had no Java, and virtually no memory, and it was slow, so slow. It wasn’t going to work out, so I had to break it off. It’s too bad – it was a really, really pretty form factor, a great UI, but it was just as dumb as a cellphone can get without being a walkie-talkie.
So I moved over to a Siemens CF62, a phone that did almost what I was looking for, and came with a camera, but boy howdy, the Siemens people need some professional help with their user interface design in the worst possible way. I know that the UI for every phone is different, but when the “Send This SMS Message Right Now” button and the “Delete The Previous Character” button are right next to each other, and on the other side of things the “Options For This Call” and the “Hang Up This Call” buttons have that same adjacency for absolutely zero good reasons and all kinds of bad ones, well, that’s three strikes right there. And to me, that looks like the kind of problem that’s symptomatic of a much deeper institutional problem than just a bad front-end. After cutting off two calls and sending three unfinished (in one case, barely started) SMS messages, I felt no regret whatsoever sending it back to the shop.
Oh, well. So much for clamshells.
The next phone that met the criteria of supporting bluetooth and a PC connection that had some hope in hell of working under Linux, having a UI that wasn’t obviously designed by a chimpanzee with Down Syndrome and not looking like badly-assembled glossy plastic ass was the next Sony-Ericsson model up, the t-six-ten. And it’s pretty sweet; there’s a few obvious kinks in the UI, and the buttons you’d most want to be user-configurable just aren’t, but so far I can live with that. I can move stuff on and off it painlessly even with Linux, the reception is good, the headset that came with it was pretty good too. The built-in camera is, I will admit, kind of fun and the SMS works pretty well once you tell it not to show all of its T9 suggestions in an ugly scroll window. It even has an plug hidden in the back for a much, much bigger antenna, if I ever want that; the only thing that I really want that it doesn’t do is come in the same shape as the clamshell Z200, which is a little disappointing. There’s a Z600, you might say, to which I reply that it is twice the size of the Z200, costs three times as much as the t610 and eight times as much as the z200, and it looks like a babboon’s ass might look if the babboon had a piercing. And I’m not in the market for pierced babboon ass of any size, at any price.
The thing that made this entire escapade in phone-swapping cost me nothing but time is the fact that Fido give you fifteen days to do that, hassle-free. Which is nice – most places (Bell, Telus and Rogers, if memory serves) give you fifteen days or fifteen minutes on the phone, whichever comes first. Which, you’ll sensibly observe, blows. Like my man Rob, I heart Fido very much, so it’s a damn shame that Rogers is buying them. Talking to them about my problems doesn’t hurt at all, and then the problems get solved. What’s not to like?