30 Jun 2008
Okay, so I’m having trouble maintaining a regular posting schedule for this blog. What with all the work that being a teacher entails, and even more importantly, how much time doing a masteral thesis actually eats up. All the same, I will try a bit harder to put in a post once in a while. Starting now!
I recently replaced my cellphone, a Motorola Razr v3i, with a Nokia 6500 Slide. The Razr has served me well all throughout college (undergrad) and I thought it was time to finally get a new one. So for my Pick-of-the-Week I give you, the Nokia 6500 Slide. Tadaa!
The Nokia 6500 Slide
Why I bought it
I was basically on the look out for a replacement for my flip phone (Razr v3i). Slider phones have been quite in fashion right now (don’t you just love those ultra-thin Samsung sliders?), so I decided to narrow down my search and look for a good slider. Here are the key features I was looking for before I bought:
- Slider – of course
- Compactness – something that would comfortably fit in my pocket. After the Razr, it’s really hard to go back to big and bulky phones
- 3G – the local service providers in the Philippines are all 3G (Highspeed) enabled so this is definitely a must for a new phone, in my opinion. However, it’s quite hard to find a compact handset that has 3G too.
- Not that new - gadgets are just so exorbitantly priced when they’ve just been introduced in the market and I really don’t have money to spare for a shiny new phone.
- User-friendly - the Motorola interface (for the v3i) is just plain crappy so I wanted something a little more geared towards usability. Because at the end of the day, looks are just looks. They wear out and you’re left with an unusable piece of bling.
So how does it stack up? Well, for one thing it’s quite stylish. I wouldn’t call it “sexy” as I would the Razr, but it definitely has a stylish masculine appeal. It’s even more pronounced when you consider its very sleek exterior and minimalist design.
As for usability, I really didn’t have any doubt it would beat the Razr in every aspect. Nokia phones are just so darn user-friendly. They stick to their tried and tested functionality and make very small incremental changes. I’m all for this kind of development. Just small changes to polish up an already good system.
Ok, so it’s not a smartphone (symbian, etc.) but I wouldn’t call it stupid either. It’s just a decent balance of features without the speed overhead very common to a lot of smartphones I’ve seen. If you’re not really into the extra PDA-like functionality, this phone will do the job.
All in all, it’s a great phone, but it wouldn’t be a fair review if all I said were good things. Here are some minor issues:
- Battery life – could have been better. 2 days on the average. 1 day if you’re using all the features (music, 3g surfing, games).
- Slider – not the slider per se, but the way the keys are scratched a little bit everytime you slide it open. It’s only been a week and I can see lines on the keypad. It’s even more obvious with the black version.
- No HSDPA - as I’ve said before, it’s 3G, not 3.5G. So the maximum speed you’ll get is 300+ kbps I think.
- Start-up - there seems to be a bug in the software so that when it’s turned on, it seems like a very fast boot-up, but if you try to do anything right away, it kinda stalls for a few seconds and without any indication that it hasn’t hanged yet. It does eventually work after waiting a bit.
I don’t think that’s a real word though. Since I do all my work in Ubuntu, linux compatibility is definitely a big plus for me. Good thing Nokia decided to include Mass Storage support (similar to flash disks). This way, I don’t really need their software to get pictures, files, and programs to and from the PC.
I was also able to surf the net over the 3G connection of Globe telecom by following the instructions from the Globe website and this tutorial. Just a warning though, the default settings from Globe don’t work for prepaid users straight away. You have to change the APN from internet.globe.com.ph to html.globe.com.ph. It will allow you to surf using the built-in browser but it won’t allow your installed programs (Opera, Gmail, Yahoo Go) to connect using 3G. I think this also applies for all 3G handsets under the Globe prepaid service.
At 5 pesos / 15 mins, it’s quite a good offer. You just have to find a strong 3G signal. It isn’t much of a problem in the metro but becomes quite irritating in the provinces. If you don’t have a laptop with you though, I recommend browsing using Opera Mini in your cellphone.
The uber-funny manual
Here’s an excerpt from the manual that came with the phone (no editing was done):
Hindi halata ngunit sa kaakit-akit sa mata, ang iyong bagong Nokia 6500 ay makabago ng estilo at pagiging makabago. Sa pamamagitan ng isang nakaka-engganyong disenyo at isang eleganteng kaha na yari sa stainless steel at protektado sa gasgas ay nagsasanib ang salat at hitsura sa isang paraang talagang nagbibigay-pagkilanlan…
–used without permission
Ummm… Good thing there’s an english version. If you understand Filipino, then you’re probably laughing out loud right about now. I think the folks at Nokia translated the english manual word-for-word and probably didn’t even hire a decent translator. Funny!
Nokia Tagalog Manual —-> FAIL!