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Wednesday, 02 July 2003

How To Ruin A Perfectly Good Phone

Blech from the Spool wants to know what I've got against the Ericsson T39m. Bluntly: I don't know what Ericsson were playing at with this phone, because one of its only redeeming features is that unlike their T18s, it doesn't spontaneously turn itself off.

Sorry, that might have been a little too blunt and a little too caustic. The T39m does have a few things going for it: the fact that I got it last year as an upgrade for around thirty quid, it includes Bluetooth, GPRS, has a seven day charge ( wonderful on trips) is triband and works with iSync undeniably work in its favour.

Where it falls down--and by fall, I mean from a great height and at terminal velocity--is the user interface. It's laggy, and noticeably so. Scrolling through the call list to redial a number? Make sure you're not doing it too quickly, lest you mistakenly call the following entry. The call list is merely the most visible example of interface lag, probably because regardless of the phone I use, it's one of the my most used features. Scrolling through other menus is just as slow, I just don't do it as much.

Another example? Any form of text entry whatsoever. I'd have no problem entering text on my Nokia 8210, I wouldn't have to wait for letters to show up on the screen and--now this is important--the tactile feel of the keys was pretty much spot on, being relatively soft to the touch and not requiring much pressure. The T39m's keys feel much harder, and the T9 text entry is noticeably slower, to the extent that you're lucky if I reply to a text message if I receive it on the T39m.

Do you see how bad that is? If I'm using the T39m, any of my friends who text messaged me could expect their chances of getting a reply cut to a tenth of what it had been on my previous phone. That's operator revenue out of the window. That's an extremely irate customer. That's also someone who has to explain to his friends why he's suddenly behaving all aloof and is no help when cheating (sorry, help) is required in a pub quiz.

This just goes to show that you can have a great package of hardware, but if you stick a useless user interface on it, you'll end up with a highly annoying product that fills your user with rage. Or, on the other hand you have, a Sony Vaio running Windows ME.

2 comments and trackbacks

2lmc spool Jul 2, 2003 9:25 PM
Dan Hon wants a T610
Read more in 2003/07/02 19:30 »

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