Should I wait even longer or buy a mobile now?

In my overdue quest to get a new mobile phone I've started to get closer to a decision. Basicly I can even wait for the new range of Nokia Nseries phones or get a Nokia 6280 in a few weeks or even get a Orange SPV M500 for free right now.

So before going into details, my ideal list in order for the phone I want to get next.

  • 3G/GPRS access
  • Bluetooth dialup
  • 2 megapix camera
  • Hot swappable SD or MiniSD support
  • Screen resoultion of 320×240 or over
  • Mpeg4 or 3GP Video recording
  • SVG tiny support
  • Java (MDIP2.0) support
  • Media playback
  • Bluetooth 2.0 support
  • Quadband support (GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz)
  • USB mass storage ability
  • FM radio
  • MMC support
  • EDGE support
  • 3G video calling support

So first up why not the SPV M500 now? I've always liked this device, since the first day I saw one my students with one about 2 years ago but… Well you see its got no 3G only GPRS access. Not even EDGE which would be useful when I go to America or parts of Europe. The problem seem to be that the PocketPC and Windows Mobile range seems to be lacking 3G(UMTS) because the American operators are obsessed with EVDO not UMTS. So there not making many devices which support 3G at this moment. Ok that aside, its runs on PocketPC like my HP Ipaq 5550 but on the positive side the form factor is small enough to fit nicely into my pocket. But then again its exactly like my Ipaq which makes having both a pointless idea. So, oh well say good bye to that mobile. Also for the same reasons, all the SPV range is not suited to me, as they have no 3g or are too much like my ipaq. I was thinking about getting the M500 and simply swapping my sim card in and out of the Sanyo S750 when I need 3G, but its not practical, so on with the next phone…

Nokia 6280

Next phone is the Nokia 6280. Now I saw this phone when I was browsing around the orange store the other day. And its pretty damm sweet. Most of the things I want are in place, even EDGE/USB2 and high rez screen support. Its odd because I only came across this phone because the sales people in MPC kept telling me that the Nokia N70 has a better screen resoultion than the Nokia 6880 which it does not! So why don't I buy this one? Well theres something about the Series 40 operating system which means it won't run Symbian applications. Which means I'll have to run only Java applications. This is ok, but I would like to have Opera and a decent Jabber client on my phone, instead of relying on my ipaq each time. Also this phone feels like a phone which looks like it will be eclipsed by the Nokia NSeries phones (N71, N80, N90, etc). People who read my blog regularly will know I love the Nokia N90 but can not justify the stupid price which it sells at. I've also been thinking its actually too heavy and I'm not a fan of flip phones. I actually prefer Slide phones like my Sanyo S750. What else puts me off the Nokia 6820? well video recording at QCIF resoultion and only to 3GP format not Mpeg4. Specially when you compare it to the Nokia N80.

Nokia N80

And I'm really warming to the N80 now, even more so that the N90. I mean it seems to have everything I need plus the price seems to be about the same as the Nokia 6280. So it should cost between 50-100 pounds on Orange when it finally comes out. Which looks like March now. However maybe its worth it for wireless on a phone. Certainly if Skype and Wifi become a real alternative as Ben suggests. Either way, the Wifi, universial plug n play (geez I hope you can easily turn it on and off) and the 3 megapix camera all seem to be future proof enough for me. I just need to wait or hope the SPV range adds 3G to its smaller range.

Interestingly Infosync has a run down of the top 5 Orange phones.

Why oh why is there no 3G on this new device? Oh yes I remember, because there only interested in a american audience. EVDO and EDGE versions but no 3G anywhere to be seen. Shame because I would instantly buy this phone. i-mate Jamin

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.