It is time to upgrade from my retro phone, a 3-year-old Nokia 3650. And I have very clear requirements, decent camera (to make blog-worthy photos), a decent MP3 player (I travel), calendar and address book should sync with PC (so that I can donate my Palm T3 and T5 to an orphanage) and budget around Rs 20000. Yes obviously, it should be a decent phone as well, but that isn’t something phone shoppers really look for these days.
First round of Internet search fine tuned my specs to these. camera 2 Mega Pixels or more, expandable memory for mp3 files, and, preferably Symbian or a similar smart OS. Then, some furious googling for “as all-in-one as possible” devices threw up following models. Nokia N70, 6233, N71, N72 and N73. Sony Ericsson W810i, W700i, K750i, K800i and Z610i. Samsung D600, P850 and D900. It was clear to me that either I go for 6233 or 810i type phone in Rs 15K range, or raise the bid to ~ 22K to pick between N73, K800i or D900.
But this is where the problems began. God, it is all so-so very confusing. What the hell are these phone makers and review sites doing by throwing so much at you!?
Some sites say N72 and K750i don’t have 3G. But they won’t tell you what 3G is good for. N73 and K800i make great photos, but experts caution the camera covers are too fragile – oh, how stupid of Nokia and SE. And by the way, K800i is supposedly not a smart phone, though K750i was. N70 is seemingly outdated now, but newer model N72 sells cheaper, why? I am just lost on the model numbering schemes here! N91 has 4 GB storage and Wifi, cool! But reviews talk about low screen resolution. Talking of resolutions, every reviewer on the Internet says 352 x 416 (N80, E70) is double the size of 176 x 208. Learn some geometry, N80 has four times the real estate than N91 you dumbos, not double.
Talking of touting similar models to confuse shoppers, Samsung takes the cake. D500 did well, so they flood the market with sliders. And now, even the phone fanatics cant tell D600 from D800, D810 from D820 and D840, or D870 from E900. Oh by the way, I tricked you there; D810 is a clamshell, though the model number may suggest a slider. Oh man, these out-to-please-you phone makers, God give them some sanity.
Anyway, in the end, I had to selectively ‘erase’ some models and reviews from my mind, and I have decided to toss it up between Nokia N71 (a Symbian clamshell) and Nokia E70 (the best all in one for my budget), whichever falls my way sooner or cheaper. E70 is cool, Wifi, nice screen and a full qwerty keyboard. But it supposedly runs out of memory a lot, and has this problem of … … no, nO, NO. Not again. E70 it is, don’t you force any more models and reviews on me.
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, so they say. But in present times, too much information just kills. Bits and bytes are flying towards you, duck them all if you can.