Saturday, September 30, 2006

Cheap Grumpy Bastard

Actually got my cell phone last Tuesday. UPS was reluctant to leave it with a neighbor, so I stayed home from work until it was delivered. I was late by a half hour.

It does what I demand from a phone: sends and receives phone calls. It also has a web browser. The last time I used a cell phone with a web browser a few years ago it was slow, clunky, and damn near useless. It's nice to see that with a few years technical progress the browsers in today's cell phones are still slow, clunky, and damn near useless. Unless you buy a monthly bundle they also charge per page view and per email or IM message sent.

One thing that has improved is the voice dialing. The last phone I had with voice dialing had to be trained. This one needs no training, which is kind of neat. However, it's still a feature I'll never use. It's quicker to use speed dial.

Of course, the phone gives me lots of opportunities to spend more money. They make it easy to download ring tones, which are tremendously overpriced. Why do people pay $2.00 or more for a 15 second snippet of a song, when an entire song costs $0.99 on iTunes? Are the record companies charging a boatload for licensing, or are the wireless companies making a boatload of profit? Both, I would guess.

The phone doesn't come with any games, which is fine with me because cell phone games always suck, but they do offer downloadable games... for a price. They have a weird pricing system. You can buy a game for $4.00, or rent one for 30 days for $3.00. A person who doesn't want to buy a game probably won't be tempted to rent one for a discount of $1.00.

They also offer images starting at $1.50. Why do people buy these things?

I won't have to pay for these extras anyway as I won't use them for the most part. I may try a game or two to test out, but I suspect they'll suck. I find custom ringtones annoying and don't need them. If browsing the web and receiving email wasn't so slow and clunky I might have been tempted to get a package for that. And I don't need to pay for pretty pictures on my phone.

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