Tuesday, September 6, 2005

What bread? / Samsung Z500

Is there a bread shortage or what? Was at Safeways yesterday around 7pm and they sold out. Someone in my household then blurted out that Morrisons is offloading the store. Weird. Ealing Broadway has only a single medium size grocery store and that is Safeways. The next one is a small Sainbury's Local.

Today I went to Safeway at 4pm. And guess what? They still had bread. Yay! But only about ten loafs (of expensive breads) scattered around three meters of shelves. What is going on? Is there a bread shortage? Is there a new anti-carb diet fad again?


Anyway my mobile is killing me. Soft reseted itself a tens of times today. I couldn't text anyone. Couldn't even listen to music. So I decided to pop over to o2's high street store and check out what they had. My first two choices (K750i and W800i) aren't in stock. The W800i wouldn't be in till November.

Checked my upgrade path. Was awarded a 'g band' which means I do not have to pay for any mobiles costing less than £100 on contract. Yay! The nice bloke who served me was mildly interested in my mobile but he did convince me that the Samsung Z500 is the way to go. Seeing that it is free and that it is a UMTS capable I signed up to it.

The design is based on the old Samsung E700 design (or what I call the Estella Warren). Anyone who has seen old Samsung mobiles will know that Samsung lacks design skills. New models are rehashed of older ones - the only differences are the internals.

Specs are that great. Bluetooth. Industry standard resolution. 1Mp camera that I probably would never use. Transflash memory slot. In fact I am thinking now why I didn't bother to just get the E720 which has a larger internal memory and external display. It also contains external audio controls (which I will never use) albeit no UMTS support.

This is my first clamshell mobile since my first ever mobile the Motorola StarTAC 75+ which I bought in 1998.

Since this mobile has a UMTS chipset capable of broadband like speed of 384kbps o2 had to give me a new 3G enabled sim card. I wonder whether the 3G sim card would work on a non-3G mobile.

BTW, if you are interested in making video calls to your mate avoid o2 at all cost. It is expensive. Video calls made through UMTS are billed as data calls and costs £2.35 per Mb. Best to stick with 'Three' for video calling.

Anyway the GUI of this mobile is disastrous. Not as bad as on Motorola's take on "friendly" GUI, but still quite bad. Being an Ericsson veteran I am quite used to their intuitive interface. I also happen to enjoy Nokia's Series 60 GUI. But this. This is what I would describe as a quick hack and rush job.

It needs getting used to. I refused to tear open my manual and so far it has been alright through trial and error. Other things I didn't like are the soft plastic thingy that covers the data/charging port and headset port. Both looks flimsy.

I have two weeks to return and exchange. I doubt the W800i will make it by then. I do hope the Samsung D600 will be in stock though.

Update (pictures!):

Estella Warren! Maximum brightness.

External OLED display. Viewable in sunlight.

The user interface is half-baked. A 1998 StarTAC has a more intuitive GUI me thinks. Samsung software engineers should also start designing better fonts.

Music player. Sound quality is excellent through the built-in '3D' speaker.

Music player through OLED external screen.

Great hardware. Great reception. Great voice quality. Poor software support (can't sync with PC, 200 SMS limit, no themes, weird UI).


Anonymous said...

I have a Samsung e720 and it rocks. I do not think the menu is not intuitive. But do enjoy it.


mei xian said...

kor.. i finally bought the k750i.. haha :) its damn chun..

Kat said...

erm.. I don't usually eat bread. I'm not that bothered about mobile phones these days. I took such a long time choosing the phone that I wanted and in the end, I only use it for calling and texting people. Can't even connect to the stupid wap. :)

Jon said...

Kat: Me too really but I just want to take advantage of o2's upgrade path seeing that they have rip me off a couple of times. I won't be using wap this year. Silly technology.

Alyssa: Heh. Now I won't be getting the K750i. How did you raise the money?

Rix: It isn't! It's like Windows 3.1 again!

Lim said...

KNNCB can get free fone also complain! Pity us Malaysians la paying tru our noses.

mei xian said...

its around 1400 over here.. ok ok laa... mom bought for me.. haha

Jon said...

Heh. Thought you wanted to get it yourself. Weak!

Nick said...

I also have an z500 and mine had Theme's. I have Vodafone Brand though (un-locked it myself).
My menu is other than yours, i can sync with pc, and i think the GUI isn't that bad