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Friday, June 03, 2005

amo il mio blk v3

I love my black v3.

After the whole fiasco with the Sony Ericsson P910i (its not necessarily a bad phone, it just wasn't good enough). I had it switched with the Motorola Black V3, at a massive loss of course. But was it justified? I waited a week to fully test the product inside and out (well, mostly out) for an unbiased, ethical, and practical review. The answer, is yes.

Finish: Anodized Aluminium
Internal Memory: 5MB
Colour: Black
Dimensions (h x w x d - mm): 98 x 53 x 13.9 mm
Size (cc): 65
Weight (g): 95
Internal Display: 176 x 220 pixel, Up to 260k TFT dispaly with ATI Graphic Accelerator, 9 Lines of Text
External Display: 96 x 80 pixel, 4k CSN

Like most people, or perhaps its just me, I whip out a ruler to check on the measurements. Perhaps its the tradesperson in me to visually verify the measurements on everything, but it doesn't compare to how well implemented the size is. If you want to talk about thin, this phone is thin, but of course there are smaller, slimmer phones out there, but none would have the quality and finish that the V3 is made of.

When I held it for the first time, all without its plastic wrapping, you can feel the texture of the aluminium, and in black, at that. Of course to everyone else it may just be a black phone, but the process of sputtering the color to this material is a complicated process few would understand, and most would underestimate. The end result is what they call a 'soft touch' finish. The contrast of black and chrome is perfectly implemented, and just like love, you hold it cautiously, and at the same time afraid that it'll go away (stolen, actually). I held it for the first time and admired this work of art for a good 10 minutes, well, I wasn't counting, but if I said 30 minutes I'd sound like an obsessive compulsive freak, right? Right?

It was 10 minutes.

Anyway, I was pleasantly greeted with a clear, bright LCD inside, which was to be expected. The resolution isn't great, but its not like you're viewing any hires photos on it anytime soon. The menu system has improved vastly over the V66 that I had, which I still like if they only made the screen more visible and fixed the ultra-confusing menu system. I found the bug fixes in the V3, so the menus were at last, logical, and usable.

When you talk about something being stupid, it mostly relates to something that doesn't work, or doesn't make sense. Some reviews I read noted the 'stupid' phonebook system where every entry is separate for the same name, as compared to Nokia or SE where one name has multiple entries. Its just a different way of working around it, and they have fixed it, well, kinda, with the Primary number feature, so for one name, only one primary contact will be shown, unless you wanna dig deeper, which is fine for me, since one person should only have one number anyway (g). Its a different way of working it out, but not stupid. If you look into it some more you'll figure out why. They're using a CSV tab delimited format, so when you backup your phonebook it saves it as an Excel readable file, and there is no way you can save it in this format if you are going to employ some complicated multiple number tagging system for one name. Enough rambling.

The first problem started when I couldn't send SMS out. It kept saying failed, and there was no indication that it was sent, unless you go to outbox, and check individually the status of the messages (or look at the status icons). I remembered a reviewer who said something along the lines of (stupid phone, cannot even send sms, so expensive and cannot perform basic function, I returned it after a week). I started to doubt myself. Had I made a mistake? Was it true? Has my hastiness...consumed me? Of course it hasn't, there is a setting in the SMS that indicated if you want to 'Use GPRS' for SMS, I turned it on when I got the phone, thinking that my SMS can be sent faster (yes, silly am I), and so I turned it off and it was fine.

Second problem was I couldn't send phonebook contacts like my Z600. Which was a hassle coz ppl call me up and ask me for numbers all the time, and I'll say, ok I'll sms it to you. I can't do that now. One other problem people tend to have is they say that they can take photos, but there is no way of sending it out except for MMS or Email. That is not true. I have successfully transferred stuff via Bluetooth, and via the PC with no problems. Read the manual! Its just done differently.

Charging is done via a mini USB cable that is provided. It's like any generic mini-USB cable so wherever you have a USB port you *could* charge your phone. I think. Well I charged it with my PC but I'm not sure if you need drivers to be installed so that you can charge your phone. I'm not a techie or anything aight. Battery is superb. Battery for the first day lasted a full 24 hours of intense Bluetoothing(?), syncing phone book, transferring photos, making calls, receiving calls, using handsfree, playing games, opening flip, closing flip, taking photos, taking videos. Yes. 24 hours. Now the next charge lasted me 2 days or fairly normal use. Ok, so the third charge, I turned down the screen brightness to '2', and turned off the screensaver and anything that might suck battery. I left Bluetooth on, though. And after 3 days the battery was still full. (???) I reset the phone just in case the battery meter was acting crazy. Still full. But it can't be. So last night I recharged it again just in case coz its gonna be a busy weekend. But could the battery be that good? Was I hallucinating? At any rate it was better than my P910i that was begging to be charged before the day ended, and I had to turn down the screen to 40% even. Sigh. Good riddance.

My complaint was also in the memory department. 5mb is not enough! But enough for photos and taking some more photos (try the camera function, its pretty cool. Decent VGA photos), but not for MP3 ringtones. I would've liked more, but I think I would've put too much crap in it anyway. My P910i had a 512mb memory stick and I had difficulty finding the right song for the ringtone. Then I figured that people don't like to be kept waiting so realistically I only hear the first 10 seconds of the song, which doesn't make sense. I decided that if I wanted to listen to songs I'll turn on my iPod, not wait for someone to call. Therefore 5mb is...*sigh* enough.

After a week, I have to say, that despite its shortcomings, the fact that they managed to squeeze this much technology into this marvel, the fact they used alternative materials on a phone, the ingeniuity of the chemically etched keypad, which upon closer inspection, really is a work of art with the clear EL backlighting, the bright screen, and good speakerphone (at first I thought the bottom part was the battery, its actually a speaker), the long lasting battery, just the whole feel of it, makes it a very good package, and a very good phone.

Just don't drop it. Aircraft-grade aluminium doesn't mean that it should fly.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Urban parking

The problem with Autopay machines is that its not really auto when you're the one doing all the work.

Did you know that we have one of the most advanced currency notes in the world? When you talk about vertical index number printing or security strips, or polymer notes to prevent forgery, we are way ahead if you would compare it to say, the US Dollar.

Autopay machines.

Created because life exists outside the collecting booth.