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Old 03-18-2006, 12:25 PM   #1
annc
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Default Need a new mobile phone

I need a new mobile phone, and just wondered what people are using and are happy with.

My requirements:

A camera. My digital SLR is just too large to take everywhere, and I often see things I want to take photos of. Preferably 2 megapixels.

Long standby and talk time. In my new job, I can't make or receive private calls using my desk phone, so need to be able to depend on it to last all day if I have to use it a few times. This is my main reason for getting a new phone. My existing phone has a newish battery, but because the phone is five and a half years old, I couldn't get a proper Siemens one, and the new one isn't much better than the old one that I'd had for over five years. Two shortish phone calls and it's down to half battery.

It needs to take my existing sim card. I have a great plan (no flagfall, cheap voice mail) although I do pay quite a lot for SMS if I make them myself. But I have lots of free calls, so I can just ring back. If I get a new sim card, I will have to lose my current plan and take up one of the new ones.

So – any suggestions?

   
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Old 03-18-2006, 03:31 PM   #2
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Nokia - thats what every corporate seems to be moving back to in the UK
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Old 03-18-2006, 06:05 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterArnel
Nokia - thats what every corporate seems to be moving back to in the UK
I hated my only Nokia with a deep and abiding loathing. Had it for three and a half years, and rarely if ever had a decipherable conversation with it. Mostly it died part way through if I managed to make a call with it in the first place. When the battery in my car died and I needed to use it to summon help, the phone didn't work. I dropped it a few times but it refused to break. I only got rid of it when I got my Siemens which was when I changed cars.

I've actually signed up for a new plan and a Sony Ericsson K750i.

   
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Old 03-18-2006, 06:28 PM   #4
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Ann, sounds like you got a real dud.

FWIW I've got a Nokia 6360 that's given me very satisfactory service, as has the Nokia phone my wife got to replace her US$300 Motorola ... the one we used to call "The Gurglephone" because of the awful voice quality, at least for the first few minutes of use. After that the battery'd die.

   
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Old 03-18-2006, 08:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Rindsberg
Ann, sounds like you got a real dud.

FWIW I've got a Nokia 6360 that's given me very satisfactory service, as has the Nokia phone my wife got to replace her US$300 Motorola ... the one we used to call "The Gurglephone" because of the awful voice quality, at least for the first few minutes of use. After that the battery'd die.
I think it was a bad model, Steve; I knew someone else with the same model and he had the same problems. Also, this was 1996, when digital mobile phones were still fairly new here.

This Sony Ericsson seems fairly good, although I'm unimpressed with the quality of the colour in the couple of photos I've taken so far.

Will have to spend some time with them in Photoshop to see just how good it is. I have 2 megapixels, but any photo is only as good as the lens.

   
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Old 03-18-2006, 09:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annc
I need a new mobile phone, and just wondered what people are using and are happy with.

My requirements:

A camera. My digital SLR is just too large to take everywhere, and I often see things I want to take photos of. Preferably 2 megapixels.
(...)
So – any suggestions?
Sony Ericsson W800i - search this forum on that or just 'W800i' and you should find links to reviews. It's what I've taken all images with that I've posted on this forum. One of the best _camera_ phones available today, and a walkman to boot.

Standby life is several days at least - even if I take a couple of pictures; I don't make many phone calls with it, but I found I could be listening to music and radio for several hours as well, and I think the battery ended up at 38% or so - good for a few more days on standby. When I travel I take a spare battery with me, just in case I'm not near an outlet for several days.

Latest picture taken with it (yesterday) attached - a little post-processing in PSP: just a slight crop, straightening, noise reduction and a slight boost in saturation; it was a grey, overcast day. Shows you what it's capable of; it gets rather noisy in low light conditions but good noise reduction software can handle that.
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Old 03-18-2006, 09:32 PM   #7
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I ended up with its predecessor – the K750i, which seems pretty good... There was a wait for a W800i and it was going to add more to my monthly bill.

   
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Old 03-18-2006, 09:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annc
I've actually signed up for a new plan and a Sony Ericsson K750i.
Good!

Sorry my earlier reply came through only now - I was teh first to reply actually, but found I could not post! Went to bed, and this morning it finaly went through.

The camera is the same as mine, but yours has fewer music capabilities an comes with less memory - but you can buy spare memory cards.

Of course it doesn't compare with a dSLR - but for a 2Megapixel camera it's pretty good. Just play with it a lot to get a feel for what it can, and cannot do. Unavoidably, a camera in a phone has a small lens, and - probably more importantly - a small sensor. Lots of pixels on the 2 megapixel - but each sensor element is small, which results in a noisy picture in low light. Any camera phone will give you that - for now.

My standard post-processing is therefore as a first step the Digital Camera Noise Reduction in Paint Shop Pro - which is really good but takes some learning to use it to best effect - or you could use a good noise reduction plugin in PS. I only don't do that when the picture was taken in very good light - as in a sunny day, or slightly overcast. On well-exposed pictures a slight edge-preserving smooth often works well enough that I don't go the DCNR routine.

You can also play with white balance but I find it's generally good enough when left on auto - I may do some color correction in pp. There's also a "night mode" setting you should play with - I left mine on accidentally and found it resulted in slightly overexposed images but you can make use of that in some circumstances. There's a macro setting but I don't see any difference - it seems to go into macro automatically.

You may see some chromatic aberration on the edges of pictures (or things like bare branches against a light sky) but again a good tool can practically remove that. In most pictures I don't see it. Even better, I've never see (or noticed) any other lens distortion - no barrel or pincushion. (And I have quite a few pictures with architectural straight lines in them - I sometimes do perspective correction to straighten them but never yet had to bother with lens correction.)

But it's important to not compare it with a "full size" digital camera. Learn it for what it can do by itself - but that's quite a lot.

   
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Old 03-19-2006, 02:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annc
I've actually signed up for a new plan and a Sony Ericsson K750i.
You did that without giving us the opportunity to promote our favourite phones??

My wife has the K750i as they were being given away with a new 18 month contract. It does take good images, is easy to interconnect with a computer and has good extendible memory. The only problem area with the recent range of SE mobiles is that the joystick becomes unresponsive after a while, probably due to getting dirt & fluff in the works! The downside of this is that the joystick cannot be cleaned, but must be replaced.

   
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Old 03-19-2006, 02:19 AM   #10
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So I went in the shop and asked for the simplest phone they had for my wife who really hasn't got the time to fiddle about. And the guy said that specification is his most popular sale and all the mature citizens around here have the same problems with technology. . . .

I have no idea what make it is but it does seem to work.

   
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