It was theVooner’s birthday this past weekend and I thought I would buy myself a present. As you know from my last review, I was pretty disappointed in my mobile phone. Well, that’s all the incentive I need to go buy a new phone. Until now, there hasn’t been a new one that I want.
I recently saw Tomb Raider and I was reminded that Ericsson had a Bluetooth headset a la Lara Croft that you can buy today. I wasn’t initially interested in it because the headset looked big, you had to attach a big plastic thing on the bottom of Ericsson phones to use it, and it was expensive (about US$200). Nevertheless, the headset is really cool and I want to be theVooner Craft – gadget galore tomb raider (she had a lot of cool stuff eh?).
Ericsson though just came out with a new phone, the T39. This phone is being touted for its GPRS capability (that’s 2.5G to you techie-folks) and also for that fact that it has Bluetooth built-in. That means no attachment to use a headset! The phone also is a very useful tri-band GSM, which means I can use it in Asia, Europe and the US. That and the fact that you could buy the kit together here as a “special edition” had me sold.
After some phone calls and a bit of arm-twisting (they said it was “sold-out”), I managed to have my mobile phone provider in Hong Kong deliver one to me.
Well, the T39 looks fairly like lots of the older Ericsson T-series phones. Not much has changed. I still think the screen is too small. But, as opposed to the Sony MZ5, this is a super light, super thin phone. The color of the “special edition” was this dark blue/gray unit. I understand though that you can get it in other colors though I think this one looks the best. I like the way the phone looks even though it probably won’t win any design awards. In particular, the antenna again is a biggie. The buttons are also really small and not as sensitive as I would have liked. I imagine someone with big fingers would get really irritated.
The Headset though is really cool. It looks really neat though I have to admit it does feel very strange on your ear. Plus, you’re likely to attract a lot of attention from people who will look at you strangely. Nevertheless, it does make you feel really high-tech. I like it though I know I look like a geek. It’s something you definitely will not leave dangling on your ears, and those of you, like me, that wear glasses may find it a little difficult to put on and take off. Still this would be useful for some of you commuters that like to chat while driving.
The T39 is just like any other mobile phone. Reception was very good. The menus though are more difficult to navigate (as say versus the Nokia) but very similar to the others (like the Sony). This Ericsson though is much more comprehensive in terms of what functions are available. Games, calculator, SMS, Profiles, etc. — you get all the usual functions. In addition, the T39 is supposed to have a much more comprehensive PIM but hey, who cares, I have an iPaq for that.
Now for the cool part, the Headset — it is a lot of fun. The Headset rings when the phone rings and you can answer calls by pushing a button on the back of the Headset. You can also make calls from the Headset through voice dialing. I tried this and it works pretty well. So I was pretty much able to stick the phone in my backpack and the Headset in my shirt pocket. Whenever a call would ring, I would just reach for my Headset. It was much more convenient and faster than searching for my phone. Plus, I got to look like a true cybergeek for 5 minutes. The Headset is awesome
So what about the GPRS? The much-slated 2.5G is here and I got to try the services. So far, mixed results. I was impressed that the speeds at which I could “grab” data – it’s much better than before. But I was disappointed with the applications that we could use. WAP-like services still sucks. Do I care to browse the same silly content, but just faster? I don’t think so. The same news/weather/content is just as weak fast as it is slow. Until GPRS can start offering applications and content that we can use, we won’t care about the speed. One of these days, I’ll try the computer data link and see if I can transfer files or something. I suspect I will be disappointed.
So it all boils down to the T39 as a mobile phone. For that reason the T39 is a winner. It works more than adequately for that purpose. In addition, the Headset is really cool. I like feeling like a geek version of Lara Croft though I don’t think other people think I look as cool. If you are going to buy the T39 for its mobile phone functions along with the Headset, then Ericsson (for perhaps the first time) is a very good choice. With the headset, it’s also managed to raise the fun factor manifold. If you’re thinking that GPRS is going to be the next development of wireless data, then you’re probably going to be pretty disappointed. Phones, applications, screens, services, whatever — this isn’t very good. For its data services, it’s definitely a waste of time. All in all though, because this is after all just a mobile phone, its got to be the newest ESSENTIAL buy. I’m pretty happy I bought it.