Monday, May 15, 2006

Not-So-Smart Phone

I've been in the market for a new phone and decided to splurge and pick up a "smart" phone. I opted for the Cingular 8125 after reading several reviews and deciding it was generally very cool. After playing with it a bit at the Cingular store I decided to take it home with me. That's where the fun ended.

I was drawn to this model for the full keyboard, data access capability and in particular, the wi-fi capability. Being able to use the nearest hotspot (ie, my house) and not pay ridiculous data prices was very appealing. Anyway, I got home, popped it out of the box and started the setup process. My wireless network isn't the easiest thing to connect to in the world, but I figured I'd be able to work through it. By the end of the evening (like 8 hours after I started) I still hadn't managed to get the thing to connect to my network even though I had shut off every single security measure attempting to make it work. However, it did manage to connect to my neighbor's network. Sigh.

My frustration started with the menus. They made absolutely no sense and I was constantly getting confused about where to find configuration for wireless networks. When I did manage to find the correct menu I could never figure out how to get it to prefer my wireless network. It really had a thing for my neighbor's network.. but not mine. Maybe their signals were more attractive.. hell if I know. I did manage to find the modem configuration which made me feel nostalgic the first time through, but incited rage by the tenth.

Oh, did I mention the help was awful? There was no printed user manual in the box. The device itself has a terrible help system and the real user manual was on the included CD. Of course, by the time I needed the manual I was pissed off enough that I didn't want to install anything on my PC just to read some docs.

So at this point I wasn't exactly a happy customer and I hadn't used any of the device's real functionality, but I had had enough. I pictured myself sitting at some cafe, fumbling around for 10 minutes with this bar of soap trying to get the wifi connection to work and decided it wasn't worth the trouble. I don't travel much so much of the functionality is nothing more than a novelty to me. The next day I returned it and got a nice, simple phone that works exactly as one would expect. Ah.. the simple life.


Post a Comment

<< Home