So after nearly three years I finally bought a new mobile phone. The battery of my old phone would only keep a charge for two days and I couldn’t find a replacement battery. Not even the Sony Ericsson on-line store had one listed. I was dreaming of an Apple iPhone, but couldn’t justify the on-going expense.
I looked for phones at several stores and thought I had decided on a model. I went to The Phone House, which bills itself as “the world’s largest independent telecommunications retailer.” That translates to having lower prices than Fnac or Media Markt. Of course the model I wanted was discontinued. So they gave me a catalog to look for more options.
Basically I wanted mobile with 4 GSM bands so that I could use the phone anywhere. Also I needed Bluetooth so I could synchronize contacts and calendars with my computer. I selected the Sony Ericsson S500i, which is a “slider” style phone.
Sony Ericsson S500i
The phone was available in black (called “mysterious green”) at Fnac, but it was available in “ice purple” and “contrasted copper” at The Phone House for 90 € less. I opted to save money over a preferred color. The phone has a hidden keypad, which allows for a 240x320 pixel TFT screen without increasing the size of the phone.
My old phone had an exposed keypad which meant that I had to activate a keylock so it wouldn’t accidentally make a call when it was banging around in my pocket. Now I just slide the phone open to use it.
I have used Sony Ericsson mobiles for more than 10 years and I am used to their software. With each phone the software has improved. This new phone allows me to configure it so that the functions I normally use are more quickly available than before.
Of course there is some “fun” stuff. Ruben found photo templates that can be used when using the built-in camera. So he took the following picture of me.
So I had to do the same thing to him!
mountain climber template
The camera can produce up to a 1200x1600 pixel image, which is plenty for a phone. If I want to take “real” pictures, I will use one of my digital cameras.
This phone is a completely “free” (libre) meaning that I can use any SIM card in it. Currently I use a prepay SIM from Movistar, probably the most expensive operator in España. Ruben recently found a cheaper operator, Simyo, which offers calls at 8 centimes a minute to other operators. The first 10 minutes of a call to another Simyo subscriber is free (after a 0,15 € connection fee.)