Episode 44. In which I look into getting a new mobile handset.

This is turning out to be quite complicated, and I apologise if this post turns into a dissertation.  But it’s all a bit in-depth and I can’t really waste the opportunity for something to write about that isn’t related to London, trains, the cat or being tired.

I’m currently on a contract with Orange, using a Samsung that I forget the model number of.  This Samsung is a few years old now, and when I got it I was on O2.  I had a terrible time with O2 when I tried to renew my existing contract and they somehow managed to switch me onto a much more expensive contract tying me in for a much longer time period.  When I called for about the twentieth time telling them to sort it out, they very pointedly warned me that they were going to listen to the recordings of all my previous calls to them to make sure I wasn’t just lying to get out of a contract I’d changed my mind about.  I said that when they’d done that, which would take about four hours given how many times I’d had to call them about it, I would expect a phone call from that particular operator apologising for everything O2 had done wrong AND for calling me a liar.  It never came, of course, but I was already with Orange before the whole saga was over.  In fact, I cancelled my direct debit before the contract I had agreed to was over and paid what I owed them only once they agreed that it wasn’t, in fact, almost £1500.

So I switched to Orange and got a very similar contract and the handset I wanted.  Which was a Sony Walkman W500i in pink.  Pink!  Anyway a few months later the screen died and I went back to the handset I’d been using on O2, which was my trusty Samsung.  Months later when I was finally getting round to sending the Sony back to be fixed I turned it on just to check it was still broken and it wasn’t  Maybe there was condensation that had evaporated again, or maybe it had bruising on its poor little brain that’s gone down and improved the prognosis, but anyway, it’s not broken any more.  However, I find that I prefer the Samsung, so I stuck with it, and the Sony sits in a drawer.

My Orange contract is up in April, I’m entitled to a handset upgrade now, and so I started looking around.  There’s a lot of phones out there I quite like the look of, you see.  However, having looked around, I now see that phones as they used to be have kind of stopped evolving, and the whole world has switched their attention to the iPhone-type Blackberry-type handset, which is pretty much everywhere.  I am vehemently anti-Apple, I don’t like Macs, I don’t like anything to do with them, and I don’t care what anyone says about that (and believe me, I hear about it regularly, I share a flat with a MacBook, a MacMini and an iPhone).  However, having seen the iPhone (despite not being allowed to touch it), I am tempted.

My main priority in a phone, after general usability (because I prefer Samsungs to Sonys, and both of those to Nokia, and don’t even mention Motorola, just don’t go there), is the camera.  I just got a new DSLR (which I may or may not have gone on and on and on about) and my little point and shoot digital camera, which I got almost four years ago now, is a bit crappy.  Ideally I’d like to have a phone that would double as a camera, because I’d always have it with me, and I’d always have it charged.  There are handsets out there right now with 8 megapixels, although 5 megapixels is more common, and the former is double the megapixels of my point and shoot, so either would be great.  However, these cameras are very, very expensive, so in the absence of a handset that will double as a camera, I’m going to go with whatever I quite like the look of that happens to be free.

I’d also quite like the ability to get online on my handset.  Not that I’d want to spend a lot of time online, because I don’t have money to burn, but here’s an example of when it would be handy.  Yesterday my train home was crammed full of people, because a previous train had been cancelled, and they had stupid first class areas wasting space that was needed.  I tried to get onto the national rail website with my ancient handset, to find out whether I could change to another train at London Bridge or East Croydon without wasting half the night waiting for a connection, because getting home at 7.30pm is bad enough.  The poor little bugger couldn’t handle it, and took its time (and my money) to come out with an eventual 404 error message.  A functioning iPhone or Blackberry would’ve been useful at that point.

However, I just looked at the Orange website and to upgrade to anything that tickles my fancy will cost a whole heap of money, so I’m probably going to either cancel and go with a whole new contract, or just change network altogether.

It’s all very confusing, and tiring, and there’s massive temptation to just get the first one that looks alright, but it’s going to involve going into shops and messing with things and fiddling with handsets that are stuck to the wall with a wire that’s too short so I can’t look at them properly, and that don’t actually show me anything about the functionality of the phone because it’s nothing more than an empty shell.

A bit like John Malkovich.

Diabetic moment of the day

This morning when I checked my blood sugar before breakfast it was perfect, exactly where it’s supposed to be.  Which means last night I took just the right amount of insulin with dinner.  I found this ridiculously satisfying, and I don’t think anything diabetes-related is going to top that today.


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