Monday, May 23, 2005

Convergence: not all it's cracked up to be

I inadvertently joined the growing legions of 3G mobile phone owners last week when I called up Vodafone to request my PAC number (to facilitate a move to Orange and their similarly hued Wednesdays) and was talked into staying put with a free handset upgrade and £10 off my monthly bill (sucker!). Interestingly, at no point during my protracted conversation with the sales rep about the handset's technical spec did he mention that it was 3G (perhaps its company policy to talk content not technology after the WAP fiasco...?)

So, what do I make of my new phone? (a Motorola v980). Well, it's certainly not love at first sight. The friendly sales rep was somewhat economical with the truth when it came to relaying the dimensions of the handset and I'm resigned to a few 'is that a 3G handset in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?' comments over the coming weeks.

Of course, it's what's inside that counts and I could easily overlook a chunky exterior if the features pushed my buttons. Unfortunately, it's decidedly underwhelming in almost all departments. The cameras, the integrated MP3 player and the interface all left me disappointed.

Maybe its because, in my mind, I'm comparing a multi-function device to successful single-function devices. Should I be surprised that the integrated MP3 player isn't a patch on my iPod mini or that the interface lacks the simplicity of the early Nokias or that the images produced by the VGA camera sent me running, weeping, back into the arms of my Pentax Optio S4? Probably not.

Industry pundits have been predicting the triumph of the converged device for as long as I can remember, but until the caliber of the individual components increases significantly I, for one, would much rather take 3 devices into the office...


Anonymous said...

Would that be 'calibre'you're meaning?

Dan Taylor said...

Er...yes. Slight confusion with a leading brand of alcohol-free lager methinks