New mobile phone

Since none had any protests against me and the Huawei U8800 joining in a wholly matter-of-money, I brought this beauty home today. The picture does not really do justice to the crisp screen, but that’s because I suck at photography, or at least not have a tripod to place the camera on for long exposures.

The Titan is not that much larger than the Hero, the screen fills even more of the front but is only a diagonal 3.8″ rather than 3.2″ in the older phone. But the screen resolution is twice that of the Hero, and this is quite noticeable.  When viewing the Hungersite page in Opera, for instance, I can now clearly see the tabs on the top showing the other more or less worthy purposes that share its space, such as the Breast Cancer site and the Literacy site. On the old phone, I could only see smudges which I identified by their placement and shape; they were not actually readable.

Somehow it feels like I have passed an invisible threshold, and actually have moved from simply a “smart phone” to the long awaited Datapad, the handheld unit for interfacing with the world. Web browsing, mail and even moderate amounts of writing are only marginally harder than on a small computer.  Arguably, the thing is a small computer.  I suspect this is how iPhone owners have felt for a while, for one of the things that gadget actually did right was prioritize the screen resolution over pretty much everything else. It may seem overkill for such a small screen, but it is our window to the world (wide web) after all.

The problem of my manly sausage fingers remain, although it is slightly helped by the slightly larger screen estate. Seeing is one thing, hitting is another. For surfing, Opera’s latest mobile browser offers a help: If I hit more than one link at a time, the program automatically zooms in on the spot so the links become large, and waits for me to press again.  I have not needed it to repeat this procedure so far, so it works, and it works quickly.  Typing is another matter. Swiftkey does correct some errors, but I still notice that my right hand still has a tendency to hit the keys to the left of where I intended.

It took some time to download the apps I was used to from the Hero: Opera (the browser), and clients for my three types of blogs:  LiveJournal, Blogger and WordPress. Since my blogs have different purposes and audiences, I don’t particularly want one client app that can post to two or all three of them. That would just make it easier to confuse what I was doing, and I would probably miss out on some features.

Then there are media consumption apps,  Spotify (European music streaming service) and Amazon Kindle e-book reader.

Some apps were already loaded right out of the box: Twitter, Facebook and Gmail, a camera app, and the indispensable alarm clock.  The thing also comes with a text message app and even voice calls, whatever that may be good for…

One unpleasant surprise was that the Titan uses a microUSB instead of the more common mini USB contact for recharging and syncing to computers. I have plenty of the old ones, which fit a number of gadgets, including the Sony PSP. I habitually recharge the mobile phone off the PC when I am sitting at one, and even at night (I have a netbook beside me at night, connected to the stereo.) None of these work anymore. There was a cable in the box; but while the phone fits excellently in a shirt pocket, the cable does not.  So I bought an extra to bring with me home. It was rather expensive too. I distinctly remember putting it on my desk after testing it and deciding to put it in my bag after I had finished whatever it was doing. It is not in my bag though, so presumably I mistook planning to do for actually doing. A human trait, at least!

So now the weekend has begun, and my office is locked until Monday, and I have no way of recharging the new smartphone. I still have the old phone, though. Luckily it is not yet broken. Only outdated.