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This phone is really hopeless. Discuss!

43 posts in this topic

Posted

I really want to like the Smartphone. It is so close to being great it hurts. Unfortunately its shortcomings let it down badly.

It promises features that really excite me – web browsing, Messenger, email, a music player. It delivers these with various levels of success.

I love, for instance, the speaker phone. It works really well. But then that’s negated by the fact that last night two different people (on 2 different landlines) said, that when I was using the handset normally, I sounded really echoey and distant.

But then again the Smartphone holds a signal like nothing else I’ve known. If I go to my kitchen, any other phone gives up the ghost. Not this one – not only have I had no calls drop, they haven’t even broken up.

That’s why I love and hate this phone in equal measure.

Then there are simple gripes like; where is an alarm clock? I want to set one easily and quickly – my Nokia did it in 8 key presses – and that includes the digits of the time. It took about 5 seconds to set my Nokia alarm.

I need to change between my Line 1 and Line 2 several times a day. On the Nokia I held down # for a couple of seconds. On this phone, it’s several laborious menus deep.

Battery life isn’t fantastic either. Yes, you can just about get a day’s use out of it. But a single day is never a problem: it’s when you need two days you get stuck. You see, I go home most nights so I can charge the battery if I need to. Sometimes I go away on business, but this is usually for one night away. But that means I need two days’ battery power. With a current [no pun intended] phone that isn’t an issue. My 6210 is still good for a day on one bar of battery power. And don’t forget that someone is likely to have a Nokia charger wherever you go. A Smartphone charger? You might as well ask for a six pound note.

And finally, where is the GPRS usage counter? I know we’re “unlimited” on Orange for now but that won’t last forever and unless prices fall massively, I won’t be going anywhere near GPRS without some way of quantifying my use. I know you can buy a third party applet. I don’t expect to have to: not on a phone so designed around internet access. Be honest with me, Orange. For heaven’s sake, you are being vague enough right now about the definition oif “unlimited access” to scare me into rushing for an ancient Motorola Startac.

I’ve banged on about the Nokia and the Smartphone. The Nokia was clearly always a telephone. The Smartphone isn’t, despite Orange/Microsoft’s claims. I’ve even read reviews saying that the Smartphone is a phone first and a PDA second. Hmm. This from the same reviewers who gave a Sendo Z100 4 out of 5 [for those who don’t know, also a Smartphone variant]. This same phone was regarded as being great by reviewers, but unfortunately cancelled at the very last minute by the manufacturer. Don’t start me off on this one, but please don’t let’s be hyped along by journalists. This phone is good – but it’s not great, and it certainly is not a finished design.

For a final piece of perspective, I have had a 6210 since it was released on Orange. In that time have never wanted anything else. It’s never failed me. The battery has been predictable. It’s easy to use. But the point is I’ve had it for TWO years and even now I don’t want to give it up. Even the most ardent Smartphone fan must admit they’ll be expecting more of their device in six months time – let alone 24.

So with regret my Smartphone is going back. I’ve touched the future but it’s blown a raspberry in my face. I might get one – this model or another – in a few months time when the technology improves. But right now, I’m happy to just talk.

Mark.

PS. As much as all of us here, I love new tech - but ask yourself - is all this fuss simply a case of the Emperor's new clothes?

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Posted

Er, in fact, I've just read the review I refer to above again.

The phone is given 5 stars out of 5 in this month's PCW.

Now, forgive my cynicism (and forget I know something about how the IT press works) but please - the Sendo was given 5 out of 5 on page 69 of PCW, January 2003.

So, if this is such a FANTASTIC device (worth 5 out of 5 - not many items score that in this magazine) why has the manufacturer withdrawn it from the market? If this is such a wonderful device why have the manufacturer pulled out, despite being part-owned by Microsoft? This one, believe me, will be worth following with your internet phones.

So what is going on here? Do the journos love the machine or or its specs?

Also scoring 5 out of 5 in the same review is the Orange Smartphone. My guess is, if you're reading this on this forum, you have one. Be honest: is this phone worth 5 stars out of 5? It's innovative, it's beautiful, it's the future: but even you would say, it's not 5 out of 5. Is it a Nokia 3210? Remember how THAT PHONE had no ariel? Now there is a model of consumer aspiration meeting technological ability.

And I'm not saying 5 out of 5 is "perfection". In a review to geeks it needn't be, but for God's sake, with a battery life like this, and with a menu system from Hades - this is at BEST 4 out of 5. Ask me, 3 out of 5 is generous.

You might as well ask me to independently assess my penis. I'd give you 5 out of 5 (more likely six or more out of six...)

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Posted

I'm afraid I do agree largely, bugbears for me are.

-Have to create MMS to take photo!

-Trial versions of basic software! This stuff should have been included as full versions!

- Lack of software to download free or to buy (there was more software available pre-release than there is now!!!)

- May just be me, but I keep getting problems accessing the web from the phone (page cannot be found for every site I try to visit at times - in fact I've not been able to access anything at all since yesterday afternoon).

It just strikes me as an unfinished product. I hope it will improve with time, but I'm not sure that I'm willing to wait (I can still take it back on 14 day return at the moment).

Edit - One of the most important ones I left out - the inability to upload software of our own choosing and to develop software for the phone then test it on the phone itself. This is an issue for a large number of people on this board by the looks of things (and for that matter, for people accross the world who want to develop for Smartphone/SPV). I do take on board the arguments about security... then again though anyone know how this issue is handled in the XDA or Jornada 928 - they are PocketPC devices with access to the phone network - do they have this certificate straight-coat on them? If not, then how come no one has brought O2 or Vodafone's network to their knees with malicious programs?

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Posted

I too am very unsure about my phone and am seriously considoring taking it back.

The biggest problem I see is not having any free 3rd party/dev'd utils to download. This coupled with the fact the net features seem heavily reliant on GPRS which I dont really want to have to pay for when the promo packs ends as its so expensive leads me to think this phone isnt at all great.

Im also getting problems with people who I ring complaining the line quality is poor. Another annoying point is that when im keying in a SMS I seem to be too quick for the phone and every 3 or fours words I have to wait while the phone freezes for a second or two.

The more I think about it, the more niggles I can think of :D

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Posted

oh and including a 8meg card, my SL45 came with a 32meg and lately they came with 64meg cards. 8meg is pointless!

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Posted

I think you're all being a little harsh. I do agree that the SPV has it's flaws, but I think it's benefits outweigh these - I definitely wouldn't go back now. I used my T68i yesterday for the first time since getting the SPV... it's awful!

I love, for instance, the speaker phone. It works really well. But then that’s negated by the fact that last night two different people (on 2 different landlines) said, that when I was using the handset normally, I sounded really echoey and distant.
Has anyone else experienced this? I was pleasantly suprised by the sound quality, even when using the headset. Admittedly the sound doesn't have the 'Warmth' (bass?) of some handsets, but it is very clear.

But then again the Smartphone holds a signal like nothing else I’ve known. If I go to my kitchen, any other phone gives up the ghost. Not this one – not only have I had no calls drop, they haven’t even broken up.

Ditto. Speaking to a friend yesterday SPVSPV, the call held on where it would normally drop if he was on a 6310.

Then there are simple gripes like; where is an alarm clock? I want to set one easily and quickly – my Nokia did it in 8 key presses – and that includes the digits of the time. It took about 5 seconds to set my Nokia alarm.
Ditto with the T68i. This is one of the reasons that Orange have shot themselves in the foot by stifling 3rd party developers at the moment. I could soon knock up an alarm clock app, but at the moment, I couldn't run it on the SPV!

I need to change between my Line 1 and Line 2 several times a day. On the Nokia I held down # for a couple of seconds. On this phone, it’s several laborious menus deep.

See above :wink:

Battery life isn’t fantastic either. Yes, you can just about get a day’s use out of it. But a single day is never a problem: it’s when you need two days you get stuck. You see, I go home most nights so I can charge the battery if I need to. Sometimes I go away on business, but this is usually for one night away. But that means I need two days’ battery power. With a current [no pun intended]phone that isn’t an issue. My 6210 is still good for a day on one bar of battery power. And don’t forget that someone is likely to have a Nokia charger wherever you go. A Smartphone charger? You might as well ask for a six pound note.

Totally agree. BUT, the battery life is in excess of what I got with my HP Jornada Pocket PC, and this device has replaced that. I would be interested to see what the battery life is like if GPRS / MSN etc. isn't used. Bearing mind that my SPV picks up my mail every 30 minutes, I reckon the battery life is acceptable.

On the other hand, the battery optimisation could probably be improved. The way that the screen light turns on if you hit a key when the keypad is locked is bonkers. The keypad light, maybe, but screen? Talk about a battery sucker and a way to get a randomly illuminated pocket! Heh....

And finally, where is the GPRS usage counter? I know we’re “unlimited” on Orange for now but that won’t last forever and unless prices fall massively, I won’t be going anywhere near GPRS without some way of quantifying my use. I know you can buy a third party applet. I don’t expect to have to: not on a phone so designed around internet access. Be honest with me, Orange. For heaven’s sake, you are being vague enough right now about the definition oif “unlimited access” to scare me into rushing for an ancient Motorola Startac.
All-Locations GPRS counter will be available soon, but, this should really as you say have been included in the box. Much more useful than the 'File Explorer'!

For a final piece of perspective, I have had a 6210 since it was released on Orange. In that time have never wanted anything else. It’s never failed me. The battery has been predictable. It’s easy to use. But the point is I’ve had it for TWO years and even now I don’t want to give it up. Even the most ardent Smartphone fan must admit they’ll be expecting more of their device in six months time – let alone 24.

If I went back to a 6210, i'd need an additional device - a PDA. That's why for me, there's no going back from the SPV. I can live with lower battery life than a mono screen, less featured phone, since I am rarely away from a point where I can charge.

But, of course, it's the age old story... Horses for courses and all that...

Finally...

PS. As much as all of us here, I love new tech - but ask yourself - is all this fuss simply a case of the Emperor's new clothes?

How unlike any other phone IS the SPV?

It's ground breaking, and it has issues. But if Microsoft and Orange can really make a concerted effort to fix this, and really exploit Orange Update, I think this good phone can truly become a great phone.

Orange have a 1 year exclusive licence with HTC for the 'Canary', (SPV), and should make the most of it.

Now come on Orange, prove to us you are as great as you used to be, get involved with us, the users, and make this work!

P

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Posted

I agree with most of what you are all saying. But the SPV is the first of its kind and you can't expect it to be perfect.

But at the price you can't complain, there are a lot more worse phones out there ie: T68, Motorola V series etc

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Posted

I agree with you Paul, my life is so much better now I have gotten rid of my 6210 and Jornada, I have so much more pocket space available, can carry my cigs around now. My only concern with the SPV was the battery life, but it is steadily improving, after a good discharge.

It's far too early to be judging the phone on issue's that can be easily resolved, the infrastructure to support this phone is still being Ironed out as well, I was fully aware of that before I purchased the phone. Something this new is bound to be bugged, even cars get recalled because of bugs/gremlins.

May just be me, but I keep getting problems accessing the web from the phone (page cannot be found for every site I try to visit at times - in fact I've not been able to access anything at all since yesterday afternoon).

Dom you need to check your GPRS settings, you may not have the DNS entries, look in Tips 'n' Tricks section. Also you might need to turn the automatic setting off under the internet connection settings.

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Posted

Well, read my rant about this here - http://www.acrossthewater.co.uk/SPV/rant.htm :x

There are faults, but I upgraded - so I don't get a 14-day return anyhow. I wouldn't return it anyway. Sure, the Nokia 6210e is a wicked phone - never failing, sturdy, excellent. The SPV is something completely different - - designed soley for the office-worker doing 9-5 who can use the gadgets fully.

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But at the price you can't complain, there are a lot more worse phones out there ie: T68, Motorola V series etc

Sorry, dude! But we can always complain. We're largely tied in for a year's contract for somewhere in the region of £26-35 a month on most geek-friendly tarrifs. If we don't send the phone back within 14 days, we are lumbered with whatever lack of community support Orange choose to give us.

We're all effectively paying beta testers who are enthusiastic enough to let most of the shortcomings ride. This phone (and GPRS tarrif) pricing is cost effective for Orange. We can rest assured they are making their (healthy) margin despite claims of subsidy.

The Orange-only root certificate thing is such a nasty trick to pull. Phrases like "anticompetitive", "anti-trust" and "restrictive practices" spring inexorably to mind.

About 6 months ago I "upgraded" my 6210 to a Trium Mondo. HAH! After two weeks I found it completely unusable, and sent it back despite their 14 day returns policy, and duely got my refund. Luckily I still had my 6210. Now, however, I've part-exed my 6210 for the SPV. I sincerely hope the SPV will not be as much of a dog as the Mondo, as I am now irrevocably commited to the phone for the rest of the 12-month contract.

Incidently, the Mondo allowed users to install any software they liked.

So, I'm off now to post some wish list items... :D

joel

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Posted

Mondo, now THAT was a dog!

Thankfully, the SPV is in a different league!

Orange are about to launch the HP Jornada 928 (Pocket PC Phone Edition)... What will be interesting will be to see if that has the same certificate issues!

:?

P

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Just in case you didn't know you can upgrade your Orange phone at anytime, I upgraded my handset twice in one year.

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Just in case you didn't know you can upgrade your Orange phone at anytime, I upgraded my handset twice in one year.

Ah! The joys of disposable income! :D

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I wish :D , both were free at the time, I don't buy unless it's cheap or free :(

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I think you're all being a little harsh. I do agree that the SPV has it's flaws, but I think it's benefits outweigh these - I definitely wouldn't go back now. I used my T68i yesterday for the first time since getting the SPV... it's awful!
I don't want to be harsh but it's true. As a phone, the SPV isn't great. In fact it's very average. The device does very well in the areas MS has experience in - as a media player, it's great. As an organiser (ie Outlook front end) it's good. Messenger is tops.

But as a phone - and in delivering mobile phone-type functions - it falls down. Things like an alarm clock [apologies btw, I've found it now] are essential and yet their implementation stinks, really stinks. As a trivial example, why is the first thing you can change in the alarm dialogue your time zone? And why is the alarm the last thing you scroll to? That sums this up - no attention to the detail that everyone else has got right for years.

I love, for instance, the speaker phone. It works really well. But then that’s negated by the fact that last night two different people (on 2 different landlines) said, that when I was using the handset normally, I sounded really echoey and distant.

To be fair it wasn't me who noticed that, it was the people I was speaking to. From my end the call quality is ok - but with one fairly major no-no.

When the person on the other end of the line goes quiet, I hear nothing. I hear silence. I don't like that - any other phone lets me hear background noise (in fact don't Nokias send out a representation of background noise?) When I hear silence from the phone I tend to assume it's dropped the call, and it's very very offputting. I've been going "you still there" to people for three days now...

Don't get me wrong. I really really want to like the SPV but it's very hard to do so. A return to my 6210 and my Clie beckon...

PS. I'll admit that a big reason for wanting to return it is that I don't want to be lumbered with a device I can't upgrade (in the Orange sense) for twelve long months. I've made that mistake before.

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Totally agree with markn's initital post...

This has got to be the lamest phone I have ever had the misfortune to possess. I'm getting an awesome 13 hours battery life (with low-moderate usage) - come on! My 1st ever Motorola some 7 years ago managed better than this.

There is no getting away from the simple fact that the battery life, coupled with a multitude of bugs that very range from being annoying to downright crippling make this phone a complete Lemon.

Another thing that makes me wonder is, if this *was* such a killer phone, why on earth did the price drop to 99.99 for an upgrade within a matter of days - a phone with such features (and so much in the box) would command a far higher price - if - and only if it performed, which it doesn't.

I am very pleased that for some reason Orange had the foresight to give me a 7 day return policy on an upgrade (again, something that makes me wonder, as every other upgrade I have had has clearly stated no returns possible on upgrades).

Anyway, needless to say, I've asked Orange for the Jiffy bag to send it back to the in... quite a fitting bag to send a lemon back in.

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:D As much as I like the jiffy bag/lemon gag, it's a bit harsh to call it one.

I think this could be a fantastic product if it was finished. It seems to me that it's not. I don't want to return it but I got things done better with my 6210 - and at the end of the day, that's all that counts. I know it's all very exciting and it's a nice new toy but I've been here before. For once I'm bottling my enthusiasm and am letting common sense take over.

Mark

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Wouldn't say it is Useless just not finished. Think microsoft or most probably orange rushed it out to beat t_mobile and sendo to market and maybe should have waited until it was completed. There will probably be a service pack in a month or so which will fix most of the bugs. At least you won't have to send the phone away like my 6210 and t68 which needed at least 4 versions of software until one was stable.

Richard

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Well, read my rant about this here - http://www.acrossthewater.co.uk/SPV/rant.htm  :x  

There are faults, but I upgraded - so I don't get a 14-day return anyhow. I wouldn't return it anyway. Sure, the Nokia 6210e is a wicked phone - never failing, sturdy, excellent. The SPV is something completely different - - designed soley for the office-worker doing 9-5 who can use the gadgets fully.

I'll probably start an OS war or something, but I have to comment to the rant... You're compairing the SPV to 6210?! Come on, compare it to some other smartphones that are out ther e.g. Nokia 7650 or the upcoming SE P800. I personally own a 7650, but I was expecting something special from Orange that would compete with my current phone. But It seems I was (and it seems quite few other people) have been blinded by the Microsoft brand and their PR department.

The Microsoft SmartPhone OS/SPV is lacking a lot of features I currently enjoy using on my 7650.

1) Multiple e-mail accounts - important for me. I hate "unified inbox" concept. As an "office worker" myself I want to keep work e-mail separete from my personal e-mail and don't want to mix them with my SMSs.

2) E-mail attachments...

3) Text Cut'nPaste between apps...

4) No taskmanager in SPV!

5) Multiselection in lists! I can mark multiple e-mails/sms etc. in 7650 but not in SPV!

6) SMS delivery notes have to be set separately for each SMS I send! No global setting.

7) No Bluetooth support

8 ) No Java support

9) You can only install Orange "approved" SW

10) Phone startup time is over 30s

11) Slower & lot buggier!

etc.

Those are just few things that have popped up on "microsoft.public.smartphone" and other discussion areas. If I'm wrong, please correct me!!!

Especially the "9" is a severe limitation. I can get a Jabber, ICQ, MSN client for my 7650 as well as a lot of other cool stuff that is not preinstalled. E.g. one cool chat program is the "WestOne" chat...

You can even send photos to other chatters:

http://www.westhouse.biz/westone/man_photo...tos_receive.htm

Sorry for sounding like an advertisement, but I wanted to point out that this SPV is not such a "amazing new thing". There are options out there (not only my 7650 - it has its limitations as well - e.g. no MMC/SD card slot) and no one should accept the bugs because you can "talk to my aunty in Canada". Yes, so can I but without locking myself to SPV with its bugs on missing phone/other features!

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When the person on the other end of the line goes quiet, I hear nothing. I hear silence.
My Morotola v3, Nokia 8210 and Motorola v66 all did / do this, so this behaviour is not limited to the SPV.

Come on, compare it to some other smartphones that are out ther e.g. Nokia 7650 or the upcoming SE P800

Most can only compare it to the 7650 since the P800 is not scheduled for release until early 2003!

1) Multiple e-mail accounts - important for me. I hate "unified inbox" concept.  

7) No Bluetooth support  

8 ) No Java support

I can understand your frustration at some of the other points but you didn't know the above before you bought an SPV? [bTW, one of the reasons I'm going for an SPV over a 7650 is because the bluetooth implimentation on the Nokia is far from perfect that I'd be better off, in the short term, with a phone that doesn't have it at all!].

I've got a couple of days to wait before one of my contracts up [and I get an SPV] but I thought I'd chip in my 2c... flame away!!! :D

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Lets see what i can get for the same PRICE shall we? im sure people are being a tad harsh when this is one cheep product! I got an SL45 a year ago on t-mobile, just out of contract and now i wanted a phone that does mp3 and photos(not sure if their is one in the uk except this). So let me see, EXACTLY 1 year ago i could get my sl45 for £30 with mmc slot and mp3 player (i couldnt have a phone without one now, love it).

This year i can get EXACTLY the same contract Everyone 100 OVP and the phone for 20 quid thats what 10 quid cheeper! So whats it got on the sl45, well it has the same features and feature rich full colour 3d games, email, internet, updates (which i seem to remeber were an arse on the sl45), camera, phone, videos i could go on!

I can understand second email account being irratating and the bugs, but you people are so IMPATIENT im sure it took me more than 1 or 2 weeks to get used to ANY phone, and orange do give you 14 days, feel bad for the upgraders!

I cant afford 300 quid or so which yes i imagine the adverage business user might be able to for a PDA! AND IM SORRY THE 7650 IS H0000GE, and NO MP3, as i said above i couldnt live without it now! 6210 is a great phone but it has no toys, i love my toys!! As far as battery life goes, the phone is small and compact im suprised it can even do 1 day with all these features, everything else in comparison is huge. Id like to see you get a color TFT screen to run with that many apps and still get more than a day out if it!

And i have to admit bugs are annoying, this is THE FIRST SMARTPHONE stop being harsh if you wanted something full proof buy a year old phone, you HAVE TO EXPECT THIS! Most companies wont install ANY software on their network without a possible 1 year of testing, NEW software is proven to be buggy id love to see anybody create a flawless software based product on day of release!

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And i have to admit bugs are annoying, this is THE FIRST SMARTPHONE stop being harsh if you wanted something full proof buy a year old phone, you HAVE TO EXPECT THIS! Most companies wont install ANY software on their network without a possible 1 year of testing, NEW software is proven to be buggy id love to see anybody create a flawless software based product on day of release!

Oh, you are playing it down that Orange and Microsoft are beta testing their SW on paying customers? I don't want to have "PC way of life", i.e. constant upgrade cycle with Service Packs, into my cellular "life" as well. It is annoying enough that quite a few of us have to put up if cr*ppy SW on our PCs.

Orange is selling it cheap because they want to drive their own brand into peoples lifes. They are probably making a loss on each phone sold because they want to get some market share now before the competitors get their own smartphones out. They don't care about the SW quality at the moment, but I bet it is going to bite them back - hard...

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Well as phones get smarter expect updates and bugs to be common practise im sorry, but their is NO COMPANY IN THE WORLD who creates flawless software without bugs and im not just talking MICROSOFT AND ORANGE, linux and other such software isnt flawless and your an iddiot if you think phones can get smarter and have less bugs!

However prehaps this was rushed out yes maybe, but still i doubt anyone could have made this phone flawless, i also agree that software companies are becoming lazy with the "release it NOW well get a patch out later"! But on the other side this is their first attempt, dont buy it if the bugs are annoying you have a choice use it! I want toys therefore i buy!

END OF STORY, you are the consumer you have to freedom to decide!

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Well as phones get smarter expect updates and bugs to be common practise im sorry, but their is NO COMPANY IN THE WORLD who creates flawless software without bugs and im not just talking MICROSOFT AND ORANGE, linux and other such software isnt flawless and your an iddiot if you think phones can get smarter and have less bugs!

That's a great way of thinking... so, bugs are simply to be put up with are they?

This is a ridiculous way of thinking, and just the kind of poor reasoning that lets companies get away with this kind of thing over and over again.

As far as I am concerned, this phone is absolutely flawed - very poor design, with an absolute multitude of rather serious bugs.

The mentality of people saying "it'll be ok - give it a couple of months for the fixes" is crazy - as I said before, mines going straight back to Orange, maybe I'll revisit the SPV once those unfortunate enough to keep it have ironed out the bugs

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Well as phones get smarter expect updates and bugs to be common practise im sorry, but their is NO COMPANY IN THE WORLD who creates flawless software without bugs and im not just talking MICROSOFT AND ORANGE, linux and other such software isnt flawless and your an iddiot if you think phones can get smarter and have less bugs!

No need to call people names. You don't have take my comments so personally and start ad hominem attacks!

Of course more complicated SW have more defects, but it is up to the companies to fix most critical ones before releasing the product! The current level of defects in SPV is totally unacceptable. My 7650 has not had this many problems and I still consider it to have a lot more features than SPV (on the OS side) as outlined in my previous posting.

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