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Goodbye Orange / HTC / Touch Pro / Contracts - Hello iPhone 3g / PAYG

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OK a bit about me. I've been with Orange forever (1993 - yes I even have one of those 07973 numbers - and as I was one of the first - I could even pick my number to match my landline!). I pay not-a-lot, in exchange for - well for quite a lot (currently 25/month gets me 1200 mins which I dont use, 500 txt + 8 quid for unlimited [1gb data]. I have been regularly upgrading via disconnections for about 6 years and have never had anything other than a 12 month contract, which typically, I have upgraded after 9 months. I've had most of the various Orange offerings of smart phones / communicators and more recently a string of HTCs (m500, 600, TYTN, TYTN 2).

I really thought the Touch Pro was for me. I need decent data transfer and a keyboard is a must. I was really excited about the VGA screen as the screen on the TYTN 2 was for me the major let down. And all a bit smaller, perfect. So much so, being the impatient beggar that I am, I almost parted with 550 quid to play with one SIM free.

A change of job meant that my only coverage (all 4 major networks) was with O2. I unlocked an old phone (TYTN) and put my 02 pay and go SIM in, and I was singing - with 2 phones.

The iPhone 2G came and went. Wasn't that interested. Despite being a recent Apple Mac convert the thought of a data device on 2G was just, well, laughable. When the 3G iPhone was announced, I thought the same about the lack of keyboard - nice toy - shame about the lack of keyboard for a serious data device.

Anyway, on a bit of a whim, I decided to buy the 3G iPhone on Pay as You Go to replace my work TYTN. With the full intention of getting the Touch Pro if and when Orange finally got their act together in formally announcing it and releasing it. But f*#& me! No more do I wish to have 2 devices. No more do I wish to keep my Orange contract, which is, by all accounts, obscenely cheap.

My iPhone is a revelation. To ensure I wasn't going slightly mad in actually requesting my Orange PAC - and meaning it - I spent about an hour playing with the Touch Pro in Voda (yes it is in most stores). It's a very capable phone compared to my TYTN2 - the size wouldn't bother me - smaller than my TYTN2 and with a nice screen. The keyboard is much better for my smallish fingers. But I'm sorry, not even the for "free" that Orange will likely give me this for at 25 month - I'm not interested. The iPhone is stunning. As a phone, an an iPOD, as a browser, as a push email client. My 3 year old loves it - cBeebies (and all BBC offerings) via BBC iPlayer is simply stunning quality. And like all things Mac, stuff just works, first time.

Put simply, the Touch Pro is a rubbish phone - compared to the iPhone. After a weeks use of the iPhone - I don't miss the keyboard one jot (and I email a lot). The user interface and functionality of the iphone simply puts any PPC or smartphone I have used (or for the that matter seen announced) to shame. Should they bring out the Iphone with a keyboard that would be great too, but the screen keyboard and the screen are simply fantastic. Well done Apple!

I'm also probably happy to consider ditching my generous contract, with my unlimited data and wifi and 500 mins for a 10 quid top up on pay as you go. If it works out more expensive, I'll get a contract, but I bet it won't. May of us who grew up on contracts assume they are good value for money, but don't realize there are really good PAYG deals out there.

So Goodbye Orange / HTC / Touch Pro - Hello iPhone 3g


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if it had a kickass camera (and i mean kickass - 5mp min, proper lens, video, zoom, autofocus etc) then i would probably be with ya...

but it hasnt, so off to Symbian i go!

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Was playing with my new iphone last night. Its all right. Don't like the keyboard - doesn't quite seem to line up with where my fingers are pressing, although maybe that improves with time - and browsing over the 3G was painful. In about 20 minutes I had at least 3 network errors and 10 page not founds, all for the BBC and Google. When it did work the speeds were pretty slow. Nice, but definitely not perfect and I would argue with, "just works".

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I keep telling myself that I'd want it to have a better camera, a flash, a front facing camera. Plus of course MMS, Cut n Paste, Tethering etc (Which I know can be overcome by installing 3rd party apps).

But I suppose realistically the only thing stopping me from getting one, is I have zero 02 coverage at home. My work phone is on 02, and I get voicemails in the passing breeze, but then cannot listen to them!

I'm sure that the next generations of iPhone will catch up with other technologies. Once it's properly sim unlocked I'll probably get one as a spare handset. But then again, I'm loving the omnia right now, it's like an iphone ... but has all the extra features I want. It's not clunky like the TyTN II.

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