AFTER FONDLING SONY ERICSSON phones for an hour on top of Temple Bar, I realised how many of these well-engineered cameraphones are part of my extended family. Fact is, many of the SonyEricsson phones that I buy end up in the hands of grandparents where they continue hard work for at least three years beyond the hand-me-down date. Moreover, the screens on those SonyEricsson phones are the most common place where the grandparents and the aunts see Mia, the youngest member of the family tree. When we're together for a weekend, we beam shots and video clips to the grandparents' K800i phone at left. It's a totally invincible cameraphone, takes great shots, and it's outlived two different digital photo frames that I bought for grandad and granny. In another part of Ireland, a two-year-old P1i continues providing always-on mobile office service for an OpenCoffee enthusiast. I liked that phone too, mainly because of its complete mobile document management and its snappy web browsing. And here's the kicker--both of those phones have outlived their normal expected lifespans, meaning they have stayed out of landfill, provided a lower cost of ownership than the much-touted iPhone and normally operated for more than a day between recharging.
Our Number One Cameraphone. In our home, the Cybershot technology on the SonyEricsson C902 makes it our #1 cameraphone. It's the fastest-to-fire, mainly because it uses a mechanical on-switch, not a software switch that many other phones use. And its imagery is really good, unless the operator manually forces its settings to one level by turning off its automatic imaging. Its Flickr usage is dwarfed by the iPhone, a device that benefits by having all of its versions counted as the same phone model by Flickr.
Award-Winning Photography. The eight megapixel SonyEricsson C905 has scooped several photography awards in Tipperary Institute. We got the phone from Clarify Communications for a competition won by Rachael Cooke. Her technical review of the phone earned a prize from The Right Hook and Louder Voice and then Rachael started using the C905 for audio inserts to multimedia podcasts. Her book reviews, recorded on the C905 and beamed over Bluetooth to a production desk, showed the phone's versatility. But it's Rachael Cooke's composition style and creativity that really leveraged the C905. Its powerful Xenon flash helps produce some of the nicest-lit settings. Its face detection keeps smiles in focus. And with on-board wifi, Rachael was able to use the phone alongside free wifi services at Tipperary Institute to connect to our virtual learning environment.
Best Accessory for a Mobile Phone. I'm hesitant to list the HBH DS-980 stereo Bluetooth headset as the best accessory you can get for a mobile phone because I know some phones aren't smart enough to accommodate this stunning set of earbuds. You need a phone (like all the newer SonyEricsson and Nokias) with A2DP Bluetooth technology on board in order to use these earbuds. The poor iPhone doesn't have that flavour of Bluetooth so many of my readers won't be able to enjoy this Bluetooth accessory. I'm impressed by how powerful the earbuds have proven in regular use. I can put my Nokia E90 in a bag and listen to music, watch the name of the track on the OELD display and toggle forward or adjust volume levels with the headset. It's metallic mirror pendant looks as good as the earbuds feel. At home, I can put my phone on the middle floor of the house and use the earbuds up or down a level from the Bluetooth phone. It's all-around elegant.
Most-fun accessory. Too bad the iPhone won't bind to a wide assortment of portable Bluetooth speakers available through SonyEricsson. I take my shotput speaker (weighs as much as a rubber ball) outside while working on weeds or when mixing cement. During the summer, confused neighbours often hear the voice of Neville Hobson as my phone delivers his podcasts or AudioBoos directly to the MBS-200 speaker system on our picnic table.
Long-serving Back-up Phone. I remember collecting my SonyEricsson P910i (shown in the blanket between a dictaphone and a cameraphone) from a distributor on the Naas Road years ago, and immediately loving its jog dial, touchscreen, video recording, and graffit inputs. The phone's screen is worse for the wear now because I've sat on it several times and my daughter has used it while teething. It still works as a phone but needs some work-arounds to make its other functions usable. Nonetheless, it holds a charge and works as a good back-up phone for visitors from the States who just want to carry around one of my pay-as-you-go SIM cards for emergencies and local bookings. Its memory cards also slot into the Sony ICD MX-20 which means I can share storage requirements between the phone and the digital dictaphone. My needs aren't the same as other creative multimedia lecturers but I'm happy knowing that I can direct students to recordings or to viewing on-board videos that are stored on the P910i, effectively bringing another screen or another recording device into the portable classroom.
Pocket Media That Works. Sony and SonyEricsson get one thing right nearly every time--their industrial design gets pocket media right the first time. Through all the clamoring people make about the iPhone, it's often unnoticed how durable and well-engineered SonyEricsson products have been since Sony and Ericsson blended their offerings. I'm happy knowing that every year I can get a higher level of multimedia service for the same or less cost over a sales counter where SonyEricsson products are for sale. And with network subsidies from O2-Ireland through the two accounts I maintain, it normally means I can get a brand-new SonyEricsson cameraphone for less than €100 every year. Come back in December and search my blog for "SonyEricsson" to see what I've got as a stocking stuffer for a family member. My choice might work for you as well.
Note: I told the SonyEricsson handlers in Ireland that I would reflect on my SonyEricsson experience in my 5000th blog post and that's what happened. I also let the MBS-200 speaker stream from my shoe.
Flickr Trends: 1570 images uploaded by K800i yesterday and the C902 that we love uploaded 532 items on the same day. The business phone P1i shared 228 items on Flickr but no one uploaded a P910i image to Flickr yesterday.