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Motorola page one minicall

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1 Review

Brand: Motorola

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      16.02.2002 18:05
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      In the days when mobiles where still rather expensive, well it was 1999 actually, I was in my first year of college, and having spent numerous months ringing everywhere to find out what time I was coming home my mother decided I needed something she could contact me on. I begged for a mobile, but me old budge said it would be too expensive, hence the birth of a pager into the family! Just in case you are unclear, a pager looks a bit like a tiny tiny calculator (without the numbers), it’s cordless and it can be used to receive digitised messages sent by radio... if you’re still unclear – watch Casualty next week, all the docs have them slapped on their belts (because they don’t interfere with hospital equipment in the ways that mobile phones do), and conveniently make a loud beeping noise whenever there’s a sticky situation. I’m sure you’re all familiar with text messaging? Well, paging is the original text messaging! It works on the basis that you send someone a message (either texting them from your phone or ringing their pager number (similar to a mobile number but it takes you through to a call centre where an operator will take your message and then send it to the pager). The message is sent by a “digitised radio signal” and received by the pager, which is a “digitised radio receiver” (ooh original!) The pager then beeps or vibrates (according to choice) to tell the owner (or some nosy bugger who’s standing close-by) that they have a message. The message text will then scroll across the screen and the sender can read it and choose whether to save it or delete it. Unfortunately to reply you have to go find a phone... all I ever used to get was my sending me, “Where are you, what time are you home” so I’d have to tramp off and find a friend of BT to call my irate mother. Well, anyway, that’s the concept of the pager cleared up, all I have to a
      dd is that it’s kind of cheap for the owner as they pay a one off fee to buy the pager, then there is nothing more to pay, no service charge, no line rental, only the cost of a battery every now and again. It’s not quite so cheap for the sender though... a matter I shall address further on in the review. So what’s is good about this little pager? Well, I bought it because it looked really cool! Its shell is a sort of clear (but not completely see through) aqua colour, which as I 16 year old I thought was rather groovy (and have to admit that this is still one of the sexier pagers about!). It’s got a comparatively large and clear screen, which allows you to see one line of text up to 20 characters at a time, and three decent sized red buttons to turn it on/off and scroll backwards and forwards through messages and options. It’s not the smallest of the pagers on the market – 5.5cm in length, 3cm in width and 1cm in height – but it’s certainly one of the more functional! You don’t have to squint to read the text or use a pencil tip to press the buttons. Function wise, as well as being able to receive messages – you can store up to 18 messages or messages with a combined total of no more than 720 characters – you can receive messages known as “mail-drop”. These are messages sent free form the call centre with weather reports, news, lottery results, even share indexes. You can alter the frequency and type to suit your requirements. I used to enjoy the news bulletins. However, I found that as well as the headlines I received more obscure news that I never heard anything about in the papers or on TV. Some of the more memorable but slightly morbid headlines I recall were, “Teacher skewered by javelin” (always wondered what happened to about that one), and “Baby dies after washing machine experience” (If what I think happened, did indeed happen... how terri
      ble!). On top of this there are additional features such as a clock, a calendar (tells you the date but doesn’t remind you of birthdays, meetings with your bit on the side etc etc), an alarm clock and even a countdown timer. There is a little display with a series of icons which informs you of things like the time, the fact the alarm is set or that the battery is low – they really do think of everything don’t they! Ringtone type thing wise, it’s not exactly at the forefront of technology and has only a few choices: - Beep 1 (just one beep), Beep 2 (a couple of beeps in a little ditty), Melody (a nice little musical song which I don’t recognise but was tuneful enough). You could decide to have it chirp as well, which means the sound starts of quiet and gets progressively louder. There’s also a vibrate function! I found the pager very easy to use and scroll through. There are a couple of useful features which you can fiddle about with, such as scroll speed, calendar format, clock format. It takes one AAA battery and I found that these tended to last for about 3 months (with the pager turned on at all times), which I thought was quite good. You can also get rechargeable batteries for them nowadays! Ooh there is also a little belt clip attachment. The pager clips into it then it can be hung discreetly from your belt (or the waist of your trousers or skirt if you’re missing a belt). The clip is strong and durable although it does add a little extra bulk. I like the fact that the clip is not permanent though, because I can also slip the pager into a small bag or pocket when it’s inappropriate to wear it. I just have to mention a little about the service operation you receive too: - The paging service is available 24 hours a day 365 days of the year and coverage is available in the majority of UK areas (not so great in mid-Wales (but who lives there anywa
      y?) and some parts of the Highlands). I find that signal is much better than with a mobile phone e.g. I often have signal even when I go through railway tunnels. Although the owner pays nothing, the sender costs are quite high. Messages sent via the call centre cost 55p at peak times (charged to the phone bill) e.g. between 0800hrs and 1800hrs Monday to Friday and 35p at all other times. Texting a message from a mobile phone costs upwards from 50p a time! The call centre seems to be manned by a high proportion of East-Asians (China, Japan etc) and I have had a couple of problems with the accents in the past. When you ring the call centre they ask you for your message, which you give them, and they then repeat it. On two occasions my message has been jumbled slightly, so it’s kind of essential to speak VERY clearly. This little beauty from Motorola has served me well and more than met its purpose. It’s reliable but not exactly at the forefront of technology, however, if you’re not a mobile phone fan but still need to be contacted at times then maybe a pager is the way to go? Eeps, the pic at the top is NOT my pager :(

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