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In my opinion the T28 wasn't a bad phone, but overall it had quite a few flaws. Initially coming out at around £300, it didn't attract many buyers unitl it came substantially down in price. Once available on contract for next to nothing, it quickly became popular for it's super slim, lightweight design. The T29 follows on from the T28, it's small and lightweight, but has a few new features packed up its sleeves. At a glance the T29 looks much the same as the T29 but the build is actually quite different. The outer casing feels much more plasticky, lacking the solidity the T28 had. The plastic is slightly lighter with a slightly metallic look about it, which makes it look better than the dark T28. The keypad now has silver buttons on an enamel plastic back, opinions vary on this but I think it looks quite good. The T29 comes bundled with the thicker li-ion battery which sticks out at the back as the phone has clearly been designed for the smaller li-poly battery. The upside of this is much beter battery life. The flip no longer springs open with the press of a button, it now has to be manually opened, but it is still active, answering and hanging up calls. The reason for this is that the catch tended to break on the T28, meaning that the flip wouldn't stay closed, and subsequently tended to break off when in a pocket. The T28 was always a good looking phone, the T29 also looks good, Ericsson's decision to leave it alone is welcome. One of my biggest gripes with the T28 was the relatively slow operating system and unresposive keypad. Thankfully the T29 has been substabtially improved on both these fronts, the menu system is now much faster to naviagte and the buttons much more resposive. Anyone familiar with Ericsson's newer phones such as the T28 and the r320 will have no problems finding their way through the menus, they are well thought out and everything is pretty much where you would expect it. The last m
enu is the shortcut menu, which allows to put your most used function in a list, giving you quick access to the functions you use the most. The T29 offers EMS, or enhanced message sending (I think!). To be honest I don't know exactly what features of EMS the T29 uses but it does offer several items not normally found. Firstly you can send long messages, if these are sent to a non-ems phone these are broken up into several smaller SMS. Unfortunately this means that the phone will read them in reverse order, making it a bit tricky to understand what is happening! It's a good feature though, and if I can upgrade the firmware ib my SL45 to the SL45i to support it, I will be a lot happier! The T29 also allows picture messaging to other T29 users, the phone comes with a library of pictures, although I haven't yet found out how to upload new ones. Unfortunately the T29 doesn't have predictive text input which is a disappointment, most other phones now have this feature and its one that I find very useful. The T29 does support the chatboard which is very good for text messaging, if you are prepared to pay the £25 asking price for it. If you want to text a lot, it's worth the money. The T29 has a WAP browser, which would initially seem to be a waste of time with such a small screen. In reality it actually works well, it is perfectly adequate for collecting e-mail and having a browse of the news and so forth. Setting up the browser is over complicated, I couldn't transfer the settings from my 7110 or SL45 but the websites corresponding to the WAP portals gave detailed enough instructions to set it up. The other slight problem is that it feels like there should be a few more buttons, the T29 has to make do with 5, whereas the 7110 has 7 (counting pressing the navi roller) and the SL45 8. Overall though I have to say I am very impressed with the WAP browser, I like using WAP and the T29 doesn't disappoint. The g
ames deserve a special mention, with such a small screen you would think that they wouldn't be much use. There are five games in all and they are all surprisingly good fun to play, ranging from the classic tetris, to 'ballpop' where you hit brick with a ball and even a space shooting game called 'game' so good it doesn't even need a name! Call quality is excellent, both received and transmitted speech quality is crystal clear. As with the newer Ericssons it has an intelligent battery, by sliding the button on the left up or down the phone tells you how much talktime and standby time the battery has left. Obviously the hours are a bit generous, but it gives you a good idea of how long the battery is going to last. It's one of my favourtie features of Ericsson phones. With such a small screen and a reasonably powerful battery, the overall battery life is reasonably good, again improving on the T28. The T29 is compatible with all the accessories for the T28, such as the mp3 player, d128 IR modem or the bluetooth headset, which is a wireless handsfree kit. These are both useful, although expensive accessories still not available on several of the T29's competitors. As with several of the previous phones the T29 features voice dialling, all you have to do is hold down the slide and speak the name of the person you want to phone and the phone dials it for you. This system works fine, although the phone does need to be reasonably close to your mouth for it to work. The voice memo features isn't on the T29 but I've never really found this feature to be a particularly useful feature and I don't miss it on the the T29. As for the rest of the phone, well the phone book works pretty much as you would expect, allowing you to copy simcard memory onto the phone to keep numbers saved when you change SIMS. All the call register functions work perfectly well, as you would expect. The mai
n competitor to the T29 is probably Nokia's 3330, which offers similar features, at a similar price. Although the Nokia 3330 is a very good phone, Nokia's decision not to change the looks from the 3310 is not a great move as many people have the 3310 and the 3330 is indistinguishable. The T29 is a small stylish phone, and there are a lot less of them about than 3310/3330s which will be a big plus for many people on a contract. The T29 is currently available for free on contract from Carphonewarehouse and for the money it is a very good phone.
Having upgraded from a T18s, I was impressed by this phone. I had seen the T28s and was not impressed with it. It seemed like a phone that you could break in half if you held it the wrong way. Far too thin. And what was with that button on the side? Designed for right-handers only? The T29 improves on these. First off, I liked the feel and the weight of the T29. Whilst making it lighter than the T18, it was heavier and thicker than the T28. It was perfect fit for what I wanted, seeing as the choice of phones out there is limited. I was tempted by Sony somethingoranother, which was similar, with a flip, but a jog-dial. But having had an Ericsson before, why spoil a formula that isn't broken? Next, the flip wasn't one that was sprung by a stupid little button. The flip is just like the T18, with a little protrusion on both sides so both left and right-handers can use it. The battery seems to jut out a bit of the phone, but it didn't really bother me seeing as it gives you a better battery life than the T28. The ariel was a bit unsightly for me. Quite broad and stout. But at least it was shorter than before. I have seen some 4mm ones advertised, but I didn't dare buy one as it might have hampered the reception of the phone. Reception-wise, it seemed slightly better than the T18, with it not losing as much reception as my old phone did. One thing that is retained across the T18/T28/T29 is the voice recognition. This means you can use it to dial up to 10 people in your address book, or to use it in the car to accept and deny calls. Sometimes it doesn't work too well though. I think they may have tweaked it a bit from the T18 as that used to be not so fussy. The T29, however, seems to not pick up calls when I'm out of the car and using the handsfree kit, but does in the car. This may have something to do with the fact that I trained it in the car. Volume control during a call was fantas
tic. I remember struggling to hear some people on the old phone. The little sliding switch on the top left of the phone functions much like the Sony jog-dial, but you can't push it in. This switch enabled you to slide the volume between 8 different settings, from "what did you say?" to "ouch, my ear now hurts". The little slider on the top left of the phone is neat though. Allows you to slide through the menus, or even play Tetris and Ballpop, which is just bat and ball essentially. They've taken away Solitaire from the T28, but they have put in Erix (Qwix on the Gameboy) and Game (little shooting game, useless if you ask me). The menus on the phone are like the T28, with the addition of WAP, which I confess I will never use. WAP to me is just a pointless exercise, as you can perform most of it's functions with a phone call. And I'll be darned if I'm going to trade shares on a little tiny screen. If you've not used an Ericsson before then I have to warn you that they don't make the friendliest ones. Nokias are better... but the animated menus with a visual guide make it easier than they used to be. You'll see what I mean if you get it, or you could try out the phone on Ericsson's website. I love one particular function on the menu. There is one option that is completely customisable called "My Shortcuts", which is neat. Means you can do pretty much anything you want from that option, provided you tell the phone what you want to put under there. Overall -------- I think Ericsson have done well with this phone, and that it will go far. I wanted a new phone, but wanted something slightly different to everyone else (ie not a Nokia 3310/3330/6210/8210 etc) and have found it. One Year On... -------------- Well, nearly. Give or take a bit. I've had no real complaints about this phone, it's lasted well though it's not quite as well made
as the T18 was in some senses. I've dropped the phone more than once onto solid tiled floors whilst I was away in Sri Lanka. Once the flip just flew away from the body, but it wasn't too hard to put together again. The battery life has remained solid, though the indicator runs nutty towards the end of it's life. It has 29 hours of standby left one moment and then 14 the next. Either way, you know it's coming to the end of the battery. The only one REAL gripe I have is the fact that the buttons on the phone must be silver coated clear plastic. You can tell, where there used to be numbers and letters is gradually wearing away, to reveal the button as a whole. It's like it was a reversed stencil, that is no longer. Poor Ericsson, poor. Hopefully things have shaped up with Sony now. :) Thanks for reading.