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I am writing again about another mobile telephone people. This is one of the first 3G handsets that I have had. Before that I did have a Motorola A835 which was a brick and a half. What is it with mobile phone these days? I read yesterday on BBCi that mobile phone sales have gone up 20% since 2004. I dont get what that is. Anyway enough of my jabbering on with the humorous review.
***WHAT IS 3G***
For the people out there who dont know who 3 are here is a brief explanation. 3G first hit our high streets and Superdrug in the year 2002. They had the first idea of making live video calls. Most people said it was impossible but with the latest technology from Taiwan and Tokyo they made it possible. Most companies at the time said that it wouldnt catch on. They put it to test in Tokyo and Taiwan and found that it was a hit. When the service first came to the United Kingdom they had a lot of work to do to see if the equipment and video receivers would work. They did and so they set out to make it big over here. They priced their phone pretty expensively at first one of the first 3G handsets was the Motorola A835 that would have cost you around £399.99 in the big shops. Some of the handsets have now lowered to around £29.99 because a lot of people are using the network. Anyway that gives you an insight of who and what 3G is. Read on if you are interested in the handset of my choice.
***WHAT CAN THE NEC E313 DO? ***
The NEC E313 is not like any other phone on the market. This one is sort of like a portable laptop in one phone. Please note that it doesnt look like a laptop, it has most of the features of a laptop.
This big boy can do more than what the Nokia handsets can do. See my list and reasons below to see what it can do:
VIDEO CALLING: If you are the sort of person that prefers to see the person instead of just hearing a voice then this is the type of call for you. Please note that it is a very expensive way of making a call. Video calls currently cost around 50p per minute. If you are on a monthly price plan then you would have the advantage of getting a video value add-on which gives you around 20 minutes of video calls every month. Thereafter you will have to pay about 15p per minute. I prefer making video calls if I see the number compatible can receive. The other person must have a video call enabled handset to receive a video call. If you were to video call a Sagem handset you would not be able to send a call even if they had the camera or video attachment at the end of their handset.
At the moment video calling is limited to around 79% of the United Kingdom. Its quality isnt that great either. It is always jumping to get the latest picture of the person you are calling.
VOICE CALLING: Voice calls you can make on any telephone with an earpiece and a mouthpiece. Voice calling on 3 is better than any other network. I e-mailed them yesterday to find out why that was and the silly little squid at 3G Communications e-mailed the answer to me. I could be setting up my own mobile telephone network for all they know. But I am not. The e-mailed said they use voice filtering software and hardware in their phones and over the networks waves. When you make a voice call that isnt connected to their network all that the 3 servers pick up is a horrible noise. I would like to hear that sometime. When it hits their servers it improves the quality by a minimum of 89%. That makes it audible to all out ears and to other mobile phone networks.
TEXT, MMS, VIDEO MESSAGING: This is great as most mobile phone companies dont provide this service. Every network provides Text Messaging but MMS and video messaging hasnt hit even the biggest network providers before 3. Video messaging is the perfect and cost effective way of telling that special someone that I love you and the horrible messages that anyone doesnt like to over the phone live. For those of you who dont know what MMS messaging is please read on. MMS messaging is a way of receiving a JPEG, BMP or a GIF. The MMS messaging service at 3 compresses the file to make it smaller and then when it hits your phone you are required to download it. It always does it unattended thank god so you dont have to find that address again for the update.
CALL BARRING, DIVERTING and HOLDING A CALL: I have used this feature quite a lot. I am going to have to split this into another list as it is going to be long
CALL BARRING: This is a great way of barring those calls from old girlfriends and buddies that have let you dont big time. I only have 2 people currently on call barring and they are in my family: Mum and Sebastian as they are constantly calling me to tell me that something on the television that something has gone really cheap. All they think about is my money. I have told them that I have a financial advisor but they never listen. This is a feature that can be done from the handset. No ringing up the network and them charging you for adding a barred number to your list. Most network charge for that.
CALL DIVERTING: If you are a busy individual like me and you are in the middle of a meeting make sure that your phone is set on silent or vibrate ( I love that feature as it makes meeting fun) Only joking I am not really like that. Call diverting can be set up using your handset again and it doesnt even cost a ½ penny from the old days. It cost ZILCH, NOTHING, ZIPPO as Judge Judy would say on ITV2 every weekday afternoon before 3rd rock from the sun.
HOLDING A CALL: I use this feature in 80% of calls that are either incoming or outgoing. On the handset it has a little handy tool. It is not the best holding system and most people hate being put on hold as the music is pretty boring for most of the time. With this new feature to 3 it doesnt cost a penny if you are to put someone on hold. No extra charges for the call. The only reason it is free is because the hold signal doesnt play music as yet. 3 are finding out if they could use the video music from the major record companies like BMG. Overall I think that this feature is handy. It doesnt have to be use every time you make a call.
***WHAT FEATURES ARE ON THE PHONE THAT MAKES IT LIKE A LAPTOP? ***
Right where shall I start. This is the hardest and longest review I have done in ages. I expect mostly VHs for this piece.
Calendar: This calendar goes up to the year 2085 which is a first for most phones. Most of the other calendars on other phones only go up to the year 2029. When you select a new event entry it comes up with a dialogue box which reads:
APPOINTMENT: If you are having a meeting with someone.
SPECIAL OCCASION: If you have a birthday or a anniversary that you would need reminding for.
MULTIDAY EVENT: If you are holding an event or conference over a maximum of 4 days.
Not only that. You can chose to password protect your calendar. For each entry you will be given 2 options whether to make it public or to make it private so only you can see it.
To Do List: The to do list is a pretty brilliant way of organising what you have to do for the day, week or month ahead. It is not better than Microsoft Outlook 2003 but its great for when you are on the move.
Alarm Clock: I hate this feature and have deleted it from my phone as I hate getting up every morning just like all of the people that are reading this review now. We should have shot the guy that invented time and alarm clocks. Apart from the handset allows you to set up to 5 different alarms to run at different times during the week.
Notepad: Much better than the notepad available in Microsoft Windows packages. It has a easy use and it is split up into sections. A title slot and a contents slot. The only problem is that it will only hold 512 characters so you must use it carefully and maximize its usability. The other disadvantage is that you can only have 9 different notes at any one time.
Calculator: Now for those of us whos mathematics skills are not top notch this little baby is including a currency converter. Now the currency converter has one minor fault. It will not update itself, you are required to update it on you own. I cant update it as all those phone calls around to the Bureaux de change would cost a fortune. The calculator is on most phones these days so it isnt that new.
Recording voice calls incoming and outgoing: For those of you who like taping their calls for security and training purposes this is for you. It will only record about 30 seconds of data and you only have 5 free slots to use.
Games: Unfortunately you have to pay for the games that you play. These can be accessed by pressing the triangle key on you handset then clicking on services and then to Game where the little blue joypad is. Games are split up into 2 categories. They are Games that you can own and games you can rent. Most of the rental games cost around 50p for 3 days gaming. They are top quality games and they are cheap to play. The games you can own are the better games. They usually tend to be sold for £5.00 each. Most of the games are top quality like the following:
Who Wants To Be a Millionaire
PlayMan Series for seasonal games such as winter, summer and Power games. I currently own all 3 and I do recommend them.
Music Videos: These new music videos have been digitally reformed using the latest MP4 technology. This means it is a video that can be played on the handset. Most of the MP4 files can be used over a fast broadband connection which allows quickplay. Please note that the phone has got the quickplay feature pre-installed. For older models you may need to download it from the 3G website. Music videos only cost £1.50 each and they are the full length and they are yours to own. The only problem is they have put a restriction on them which doesnt allow you to send them for free to your friends or family.
Camera: It has a swivel camera built in for easy adjustment. This is a digital camera but the picture quality is not all that brilliant. It has a resolution of 640x480 which is not even 1 mega pixel. The picture quality is good although it can be improved upon. If you want to take a picture of your friends or family and you want to be in the picture with no one behind the phones controls then it has a 10 second timer which allows you to have 10 seconds and then take the picture. Please note that it does not have a flash and therefore in my eyes is not a camera as every camera must have a flash for those wild nights out on the town.
Memory Storage: As well as having the option to purchase Memory Sticks for your phone you already have built in memory for your large files. The size isnt all that big and only offers 18.60Mb of storage. You may think all is well unit you download that favourite video or game that you wanted and it wont download as you dont have space. Thats the time you either a) Wipe some of the data off the handset or b) Purchase a memory stick. Please note that I find that the 512mb sticks are cheaper in the long run if you use your phone a lot to download content of the 3G wap site.
Connecting your phone to your computer to back it up: If you havent got a lot of money and you already have the pc data cable and the software you can backup all of your files to your local computers hard disk drive. C:/ is the normal directory if you wish to overwrite all these files then if you want it back to your old configuration all you have to do is plug and go. It only takes about 2 minutes to restore all data to your handset. Please note that this phone doesnt have Bluetooth like the E616 version.
Pressing the triangle key on the phone to access premium content:
When you hit the triangle key on the mobile telephone it will take you into the 3G wap site. On the handsets display you will have 3 green dots. Most of the time you will see that only 2 are lit at any one time. When you have 3 lit up on the 3G network you can get access to the following items:
Tunes & Pix: You can download wallpapers from all of the best providers like FHM, Smash Hits, Kiss, Mix Mag, Kerrang!, Max Power, New Women, Heat, Mojo, Q and Empire. Ringtones usually cost £3.00 and wallpapers only cost £2.50 each. This is a great way of customizing your mobile phone but it can be really expensive as the above prices are per picture and not per set. They are thinking about making sets to sell on for a higher price and to generate more revenue in the future.
Music: As I said above all music videos are really cheap. Videos only cost £1.50. The only problem with these is that you are limited to memory on your phone. Music is so cheap that the other things have rocketed in price. I recommend the music videos as your mobile phone is really a media player but with the latest MP4 technology.
Angry Kid: If you like a lot of humour and you need a little pick me up then I am sure that these small little clips will make you laugh. Angry Kid it a little boy who is cartoon animated and he does some silly things to make people laugh. The new one is out where his dad is getting re-married and the priest asks if anyone would like to object. Guess who sticks his oar in. I wont tell you but you music start watching angry kid. All of the clips cost 50p each and you can download them to play later.
My 3: This is a way of checking your balance and topping up your account using your credit or debit card. For once they dont charge for this service as its just your information. Another way to check your account balance is by calling 444 and checking it that way.
Top Shelf: Top Shelf content is restricted to over 18s and I have had to use my card to give you more details. You first have a credit card, They wont accept debit cards. When you are in you have the option of getting alerts which cost 60p per day. Along with this you will have 2 major suppliers in adult movies to choose from, Paul Raymond or Playboy. You can buy 1, 2, 4 and 8 minute clips from these both of these suppliers and to be honest with you they are pretty lame. I wont go into detail here but if you would like to know what is lame then just e-mail me.
There is much, much more to talk about but 5 pages is enough in details.
See below for my personal conclusion to the 3 Service and the NEC E313:
SERVICE: At the moment the service is pretty well established. They offer good quality customer service and are very polite at the same time. They will give you the truth all the time. I have experienced this about my bill I got last month for £145.01. I wanted the break down. They said that my bill has been sent out and that I would receive it within 2 hours. It happened. I tried them several times on this and they only speak the truth. So overall as a mobile phone provider and as a network I would give them 9 ½ out of 10 for service and customer support.
HANDSET: The handset cost me £29.99 when I brought it last July and I must say for that price it is a must get. It offer more features than what the Nokias and Motorolas have and its a lot easier to use. Overall for this handset it is brilliant and I would give it 9 ½ out of 10 again. There is always room for improvement so I cant give it a perfect 10. I wish I could but I can as I feel strongly to honest opinions.