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General Blah On Cellphones

By on May 12, 2007 in Reviews, Tech Takes | 0 comments

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I happened to get my hands on two cellphones recently – when a relative who owns a Nokia 6260 came running to me looking for tech support; and when I got to play with my pal Prashanth’s Motoflip W220. I thought it’s time for a few cellphone reviews.

Ah, tech support. Damn, I keep I on doing a lot of that, but I love it. :D It feels nice to be the Dial-A-Geek option on many a people’s phonebook. Not a week, hell, sometimes day, passes when I don’t get calls for tech advice or help. I’ve across some pretty everyday stuff, and sometimes, pretty vexing situations too. It keeps you on your toes – and there’s never anything better than getting to know something new in the process. Sometimes though, it does feel sorta depressing that the only thing people may remember you for years down the line is as being ‘the free tech support line to call when something goes wrong with my gadget’. Oh well.

Well, coming back to the topic. As far as cellphones are concerned right now, I thought I’d give my view on what the cellphone companies are doing right now. People keep on asking me for advice on which cellphones to buy; and these general tips shall surely help you make the right choice.

One more debate – the one between T9 and iTap – is something I always wanted to blog about. Don’t know what they are? T9 and iTap are both predictive text technologies. By that, I mean that on cellphones, they traditional way to input text has been to do repeated keypresses on the number pad until you get the character you want.

T9 is one such technology used by Nokia, LG, Samsung and Sony Ericsson (correct me if I’m wrong). In this, the user press the key associated with a letter ONCE, and keeps on doing so until he finishes the word. At each keypress, the character combination on screen changes – T9 matches it with its own dictionary and determines possible matches on frequently they’re used. In case the one presented does not match, the user can the press ‘*’ to see other possible matches. If all else fails, then you can enter the traditional way and that word too gets stored in the dictionary, so that you can enter it with T9 next time. Note – the user-defined words aren’t static, depending upon the phone memory allocated to T9, you’ll only be able to store a limited set of words. Only the ones you use frequently will remain, the rest will get overwritten as and when you try to store new words. T9 is pretty much standard, no matter which sort of model you’re using from whichever manufacturer, the capabilities are limited only by your phone’s memory. The only difference can be that older phone will have an older dictionary.

iTap on the other hand, is a technology used by Motorola. It too is predictive text, but the main difference is that it’ll try to complete full phrases too. It’s far more ambitious – it works the same way, but it preempts you with matches. So what exactly is bad about it? Well, for one, iTap requires you to use the d-pad / softkey to choose the other matches. I find that really irritating, because it breaks the flow of typing on the keypad. Otherwise, iTap is ok. One more thing – depending upon your Motorola model, you’ll get a different version of iTap with lesser / more features.

Now for the two reviews…which you can read in my next two posts….



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