Yours truly unboxes a locked Sony Ericsson feature phone… WTF?!1!

It’s true! About a week before Christmas the holiday spirit got the better of me and I grabbed not one but two of the handsets featured in this Qik video:

[qik url=”″%5D

Four things immediately won me over:

  1. The big, clickety numberpad;
  2. The high-res (for a feature phone) 3.2-megapixel camera;
  3. A microSD slot in place of the usual Sony Memory Stick bullshit;
  4. An eyelet for phone charms!

If you’re a Fido customer in Canada and have a whack of FidoDollars burning a hole in your pocket like I did, the Sony Ericsson T715 is a fine choice — and folks on the Howard Forums will back me up on this.

I wouldn’t hand over any actual cash to Fido for it, though, and I certainly wouldn’t subject myself to a multi-year contract to snag one on the cheap. Why do that when you can buy it fully unlocked for about the same price as the unsubsidized, locked-to-Fido version?

Rockstar Bloggers Rock: Five Questions for IntoMobile’s Simon Sage

I first came into direct contact with IntoMobile’s Simon Sage through my daily Qiks on last summer’s N97 24/7 tour, and finally got to meet him when he visited Toronto for a TELUS Mobility press event. Since he was kind enough to get me in, I’m giving him a little blogger love here today…

1. How’d you score this sweet, sweet gig anyway?

Half by chance, half by school. I’ve always been big on writing, and wanted to make a job of it somehow. Journalism seemed like a natural fit, but I went into an English program instead, which made me see a lot of other opportunities other than writing for a newspaper. My first blogging job was picked up completely by being in the right place at the right time: a friend at a party said he knew someone who needed a writer, and as an arts major, you don’t hear that often, so I jumped on it.

2. I see that BlackBerry is your sidearm of choice… How about your carrier and call/data plan?

I’m on Rogers, paying about $100/month for 10 favourites contacts, 6 gigs of data, and a handful of minutes. Honestly, it’s mostly overkill since I’m on a laptop most of the time, but I need to be able to go to town on wireless data for app reviews. TELUS has some new Clear and Simple plans that look very attractive, and I’d be tempted to see what WIND offers eventually, but, y’know, three year contracts.

3. Where’s the most exotic place your work at IntoMobile has taken you?

Barcelona for Mobile World Congress. I had been to southern Spain before, but Barcelona was very different. Other destinations have included Las Vegas, San Francisco, San Diego, Orlando, New York, and Toronto. As glamorous as it sounds, most of the time is spent on the trade show floor.

4. If I were to ask for a post you’ve written at that you’re particularly proud of, where would you send me?

Hmmmm. I work really hard on all of the reviews, so if I were applying for a job, I’d send them to you — Storm 9530 is probably the best one. But as for ones I really enjoyed writing and actually show off my style, I’d probably opt for one of the goofier ones. Pearl Flip going through the FCC was favourite along that vein

Podcasting is also a big part of my job, and I’d posit my interview with an MP about wireless as my best yet .

5. What killer feature are you waiting for on *all* mobile devices?

Augmented reality that works. Right now it’s niche and kind of jinky to use, but I think eventually we’ll have Bluetooth enabled shades (think Vuzix or Trispecs) with a magnetometer that overlays all of this cool data on top of our real vision. Looking through the phone’s camera like a periscope is really just a stopgap until the accessory manufacturers step up to the plate. It sounds pretty sci-fi, but I think it’s much closer than people imagine.

A Christmas gift for Nokia fans: The N86 across Asia!

Here’s one final souvenir from last month’s trip around the world — three once-in-a-lifetime photo opps as seen through the mighty lens of Nokia’s N86

Nokia fanboy money shot.
Wat Pho, Bangkok
Another Nokia N86 money shot: Taipei 101
Taipei 101, Taipei
Shibuya Crossing, as seen on my N86
Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo

As you can see via the reflection in the pic directly above, all three photos were captured with an N79 — a fine camera phone in its own right…

Thanks once again to Tom and WOM World for entrusting me with an N86. And to my loyal readers, first-time visitors, even comment spammers, I hope you have a safe and happy holiday close to the people you care about. For yours truly, some exciting things are afoot in 2010… Stay tuned!

Meet my next Nokia!

One question everybody kept asking me about the N97 24/Tour I went on last summer was:

“Are they gonna let you keep the phone?”

Maybe because I had two of them, the answer seemed to be no — that is until yesterday, when I read this blog post from the good folks at Qik:

Thanks to our partner, Nokia, we had launched a contest to give away 5 Nokia N97s to Qikkers for sharing their experience and tagging them with #N97contest for the past month. Well, we had a whopping 688 entries during the month from all over the world and would like to thank everyone who participated in this.

So, the 5 lucky winners of the Nokia N97 are…..drumroll………..

#4 Andrew Currie from Canada

Wait, what? Zomg!!1!

The timing couldn’t have been better, as I’m currently in the market for a new Nokia anyway. In fact, due to the realization that the N97’s front-facing camera shoots at a higher resolution than other Nseries models, it was back in the running against newer, supposedly better handsets.

I thought it appropriate to stream a press conference acceptance speech apology video when I heard the news. Here it is:

[qik url=”″%5D

I take delivery of my N97 sometime in January. Not sure if it’s going to be a white one or not, but I’m crossing my fingers. Either way it’ll be a great souvenir of every tech blogger’s dream come true! 😎

Where to get cheap crystal cases at Toronto’s Pacific Mall.

If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time you’ll know that I’m a big, big fan of the cheap crystal case. The idea of a hard plastic shell giving its life for your mobile phone as it smashes to the ground is quite simply the stuff of genius.

Crystal cases are all over eBay, but if you live in or near Toronto and don’t want to wait for an order to be shipped from Hong Kong or the UK there are now two shops at Pacific Mall selling them for reasonable prices.

Square Mobile, Inc.

(Somebody needs a website…)

Square Mobile has hands down the best deal on cases — $5 each, no haggling required. They’re located on the aisle against the east wall of the building, near the north end.

Communication Store

Gotta hand it to the Communication Store for deviously snagging as their URL. Their cases are offered at $10 each — a bit of a rip-off, but even a pasty white guy like yours truly can negotiate a lower price per case if more than one is purchased. They’re located on the same aisle, just a couple of stores south.

Please note that I’m not getting any special consideration from either of these vendors; I’m merely pointing them out as a public service to you. I still see a fair number of people wandering around Pacific Mall looking like they’re lost and/or overwhelmed — if you’d like me to demystify Pacific Mall any further by all means let me know!