About Me

When not at work with students, I spend my time in my room either reading, calculating something using pen and paper, or using a computer. I read almost anything: from the pornographic to the profound, although my main interests are mathematics and physics. "When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes." -Erasmus

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

New phone

I bought a new phone yesterday, and then spent the next few hours practicing how to use it. My older phone is a Nokia clone, and I've had a number of complaints. Since it's a cheap knockoff of the Nokia phone, I found it easy to use--- when everything is working perfectly.

The main problems of my old phone were:
(1) I could only use it for text. When I try to use it for calls, I cannot hear what the person calling me is saying. Although I could use it to play music, the phone was accidentally set so that it was usable only with earphones. There is a way to fix it,  but I couldn't find it in the settings, because of....

(2) The lack of technical support or documentation. The box that came with the phone had no user manuals, the phone had no warranties, and no websites existed supporting my old phone. To use the phone, I had to learn by trial and error.

(3) Cannot recharge using a travelling charger. The terminal connecting the charger to the phone seems to be busted. The only way I could recharge the battery was to open the cover, and place the battery in an external charger.

(4) Lack of USB connectivity. To transfer MP3's to my older phone, I had to remove the micro SD card from the phone and then connect it via adapter to my computer. I could not use a USB cable to connect my phone to my computer.

I don't usually spend much on consumer electronics, but this time, I wanted a well-known brand name so that I wouldn't have to suffer through the same pain again. When I checked my bank account, I was pleasantly surprised yesterday that I had more cash than I expected. Since getting a new phone was on my task list (as soon as I had the money-- my plan was to use my thirteenth month pay), I decided to look for a new phone.

One boundary condition was price.  It should cost no more than PhP 6K or around 140 USD (I'd feel guilty buying a more expensive phone, and I knew that the Nokia phone with the same capabilities as my clone was priced that much.).

Although the Samsung Galaxy Y was designed to be a low-end smartphone, it still set me back by (for me) a large amount. So I'm going on a consumer electronics hiatus; the next time I'll be buying anything as expensive will be next year, since the new phone comes out of my Christmas shopping list.

My main use for my phone (both old and new) was for phone calls, text, and music. Of course, if that was all I wanted, the phone I ended up getting was an example of overkill. I bought a Samsung Galaxy Y smartphone mainly because I liked the look of it, and also because the Nokia model that I wanted was priced the same but had fewer capabilities.

I had some trouble adjusting to the virtual keyboard, and couldn't find some of the options I wanted. The accompanying documentation gave basic instructions, so I had to go online to find out how to use the Android based operating system. I had difficulty updating my phone book-- I just used a manual method, although if I had saved my phone list in my google account, I would have had less difficulty since my phone had the ability to use my google contact list as soon as I went online.

One mistake I made at the start was to create contacts and then accidentally save them without including phone numbers. I couldn't find the an edit contacts button or link, so I had to search online on how exactly one does it on Android. It turns out that a short press of the contact name allows you to send a message or call,  while pressing the contact name for a longer period gives you the option to delete or edit your contact's information. After finding out that a short press and a long press is interpreted by the phone as two different commands, I was able to navigate through the menu.

Another minor headache I had to overcome was using the internet at work. Since my work network uses a proxy with an appropriately designated port. To change the proxy settings on the Galaxy Y: start from the Main Menu Screen and press the Settings button. Next press "Wireless and Networks". Press "Wi-Fi Settings". Assuming you've connected to the local wireless network, press the Menu button on the lower left-hand of your phone, and the "Scan" and "Advanced" buttons should pop up from the bottom of the screen. Press "Advanced", and the Proxy and Port Settings should now be on the list of things you can change. After changing the assigning the proxy and port settings, I was able to use the net at work.

My older phone had no wifi capability, so I was unable to use it for going online. I've tried using the new phone to go online on our home network; it does the job but it's slower than my laptop. I suspect I'll be using the internet connectivity only for checking on my email and twitter.

No comments: