Three UK (3) and the Nokia E71
A few months back, I picked up a new phone and contact. Before this, I used a SE k800i on Orange PAYG. While this worked fine for calls and texts (albeit in low volume) internet was a no go. Therefore, when I saw 3’s offer of a free phone with 1GB (“unlimited”) internet for £20/mo, I snapped it up straight away – despite all the horror stories you hear about 3.
The first phone I received was faulty, it wouldn’t charge. I took it back to the 3 shop the next day and got a replacement there and then with out any problems, good customer service there. Living in London, I get a good signal pretty much everywhere except at home. Everywhere else i’ve been has given me a medium or strong signal. While mildly annoying at times, I often use the WLAN instead of 3G at home instead.
Having not traveled outside of London since getting the phone, i’ve not had a chance to see what coverage is like. However, judging by the recently released maps from Ofcom, 3 has the best 3G coverage of any network. I’ll update this after my holiday in Mid-July where I will be on the canals of North Wales.
Recently, I also got £30 of credit on my bill for referring my Dad, which was very welcome!
As for the phone itself, i’ve got to admit I am very impressed – it does everything I want. It syncs my contacts, calendar, email etc with my Exchange server, the inbuilt web browser is fast and renders pages well, the music player is standard but good enough. In addition to this, there are many other applications (There are so many applications for the Symbian platform). The only prolonged issue I had with the phone was occasional lockups. The phone came with the first ever software revision, however since it was 3-branded I was unable to upgrade to the latest version. A simple change of the product code however meant that I was able to upgrade the phone to the latest software which gave a noticeable speed boost to the phone, increased battery life, removed 3 branding and also enabled the SIP client. Using the SIP client I am now able to have a second internet phone number on the phone which is extremely useful. However, while it works over 3G it uses the radio continually (even when the phone isn’t in use) and will drain battery life fast, operating over WLAN there are no issues.
Overall, i’m extremely pleased with the both the operator and phone, i’ll be sure to update this if it changes.