Nov 7, 2011

Smart Sucks.

Posted by Goldi on Nov 7, 2011 at 10:18 AM 2 comments
I am talking about the SMART telecom service. I tried to use their promo SMARTalk Lite 15 as I need to reach a few loved ones to check if they'd be able to come on my wedding. SMARTalk Lite 15 gives unlimited calls from 1am to 11am to all Smart networks. So I registered this morning, and thinking this saves me a lot of money because I can get to talk to them without worrying about per minute charges and I have until 11am pa to do that. I got the confirmation at 8:48 AM, which still gives me 2 hours plus a few more minutes to call any of them in the province.

So I immediately dialed at once. Instruction says use prefix *6402 + the smart number you're calling. I did that. But.. IT DOESN'T CONNECT. The heck. It's now 10:03 AM and I am still not able to talk to a single Smart subscriber I am trying to reach. The call gets cut off even before it's connected. I don't even hear a "your call cannot be completed" nor "all lines are busy now" message. Now I'm frustrated. 15 pesos gone to Smart's pocket without me being able to use even a few seconds of their service.

I am still not sure though if they start counting from 1 AM the next day from the day you registered, but it doesn't make much sense. I know the service usually gets activated from the time you registered it and ends at exactly how many hours it said it's valid, not until what time their promo is effective. For this instance, mine's going to end at exactly 8:48 am tomorrow. But it doesn't make much sense if I am able to register now but not able to use the service if I'm still well within the time their unlicall promo is active. Globe works that way so all along I thought it should be the same for all networks. I still have to see if it works the other way but if it's not, Smart will prove themselves to be a  money-hoarding company with extremely crappy services. This is not the first instance my Smart load was gone for nothing. That's the very reason why I don't use my Smart sim that much anymore. Mahal na nga mga promo nila, anlakas pang kumain ng load. Dugas!

I hope the people from Smart gets to read this. I might just be a prepaid user but you know, if your services are excellent, I could actually consider getting a postpaid plan and you'd get my money permanently and on a regular basis. But no thank you na lang.

Update: I was not able to use the service, not a single minute or second call. Crap talaga.

Nov 1, 2011

New Phone: Nokia 101 Dual-sim

Posted by Goldi on Nov 1, 2011 at 12:40 PM 4 comments
Current status: Taking a break from work
Listening to: Terrified by Katherine McPhee

I got myself a new Nokia 101, the cheapest dual-sim Nokia phone that is currently out in the market. I got mine for Php 1,450 from Fone Style Accessories store at the ground level of SM Bicutan yesterday. Not really the cheapest price, but this phone is currently selling like hotcakes so the store I inquired that happens to be selling this at only Php 1,399 already had it sold out. It's CellBoy, located at the same floor, and they had it on sale but it's already out of stock when I inquired.

I was initially looking for a MyPhone B15 duo but I've already asked all of the stores at SM Bicutan and they're all out of it. Well except for one who's selling packaged with a 2GB memory card at Php 1,790. I don't need the extra memory and even if I compute it by the cheapest price I know I get can this phone for which is Php 1,299 plus the getting an additional 2GB memory for Php 300 the most, it's still way too expensive for their price so I left it. After all, I'm just getting a second phone so my priority is budget. They said though that this phone is already phased out so I got my second option, Nokia 101. Certainly not cheaper, but I'm sure is of good quality.

I've taken pictures of my newly acquired gadget, the Nokia 101 dual-sim. It comes in 2 colors: black & red. I got the red one because my sister also got this phone in black and so I got the other color to avoid confusion.

Mine's red. The faded hand strap is mine. It's not included in the package.

Both black and red colors look nice (of course depending on one's preference), so getting the red color is not much of an issue for me. Besides, black is so common and most of the phones I owned is in black. My main phone, which is also a Nokia, the phased out model 6220 classic is also in black.

with its plastic from Fone Style

The receipt with the warranty card. Decided to keep a copy in case I re-sell this item.

Inside the box is just the charger, the headset, and the manuals. Nothing more.

The phone with its headset

Menu. I opted for the list view. It's also available in grid view.

My phone's software version. You can get yours by typing *#0000#

Back. This comes with a BL-5CB battery which
according to the specs lasts up to 25 days on standby with this phone.

The back without the battery. You'll see the 2 sim beds.

Summary of features:
  • Dual-sim, simultaneous standby.
  • Plays mp3 files
  • Support up to 16GB
  • Up to 25 days standby
  • 1.8" TFT display
  • 3.5 mm AV connector for standard earphones
  • GSM dual-band
  • Torch light
  • FM radio

What I liked about this phone:
  • A basic phone with an expandable memory. It claims to support up to 16GB, and the slot is strategically placed at the side of the phone for hot swapping and easier access. I haven't tried using a 16GB card though so I can't support that claim. I'm not sure if anyone's going to do that, but I won't because I have my iPod Touch for my portable media player and storage.
  • The torch light. Very useful indeed, especially when I rummage my chaotic bag for my stuffs in a public transportation and when looking for things in small dark spaces.
  • The 3.5 mm AV connector, though I'm not really using it. But I find it brilliant as one can use a standard earphone if they left the in-box headset. I've tried my iPod earphones and it worked, even with the radio. I initially thought that you can't play the radio without the Nokia headset but it appears that, the radio can't just be played without anything plugged in the AV connector. I don't know if a standard headset will work with this phone though. I didn't have the chance to try.
  • One inbox for all. Unlike other dual-sim phones like MyPhone for example, where the messages are stored 2 separate inboxes. It's not much of a bother really for me if that's something that I have to live with, but finding this feature of Nokia 101 is liberating. The messages are all in one inbox, determined by an icon on the right side to indicate from which sim the message was received. It's still more time consuming to exit and enter submenus just to access your messages so this feature is really cool.
  • Message counter. They've included a message counter for the number of SMS sent from each sim. Sweet! The message counter helps me see how much I saved and how much I was able to utilize my unlimited texting services.
  • Speaking clock as alarm tone. Surely, the time I should wake up cannot be more emphasized. Hehehe.
  • The finger friendly island keypad. It's soft and sensitive enough for pressing. A text addict's best friend.

What I didn't like:
  • There's no option to change the date format. It's by default. I would've wanted to be able to switch between mm.dd.yyyy & formats, but this is tolerable. Still a little disappointing.
  • No option to change the time format too. It's only in 12hr, no option for a 24hr clock or military time. Pinanindigan talaga ang pagiging basic. Gara.
  • I find the torch light somehow weak. It only has one LED and it has this lens part (I don't know if there's any specific term for this) that spreads out the light into a big open-mouth smile shape and I think it's the cause why it's weak. I prefer a light that's concentrated in the middle so at least there's a part that's strong, and I prefer that it darker places. MyPhone's better at this, having 2 LEDs and concentrated light. I don't want mine dispersed.
  • I would've loved an FM radio that doesn't require a plugged headset to play. MyPhone B15 duo has this feature.
  • The speaker at the back makes the sound weak if you place the phone front side up. If you're using this phone as an alarm clock, I suggest putting it face down so you're sure that you'd be awakened by its sound. The same principle would apply if you'll put the phone in loud speaker during a call. Could've been better if the speaker is placed anywhere on the side of the phone.
  • Earpiece loudness could be better. I've had better quality in my MyPhone, even when their speakers are compared. MyPhone wins in this part. It's really loud.
  • You cannot transfer files from your memory card to phone memory and vice versa. I wanted to have a custom ring and message alert tone but I'm not able to because you'd only be able to get 3rd party files if you have an extra memory storage plugged in the slot. I don't have a spare memory card so I just thought of copying at least a few in the phone memory for more custom options but the phone doesn't have this feature. Well you'd probably be able to get additional content in your phone memory if it's received OTA (over-the-air), not by hardware. Another sucker.

I've also read in forums that this phone has a restart problem, and voice leakage where whoever is beside you would be able to hear what your caller is saying even if you're not in loudspeaker mode. So far, I have not experienced any restart, having used a TM/Globe, Smart Buddy, and Sun SIMs but I'm still on my day 1 so I might be wrong. I have used this on a call too and I'm not sure of the voice leakage thing because I don't have anyone with me when I used it on a call. I have a wireless landline SIM which I haven't tried with this yet. I would just add to this post if something unusual happens when I get to use this with my wireless landline SIM.

Overall, my verdict is so-so. I find this phone not so great, but not so bad either. It can always be an option. But this is really just a basic phone, even with an mp3 player. Yes it can play mp3s, but don't expect much on the sound quality, and most phones now can play mp3 anyway.

Do you plan to get this phone too? I hope this post somehow helped. Have a nice day :).


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