Sunday, May 17, 2009

How I came to carry two mobiles!

It was on Sat Aug 16, 2008, that I won the bidding on my "HTC touch diamond" from Ebay, for £295 + £15 postage. It was my first smart phone - well, just that in another two days, I painfully discovered that it was "smart", but not very much of a "phone". It showed me google maps when I needed direction, it showed my GPS position when I was lost in a forest, it helped me write documents and create spreadsheets while on the move, it helped me take notes, draw pictures, record videos, click snaps, listen to radio - yup - all the works - except that I prayed each time I made a call, or took a call! Yeah - it worked like a charm except for everything except "telephoning".

The complaints were of two kinds:
- The device hung randomly when I was on calls.
- I lost cell phone signal randomly, on calls or not
In both cases, I had to restart the phone (4 minutes) to get things working again.

I couldn't get a replacement handset from T-Mobile, as I had got this one off Ebay. Having not yet lost my tech-edge, I took it as a challenge to mend it rather than put my hands up - I observed the pattern of failures, I researched around, I tried to flash a new ROM, and I even changed the O/S from windows 6.1 to Android! I learned a lot in the process, got my hands burned too - I emerged wiser at the end, but the device remained the same! Can't call - can do everything else! :-)

After almost a year, I decided that its time to move on, as my professional requirements demanded a more reliable communication device. But I still needed a PDA, whose gap the HTC was so brilliantly taking care for the past one year! I researched each device out there in the market, but found that they were either too much of an investment at the moment, or too meager to meet my requirements.

At last, the Spock in me spoke - buy a cheap "phone" to meet your telephoning needs, and retain the HTC for your PDA needs. This resulted from logical conclusions from a number of parallel threads spawn to resolve the issues I faced with my communication device, against the solutions offered by the market, and my own engineering skills.

Having decided on a secondary phone, I started researching for the cheapest phone which could pass my communication requirements, which included an inbuilt speaker phone, a decent LCD screen, a versatile address book, and bluetooth, along with trendy looks. Although I could have opted for £10 phone, the alpha-arien in me just couldn't digest the idea! a I narrowed down on two phones - the Nokia Xpressmusic 5310, and Motorola RAZR V3i. I could have got one of them free with a subscription, but since I didn't intend to stay in the UK for a time period long enough, I chose not to go for a subscription one - my only option was to either buy a handset, or buy a pay-as-you-go (prepaid) bundle. Having done my research on all UK cellular service providers, and resellers, I roamed Ipswich town-center on Saturday, the 16th May, targeting each of their counters.

After spending around an hour scanning the counters of T-Mobile, Vodafone, O2, Carphonewarehouse and the likes, considering their prepaid options, and ruling out the locked cases (which I could get easily unlocked, but recently I had been making a few wrong choices - so didn't want to take the risk provided the pattern continues dictated by some unknown cosmic laws), I found that there was one handset available for purchase immediately, from carphonewarehouse, one that didnt suite everything - but one that suited the most - the Sony-Ericsson W580i, along with a Virgin plan, for around £80. I went to the lady over the counter -
"Good morning, I'd like to purchase a Sony Ericsson W580i with the Virgin pay-as-you-go plan"
"Sure", the sweet lady smiled.
I waited as she disappeared beyond a "Only Staff" door, to fetch my phone.
As she typed stuff on to the screen, I enquired "... and, this phone could carry any SIM, right? I have a T-Mobile"
"Oh yeah - anything - its not locked" and, she paused "um..."
then she continued hesitantly, her eyes fixed on the computer screen "why did you want a virgin plan?"
"'cause I found it the cheapest?!" (the phone alone came to £135.00, and with a plan, it was cheaper)
"No, Vodafone is the cheapest"
I looked back at the display where I found Virgin the cheapest, and narrowed my eyes
Then, with a smile, I turned to her "... then, vodafone it is!! Thankyou very much for mentioning"
"My pleasure" she went back to fetch my vodaphone package

A few minutes down the line, I emerged from the carphonewarehose showroom a winner, along with Subin a Nambu who had been helping me out make a choice all the while, took out the T-Mobile SIM from my HTC, plugged it into the Sony-Ericsson, and stowed the Vodaphone SIM into the HTC. (My credit card dropped down on its spending limit by around £80.)

I took a deep and contended breath, as the W580i came to life.

Later that day, I connected both the devies to my Toshiba Portégé, ran MS ActiveSync to get all my 580 contacts from the HTC onto my Outlook 2007, and then the Sony-Ericsson PC-Suite to get them all onto my new W580i. (Unfortunately, I don't have a data-plan on my company-provided T-Mobile, else I could have done a GoogleSync) The SMSs would now be taken care of the other software I have in place to browse the internal phone contents, but I'm now on a quest to see if I can get my T-Mobile SIM cloned, so that both my devices can have the same SIM for inherent benefits. Not sure if T-Mobile supports multiSIM (have heard so, with business accounts - one which I hold), but not sure how accurate the legal subscription is, to the lines of usage portrayed in Bourne ultimatum, or National Treasure 2 - but, however it is, I'm sure of one thing - I'll anyway be politically correct - one thing my profession has instilled in me!

Thus, I, Tedy Kanjirathinkal, became the carrier of two mobiles!


  1. Well,you guys proved too much for me and i got a HTC touch,well atleast it works like a phone and did not have to buy one more.
    Tried to install a software otherday and it crashed big time ..luckily you know what windows needs to work. 2 Minutes and a a restart it got going.....All the best with your two phones...err one phone and a PDA

  2. The article shows My Life ..Ya Mobile Lovable Mobile HTC DIAMOND..It is very nice mobile.It was Locked to the Vodafone australia Before two months.I was Used the site DIAMOND HTC UNLOCKto unlock my mobile Now i am In Virgin(OPTUS)Australia..