Wednesday, December 22, 2004

P910 Review Part 1 - TMobile

I don't think you can really do a review of a cell phone without some extensive commentary on the carrier you use. Before I go into a really deep review of the Sony Ericsson P910, I thought that some comments on my carrier, TMobile, made sense as a starting point. As some added context I should add that I have a Verizon account and phone, a LG VX6000 and my wife has a Sony Ericsson T637 that she uses with her Cingular account.

I originally set up my account with TMobile after I left Vivendi. I wanted to have a really flexible cellular plan and relatively consistent bills. Most plans in my opinion are predicated on getting you to go over plan and then pay some heinous fees. As I was usually talking on the phone between 1500-3000 minutes a month, I opted for a 5000 minute plan. I knew that it would be next to impossible to go over that amount of time. The base rate for this plan was $99 a month. I added several customizations to the account including:

TZones which gives me unlimited Text Messages
And Tmobile Internet Access (I used to have Tmobile WIFI)

All in I pay around $150 a month with taxes and 411 calls.

Over the last two years I have been generally happy with the service and have noticed a steady improvement over time, probably partially as a result of the acquisition of the Cingular cell towers after the ATT and Cingular Merger.

For the purposes of this review the following are the most relevant to my experience:

Tmobile Internet GPRS
Tmobile Tzones GPRS

When I originally purchased my P910, I simply inserted my SIM chip into the phone and away I went. Everything worked, Email, IM, and Opera. Over the next two weeks, I hit a really bad snag. I could get the default Sony Browser to work, but I couldn't get Opera to work. Opera is the only way to go from my experience, so I spent a lot of time, backing up, reinstalling software etc. Finally I called TMobile. I should have done this first.

I had to be handed to Level 2 and Level 3 support on the various calls I made over the several days I was trying to debug this, but they were always really helpful and knowledgeable about what I was trying to accomplish. I would recommend that anyone using Tmobile with this handset call immediately to get your configuration set.

From a performance standpoint I have been happy. I wish that the handset supported EDGE connectivity, and that TMobile offered it, but generally website load times and email transfer times have been really reasonable given my previous GPRS experiences on a less advanced handset.

In conclusion, I have been really happy with Tmobile in general, and with this handset in particular. I think Tmobile has done a really good job creating a price leading and feature rich network that should fit most people's needs.

So without further ado, the P910 Review in the next post.


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