Wild Goose Chase

Singtel’s service is really like shit.

1. I tried to recontract my mobile line + purchase the Nokia 808 pureview online. Was unable to do so because I’m on a Mio bundle plan.

2. So I went to the Hello! shop at Arcade. A lady I spoke to (forgot to get her name) told me there is no such model. I informed her that it is on Singtel’s website. She then went to check & advised that the stocks are only available at the PC show.

3. I thus went to the PC Show. Spoke to a man called Peter who told me that the Nokia 808 Pureview is only available at Hello! store. He asked me to go to Commcentre to buy the phone. I told him that the Arcade Hello! store asked me to come to the PC Show. So he checked again & apologised – said the phone is only available online.

4. That brings me back to point 1 – I can’t renew online because I’m on a Mio bundle plan!

In the end, I told Peter to forget it. I’m moving on to another provider. Peter asked why cos Singtel won some “Best Tech Award”. Seriously!?! Best tech!!?!? After the EPL finals fiasco? When half the island doesn’t have 3G? When my broadband download speed is 2Mbps instead of the 6Mbps I subscribed to? When loyal subscribers like me can’t renew contract despite telling Singtel about the problem 2 years ago?

Epic fail!

I’m moving to another service provider. Singtel sucks!

Possessed Ipad

Just occurred to me that i got a “good deal” from Apple repair. What happened was that my ipad got possessed recently. Yup. Possessed. The ipad would open apps on its own, change my settings and even try to play Bejeweled with me. Highly irritating. So i brought it to Epicentre. Told them my ipad was possessed and showed them a video of the ghost wrecking havoc. Don’t think the guy fully bought it cos the official problem description said, “ipad operates on its own”. Now how’s that different from being possessed right?

There was a slight risk that Apple might reject repairing under the warranty cos there was a dent on the corner but the risk was eliminated and my possessed ipad got replaced with a refurbished unit. Anyway, here’s the good part. The original warranty for my ipad ends on 25 June 2012 but there’s a 90 days warranty period for the replacement set (starting from the date it got replaced) which means my new warranty ends on 31 Aug 2012! Yay!

Microsoft White Touch Mouse

MS White Touch Mouse

This is going to be an absolutely geeky post.  Bought the MS White Touch Mouse for $59 (member price) from Challenger today.  Pretty happy with it.  The touch gestures don’t excite me that much but the mouse does feel good & comfy to hold.  More than anything, I’m just happy to have a new toy.  At least this one clicks silently.  Hahahaha.  My old free Prolink mouse clicks with this really loud “tak tak tak” sound.  Smile with tongue out

Nokia 808

I’m so looking forward to the newly announced Nokia 808. Reason why i haven’t changed my Nokia N8 is because i haven’t found a hp that better suits my 4 very basic requirements:

1) Able to multitask.

I’m an impatient person and i hate waiting for things to load on the hp. If i surf to a site or launch a game that cannot be loaded in 2s, then i want to be able to switch to another app, be it to read e-mails or check the weather, while the first app loads whatever it’s supposed to.

2) An excellent camera phone

I love snapping pictures on the fly. Whether it’s pics of my bunny hopping around or stupid drivers who can’t park properly, my hp must deliver superb quality pics in a range of settings (moving object, low light, etc).

3) Offline GPS navigation

I think GPS navigation apps that require an online data connection just doesn’t cut it. Since i’m most likely to need navigational help when i’m in unfamiliar surroundings (read: overseas), then it doesn’t make sense if i have to connect to the Internet and incur huge data roaming charges.

4) Flexibility in customisation

I love customising my hp. I love setting different ringtones for different contacts, different profiles for different environments (e.g.office, outdoors, home, privacy, etc) and what i love best about my N8 is how it can automatically switch to different profiles based on pre-defined parameters. For e.g., when it picks up the base stations near my office, my hp automatically goes into the soft “office profile”. Every Sun, it switches to silent mode from 9:55am – 12pm when i’m in church. When i select “drive profile”, it switches on the bluetooth to connect to my earpiece & launches Vlingo, the voice command app. The feeling of having a phone adjust itself to fit my schedule is fantastic.

To date, i’ve not found another phone that meets my 4 criteria above and thus i’m loyally sticking to my N8.

The Nokia 808 looks set to meet all my requirements, and more!! Just search for the white paper online and u’ll see why it’s the best digicam around. Being a Nokia Belle OS, it means the hp can multitask & allow users to customise it they way they want it to work.

And being a Nokia Symbian phone, the Maps software offers offline nav capabilities in over 80 countries.

The 808 is said to be priced at EUR 450 w/o contract. Bring it on man!

Looking for a New Handphone

My mom’s been badgering me for a new handphone ‘cos she wants to use Whatapp (she was using the SonyEricsson T707, or at least I think that’s the model number).  She lamented how her colleagues & friends would group chat to arrange lunch/ dinner appointments & how she always was the only one who had to be informed by SMS.

nokia-asha-303

She also complained that her phone’s so old that she feels embarrassed to be seen with it on the MRT.  So I scouted around for a new phone & finally decided that the new Nokia Asha 303 would suit her. 

Got it from the Nokia Store at Century Square at SGD249 (without contract).  The S40 OS was easy to use – didn’t take much effort before I ran through with my mom how to use the phone.  I think she should be able to copy fine.

My mom also wanted to find out how to download games so I showed her how to navigate the Nokia Store.  I think it’s good that my mom isn’t a techno-phobe.  Heh. 

Now I’m thinking of getting a new phone for myself – but there’s no phone out there that inspires me!  First of all, I highly doubt any handphones in the market now has a better camera than my Nokia N8.  In fact, apart from my ancient Nokia N82, I don’t think there’s any other phones that has a Xenon flash installed.  Once you’ve used a Xenon flash on a handphone, you would never want to use a LED flash ‘cos the latter just whitewashes the picture.

I also want a phone that can multitask, which means the iOS is out.  I find Android hard to use (struggled with the interface on my dad’s Samsung) so that pretty much leaves me with buying either a Symbian or Windows device.

Nokia hasn’t really launched any Symbian phone that can trump the N8… so that narrowed down my consideration to the Nokia Lumia 800 which runs on Windows.  Sadly, although the Lumia 800 has a much faster processor, the camera pales in comparison with my N8’s… and Windows doesn’t allow users to customise the phone as much as Symbian (I can’t have multiple profiles, ringtones, message tones, homescreens, wallpapers, etc installed on Windows).

That brings me back to square one.  Sigh.  How how?  Nokia, will you launch a 2nd generation N8 please?

iPad, First Thoughts

So i’ve been learning how to use the iPad and i realise I’m really not attuned to how the iOS operates. What i like so far is how portable the iPad is and the excellent battery life. It’s a fantastic device for reading news (love reading all my tech news on Flipboard). The big screen also makes it wonderful for my favourite Angry Birds game, not to mention that certain interactive games that can be shared with friends, like Hanging With Friends, can be quite enjoyable. There’s one or two excellent apps I love, like Weibo and Flipboard, and the screen display is excellent.

That said, I’m also not used to the restrictions iOS imposes on people. I don’t like how I’m forced to sync entire folders if I want to add photos or music to my iPad. I don’t like not being able to use Flash cos many retailers such as Coach and Fitflop have sites that require Flash. I don’t like the way iOS highlights/ selects text. I miss my cursor keys that I’m accustomed to from my Nokia. I don’t like how I’m forced to paste/ embed pictures in e-mails or how I can’t attach files to them. These are basic things that I’ve gotten so used to on my Nokia handphone that I’ve practically taken them for granted.

My conclusion after using the iPad 2 for 1.5 weeks is that this is gonna be an interim device for me – till someone manufactures a great Windows based tablet. And, I think I’m still going to use Symbian/ Meego handphones for a while… till they die out entirely…

🙂

Hello Apple

It’s late so this will be a short post. Just to share that i bought an iPad 2! Still not an Apple fan though. Biggest gripe is that i can’t control simple things like deleting certain photos from my iPad without deleting it from my laptop album.

What i do like is its portability. Will be using it mainly for blogging on the move, checking Weibo, viewing videos of my bunnies and Angry Birds!!! Haha. Ok. It’s almost 3am. Gotta sleep. Going to be a zombie tomorrow!

Nokia 6700 & a Swimming Pool

I often hear stories about how people drop their Nokia phones in water and how the phone miraculously survives.

Last weekend, my boss was watching his son play/ wade in a swimming pool at Sentosa. He had instructed his son to stay on the steps of the pool cos his son was too short to wander into the pool, plus the boy doesn’t know how to swim.

Unfortunately, the boy got curious after a while and decided to thread beyond the last step. Sure enough, he lost his footing and his head went under water. My boss immediately ran to the pool to yank his son out. In his haste, his wallet and handphone went into the pool as well!

My boss saw the screen of his Nokia 6700 fizzle and die. He went to the washroom, took apart the phone and used the hand dryer to blow dry the phone. After he got home that night, he continued to dry the phone using a hairdryer. Amazingly, the phone was revived. My boss then turned to his wife who uses an iphone and said, “Don’t think your iphone would’ve survived.” Heh.

My boss is now a firm believer of Nokia products, though I wouldn’t suggest anyone dunking their phones ever!

Nokia Customer Care SUCKS!

The Nokia Customer Care in Singapore really really sucks.   I think it would be a challenge to find another helpdesk more lacking and inadequate.  I asked @NokiaSg on Twitter who should I send a complaint letter to.  They requested that I told them my problem over e-mail.  Fine.  So I did. 

I sent an e-mail to Text100, which is the PR company in charge of Nokia’s branding & PR in Singapore.  This was my e-mail.

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Hi,
 
I know you guys are the PR company handling Nokia’s branding, etc, so this really isn’t directed at you.  However, it appears to me that the Nokia Customer Care in Singapore is outsourced and the helpdesk folks are really really crap.  Is there any one who’s really from Nokia that can look into this?  My request is a very simple one actually.
 
This is my complaint:
 
My N8 came with a Channel News Asia app which allows me to read the news (note – this is not the WebTV app).  The app became unstable and kept hanging so I uninstalled it.  Thereafter, I was unable to find the app on Ovistore.  I contacted Singtel who said I had to refer the matter to Nokia.
So I emailed Nokia.

1. Joyce T. told me to download the app from Ovistore & copied & pasted some standard instructions on how to download apps from Ovistore.  This obviously shows she doesn’t even know what apps are available on Ovistore which is unacceptable.  Even if she doesn’t know all the available apps, surely it wouldn’t kill her to check before replying a customer?

2. After I replied stating that this app is not available on Ovistore, Arnie S. replied saying he has validated and the app is indeed not there.  Didn’t I say it already?  Why repeat information that I gave to Nokia back to me?  Arnie S. also suggested that I updated my firmware.  Another stupid suggestion because the N8 has no firmware updates to be done. The much hyped PR1.1 is not out yet.  There was a software update but that was only available today – after Arnie S’s suggestion. 

3. I replied again informing Nokia that my firmware is currently the latest version.  I also asked if Nokia was 100% sure that the CNA app will be restored if I reinstalled my firmware.  Yen G. replied affirmatively and told me to do a backup of my N8 before reinstalling the software.
To prove to Nokia that it wouldn’t work, I did the software update.  And it doesn’t work.  So what happens now?
 
 
Regards,

==================

The best thing is, Nokia actually sends surveys to people who have written to the helpdesk for help.  Well, I gave them the worst grading possible for every single question in the survey.  I also reiterated the above in the survey.  Wonder if anything will actually be done?

The last time I gave them a damning survey, the research company handling the survey called me from the UK.  They made 2-3 calls actually and seemed genuinely interested to find out more.  I applaud them for that and I noted that the no. of staff in their helpdesk has doubled since then (that was about 2 years ago).

Unfortunately, quantity is obviously not quality.

I have to confess that my e-mails to the helpdesk staff were sarcastic but  my tolerance limit was breached 2 years ago

Argh.  When can Nokia improve their customer service?

What I Dislike About the Nokia N8

Having used the N8 for close to 2 months now, there’re 2 things that annoy me.

First, why are users in Singapore restricted to English, Malay & Chinese?  What can’t I install a myriad of languages like in the iOS?  I’m told I need to go to Nokia Care Centre to get them to install additional language packs.  Isn’t this a waste of my time & the care centre personnel’s time?  If it can’t be preinstalled, at least let it be downloadable online!!

My second peeve is with the T9 keyboard.  For words that I input into the dictionary, sometimes, when typing a sentence, the word is auto-capitalised mid-sentence.  My previous Nokias never had this problem!  Darn annoying to have to select the small caps version of the word.  Grr.  I gotta find time to feedback to Nokia about this!!

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[Update]
Read this review about the N8 http://rickycadden.com/2010/11/nokia-n8-review/ and I must say I totally agree about the annoying bit about the punctuation inconsistencies! Hope it gets resolved in the next firmware. For now, I’m happy with using Swype to type longer texts (it’s nifty & fast) while I memorise how to get the right punctuation due to the inconsistencies.