November 4, 2008 11:38 pm
My contract with Three UK ended 2 months ago, since I’m still quite happy with my K800i that I got 2 years ago, I thought I will just continue with the contract as what they’re charging me is quite reasonable (£10 per month). Last Sunday, they called me and asked if I want to upgrade my mobile, at the end I decided to get the LG Renoir. I surprised myself this time as I didn’t read any reviews before getting it, but since I am not intended to keep this phone for myself and they are charging me a one off £40 for it, I decided to get it.
The phone arrived today, it was packed in a very nice and a relatively small box, which is good because nowadays products tends to come with excessive packaging. My first thought was that this looks so much like the iPhone! I’m impressed by the phone, and here are some of the features that I like:
- Wi-Fi – Can do without having a computer at home if all we need is checking email and some browsing…
- GPS – Very useful for travelling especially when we are driving (not yet supported)
- 8MP Camera – Since I’m using my K800i as my camera, this would be nice
- 8GB SD card – Surprisingly it comes with that much memory, I can’t believe memory is getting so cheap nowadays!
- Touch screen – I find touch screen a clever invention for human to interact with computers/machine, much more user friendly when implemented well.
There are also something that I think it can improve on:
- GPS – only for geotagging at the moment, no software support for navigation
- Speed – The interface can be slow at times
- Touch screen – not quite sensitive enough, sometimes I’ve push it!
- Application – As the phone is still quite new, many are not supported yet. The good thing is, most of the points mentioned here can be fixed in the next firmware.
All these features used to be what I want in a mobile, integrating everything that I need into one! It’s all nice to have, but none of these are necessary!
The world has changed so much, and our wanting never ends, so does our suffering. Often, we want something so much, and after much hard work, when we get it, how do we feel? Satisfy? Happy? May be for a moment, a very short moment! This phone remind me again that these materialistic things really doesn’t bring happiness, peace nor make us feel contented, all these are impermanence! After getting the object that we long wanted, moment later we often move on to wanting the next object, our wanting never ends! You may not agree with me, but try to ask yourself if these materialistic things give you long lasting happiness or does these wantings bring endless suffering.
On Sunday, I went to Amaravati Buddhist Monastery to join their Kathina ceremony this year. This is my third time attending this ceremony, the first time was in 2006. One of the points that I remember from the talk after the ceremony is that advertisements are decided to make us feel discontented! I found this very true myself, many advertisements often try to make us want more, make us feel unsatisfied and a feeling of lacking something, suggesting that buying their product would satisfy us.
Adverts are everywhere nowadays, even if we don’t watch TV, they are on websites, bus stops, train stations, you name it. Often we are not aware of what they are doing to us, no wonder why many of us always feel unsatisfy and wanting more all the time! I’m not blaming the companies for advertising here, it comes down to supply and demand again. If there is no demand, why would they advertise anymore. It’s ourself who is reasonable to watch our mind, as soon as we start blaming others, we are not doing ourself any good. I will share a quote from the Dhammapada (法句經):
As a well covered house is not penetrated by a rain, thus a well developed mind is not penetrated by passion.
I still have a great interest in technology and it’s one of the things that I still do get affected by. I’ve to admit that I do like this phone, but I must watch my mind from wanting it! So I’ve decided to keep to my K800i as long as it lasts and not keeping the LG Renoir for myself. I still have much to work on!
Google Maps Mobile – My location
If you want this function on K800i and found that it’s not supported after installing GMM, you will need to flash your phone with the latest firmware.
Google Mobile Maps (GMM) 2 recently introduce a new feature called “My location”, a function to find your current location using Mobile towers around for mobile without GPS. I’m surprise that my K800i from 2 years ago can run GMM, however to support this function the mobile need the latest firmware (at least not the one I have)!
I’ve version 2.2.0 installed and tried this function in Bracknell, I would say it’s not too bad. Most of the time it says it’s accurate to within 1.7km (probably better than it claims, I would say within 1km most of the time). However in places more urban the accuracy will be higher. I read somewhere that GMM uses data collected from mobiles with GPS, with increasing number of people using this function, it should get more accurate over time. The reason for finding out about this is mainly for travelling. GMM would be very useful in finding hostels, food and point of interests nearby…
Download the latest version from skype directly and it works fine on the K800i too but it’s not true VOIP. What it does is that it loaded up all the contacts and everything as expected, but when you make a call, it will dial a number (charged at local rate or deducted from inclusive minutes) to make that call. A bit like using a calling card I guess, but without entering the pins… So becasue of that I went on to searching for a true VOIP (SIP) client for K800i but couldn’t find one at this moment of time. However did found PennyTel which is slightly cheaper than skype and the good thing is, you can use any SIP phone or softphone like x-lite or ekiga in linux. Also the Skype that comes with 3’s X-series is actually a iSkoot, not Skype!
Something that I only just found out, Three roaming is actually “free” with you are travelling in a country with a 3 sister network, ie. Austria, Australia, Denmark, Hong Kong, Italy, Ireland and Sweden. “Free” means you can use your inclusive allowance to call or text standard UK number + data allowance! However if you call a local number aboard, it will be charged as a oversea calls just like how it would be if you make the call from the UK!
Software mentioned here are data intensive, unlimited internet access is recommended on your mobile!
If you are also on Three UK, you will find that 3 includes many download links in the 3 Planet page, but they are usually not the latest version!
- Google Maps Mobile – http://m.google.com/map/
- Google Mail Mobile – http://m.google.com/mail/
- Skype Mobile – http://www.skype.com/m/
- Opera Mini – http://operamini.com/
Got a K800i for free upgrade, initially was just going to sell it. But knowing that it has a good camera and I really need a camera, I decided to give it a try. And after a few days I have decided to keep it as it would save me money for a getting a camera. And the quality of the camera is quite impressive. Although not as good as a standard digital camera, it’s good enough for me.
The design of the K800i is quite good overall, although it’s a bit big and the lens cover can get a bit annoying as it slicks out. Therefore I have decided to get it a case. After looking around eBay, have decided to go for a (plastic) crystal case instead of a silicon case. There are mainly two type that they are selling, one protect the sliding cover of the lens more and the other doesn’t. At the end I got the one that covers the lens cover which you can see below. (more pics)
This arrive quite quickly and I’m quite impressive with it. My main concern is that the case doesn’t make the phone any more buky and fit well. I have to say it does the job quite well.
3G banner – If you bought your phone from 3G as well, I am sure you know what I mean. They put a scrolling ad banner at the bottom of the screen, took me a while to find out how to get rid of it. For this paticular phone, go to
- Menu > Settings > General > Instant Viewer
and disable it. If you are using other phone, you should also be able to find it under the Instand Viewer settings possibly in a different menu. Can try
- Menu > Settings > Display > Standby Mode Settings > Instant Viewer
Overall I’m quite happy with the phone and here are some sample of the photos taken with this phone.