New Phone

Of course, the new phone would arrive the same day that I start to wonder where it is. My new T226 arrived today, and all of the bad press on the phone was warranted. The T226 is not a bad phone. It just doesn't measure up to the phone that I already had. The phone has an event reminder system, address book, polyphonic ringtones, and three games. I was hoping that this phone would have better reception than my old one. While at home, my old phone will not receive the AT&T signal. Instead, I am roaming on the Cingular network. I tried the new phone, and to my dismay found that I was still roaming on the Cingular network. Cingular and AT&T are attempting to work out a merger, so I'm thinking that this would be a good time to go ahead and switch to Cingular, get (another) new phone, and finally be able to make calls from our house.

Like I said, the T226 is not a bad phone, just a let down compared to the T68i. The ability to play polyphonic ringtones is nice, but all of the standard ringtones are pretty grating. You can download new ones from the mMode service, but there is a charge. My old phone had equally bad, monophonic ringtones, so this area is sort of a wash. The new phone has half the storage capacity of my old phone for addresses. Sow I am at 80% full rather than 40% full. Additionally, my old phone allowed me to associate images, ringtones, and voice-dialing with my contacts. My new phone does not seem to provide any of those features. My old phone had ten simple games, including 6 solitaire type card games, a marble puzzle game, othello, battleship, and another arcade type game. The new phone has only three games: blackjack, abyss (platform arcade game), and Go. Go is sort of like chess, and I may eventually like playing that one. I can also download more games from mMode, but this would again be at a fee. The new games take a lot longer to load up too. The games on my old phone were simple, but loaded quickly, and were fun for a 10 minute break. I don't think I'll be getting that out of the new phone.

As far as physical features go, I am happy about the new handsfree earbud / microphone. My old one was difficult to use, and people complained of not being able to hear me. The new one has a boom microphone, so I hope it will be better able to pick up my voice. I did notice that the right arrow button on the joypad of the t226 is difficult to use. The button clicks, but you have to push it a little past the click to actuate it. This is frustrating when trying to navigate the menus. I do like the new up and down buttons on the side better than the slider on my old phone. The slider on the t68i never worked very well. The up/down buttons work much better.

I think that AT&T had a couple of motives behind this upgrade. Number one would be to update all of the customer phones to transmit on the frequencies used by the AT&T towers. The t68i was missing one of the frequencies that the t226 provides, at the expense of giving up the world phone frequencies. The second motive was to get more folks using the mMode service. My old phone could access mMode for web surfing, but I couldn't download new games, ringtones, music, backgrounds, or anything else. The t226 is setup with downloading in mind. Also, a lot of the feature areas, such as games, pictures, ringtones, etc., seemed stripped down so that I would be enticed to get online and download new features. AT&T charges a few cents for each kilobyte transmitted, and that can add up pretty quickly while using the mMode service. With my old phone, I could simply aim the infrared port of the t68i at my pc and download pictures, ringtones, and themes.... for free! I don't think that this new phone will convince me to stay with AT&T. I want better coverage, and this new phone isn't giving me better coverage.


Jade Mason