Each year around the start of May I start to decide what the latest must-have mobile is. I currently have the Motorola V3 RAZR which has served me very well until now. It has been able to take any abuse from me spliing things on it to accidentally throwing it across the floor. It’s only recent floor has been that the battery life has been reduced from around 5 days to 5 minutes. As soon as a call is made it starts to flash “Low Battery” and beep every few minutes to remind me that if I don’t plug it back in soon then it will have no battery but it is happy to waste its precious resources and tell me this. As a result it spends most of its time connected to the mains and when I go out I hope that if anybody tries to call me it will be for about 10 seconds otherwise they will be cut off.
My other activity at this time is to see if Orange can give me more minutes/texts than i previously had and, at the same time, reduce my monthly bill. I tend to find that this helps a huge amount when trying to get the latest phone for free! However this year Orange refused to budge and when I threatened to leave for another network they told me that they had already put me on their best plan last year when I was upgrading from my V600.
So, i’m not getting a better deal on my calls but maybe they will give me a free phone anyway – afterall I have been with them for 7 years now. No. In order to get the same model phone (V3i) just with a slightly upgraded camera I would have to pay them £50 for the privilege. Furthermore if I wanted to have a more powerful phone such as the Nokia N80 this would set me back £120. It was then that I remembered about the phone one of my friends had. The O2 MDA mini was a PDA smartphone running Windows Mobile 5 and would let you send emails as well as make calls, send text messages, take photos etc. The closest phone Orange had to the MDA was the SPV M600 which was the same size, looked the same and had similar features. The only noticable difference was that the M600 didnt have the qwerty keyboard to aid in message writing. The M600 also would have set me back £100 so I decided to leave it until after my exams and then see what was happening when I got back from Durham.
Upon my return to Leatherhead I found that the M600 was no longer in stock. I phoned Orange every couple of days to see if it was available – No luck. They said they would contact me when one came into stock – i missed their call. Checking the Orange website I noticed it had come down in price and was now free – it was still “Out of stock”. By now it was too close to my holiday in Africa. I decided that there was no point ordering one in case it arrived whilst I was away. Instead I waited and on my return the answers were the same – out of stock.
Now, after almost four months of waiting for the phone to be available a chance call to Orange this afternoon has revealed that it is IN STOCK and will be free. I have agreed to a 12 month extension of contract (I’m not about to throw away 500 mins and 120 txts/month) and I will be able to take receipt of the precious at some point tomorrow between 9am & 5:30pm.
I was overjoyed that this was now available to me but upon finding a link to the phone for this blog I have discovered that Orange have now made a shinier precious that is the same size and dimensions as the M600 and features the qwerty keyboard that I had wanted. The Orange SPV M3100 is the same as the MDA mini except they have put different coloured plastic on the front and back. If I hadn’t checked to for the link in the full Pay Monthly section I would not have known about it. I now want this phone!
Thankfully I am allowed a 7 day cooling off period to decide whether or not I like the phone. If, after the week, I am dissatisfied with the phone I have decided to upgrade to I can arrange to have it sent back to Orange and trial a new one! I will try to see whether or not the M3100 is available as an upgrade. If not then I may try the old “Well I could leave and rejoin Orange” tactic to see what happens!
Either way I will eventually get a nice shiny smartphone to replace the battered old V3.