10 April 2010

For me my mobile phone is an absolutely essential gadget.

Not only has it become a central gadget, capable of storing numbers, addresses and calendar dates, but it makes meeting people up, checking arrangements or just feeling comfortable to be in contact much easier. My phone happens to be one that also supports GPS and mapping, so I wont be lost, and some basic internet browsing + email, so I can stay in touch or look up local info anywhere. It has a couple of basic games on it, which may relieve some boredom, and can play music too. So while I could give up many gadgets, my phone is to me an essential tool. Managing my business, and life without it, would be plenty different.

In Case of Emergency

A phone serves many purposes in an emergency situation.

First and foremost, it is the nearest place form which you can reach the emergency services - always remember that.

Secondly, it can be used to reach loved ones, friends and relatives or colleagues if you need help in a situation. Emergency services can take time to arrive, where a partner may arrive quickly. A partner informed may also be taking other steps to make sure you are well looked after.

A third thing is the ICE protocol. This means that in your phone book on the mobile, you set up a contact with the abbreviation ICE in one of the searchable fields. This means that if anything happens to you, somebody who is aware of the protocol will be able to find and contact your emergency contact with your phone. It makes things much simpler if (and God forbid), you are unable to speak or direct someone to a contact yourself.

Having you name, address and other details on your phone is a good idea. While it is generally also a good idea to have some things on the phone passworded for safe-keeping, an ICE number is important enough that it could be on the front screen.

Which brand or model?

This is a personal decision. It ay be based on what is most fashionable, what has the most apps or utilities, what is most reliable or other factors.

The model I have at the time of writing is the Nokia e71. This phone is similar in looks to a blackberry and has been mistaken for one by others more than once, but for me the similarity stops with the qwerty keyboard. The e71 has first a solid design - a metal back, compact and slightly rugged. It has much more of an air of business, serious business about it.

Feature wise, the e71 does not lack, but it is getting dated. First it has a wide screen, although this may seem a little mean by the iPhone and Android Standards. It has a directional pad, and is not a touch screen model.

It has a GPS and mapping software - excellent if using the latest Nokia software with downloaded maps. There is the all-important phonebook and a calendar, as well as simple note taking and todo list software. For more sophisticated tasks, the phone ships with a version of quick office, which can be used to edit MS Word documents and Excel spreadsheets. There is a PDF viewer for reading Adobe acrobat documents on the go - although squeezed onto that tiny screen can make it a little awkward.

The e71 is shipped with the Symbian S60 3rd edition software. This has a number of apps and games, all available from the OVI Store. I’ve played versions of Simcity (which were pretty dire if I am honest), the Sims, Tetris games, Match-the-gems games, hurling penguin games and plenty of others.

The Phone supports 3G and Wifi networking, so when on the go it can view web pages, or use network apps, and when at home it can use your home network saving you money. As well as an internet browser and mail application, apps from the store include Facebook & Twitter apps, news & weather feeds and plenty of others. I use the app “Snaptu” for my social networking on the phone.

The phone has a reasonable battery life and standby time, although if you use the apps or game solidly, then expect to charge it at the end of that day.

It can be linked up with a PC in a number of ways. Firstly via bluetooth, requiring no cables. It can link up via USB, as a full PC sync, or simply as a file storage device. The latter mode is handy, as the phone supports Micro SD cards, it can have Gigabytes of storage, so if you have the cable handy, or the right bluetooth setup, you can use the phone to quickly store files. With full PC sync, all the contact and calendar entries can be synced, as well as being able to back up the rest of your important items, and install apps and maps from the PC.