August 18, 2007

Ming arrived!

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An-ti-ci-pa-tion… I’ve been waiting for a bloody week. And today, my precious has arrived!

For over a year I have been lusting after the Motorola Ming A1200. The Ming is a quad-band GSM phone, so it works in analog and digital frequencies both here and in Europe. The 2MP camera also doubles as a camcorder. The Ming runs linux (Motorola’s customized version of Monta Vista Linux) and has J2ME Java environment. There are hundreds of programs available for the phone. It only has 8 MB of internal memory — a major drawback to an otherwise great phone.

I got to fondle the Ming for the first time at CompUSA. They had the new, unlocked handset. The black backing on the phone feels like brushed metal velvet. Very nice. Translucent cover with the ear piece in the Motorola logo. Snazzy. Even better? It is very reminiscent of a Star Trek Communicator. Perfect geek wear.

Last summer when I was looking at phones, the Ming wasn’t readily available in the U.S. except through importers. As cute as the little linux-based phone is, I was not willing to stay with the only GSM provider in the area (AT&T). I have been using Verizon, but lately the call quality at home and at work has been atrocious. Not just for me, but for other people people at my office who use Verizon. I had originally switched from AT&T because of the company’s business practises and because of the poor voice quality. Now Verizon’s call and signal quality was going downhill.

I’ve been looking to switch providers for about three months. I settled on T-Mobile, a GSM provider with roaming coverage in Knoxville (on AT&T’s network, ironically). After five or six hours on the phone with the T-Mobile reps (and about as many hours online), I decided that their service would be idea because I could improve my cell phone plan from 900 to 1000 minutes and still have my data plan, too. Best of all, I would lower my monthly bill by almost half.

I found a Ming on Amazon for $125! A steal considering the regular price is $299-599. I ordered it immediately. And it arrived today! My precious! Geek in heaven. Yup. That’s me.

I spend much of today finding things for it, including a T-Mobile prepaid card so I can try the service out without signing a two year contract. Slipped the sim card into the phone, registered the sim, and was able to make calls immediately. Yay phone! International text messages work (didn’t work at all on Verizon’s CDMA service — pure shite that).

I love unlocked phones. Why be stuck with one provider when you have a phone you really like and use it on any supported network? So now I have a neat phone with $25 worth of prepaid minutes. We will see how things go! I should probably post pictures of the phone. Or would that be over the top?

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