Feb. 10th, 2011

Since switching to the CM7 nightlies my Desire has been pretty stable and done what's asked of it. Clearly whatever's wrong in AOSP causing the bootloops seen in Oxygen (and the 2.3 release on the Nexus S) was already fixed in the CyanogenMod variant, because it's been fine right from the start.

The battery-eating thing is pretty annoying though. In theory Locale solves this by shutting off 3G data when at home, but what I've found -- particularly on 2.3 -- is that the plugin for this doesn't actually work any more. It was already buggy on 2.2, crashing whenever called but still getting the job done, but now it just crashes without useful effect.

If Symbian weren't such a dead-end I'd be mighty tempted by the E7, though naturally would want to see some real reviews first. S60 phones typically do great things with battery life -- at least compared to Android and iPhone -- and the initial response to the hardware at least has been that it's the best thing Nokia have ever built.

Pity about the software.

The other small temptation for the longer term is to switch to a "dumb" phone -- something that does "phone" well and can do basic contacts sync with Google -- and carry a 7" tablet for the rest.

Everything's a compromise. In part because everyone wants something different. Suspect most people would detest my "ideal" smartphone.

Most of my phone calls lately have been with SkypeOut on the desktop. This is because most of my calls have been from home and at 3c/minute SkypeOut is much cheaper than the mobile. The call quality (using a Bluetooth headset) has been about the same as from the mobile.

One could go cheaper by getting Nodephone working, but this hasn't been particularly successful as every SIP client out there seems to suck horribly, one way or another, compared to the simplicity of using Skype. It's yet another case of closed-but-works vs. open-and-doesn't when what I want is open-and-works because my goal is to make phone calls, not geek out over the code.

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October 2011

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