I have been looking into a new phone for a while now as my old Panaxonic X700 has been playing up, switching itself off for no reason at all, there were quite a few days where every time I looked at it I would have to switch it on first and so on. It was getting quite painful.
I have been a fan of the Sony Ericsson’s for a while, they always seem to be very nice phones, and they are also one of the few manufacturers now that has a reasonable variety of phones that are not flip or slider phones. Rhi has the K800i and it is a very nice phone. I was particularly interested in this one because it was only $200 outright with Optus, so it could be pre-paid and I could continue to use my Optus sim card without changing anything.
However, despite it being listed as a current model on the Sony Ericsson website, Optus informed me that it has been discontinued, and to buy it direct from Sony’s online store, it is $500, which is far more than I want to pay outright for a phone, especially a phone that Optus was selling for only $200. None of the other phone providers had the K800i either, so that counted out this one.
The K810i I would have gotten on a plan, I was looking at the $49 cap with Optus, but they told me that this one as well has been discontinued, despite Sony still selling it. It was the same story at other phone providers as well. So this one was also out.
That just left the K850i and the U990. Pretty much every mobile phone provider has the LG U990 in stock at the moment as LG is giving it a huge push, and I can understand why given that in my opinion, it is a better phone than the more expensive LG Prada. The K850i is available pretty much everywhere as well at the moment.
All the different providers have these both at similar prices. Optus have the K850i and U990 available on the $49 cap + $15 a month in handset repayments. 3 have them both for that price as well. Telstra is around the same. Vodafone have the U990 for the same price as well, but they have recently dropped the price of the K850i to be free on the $49 maxi cap. Note that all of these ones are on 24 month contracts. According to the Vodafone website, the reason for this is that to buy the K850i outright, the cost has come down from $999 to $749.
This caught my eye in particular. Soul Mobile also have the U990 for free on their $49 cap. I am a bit dubious about Soul though as they are a much smaller provider, and while they use the Optus network, they do their own plans (which are fairly similar to the Optus plans) and billing and I have no idea what their reputation is like and I don’t know anyone that has a phone with them. So I would prefer to avoid them.
It was basically between these two options, and while I’m not particularly fond of Vodafone’s Customer Care service centre, I have found their service to be reasonably good with my 3G modem. I am much more inclined to go with the bigger, more well known company that maintains their own network than Soul, even if it is marginally more expensive.
So that made my decision for me, I was getting the Sony Ericsson K850i.
The Vodafone store at Garden City was reasonably quiet when I went in on Sunday so I got to speak to someone there almost straight away which was excellent.
Since I already have an account with Vodafone, I didn’t have to provide new information for my credit check, they just ran it off of the previous information which was much quicker, and I passed straight up.
Providing them with another copy of my license to prove I am who I’m pretending to be, and I had my new phone. I needed to transfer my mobile number from Optus though, this is where the painful part began.
According to the girl who was serving me, the number should have changed over to my Vodafone sim card in up to 3 hours. It didn’t.
It wasn’t until Monday morning that my Optus sim was deactivated. My Vodafone sim was activated at the same time, but no matter where I was, despite getting full reception, I could only make emergency calls, I couldn’t even call the Customer Care number. Since my old sim had been cut off, I couldn’t use my old phone either (not that I had any credit anyway).
I decided to wait for a day or so and see what happened. By the end of the day though, it still hadn’t changed, so I ducked into Vodafone at Queen St Mall on my way home from uni.
I was there for maybe 10 minutes, in which they determined that my sim card was faulty and they replaced it with a new one, and straight up my phone was working correctly.
On the $49 Maxi Cap, I get $310 worth of calls and texts a month, I also get 100 free texts to any mobile phone in Australia. So it actually works out better than the Optus $49 cap as well where I would have only gotten $300 worth of calls and texts. I could have chosen free calls to Vodafone numbers rather than the free texts, but I hardly call anyone on Vodafone so the texts are more worthwhile to me.
As for the new phone, well, I will write up my experienced with it as soon as I have some more time to play with it some more. It is a very nice phone though.