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Chronic Technophilia


A victim of technophilia describes his latest acquisition - his 18th phone. We don't think he is cured yet.





Technophilia or extensive enthusiasm for new technology is slowly but steadily infecting the youth. In rare cases, even middle-aged men have shown vulnerability to this generation Y syndrome. Typical symptoms include playing the latest computer games (or waiting with bated breath for Doom 3), amassing extensive knowledge from technical websites, getting easily excited on seeing ads for new gizmos, , or having an urge to acquire that latest gadget in your favorite shopping mall - whether you can afford it or not.

If you show or have shown any of these symptoms, you are suffering from chronic technophilia. Fear not, I have just the right cure for you. Read on...

Chronic technophilia! What else would I call this? This time it struck me, and made me buy the perfect phone - the Nokia 6230. This phone is also the costliest I have ever purchased - standing numero uno at INR 18,500 (about USD 415). Adding to my ever-expanding list of gadgets, which includes a digital camera, two camera phones, a mini PDA phone, and a portable flash memory-based mp3 player, this phone becomes the 18th I have used.

Nokia 6230 indiaSo what's so good about this phone? Let me start with the physical features. At first glance, this phone resembles the massively popular 6610 in terms of size and weight. The phone form factor is candy bar type, and weighs around 90g. The curves in this phone are mostly squarish, bringing out it's corporate-friendly personality. The VGA camera is located on the back with the oh-so-nokia strip extending to the side of the phone. The phone loudspeaker and infrared port are stylishly located on the right side of the phone. The power button is located on the top and neatly designed to make it look perfect. As in other models, the volume keys are located on the left side for easy access during calls. The keypad design, again, is mostly squarish, with wide buttons in the mid row for large fingers. The keypad also features a five-way scroll for quick navigation. This phone belongs to the 6-series phones from Nokia (6230, duh?!?), which are known for their business-oriented features.

Getting to the interface, regular Nokia users will fail to unlock this phone the first time. This phone will not unlock with the left soft key and star (*) combination. Instead, you have to push the five-way scroll inside and then star (*) to unlock this beauty. It may take a while before you get used to pushing the scroll key to select. Apart from the standard Nokia features, which include address book, messaging, call register, settings, gallery, organizer, applications, and services, this phone also contains a menu for media. This menu contains the camera, media player for playing streaming video and music, music player for playing .mp3 and .aac files, radio, voice recorder, and media equaliser. The separate profiles menu has been done away and has been included inside settings. Games are now included inside the applications menu. The right soft key is 'Go to' in standby mode, and provides access to mostly frequently used functions such as create mms, bluetooth options, inbox, gallery, services and so on. The left soft key continues to activate the phonebook. The interface is extremely fast and the phone response to key press is simply outstanding. The graphics for the menus have also been slightly changed from the 6610 or 6800.

Going deeper inside, the phone is based on the series 40 platform. The screen resolution is 128x128 with a refreshing support for 65,536 colors. The display screen is made of active TFT, unlike my T610, allowing easy visibility in sunlight. The phone contains 8.8MB (wonder how Nokia comes at this odd figures, why not 9MB!) of internal memory and comes bundled with a 32MB MMC card for additional data storage. The camera in the phone is a VGA CMOS sensor, which manages to capture images at a resolution of 640x480. The camera also doubles up as a video recorder with no 9 second limitation. You can capture videos of upto four minutes, which makes this phone stand apart from earlier videophone models.

Another incredible change in this phone is the quality of the loudspeaker very unlike the 6600 where mp3s sound like AM radio! Nokia has finally realized the importance of a good-quality loud speaker and has come quiet close to that of Sony Ericsson. The inbuilt mp3 player is easy to use and supports a 5-band equalizer. Presets such as rock, pop, and jazz are inbuilt, but you can also create your own presets. Mp3 files can be set as ring tones, message alerts, or alarm ringers. So this means, you can wake up to your favorite song without bothering to leave your computer on.

Connectivity for this phone is accomplished using Bluetooth, Infrared, and GPRS. Unlike the earlier camera phones, bluetooth can be turned on and off at will. Infrared connectivity is pretty much same, though transferring mp3 files (more than 2MB in size) takes a good five to ten minutes. GPRS along with EDGE provides a superior surfing experience. Wallet allows you to shop online directly from your phone, without having to bother about the security of your credit card information. The phone also contains an e-mail client for downloading mails from pop3 or IMAP servers. This means you can check your mail and reply to them on the go. The mail client, unlike earlier models (read 6800) is responsive and fast. There are also loads of clipart, images, and animated gifs for use with MMS messages.

Other features found in the 8310, such as voice dialing and voice commands, which were left off in most color screen models, have been included in this one. Radio quality is crystal clear, camera quality is beyond average, and the network signal strength in this phone lives up to the Nokia pride.

Summing up, this phone has everything a technophile like me would ask for. With a 65k color screen, a good camera, a video recorder, a media player, MMS and surfing through GPRS, voice dialing, radio and a massive memory of at least 40 MB expandable to more than 512 MB, this phone is rightly touted as the 'perfect phone' and vouched for by yours truly.


You may notice that Anish Venkateshwaran promised a cure for your chronic technophilia, but does not mention it at the end. Well, what happened was he had a relapse, and promptly forgot everything about the cure. Guess we will have to wait till he is cured! :EDITOR

God save the Malayalee

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