I'm done with 2 Degrees and my old Sony Ericsson T100 is pretty much knackered anyway.
Very, very low expected usage - except in emergencies I never make mobile calls and very rarely send txts. I have a mobile phone really "just in case".
Terrible signal coverage where I live on VF/2D; Telecom, unknown.
I'm not interested in "social networking" in any of its various manifestations, nor games/gaming.
I use an old Apple iMac G5 PowerPC based machine with OS X 10.4.11. I have no Windows capable machine and no access to one nor would I want it. ADSL (ahem) 'broadband'. I have a 100 Mb/s ethernet LAN with 802.11g WiFi that does not broadcast its SSID and is protected by passwords, encryption, and a permitted MAC address list. The iMac has about 10 TB of external storage available to the LAN via SMB. This is almost all .TS video files.
1. Telecom XT compatibility
2. Eligible for inclusion on the "One Bill" scheme so no monthly costs or "top ups" that expire
3. Send and receive phone calls (obvious I guess); send and receive txt messages (also)
4. No spam
5. No parallel imports
Very highly desirable:
6. New, rather than used
7. Android (I think, but certainly nothing from Microsoft), but only if actual functionality warrants the additional cost; V2.2 minimum, V2.3 preferred;
8. Wireless internet access via my 802.11g WLAN for web browsing and email
9. Capacitive touchscreen - no physical keyboard needed
10. Ability to block or cap 3G data access to avoid unexpected bills
11. GPS, including at the very least, the ability to determine position without data charges
12. Free offline topographical maps of NZ
13. Wireless access to the video, and other, files on the SMB shares, and the ability to play them
14. Camera > 3 mpix, with recording of GPS location (I think this is called "geotagging")
15. Robust and at least shower resistant
16. Wireless (probably bluetooth) 'hands-free' call handling; this can be an optional add-on
17. If Android-based, then updatable, and in particular, without 3G data transfer and without requiring any computer other than my iMac and OS X 10.4.11.
18. Voice note/dictation function
19. Connectivity to my iMac via Bluetooth for the purposes of syncing contacts, etc
20. Decent customer support, and warranty
21. GPS based driving instructions
22. Pretty much everything else I think, but maybe I've missed something
23. Under $350, all up (SIM, SD cards, GST, shipping, whatever)
Contenders at the moment are the Huawei X1 and the LG Optimus One P500. The Huawei Ideos X3 nearly made the list, but is 900/2100, not 850/2100.
The Huawei X1 has a relatively low resolution screen (which wouldn't matter if I can't access my video files), slower 3G download speed (which I won't use if I can avoid it) but offers 802.11n (which I don't need yet), but there are reports that it has trouble making decent WiFi connections. Mind you, it is cheap ($169 at The Warehouse, including SIM). Telecom reports that it will "work" with OSX 10.3 or later, but the proof of the pudding, etc. Mind you, they also told me that neither phone had cameras that recorded the GPS location of the image (but both claim "geotagging" support), and that no current phone could report GPS position without real-time 3G data (which strikes me as absurd).
The LG P500 is said to have a nice screen, bigger, and with twice the resolution of the X1 (but of course it's impossible to compare them in shops since they are all cardboard cut-outs, and, as above, if I can't get to my video files, so what?). Any sort of interoperability with OS X seems problematical. It's not even possible to download a manual from the LG site without first downloading and running some Windows-only software! LG customer support were appalling when I posed some questions to them. There are various reports of an update to Android V2.3, but nothing "official"; LG avoided the question when I asked.
I appreciate that many of the functions I want may be addressable by 3rd party add-ons, possibly with associated costs. In particular, offline mapping and SMB access will fall into this class, I expect.
I can't get a lot of sense out of the suppliers when it comes to specific details; none seem to have actual working phones to try (I was astounded to discover that all of the phones arrayed in a Telecom shop I went into were fake, with plastic labels instead of displays - ridiculous); none seem to offer a right of return if the device doesn't work as intended (Telecom shop staff say "No"; Telecom online says 7 days - go figure); none would put themselves in the position where the 'fitness for purpose' aspects of the CGA would apply. It's up to the consumer to take a stab based on what they read on the net and risk their money. Incredible.
I've been given a number for Telecom support experts to call on Monday, and they may be able to answer some questions, but how much faith I'll put in verbal confirmations, should they be forthcoming, I'm not sure.
I'm leaning toward the X1 as I doubt that any supposed benefits of the P500 would actually be of use to me, or warrant the much higher cost, and anything that being an Android phone allows the P500 to do is probably also true of the X1. However, the price increment of the X1 over a "dumb" phone is probably worth it in order to see how the technology works, but if it is just going to be a disappointment, then probably the cheapest phone out there would do the trick.
So - what do you say?