The greatest mobile phone review?

Catching up on so much recent miscellany brought me to this British journalist reviewing his new mobile (we call them cell phones, by the way). He titles his write-up My new mobile is lumbered with a bewildering array of unnecessary features aimed at idiots, so you know just by the name that I have to read and share it.

The trouble started the afternoon someone from Orange rang me up to say, “Hey, valued customer – do you want a free phone?” At first I wasn’t interested, but he went on and on about how popular and great the Samsung E900 was, then promised me free texts at weekends for life if I said yes. So I gave in.

The phone arrived the next day and immediately began elbowing me in the ribs. It seems to have been designed specifically to irritate anyone with a mind. It starts gently – a pinch of annoyance here, an inconvenience there – but before long the steady drip, drip, drip of minor frustrations begins to affect your quality of life, like a mouth ulcer, or a stone in your boot, or the lingering memory of love gone sour.

The menu system is a confusing mangle of branching dead ends. It has touch-sensitive buttons that either refuse to work, or leap into action if you breathe on them. One such button also terminates calls, so it is easy to cut people off merely by holding the phone against your ear to hear them. It has no apparent “silent” mode, and when you set it to vibrate, it buzzes like a hornet in a matchbox.

It is lumbered with a bewildering array of unnecessary “features” aimed at idiots, including a mode that scans each text message and turns some of the words into tiny ani- mations, so if someone texts to say they have just run over your child in their car, the word “car” is replaced by a wacky cartoon vehicle putt-putting onto the screen. There is also a crap built-in game in which you play a rabbit (“Step into the role of Bobby Carrot – the new star of cute, mind-cracking carrot action!”).

I have a cell phone that functions fine as a cell phone, but I think the user interface leaves a lot to be desired. Of course, almost all tech-equipment these days seems to suffer from interface idiocy, so I suppose not many of the folks who design these are keeping up with Joel’s outstanding articles on design. I can work my way around, but I totally understand why so many people I know haven’t figured out all the features they have on their phones. (via boingboing)

[tags]Funny and accurate phone review[/tags]