It’s hard to write a glowing review of a piece of consumer electronics when the damn thing crashes every half hour or so.
As I was saying when I was so rudely interrupted by a frozen screen, my new Cingular 8125 has everything from WiFi to Bluetooth to a full-blown keyboard.
Make that a half-baked keyboard. The keyboard, like the rest of this rebadged HTC Wizard, has a few annoyances that mar an otherwise amazing experience.
Take the keyboard backlighting, for example. At first, I was amazed that the keyboard lighting worked so well. After a few minutes, though, I got aggravated by how quickly the backlight turned off. The keyboard doubles up every letter key with punctuation or numbers. The only punctuation mark with its own key is the period. To use a question mark, I have to find it on the keyboard, then hit the modifier key and the key. If I don’t find it in time, the backlight cuts off, and I have to hit some random key to turn it back on, then backspace, and start looking again for my punctuation mark. Typing becomes a sort of masochistic race against the clock.
But who cares, right? I’m lounging on the couch blogging from my phone! I’m even listening to Jimmy Buffett’s Radio Margaritaville streaming audio out of this thing’s stereo speakers WHILE I TYPE! It’s a freaking multitasking phone! This little machine is way more fun than a $300 phone has a right to be. And the camera quality is spectacular. Just look at at the picture attached to this blog entry!
Oh, wait. That’s right. I can’t get the thing to email a decently sized picture because it keeps timing out trying to send an mms message. Another annoyance.
Every feature I’ve tried so far has a similar drawback. Thankfully, it looks like everything has a workaround so far. It crashes unexpectedly, so I’ve already learned to pen my blog entries in Word instead of the web browser, saving them every few minutes as I go. Like any good relationship, it’s all about compromise. You never get exactly what you want. You have to put up with a little flakiness in order to get the good stuff. So far, the Cingular 8125’s a good balance between the two.