Finally entering the world of mobility…

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Today, I got my first smartphone – a Nokia 6600 connected to Orange. For a few years now, I’ve used a succession of Compaq iPAQs (as nothing more than expensive diaries and address books really) and whilst I have connected to services using my PDA with a mobile phone on occasion, I figured it was about time I made a move towards the true mobility. So far I’ve only made phone calls and sent a test e-mail (at which point I wished I’d gone for a phone with a full keyboard). I know the new Orange SPV C500 is reported to be a great smartphone, but I really like Nokia handsets and when I saw the 6600 last week I knew I “had” to have one.

I switched to Vodafone from Orange about 5 years ago (I had been with them since 1994 – pretty much as soon as they started up). To be honest I’d still be with Vodafone if they didn’t charge for itemised billing and if I could get the handset and tariff deal I wanted (the “customer loyalty” team at my previous service provider, Carphone Warehouse, failed to call me back and then told me they couldn’t do me an upgrade to the Nokia 6600 for less than £59 when I chased them), but my original reason for leaving Orange was poor customer service and it seems that not a lot has changed. My phone came with instructions to activate it using one of two numbers – the first one was only available from an Orange phone, and so was barred until I could activate the account (chicken… egg…) and the second led to an Orange salesperson who just gave me the full 11 digit version of the original number, which I rang from my old phone. Only after about 20 minutes on hold did I finally get to speak to someone who could activate my phone. A great start for a returning customer hey! Let’s just see if they can successfully port my number…

I can recommend the reseller I used ( – they were really helpful when I called them and did me a good deal: free handset (the Orange shop wanted £30); free shipping (by Royal Mail Special Delivery); 3 months free insurance; £30 cashback after 6 months; free accessory pack (leather case, car charger and personal hands free kit); plus the current Orange offer of double minutes and double SMS.

Anyway, let’s see if I actually use any of the smartphone capabilities now…

4 thoughts on “Finally entering the world of mobility…

  1. One of the Microsoft consultants I’m working with on site arrived sporting a new Orange SPV C500 today and it looks great. It’s smaller and lighter than the Nokia 6600 that I bought, the display is excellent, and runs a version of Windows (so the user interface is instantly familiar). I consoled myself with the thought that it is probably really expensive, but to rub salt into my wounds I walked past an Orange shop at lunchtime and saw that Orange are offering it for free when you connect to a tariff costing more than £25 a month :-(

  2. The after sales service from has been excellent – every time I have called them, they have been helpful and reliable. They also came back to me when they said they would and have agreed to let me swap my Nokia 6600 for an Orange SPV C500 (free, plus £60 cashback) as soon as stock arrives (although I will have to return the 6600 within 14 days to comply with Orange’s restrictions, which will leave me off air for a while until I can get the new phone).

    Despite all of that, I went to the Orange shop at lunchtime and after playing with the SPV for a while I decided to stick with my 6600. The SPV looks great, but the more I use the 6600 the more I like it. The interface is intuitive (like all Nokias), and the call quality is excellent. Add to that the loudspeaker function which is a one-click option in the middle of any call and it is a really well thought out phone (simply from a from the point of view of a phone user). I’m still not really using it to its full potential, but reckon this is the one I’ll be sticking with for the next 12 months or so.

  3. I didn’t get a double free SMS quota with my tariff. In fact I didn’t get any free SMS at all as Orange denied that the offer ever existed (by which time new offers were in place and I could not check the website).

    Orange also have a habit of offering “free” services to try, but not advising you that they automatically become chargeable the next month (or removing them when you ask for them to be removed).

    Consequently my first two invoices were both incorrect and I spent a great deal of time on hold waiting to speak to someone at Orange.

    Finally, whilst it does seem much better than the O2 and T-Mobile networks (both of which I have had the misfortune to be connected to for work in recent years), it is my experience that Orange’s network coverage is still not as good as Vodafone’s.

    It looks like I’ll be going back to Vodafone as soon as I’m out of contract.

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