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USB should be enough for anybody

A quick break from the series of posts on IoC and Castle's Windsor with a little rant on hardware - not a subject we often meddle with here on thejoyofcode.com.

I recently purchased a Nokia N80 3G phone. A really nice looking handset with an awesome 3MP camera (I'd always choose a 'sans-camera' option if there was one - I'd prefer to lose the extra weight and size, but hey-ho) and WiFi capabilities. The screen is amazing too.

Nokia N80

I was stunned to find that, whilst it could be charged via a USB connection to the PC, it came with some bizarre connection to the phone such that I couldn't use a standard USB cable. What a total waste of time. I'm sure they'll claim that a special connector is needed to support all the amazing things you can do with the phone, such as listen to music and, er, charge it. The reality, of course, is so that I have to buy Nokia branded stuff and they can make a little extra money. Nope - I've sent it back and reverted to using my trusty old handset. Admittedly, this wasn't the *only* reason I returned the handset, but I genuinely believe it was the tipping point.

Qtek S110

My previous (now current) phone was the Qtek S110 smartphone running Windows Mobile 2003, which charges via a standard USB cable. I can't tell you how handy this is. Wherever I am, all I've got to do is lay my hands on a standard USB cable and I can charge my phone from anyone's PC - I can even use it to sync my phone or transfer files.

Nokia must have actually spent time and money on developing their custom connector where a standard USB would clearly have sufficed. After all, I can run a keyboard, mouse, phone and iPod through ONE connection (admittedly there might not be enough power to charge them).

Looks like I'll be waiting until HTC (the manufacturer behind the Qtek brand) release a 3G phone in the UK.

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Josh Post By Josh Twist
2:03 AM
22 Sep 2006

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Posted by Henrik Jaeger @ 22 Sep 2006 6:40 AM
Josh,

you can get HTC 3G phones from both Vodafone and Orange - probably others as well, although not O2. You can also buy it "on its own" as HTC TyTN.

I've had the Vodafone (v1605) for a month now - switched from O2's XDA Mini S - and it is a real joy; highly recommended.

Cheers,

Henrik

Posted by Josh @ 22 Sep 2006 7:11 AM
Hi Henrik,

Unbelievably, for reasons I won't go into - I'm stuck with O2 for the moment. :(

Looking forward to the HTC TyTN getting rebranded. That looks like the current favourite.

Josh

Posted by Herold van der Vegt @ 22 Sep 2006 7:25 AM
This is one of the reasons I bought my Qtek 8020 about 18 months (I think) ago.
My new Mitac Mio C710 navigation system uses the same USB connection. Now I can recharge my phone in my car with the cigarette lighter cable supplied with the C710.

If only cars had USB ports. It would have been much easier. :)

Posted by Josh @ 22 Sep 2006 9:24 AM
Cars with USB ports - scary! I'd be the first to suffer from a virus that messes with my brakes :)

Posted by Eric D. Burdo @ 22 Sep 2006 10:25 AM
Cars with USB's? Funny you should mention that. Scott Hanselman just wrote about that (and some charger issues too).

http://www.hanselman.com/blog/USBPortsAreTheNextPowerSupplyForTheWorldReplacingCarCigaretteLighterPorts.aspx

Posted by Josh @ 22 Sep 2006 10:38 AM
How freaky...

Note to self: do something about the crazy formatting with long links.

Posted by Diego @ 25 Sep 2006 12:38 PM
I recently bough two different Verizon phones here in the Dominican Republic. They are not smart phones but somewhat advanced and nice phones: a Razr V3m and a LG VX8100. What a nightmare! While the Razr's only connector is a standar USB, you cannot charge or sync it unless you buy a kit from Motorola (or Verizon) or else you hack the phone. The other has a proprietary connector. Both have bluetooth but they are so crippled that it would be impossible for a normal human being to get them to work reasonably. I am getting tired of the greedy telephone company.

About the long urls, why don't you use one of those short URL redirection services?

By the way, what I really wanted to buy was a TyTN, but it is not available here.

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