N95 8GB Dropped Calls

8GB Nokia N95When it comes to the weekend, there’s just no stopping my phone from ringing. As soon as office hours are done with, it becomes open season for friends and family to call me, something which was more of an occurrance this weekend than ever before I reckon.

On Friday though, I had several phone calls with each of them dropped. Breaks in signal or reception, dropped audio, or calls failing to connect.

While I can understand this happening in the office (working a large building with questionable wifi and mobile signals in spots), I couldn’t understand it happening at home or out around the garden.

It dawned on me before leaving to Canada in 2006 that I’d had a similar problem with the Sony Ericsson K800i – 3G connectivity being the cause of the problems.

In the N95’s case, it was the factory default setting of UMTS as opposed to GSM – likely with a combination of not having changed my sim card to the one issued with the N95 from O2 (on advice from O2 customer care, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it kind of thing).

To remedy this

  • Hit the menu key on the N95
  • Go to Tools > Settings > Phone > Network
  • Switch ‘Network Mode’ from UMTS to GSM

If you’re getting a UMTS / 3G sim you likely won’t have this issue / can switch it back. But if you’re like me and you’re happy to continue using the sim card you were issued YEARS ago, then this might remedy your call problems.

iPhone Ships March 14th Wearing A 1GB Cap

iPhone Available On O2

As mentioned earlier, the Apple iPhone has been announced by O2 and will be available to the public from March 14th 2008. The rumoured prices of €399 (8gb model) and €499 (16gb model) are also true.

Three tariffs have also been announced by O2

  • €45 p/m inc 175 anytime minutes, 100 texts, 1gb data
  • €65 p/m inc 350 anytime minutes, 150 texts, 1gb data
  • €100 p/m inc 700 anytime minutes, 250 texts, 1gb data

Notice a trend here? The tariffs seem reasonable if you’re a heavy voice user but I know for a fact I wouldn’t be using the iPhone to make 350 minutes of calls, never mind 700 minutes. As it stands, I pay O2 €35 bucks a month for my 150 anytime minutes and 100 texts. That would make the 1gb data an extra tenner on my contract – of which I would have to sign a new, minimum 18-month term contract on an iPhone only tariff (non-transferable).

So, for €65, should I not be entitled to 3gb of data, presuming the extra 1gb costs ten euro extra a month? And what about a €100 option? Still capped out at 1gb?

Considering that O2 offer mobile broadband at €30 a month for a 10gb cap, could this not be factored into the iPhone price plan? That way at €65 I’d get 10gb worth of data, plus my 150 anytime minutes and 100 free texts. I’m not a heavy voice-user, I could live with that.

Considering the number of podcasts, photos, videos etc. I consume in any given month I’d find the 1gb cap rather restrictive – each extra megabyte costing you 2c. Small change, but it would mean I could pay anywhere up to a euro per podcast when out and about, more for videos, maps etc. General surfing, not so much a problem, but I’m a multimedia head by nature…

Apart from the 1gb cap, it is nice to see the phone finally hit the Irish market. The O2 site comes decorated with the usual Apple warnings against modifying your new iPhone or attempting to unlock it to any network.

If you do want to secure an iPhone for the 14th of March you’re going to need to visit your nearest O2 retail storing, bringing proof of ID and two crisp 50 euro notes as a deposit. If you’ve already upgraded your phone, or recently upgraded your phone, you won’t be charged an upgrade penalty to buy the iPhone (which also means that there are no discounts available to long-term contract users on the O2 network). Plus, if you’re a new customer you can start out on the iPhone or upgrade again at no penalty, once you commit to the 18 month contract.

The 18 month contract would put the cost of the phone at €810 (contract) plus the minimum €399 spend meaning you’ll have splashed out over €1200 come Autumn 2010, before you count any additional voice, SMS, voicemail, roaming or data charges.

It’d be a hell of a lot cheaper to pick up an iPhone elsewhere and jailbreak that sucker.

I’ll be the one in the corner waiting by the N95 8GB bus stop.

iPhone Announced For O2 Ireland Later This Morning

Apple iPhoneSo O2 have confirmed that they are the exclusive Irish carriers of the Apple iPhone. This was pretty much a given considering O2 are the exclusive carriers in the UK.

Scouting around the blogosphere this morning, Engadget are reporting that the iPhone will

  • retail at €399 inc. VAT for the 8gb model
  • retail at €499 inc. VAT for the 16gb model
  • will go public on Patrick’s weekend (launching March 14th)

The suggested price range is quite reasonable, all things considered. It also places the phone in the immediate price bracket of the Nokia N95, the first gen of which O2 are still shipping – though recent conversations I’ve had with O2 reps and other Irish bloggers suggest the N95 8GB model’s arrival is imminent.

I’m still set on swinging for the N95 8GB model but we’ll see what comes out of this morning’s announcements.

Update 1: Announcement to be made at 11:15am in O2’s Dublin HQ (via Damien Mulley)

Update 2: Pocket Lint are reporting that “Three new iPhone tariffs will be available from O2, starting at €45, all of which will include anytime minutes, texts and a 1GB data bundle.”

iPhone Fever Set To Grip The UK?

It looks like the UK are going to get an iPhone announcement. At least that what you might believe upon the readings. The invitations extended for the press event on the 18th (next Tuesday) bear resemblance to those issued for the recent US event which saw the price drop of the iPhone, launch of iPod Touch, revamp of iPod Classic and a whole lot more.

Telefonica look set to be the iPhone carriers for the Spanish market with O2 (part of Telefonica) carrying the iPhone in the UK. Vodafone are giving the N95 8GB model a big Christmas push in the UK (along with with the Samsung SGH-F700V and Sony Ericsson W910i) and look to be gearing up for a nice battle with O2 – what oh what could they be battling against?

What I want to know is, what’s the story with Ireland? If, as anticipated, the UK gets an iPhone release date on Tuesday next, can we expect that this date and subsequently the mobile carrier, will be reflected in Ireland?

Either way you look at it, iPhone announcement or not, I reckon we’re set for some interesting Apple talk this coming Tuesday.

Nokia N95 8GB – Christmas Present Dressed In Black

When I was down in the O2 store recently to collect a Nokia E50 for KilkennyMusic.com I toyed around a little with a Nokia N95 display model and thought – yep, sure is pretty. Then you read God knows how many good things about it online, see the blog reports, the videos, catch photos of people with N95’s dotted around them…

Nokia N95
Nokia N95, Black, 8GB

Then yesterday I was driving through Waterford in search of breakfast and passed the big billboard at the outer ring round (by the RSC) which had a massive N95 on it with the tagline “Its What Computers Have Become” underneath. They’re right too.

Then this morning I’ve been following the likes of Bernie Goldbach, Damien Mulley and Conor O’Neill tracking the Nokia event in London where the next issue of the N95 has been touted.

Nokia N95 8GB
Nokia N95, Black, 8GB

It looks nice in silver, but it sure packs a punch in black.

With my personal O2 contract up for discussion / renewal in October and an upgrade on the cards I reckon I’ve just found my Christmas present. Why couldn’t the iPhone have a 5mp camera?