The end of March saw the end of my two year contract with O2, a two year contract that frankly saw me treated as a prisoner by a network provider who I had been with since they bought over Genie Mobile back in the early Naughties. I had seriously bad network issues over the full duration of the two year contract and all O2 could say was that it wasn’t their fault. It was Sony Ericsson’s fault. It was my (?!) fault. It was everyone else’s fault. It most certainly wasn’t O2’s fault… apparently.
So I made my decision to quit O2 quite a while ago, if truth be known. They made no effort to keep me either, despite my years of custom and paying on time.
So what to move to, that was the question?!
Network wise, the only real competition to O2 was Vodafone… they cover pretty much the entire UK, including where my parents live – the sticks. O2 reception at my home place was less than satisfactory, but if you put the phone down, in one of the high rooms, you could get a signal. Vodafone, at least judging from my work phone, appear to have a better signal in the area. Also because my company use Vodafone I am eligible for an employee discount of 20% on any contract above £20. That’s quite the saving!
What it also meant was that I could go for a more expensive contract, get the 20% off to make it priced the same as what I was paying on O2 and get a better deal on an handset. So the second question was ‘what handset?!’
My first stop was the Carphone Warehouse for advice… what’s the best smart phone out there lads?? Their answer was the Samsung Nexus. And spec wise, it was hard to argue… it was better than anything else out there by an Irish Mile. The only downside was the size of it… it was huge, like a brick! In the end, I just didn’t want a phone that big.
In size range there was the Sony Ericsson Xperia, the Samsung Galaxy II and the iPhone 4S. The Carphone Warehouse guys were all down on the Sony… ‘don’t do it’ they said, it’s too ‘buggy’ (meaning that it was likely to break down). The Galaxy II has won awards, it’s Android and it’s customisable. The iPhone 4S is solid and slick.
Truthfully, I’ve always been quite proud of the fact that I didn’t own an Apple product… in my office, around two thirds of the staff have an Apple phone. And once you’re in the club, you seem unable to get out. But here I was with a choice between two handsets, with no loyalty to either and a certain antipathy towards one of them… and yet I picked the Apple.
Why? Well, it is a good piece of kit. It is easy to use and does exactly what you want it to. I was also influenced by Dina… she’s big on her Apple products and I knew she’d be thrilled if I got an iPhone. Sure it was my choice, but I know that I’m going to have a phone for 18 months which is going to work, as well as please the people around me. I just need Vodafone to not be silly about it all!
It didn’t start out well… I tried to order the phone on the 9th March… Vodafone only got it right on the 22nd… and when I did have a successful order, it was delayed by a weekend due to a supply issue and the porting of my number from O2 was delayed by a further two days, with no real reason offered… and yet I do have a new phone, my old number ported to a new network. Dina even bought me a cover for my phone (my choice of cover though!). I went for the ‘Book Book’ cover, which I really, really like. It’s real leather too, so it’ll only get better looking as time goes on!