them ol' fashioned new phone no speed improvement blues

My new phone arrived today. My first impressions are that its menu interface is very slow, that its construction is unimpressive, and that it feels like a brick compared to my RAZR.

All of this would be unimportant, if I was getting the 70 kilobytes per second that T-Mobile says I should get, minimum, with EDGE. (Have you ever noticed how hard it is to find a simple prediction for how fast a phone’s packet internet can go?)

Instead, I got the Bluetooth modem connection working very quickly, only to find that I was getting about 10 kilobytes per second, up from five or six on my RAZR. A call in to T-Mobile led me through some diagnostics, and then basically ended with, “Gee, I don’t know. It should be faster, but…”

The frustrating part of the call was that the representative (who was otherwise quite helpful and friendly) didn’t seem to have a good concept of what I should expect, or what speeds were reasonable – and that’s after I was transferred to a data plans specialist. She kept saying, “It’s not going to be like super fast, it’s just going to be dollops,” and other bizarre things. I would have preferred, “Yeah, anything under X is too slow, but don’t expect to ever see more than Y.” I was still seeing 1-3 second latencies, so I don’t think it will be any better for bulk or interactive data transfer.

I’m going to see how the speed goes for one day of real use (one trip to and from Philadelphia) tomorrow, but I expect that the difference in speed is going go unnoticed, even as I squint to see it.

I looked into Cingular, and their 3G network seems to cover only about half of my route between work and home. If the other half is fast EDGE, and if the phone can transition from one to the other without having to reconnect, then I might just see a reason to switch.

Written on April 19, 2007
📱 phone