Phones galore in Vegas

My original plan in Vegas, at some point, was to find the Nokia Experience Center at the Fashion Show Mall.  It has since left, but I was pleasantly surprised by some of the other things available.

The first encounter was at the Caesar’s Palace Forum Shops.

I happened to come across a Sony Style store.  Where there’s Sony there’s Sony Ericsson, so I ventured inside.  The selection wasn’t huge, but I was able to play with phones I never though I’d see in a million years.

The first was the K850i.  This is SE’s first 5 MP camera phone, which was released months and months after the competition’s, so as a result it didn’t sell well (this, in my opinion and many others is where SE’s troubles began).

The phone was small.  Very small.  A lot smaller than I was expecting.  This was offset by its thickness, which is 17mm.  That isn’t very bad at all, actually, but the small face makes it seem thicker.

The K850i has a very unusual design.  I like it…in photos.  In reality, I didn’t care for it.  The D-pad—which is hard to see from this shot—is straddling the 2 and 5 keys and the center selection button is not in the center, but is above the D-pad.  It’s flanked by two more touch-sensitive buttons.

The buttons, for me, worked fine, though I’ve heard reports that they’re finicky.  I didn’t mind them, but I would certainly not like to use them regularly.

The D-pad, while it looks cool enough, sucked.  I could not get used to it and the space between up, down, left and right was too far apart for my liking.  Same goes for the numerical buttons.  Far too small and too far apart.  I don’t text every second of every day, but I would not like typing on this one for any length of time.

Next up was the W380i.  Nothing special about this one.  It’s a low-end Walkman with minimal features.  I didn’t mess with this one too much.  Nothing was bad nor good about it…just average.

Then came the P1i.  This has been the business flagship for more than a year (and for all intents and purposes will continue to be so since Paris/P5 was canceled).  I love the design.  It’s unconventional and I like it.  It reminds me of a calculator—this is why some hate it, but I like it.  It’s armed with a 3.2 MP camera and a touchscreen and that’s about it.

I liked the touchscreen.  No complaints there.  I wasn’t a fan of the keyboard.  There are two letters per key and they rock back and forth.  So, Q and W are on the same key, and to get a Q you press left and to get a W you press right on the button.  Some rave about this, but I found it very difficult to use.  10 mintues probably wasn’t enough to get used to it, but any normal QWERTY I could have figured out immediately.

Also in the Forum Shops was a high-end watch shop.  It was huge, so I went in, looking at all the Omegas and Rolexes and stuff I could never afford even if I wanted to.  However, tucked away, I noticed this small display:

Vertu!

Vertu is a luxury phone line by Nokia.  The phones are diamond studded, gold plated, sapphire-hardened screens, you name it.  The top left model was $120,000, just to give you an idea.  Not my cup of tea in any shape way or form, but some people go for that and pay dearly.  Still, it was nice to see a few in person after having read about them.

Inside the Fashion Show Mall were several phone outlets and I enjoyed all of them.

First up was a store called Futuretronics. They had many phones, none of which I was able to play with since they were all behind glass…but I was still able to take photos (I probably looked like some kind of spy).

The Sony Ericsson W960i.  This is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful phones every designed.  Simple, yet elegant.  Not very powerful, and not something that works well in the U.S., but it was great to see in person.

My phone, the Nokia N95!  Plus the black 8 GB version.  SEVERELY over-priced, as was everything in Vegas—but especially the phones.  The silver N95 should be no more than $450 nowadays and the 8 GB version should be no more than $550.  They’re both great phones, but anyone who buys them from this store is being severly ripped off.  All the phones were too high and the only people who seemed to be aware of this besides me were the European tourists who were shopping there too.  “Neunhundert Dollar?” I heard one say to his friend in shock.  Yup.  Almost nine hundred.

Mmmmmmovin’ right along…

Downstairs was the mother load.  There was a small kiosk in the hallway, but it was chock-full of phones.  I didn’t take photos of all of them, but they were very impressive—and very expensive.

The HTC Touch Diamond, newly-released.  VERY small.

I had to laugh, because my grandparents saw the advertisement for a “free city map,” and immediately moved to ask the kiosk worker if they could have one (they don’t pass up anything that’s free, even if it’s a root canal).  I had to interject myself and tell them it was a free digital map for use with the phone’s GPS navigation.  I repeated myself and rephrased myself several times, but I don’t think they entirely understood.

The HTC Touch Cruise.

The Nokia 8600 Kuna and 8800 Arte.  Very beautiful phones.

The Sony Ericsson W880i.  VERY small and thin, but I didn’t like it at all.  The keys, as can be seen, are roughly the size of half a grain of rice and twice as hard to press.  Horrid.  Whoever thought that was a good idea needs several shoe marks imprinted on his or her bum.

The Motorola Ming.  Interesting touch/flip hybrid.  Not something I would ever own.

The silver/white Nokia N82.  I kind of figured it would be love at first sight and it was.  I asked the worker to unlock the case so I could play with it and I was very impressed.  I do like the black version better.  Everything looks better in black.

They also had a Nokia E90, Nokia E71, Sony Ericsson K660, the Gorgio Armani phone, the Dolace & Gabana RAZR 2, and some others.  Very cool.

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