Matt Gemmell

TOLL is available now!

An action-thriller novel — book 2 in the KESTREL series.

★★★★★ — Amazon

Anyone got an O2 X1 phone?

tech 1 min read

Got an <a href=";model=consumer:O2:X1:GROUP">O2 X1 mobile phone</a>? 
I need to ask you something.
I'm currently on Vodafone Smartstep (pay as you go), and they're just fucking me for text messages. 
I never use my phone to call people (maybe 5 mins a month, if even that - and less if possible). I 
just text people all the time; often 10+ messages per day. Vodafone make me pay 12p for the first 
three messages per day, then 9p per message (any network). That's too much.

I'm thinking of switching to O2 and getting a monthly contract, probably the Online 50 plan (50 free 
any-network talk minutes per month, and 500 free any-network texts per month, at a monthly cost of 
&pound;22.50). I'm thus in the position of having to choose a handset, and I don't want to pay anything extra 
for it. They're pushing their own-brand X1 phone at the moment, and I read a user review of it somewhere 
which said that it (astonishingly, to me at least) doesn't actually show the <em>name</em> of the person 
who has sent you a text message - just their number. I find it almost impossible to believe that any modern 
phone wouldn't just look up the bloody name in your address book, but I do remember that Fiona's ancient Siemens 
C25 had exactly that flaw.

Just to clarify, I don't really care what the phone shows on its screen when I've just received a text, but when 
I explicitly go into my texts inbox or folders or whatever, I damn well want names to be displayed instead of 
ridiculous numbers.

If the X1 indeed doesn't show the name of the sender of a text message, then that's probably a deal-breaker for me. I don't 
care about cameras and colour and WAP and Java and games and Bluetooth and all that crap; I just <em>require</em> decent 
usability for sending and receiving phonecalls and text messages. I am not some idiot poseur who gets a phone because it's 
silver or flips open or has blue backlighting. Jesus.

If you have an X1, please post a comment below and clear this issue up for me.


Footnote: Why is there no decent site to compare usability features for mobile phones? We use these things constantly, and 
in every possible situation. I want massive checklists of convenience features and UI design notes of all past and present phones. 
I want flowcharts and multi-stage screenshots. Using mobile phones is overall quite a painful experience; the few of us who 
are at all discerning about our technology should have access to sufficient information to make a sound choice. And <em>without</em> 
having to resort to visiting a godforsaken high street cellphone shop, and being accosted by society's new car-salesmen.