Sony Ericsson P1i..14/03/2010
I love my phone. It’s three years old, considered outdated and is a thing of beauty to me. Here’s why..
The Sony Ericsson P1i is a smartphone released in 2007 running the UIQ3 Symbian operating system. It has a touch screen plus a qwerty keyboard, and it rocks.
The reason that it kicks more ass than Chuck Norris is simple – unlike the iPhone, you can hack this puppy to death. Out of the box it’s fairly vanilla, sure it has Wi-fi and 3G (the iPhone released at the same time didn’t) , but it’s more useful as a starting point for a pretty amazing all-in-one iPhone/Android rival.
At this moment an iPhone is £40+ a month on contract, or roughly £4-500 to buy stand-alone. My P1i cost £60 second hand. Add an Orange PAYG sim, choose the ‘Dolphin’ package, put £10 credit on and, ta-da! – free internet over 3G.
But that’s just the start..
Hack the Symbian operating system (very easy), and then you’re into a world of cool apps. I’m not going to be too technical here, but I’ll give the names and procedures required to beef up your P1i, if desired.
First, ‘aquire’ copies of ‘Xplore’, ‘Midlet permissions changer’, ‘The leftup certificate’ and ‘Capswitch’ – which allows you to access the system files on the phone. Turn Capswitch on, install Xplore and the leftup certificate and you’re good to go.
Install Midlet permissions changer (which saves you from having to ok access to the internet every time you login) and get installing the good stuff.
I began by installing the updated ‘Walkman 3′ app (much better, with visualizations) then ‘Tom-tom’ Sat-Nav, plus the optional voice packs, mainly because I like having Stephen Fry direct me to the shop. Then add Google maps (very accurate, with geolocation), ‘Snaptu’ (Facebook, Wikipedia, Twitter etc), and ‘Fring’ – which gives you free calls over Skype!.
Then add ‘Escarpod’ Podcast catcher, ‘Coreplayer’ Media player (handles all movies and music streams) and the icing on the cake, Opera’s brand new Mini 5 browser, which is currently wooing Android users this week. That’s right, the latest whiz-bang mobile browser works perfectly on my three-year old, £60 phone.
So there you go.., music, video, Flash (iPhones still can’t do that), podcasts, Sat-nav, Skype, the latest web browser and free 3G internet. You’re welcome.
(Just don’t tell too many people or the prices will go up.)