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Comments for Poly-fooey

Excerpt: Am I the only one that thinks polyphonic ringtones sound like elevator music played on a $15 Casio keyboard? Read the whole article…

August 10, 2003 3:47 PM

Amen. Unfortunately, nobody makes a phone without useless non-phone features. I don't get it.

August 10, 2003 4:26 PM

I too have been unable to find a no-nonsense phone. It would seem that the target market for mobile phone retailers is a type of person who buys a mobile phone for anything but making telephone calls or sending messages. How about a nice phone with one ring tone, a monochrome screen and a decent address book facility? Not much to ask perhaps but instead we have built-in cameras, aforementioned "polyphonic ring tones", various games and lovely colour screens replete with a user interface full of bright icons but little thought to usability. Oh well.

August 10, 2003 4:32 PM

I have 2 year old old Nokia (the small one that easily fits in your pocket). The problem is, in my eyes, they have not made a phone better than that one. Everything after that phone had a color screen and the ability to connect to the internet. Yet I don't feel the need to check websites on my cell phone's 200x150 (or whatever size) screen. I don't want to use AIM over my cell phone either. The only features I care about is the ability to be small and have long battery life. Yet all cell phone makers seem to feel that those two features are the least important. My friend wanted a cameraphone (with terrible resolution), and I asked him why. He had no real answer other than "its cool". The sad thing is that he is not the only person who feels that way about worthless features on cell phones these days.

Stewart Johnson
August 10, 2003 6:46 PM

Mostly I agree with you about polyphonic ringtones, but I also think that the problem isn't the technique for making sound, I think it's the actual tunes being made. I have heard some ringtones that sound quite subtle and professional, although the vast majority are TV theme songs and Britney Spears riffs. :/ I think you'll be happy with a polyphonic mobile phone once you tap into a source of good ringtones.

Alexander Payne
August 10, 2003 8:05 PM

I poo-poo'd poly rings myself until I got my fantastic LG VX6000 cameraphone, which I use with Verizon. I'm not sure how I put up with my mobile ringing before it played a surprisingly detailed MIDI cover of "Lovefool," but that's a burden I no longer bear ;)

Josh Santangelo
August 10, 2003 10:19 PM

I really like my Motorola V70. It's got a better UI than the T68 (which I bought and then sold again because it was so clumsy to use), it's tiny, eye-catching (just about every time I pull it out, someone wants to touch it), and doesn't really do anything non-phone like, other than a little datebook. Good stuff.
August 10, 2003 11:14 PM

the sony ericsson t610 has ridiculously nice ringtones. i concur with alexander payne that really the ringtones isn't the issue as much as how poorly folks actually create ringtones. :) i really dig how the team who worked on the design for the 610 (in and out) are creative types; they really gave new users a good head start with this phone. i'll have a few more up, but i'm starting to do a review for this phone, as it seems not many in the US have this one just yet-- i love it. tiny (good or bad:), great organizer, bluetooth & infrared (i use the infrared a LOT on this thing already, and have my bluetooth handfree on its way!) the only thing i miss is the speaker phone that my sanyo has. time will tell, though. this will be my 4th mobile phone since i started with the things (about 6 years ago).

August 11, 2003 6:13 AM

Death to ringtones! Am I just unlucky in my choice in restaurants, or is their some rule out there that the first thing you do when you get a new phone with these things is to download roughly 500 of them and then take your parents/friends out to dinner and play them all?

August 11, 2003 10:28 AM

Agreed. I upgraded my plan a while back and they offered me a free phone. I passed: they all looked like something my 3yr-old plays with. I'm keeping my Samsung 8500 until it's deader than a doornail. Even then, I'll probably keep it around as a paperweight or something. I love this phone.
August 11, 2003 11:04 AM

they all looked like something my 3yr-old plays with haha you know you're old, when... really though; i had to get accustomed to the concept of having a new "fancy shmancy" phone. the most attractive thing to me was the actual plan. and since the phone was relatively cheap, hey. i'd been looking for an ipaq replacement anyway (which is used for nothing more than my contact list, and most recently music)

August 11, 2003 1:42 PM

I'm not old! I'm 24!!! With a 3yr-old daughter, that would make me decidedly young, no?

August 11, 2003 7:17 PM

LOL it's the kids, man, it's the kids. it's all in the mind, man. has so many deals on phones it's almost a shame if you don't currently have a contract, to not look at what they're offering. i got my wife's nokia 3650 for free after rebates, and my sony for $99, and they're running that same double rebate promo again. which reminds me, time to turn in my forms. i'm currently a "road warrior", so the "entertainment" value of these phones (picture & voice messages (MMS) etc.) are great for me to keep in touch w/ the family. and add another benefit of a "modern phone"; bluetooth. i just got my jabra bluetooth headset, and to be able to set my phone near the window of my hotel room (where reception is better most the time :) and walk around with my headset is *great*. of course we could argue that the service shouldn't stink, but we're talking reality of most (U.S., at least) carriers here. j.

James N Pope
August 12, 2003 7:05 AM

How about the Siemens S55? Even though it does have polyphonic ringtones, it's small and light enough to fit in your pocket, and it has every feature your might want (except an XHTML browser...) without looking like a child's toy: Not sure if it's made it across the Atlantic yet though?

August 12, 2003 10:01 AM

I want a ringtone that sounds like an old-fashioned, circa-1950s Ma Bell desk phone--you know, the big clunkers with the rotary dial and a steel ringer the size of your fist in the housing...

Adam Kalsey
August 12, 2003 10:48 AM

The S55 looks like a good phone. I like the PIM integration and the fact that it has a camera attachment if I wanted to use it. I actually like the idea of having a low-res camera on my phone. I often come across something that I want to take a photo of, but I don't carry a camera everywhere. A small camera could even be a low-tech screen capture utility in a pinch. On the subject of ringtones, it amazes me that so many people don't know what their ringtone sounds like. On may occaisions I've been talking to someone when a phone rings. The usual "is that me" dance begins, only to discover that the ringing phone belonged to someone else. Later when their phone actually does ring, it has a completely different sound. How hard is it to remember what your phone sounds like?

August 19, 2003 2:20 PM

But atleast it's better than bad elevator music played on a Game Boy. You can choose those too, if you want.

August 24, 2003 7:55 PM

I retired my Ericsson T28W (which I'd had for nearly 4 years) for the Siemens S55. Purchased it unlocked from It hasn't made it into the mainstream, though if you're with T-Mobile you'll have no problems at all. All I had to do was open up the old phone, transfer my SIM card into the S55, download and upgrade the firmware from,2730,HQ_en_0_product%253AMW%252FHD%252FHD%252FS55%252Fdesc,FF.html, et volia! It's light-weight, fits in your chest pocket, has up to 4 hours of talktime, two button speech recording, and a fast & easily-accessible interface. The camera attachment is cool, but you could do without it. As for availability of ringtones, I visited, purchased and downloaded (via a WAP address) Beyonce & Jay-Z's - Crazy In Love. Can't tell you how many heads turn when my phone rings.

Freddy Wharton
December 1, 2003 6:31 AM

OH MY GOD! you are all a bunch of boring gits. Lighten up. You get the phone free (on contract) and its something a little fun. We are in the 21st centuary now, see you when you get here!!!

Adam Kalsey
December 1, 2003 8:48 AM

The point is that my phone is used for business. As a business user, my needs are significantly different than those of a club-hopping 18 year old. But no one ever trains the phone salespeople in the art of sales. Whatever happened to selling based on need? Rather than selling the features, they need to be selling the benefits. What do you do for a living? What do you use your phone for? Oh, you're a salesperson who spends most of his time out of the office? Then perhaps you'd find this phone useful. It has a long battery life, a well-organized contact list, and you can easily transfer your contacts from your computer to your phone with this cable here. It also has some games you can play to kill time while you wait for a cliient. The ring can be any song you want.

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