My new camera phone. I am using a panasonic gd87 on the att gprs network now. Very cool, a nice form factor, an integral camera, small size — lots of wows from folks at Ignition today. But it was a herculean buying and provisioning effort requiring the aid of literally world experts.
I wanted a cool small form factor phone with an integral camera, not some clunky addon camera that I would lose or never use or end up breaking the fragile connector. And it had to be gsm for travel. All of which pointed me towards phones available in Europe, not in the US. Besides the panasonic I also looked at the Nokia 3650 and a siemens model. I went with the panasonic because it has the most active ebay presence at the time but the nokia may have passed it now.
Ebay is definitely the place to find these phones — ACS has an ebay store with a lot of camera phones as does wireless express. I bought from ACS. Wherever you buy, make sure the phone comes in an english language version — some foreign phones don’t, particularly if originally intended for the asian market. And make sure the phone is unlocked and can be used on a US network.
The phone shipped promptly, and on initial receipt I was a little scared. It was originally intended for the Vodaphone network and the box was all in german, the instructions were in german. Taped to the side was a converter for the charger plug (german of course) and a photocopied set of english instructions. Did not inspire confidence!
I bravely moved my ATTWS SIM over and no problem, gsm voice service was available immediately! But no data services worked — I dug into settings and the WAP browser and email service were all pointing to vodaphone private IP addresses, clearly this was never going to work. So I moved the SIM back to the ATTWS phone and dug through all the screens to find the IP, WAP, and MMS settings — a very painful process going thru all the menus. And this is where I needed the world experts — Adrian and his buddies among the att alums and current employees helped find all the right settings. Once I had all the settings, I moved the SIM back to the panasonic, set all the settings, added the settings for my work SMTP server, and amazingly it mostly worked. MMS doesn’t seem to work but I can do email, browse the web, etc.
Was it worth it? Well the phone looks cool. The UI is very hard to use tho. And the pictures are izone-like in terms of quality. But a great learning experience.