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  #1  
Old 23-06-2009, 09:30 PM
slitchfield slitchfield is offline
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Living with an Orange i8910 - the first week

Just.... as us normal-coloured geeks start to get a glimpse of SIM-free Samsung i8910 HD phones, guest writer Stuart Clark reports on his first week with the bona fide, Orange-crippledbranded version. What has Stuart loved about the i8910 HD so far and what has he hated? And, more importantly, what's he had to do in order to get some of the lost functionality back?

Read on in the full article.

  #2  
Old 23-06-2009, 10:03 PM
NZtechfreak
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Nice review, thanks.

I've had mine about a day and half now (unlocked, no branded firmware on it, V7 firmware iteration) and loving it to bits.

  #3  
Old 23-06-2009, 10:13 PM
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Shame that the GPS experience is so marred by the Orange firmware - its the best GPS experience I've yet had on a phone on the generic firmware (previously I've had these phones with GPS - N95, N95 8GB, N82, HTC Touch Pro, Sony Xperia).

The lock is ~5secs (maybe 10 on a cold start), just unparalleled compared to my other phones. The GPS+ function (stored satellite information) has been present in the WinMo phones for a while, and its really a very welcome solution - especially for those without data plans who can now download sat info over their WiFi networks.

  #4  
Old 23-06-2009, 10:57 PM
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I had my hands on a an Orange branded i8910 for about a week as well (I had it unlocked to use on AT&T's 3G here in the US):

- http://tnkgrl.wordpress.com/2009/06/...ia-hd-is-here/
- http://tnkgrl.wordpress.com/2009/06/...era-revisited/

  #5  
Old 23-06-2009, 11:33 PM
Williamoni Williamoni is offline
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Why oh why do Orange think they know better than the manufacturer and mess around with these devices? Going back a bit I had a Nokia 6680 with Orange and it drove me berserk that the Active Standby screen that Nokia intended was simply not available to me. Extremely irritating. I vowed I was finished with Orange from the end of that contract and I've stuck to it, oh yes, it was a total divorce with immediate decree absolute and I've never looked back.

Last edited by Williamoni; 23-06-2009 at 11:36 PM.

  #6  
Old 23-06-2009, 11:37 PM
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stuclark stuclark is offline
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Your experiences are the same as mine - once you remove the Orange firmware, GPS performance in particular, is greatly improved.

Without giving too much away about the upcoming next article, that is one area I'm going to be focusing on...

  #7  
Old 23-06-2009, 11:58 PM
Williamoni Williamoni is offline
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I'll look forward to it Stuart. Those photographs look very nice - albeit aided by some welcome sunny conditions - let's hope we get a lot more of that this summer. That and a Murray win at Wimbledon, and the Lions to win on Saturday, and Swansea City to get promoted to the Premier League, and I might be mildly happy to say the least.

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Old 24-06-2009, 06:08 AM
rvirga rvirga is offline
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It looks like Orange completely butchered the firmware. In the unbranded version, which I have, Communities supports uploading to: Picasa, Flickr, Photobucket, Facebook, Friendster, and MySpace. Some of the advertising material show Communities supporting YouTube too, so hopefully that is coming soon.
There's a Download application as well. No relation to Nokia's Download!, but it serves the same purpose. It's nicer than Nokia's app because it has a search function, a "featured applications" banner, and the ability to see screenshots of each application. In this respect, it's more similar to the Ovi Store. However, much like Download!, it doesn't currently offer a great selection of apps.
GPS is by far the most sensitive and accurate I've ever experienced in a mobile phone. Nokia's GPS has the tendency to "jump around" a little bit. For example, sometimes approaching an intersection, Nokia Maps becomes convinced I'm travelling in the intersecting street, and recalculates my route. Of course, I've learned to ignore these "temporary insanity" moments of the GPS. The i8910's GPS always know where I am with a greater level of accuracy, so the navigation instructions are always spot-on. One minor annoyance: the digital compass needs to be recalibrated often.

  #9  
Old 24-06-2009, 06:42 AM
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Angry

Orange are a carbunkle (nee zit) on the backside of humanity and should be, in my experience, given a very wide berth. Their ability at turning top notch hardware into almost useless junk is legendary. Sadly the "public" are not as enlightened as the learned members of this website and rarely see the problems these maniacs (Orange) cause.

  #10  
Old 24-06-2009, 07:04 AM
natanlevine natanlevine is offline
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I have a dream. That someday Nokia will announce a new "Ovi Operator" to compete with Orange, AT&T etc.
Think of the possibilities! An operator that encourages full use of the handset, has the best understanding of the device, has the simplest integration for paid service like Ovi store and of course has no reason to cripple a device. Plus it would piss the hell out of all the other operators. Ah the dreams of naive nerds....

  #11  
Old 24-06-2009, 09:02 AM
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where y'all getting your sim-free one's from and how much u paying?

  #12  
Old 24-06-2009, 09:08 AM
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@rvigra: Can you please post your firmware and custom versions... the XXIE6 firmware which is currently available as the *only* SIM free version that can be loaded onto handsets, doesn't have the Download application.

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Old 24-06-2009, 10:14 AM
rvirga rvirga is offline
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My firmware version is I8910XXIE4, and the custom version is I8910ITVIE5. This is the unlocked, unbranded 8GB version of the phone that is on sale here in Italy. Download is inside the Applications directory. I can take some screenshots of the program if there's enough interest.

  #14  
Old 24-06-2009, 10:23 AM
jamesbody
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Unhappy Orange Handset Customization

I have just given up on buying Orange branded handsets - they are wrecked!

My last Orange branded purchase was an N95 - a fine device, but crippled by those clumsy buffoons in the Orange Handset Lab.

What do they think they are doing?

Do Orange not realize that mucking around with handset functionality (and in particular REMOVING certain functionality) really annoys end users!

Please please please stop this lunacy now! Give us fully functional handsets that work in the manner that the manufacturer designed it to work!
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Old 24-06-2009, 08:56 PM
NigelASmith NigelASmith is offline
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Does anybody know when this will be available on any other networks? I've been watching this phone for a few months now as it ticks most of the boxes for me. However, I didn't feel comfortable moving to Orange (not that I have any feeling of loyalty to any network) and given people's comments here, it looks like I was wise not to. As people have mentioned they've butchered the frmware and removed functionality. If I'm committing to 500+ then I want it all there.....surely not too much to ask?

The question is, what are the other networks likely to do to the firmware?
Yes, I belive I can debrand the firmware, but that will invalidate the warranty?

Thanks.
 

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