Which Mobile Phone to use in Thailand? Nokia 3110 Classic.

 

Recently traded in my old phones for cash and bought a new phone. I’ve had some nice phones here in Thailand – a Motorola with touchscreen – can’t remember the model… duh. A Nokia e61 and e70. By far the e70 was the tops, but I really didn’t need that much phone when I decided to stop blogging here so much. Didn’t need the video and photo, or WIFI capability.


I’ve used a Motorola L7 for over a year now and it’s been ok. It doesn’t have EDGE – high speed GPRS capability so I thought I’d get another phone – a Nokia, that does. I bought at Tesco – this being where I buy most electronics. Really I just want to avoid the hassle of buying at a mobile phone shop where they could have parcelled out the good parts of my new phone and replaced them with garbage parts.

I looked at all their phones and decided on the Nokia 3110 Classic. It was about 3,500 baht. It has the specs below. It didn’t say on the box or the display ad whether it had EDGE – and this was a necessity. A quick check through 3 mobile phone magazines they had showed that the Nokia 3110 Classic has EDGE. This one at Tesco was named a 3110c. Hmm. I’ve been fooled before – but finally decided I’d get it and try my luck. I’m glad I did.

When I got home and fired it up – It DID have EDGE and it was working immediately. That was unexpected because when I used my e70 from my home last year – there was no EDGE service. Apparently DTAC increased their coverage to include me now. Nice. I registered downloads in the 28-32kBps range which reminded me what I’d been missing with EDGE service. The Moto L7 gave me consistently about 4kBps.

I ran to the internet shop and connected to their wifi with my notebook and downloaded the Nokia PC SUITE software which included an update to the one I had from over a year ago. I then went to the Nokia europe site and installed some functionality for the email, mms, and other things that apparently don’t come standard in Thailand phones sold here. I plugged in my phone number and the site called my phone 6 different times to push the software to it – so I could install it. That all went very smoothly.

I fired up the browser on the phone and went to gmail.com/app

This told me that I needed a specific Gmail software for the phone and it was available. I grabbed it and installed it in about 2 minutes. Then I had a nice interface for my Gmail on the phone that allows archiving messages, deleting, composing, replying, etc. – rather easy to use. It shows up in my “APPS” icon in the menu – i just click it open and I am looking at my gmail within about 9 seconds.

I went back home and opened PC SUITE and set up a USB cable connection to the computer and phone -and was online with Firefox 3 browser in about 5 minutes of configuration. Speeds were nice… bearable anyway. I can live with anything over 15kBps I’ve decided over almost 4 years in Thailand. That’s a couple hundred less than I thought I could live with in the USA.

I went to 7-11 and picked up a 300b DTAC card. Called 1678 and spoke to cust. service about plans for GPRS minutes (Internet minutes). There was a 15 hour/month plan for 107b. I took it. It’s pay as you use – and it auto renews at end of month I believe. I’m usually surprised at the end of the month with the auto- fee. This woman didn’t say it was monthy auto-renew but I assume it is.

The phone has video (176×150 or something microscopic), it has a 1.2MP camera which does OK – won’t win any awards. 8x zoom which did ok. The coolest thing for me was the voice recorder that records for up to an hour – which I missed on the Moto L7. I like to record podcasts for some of my other sites – and this will work well. Nokias PC SUITE does a good job of converting videos into different formats- Nokia’s proprietary one – or M4a – which QT (Quicktime) opens.

There’s a memory slot for up to 2GB extra mem. The phone has FLASH and RAM memory totaling around 72MB if I remember correctly – I don’t think I do… should be in specs below.

Anyway – a basic phone that does everything you’ll probably need. Oh – it has Bluetooth, Infrared, and a standard mini-USB connector. FM radio… uhm, some other stuff. Overall I like it a lot – you won’t go wrong if you get one for basic Thailand living if you can live with a Tri-band phone. It was clear enough for me over the last couple days.

********** specs below *********
Nokia 3110 Specifications & Features

ScreenTFT 262k Colour Screen (128 x 160 Pixels)
Imaging
1.3 Megapixel Camera
8 x Digital Zoom
Video Recorder
Video Player
Video Streaming (3GPP)
Screensavers
Wallpapers
Themed Display
MessagingSMS (Text Messaging)
MMS (Multimedia Messaging)
MMS Audio Messaging
Email
SoundMedia Player (MP3, MP4, AAC, AAC+, enhanced AAC+. H263, H264 & WMA)
FM RadioMP3 & MIDI Ringtones

Entertainment
Embedded Javaâ„¢ Games
Downloadable Javaâ„¢ Games
Organiser
Phone Book
Alarm Clock
Clock
Organiser with Calendar
To Do List
Notes
Calculator
Count Down Timer
Push to Talk
Voice Dialing
Voice Commands
Voice Recording
Handsfree Speaker Connectivity
Bluetooth®
Infra Red
USB
GPRS
EDGE Network
Tri Band (GSM 900, GSM 1800 & GSM 1900)
Internet
XHTML
Memory & Talk Time
32 Mbytes Flash Memory & 16 Mbytes RAM plus MicroSDâ„¢ Memory Card Option
4 Hours Talk Time
370 Hours Standby
Weight & Size87 g108.5 x 45.7 x 15.6 mm

Traveling to Thailand? Which Mobile Phone Service is Best?

DTAC Logo. DTAC is a mobile phone service provider in Thailand. True logo. True is a mobile phone service provider in Thailand AIS logo. AIS is a major mobile phone service provider in Thailand.

If you travel to Thailand, which mobile phone service in Thailand is best? Thailand tourists commonly just sign up for any mobile phone service because they don’t know any better. I didn’t! When I first arrived in Thailand I used Orange, which is now commonly known as True Move mobile phone service. I was buying someone a lot of MK dinners at that company because I was paying 5 baht per minute for phone calls and 5 baht per SMS. I was horrified to find on my phone a counter that told me I had sent and received so many thousands of SMS messages over a year. I was a real nut with it though, I’d send many each day to many different people. 20 messages in a day was probably the average for a long time. So, after realizing I had spent around 20,000 baht that year for SMS messages alone I realized I’d better get smart about the mobile phone plans. I asked my girlfriend. She used DTAC. I like the idea of AIS since when Taksin was in charge I knew that he would make sure his company was the best or one of them while he was in power. I also liked a rate plan that was offered so I bought a SIM for AIS and threw away the Orange SIM. I was then getting calls for 3 baht for the first minute and 75 satang for each additional minute. I think SMS was at 2 baht per, or maybe even 1 baht because I bought a special package for that too. There are packages for EVERYTHING and you’ve gotta check them all out to get the best deal. If you have AIS the number to dial for customer service from your mobile is: 1175. If you have DTAC the number is: 1678.. . If you want to hear current promotions dial: *1003. If you want to check which promotion you’re currently set up with dial *103#. You’ll need to an English speaker more than likely and you should be able to at these numbers. So, I used AIS (also known as 1-2 Call) for over a year. I was pretty satisfied with it. The phone connection was nearly ALWAYS good, but only cut out when I was at a government school I taught at in Surat Thani. I don’t know why but that is the ONLY place I’ve ever had a problem – around the COUNTRY trying to get a signal. AIS has decent internet service and coverage, including high-speed EDGE service in some major cities. I recently switched over to DTAC though as a result of their offering a free PUSH MAIL service for 6 months to mobile phones. DTAC is marketed under the “HAPPY” slogan. PushMail is like this… You receive an email at your designated PushMail account at one of the following email providers or one of your own pop-3 accounts: hotmail, msn, yahoo, or gmail (google mail). You are then notified by SMS text message that you have an email waiting and you can follow a link (click it) to go straight into your email account and read your email and respond if you like. AIS has this service available, but you’d need to be on their unlimited internet access plan each month – which runs 999 baht. DTAC’s service is a bit buggy. They just rolled it out and I can’t get my Gmail to work – but I saw another foreigner on a forum at their site and he got his issue worked out in 2 weeks. We’ll see how long to get mine smoothed over. Anyway, they DO have a decent internet service – I’m getting EDGE speeds over GPRS and I’m happy just using my phone as a modem for my notebook computer and not having to pay 15-20 baht per hour to use internet at a cafe. I’m cheap, I know. But, when you live here you become cheap. I’m at the point where if I’m going to spend 50 baht on dinner it better be AWESOME! DTAC and AIS both have competitive plans that are changing constantly. Your best bet is to call the numbers I gave you. I am really revved up about DTAC though since I just got it and had such good success with their internet access. Also, I was bored and looked at their mini info book that came with my SIM. OH MY GOD. Cool thing number 1: Did you know DTAC offers a FREE translation service for foreigners? YES! It’s free if you have a DTAC enabled phone. Just call *1021. You have a personal translator from Thai to English and English to Thai! I’m not joking. You explain what you want to say in Thai to whomever you are with – your girlfriend, you’re massage girl, whatever – and the translator listens… You then hand your phone to the Thai person you want to get the message to and the translator tells them what you said. You can go back and forth like that. IS THAT COOL or what? You do pay for minutes as if you’re calling anyone else – but still. Come on. AIS does not have this (as of this date). Cool thing number 2 – and this might be even cooler YET. If you have zero baht on your phone and you just NEED to make a mobile call – no worries. DTAC HAS AN… “EMERGENCY REFILL SERVICE”! They will loan you 30 baht which you can pay back the next time you refill your SIM with baht! Is that nuts? Just dial *110# of you want to talk to someone and set it up. or *1010 and follow the computer instructions – not sure if they have an English voice on this – I’ve not called (yet). They’ll send you an SMS message to confirm that you’re hooked up with a 30 baht loan! Is that cool or what? As you can see – lately I’m a cheerleader for DTAC. I think tourists that travel to Thailand should check out at least DTAC and AIS before deciding which one is best. For me, at this time, DTAC is it. No question. Your needs may differ.

UP TO YOU!