Well it went over 12 months since I last got a phone so the yearly upgrade was due.
Like a good geek I went out and researched every new buzzword that seems to have crept into the lexicon of phone salesmen. This led me to get the new Samsung Z320i (the i meaning i-mode). It's a 3G phone so has all that video calling fluff, I haven't tried that yet as I don't know anyone else with a 3G phone. The camera is good but seems to lag between taking the photo on screen and actually taking the photo which is annoying. I also can't seem to receive normal MMS messages (photos).
The main purpose of this review is to talk about i-mode. This phone is i-mode crazy. Everything is now i-mode on the phone, i-mode textmessaging, i-mode MMS and i-mode Internet access. You will need to upgrade your contract (I got the same one as I was already on) in order to use i-mode stuff or the phone will complain at you.
I recently got the i-mode functionality turned on and so far I'm very impressed. The phone no longer has GPRS and instead uses i-mode which parses normal XHTML instead of all that WAP nonsense. The main thing that I cared about though was the speed. I was under the impression there are a set of websites that have optimised for i-mode and everything else would be dirt GPRS slow. This is partly true, there are a bunch of semi-useful websites that have been optimised for i-mode. Though while browsing the normal web I found that speed to be comparable to normal broadband speed. This is a huge bonus over GPRS.
So, the phone is very similar to my previous Samsung D500 and not much has changed from the menu or aesthetic point of view. The games that come with it are absolute rubbish (can you get games off a phone?) so don't hold out for anything there. But I have to say everyone should get an i-mode phone as it makes net access usable (i.e. easier to cheat in pub quizes).
If anyone gets/has a 3G phone and wants to try out the video calling stuff let me know.