Archive for August, 2006

Fun Phone stuff

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2006

I purchased a RAZR v3x from CompUSA a few weeks ago. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this phone, it is the extremely high-end version of the Motorola RAZR v3. This phone is primarily sold in European countries and is rarely found in the USA. This phone has some solid construction compared to the flimsy RAZR v3.

The phone I found at CompUSA is the silver/black unlocked version that has Planet 3 wireless logo. The Planet 3 logo is simply the number “3”, which most salesmen incorrectly assume stands for the model of the phone. Since the phone was sold as “unlocked,” it is compatible with the GSM technology used by Cingular and TeamMobile.

There is a caveat with this phone regarding the frequencies used in the US. For some reason there is an issue using both the 850Mhz and the 1900Mhz band at the same time. I hard set my phone to 1900Mhz because US wireless companies are switching to the higher frequencies. The 1900Mhz frequency has greater range, but cannot penetrate walls in thicker buildings (Such as ASU!). The inverse is true of the 850Mhz. Oh and this phone also supports UTMS (a.k.a. 3G/Third Generation/broadband), which I haven’t tried yet.

On to the fun stuff!!

First things first. I didn’t like the Planet 3 logo, so I downloaded the factory default firmware from the Planet MotoX website. I started playing with the internal video conferencing camera and the external camera, and then I noticed that it was only 2 mega pixels! What a rip! So I did what any techie would do, I enhanced the quality by removing the picture compression with a SEEM hack. This significantly increases the size of the pictures, but so what. My 1 GB card for the phone is on order from the local computer store.

After playing with it a while, I noticed that my phone couldn’t use the Cingular website. So I downloaded the root certificates, changed a few passwords entries, and I’m all set to browse on Cingulars network. I also added a Dictaphone program, MP3 player, and lots of video games for those long porcelain cruises.

Keep in mind, games made for the v3x are hard to find. However, I’ve noticed a lot of games can still be imported into the phone. The size of the screen and resolution on this phone is way way up there. Therefore, the games will have a smaller screen footprint.

I’ve noticed a certain university, which shall remain unnamed, likes to use a blanket phone number so you can’t see the number the person is calling from. There are some nice little options to bypass that annoying anonymity feature. However, be careful about playing with features you don’t know about. Otherwise you could get a very unhappy service provider or a rather large phone bill!

You’re probably thinking, why did you get service from Cingular. Well they utilize GSM technology, which is used widely over in Europe. As a traveler with an unlocked phone, you can purchase or rent SIM cards over there and have a local phone number. I picked Cingular over TeamMobile because Cingular is introducing the 3G technology in Arizona and I like to have options.

Motorola Product Website:
http://direct.motorola.com/eng/web_producthome.asp?Country=GBR&language=ENG&productid=30341

Planet MotoX
http://www.planetmotox.net/

Earl Bentleys Website has the ultimate manual — Get it if you’re even remotely thinking of doing what I did!
http://earlbentley.net/Download.html