Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

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Sorry about the title. I couldn’t find any succinct way to put it.

Anyway, yeah. I’m supposed to be trying to get a phone. People have been harassing me for years about the fact that I don’t have a phone. Since my vacation is already half-wasted already, I figure I’d go online and get some info on what phone I’d buy.

Now, bear with me a bit, I’m really stupid when it comes to phones, since I’ve practically never owned one. If there’s any better way or better place to look for the info than the way I describe here, tell me about it. πŸ˜€

First, to find out what are the available phones and their features, I check the website of one of the major providers to see what handsets they list, since supposedly this tells me what models are available locally. FYI, I chose to use Smart’s website

Now, this helps me find phones which have features I like. But the Smart website only gives me prices offered by Smart when the phone is tied to one of their plans. Let’s assume I want a bit more flexibility and don’t want to be tied to the plan. I have no idea where to check the prices though, so I hit two auction sites instead: ebili and bidshot, so I can get some idea what people are willing to pay for these models.

Easy enough right? Check the features, cross-check the prices, choose a phone. Some notes on these websites:

Smart: Why the hell is the list of phones not sorted in any logical order? None that I can see anyway. When I see a cheap, er, reasonably-priced phone on the auction sites, I want to check the features of that phone on the Smart website but it takes me a while to find it. Some sort of search feature would have been nice. (Or maybe there is one and I missed it?)

Ebili/Bidshot: Why the hell is the search result list not sortable in any way? If you have a grid of search results, I don’t see how difficult it is to implement sortable columns; every single webapp I’ve worked on has this feature! I was almost tempted to send them an email offering my services as a freelancer to implement reasonable searching features such as sorting and filtering. These are NOT difficult things to implement, I don’t know why we don’t see them in all websites; I can understand the performance concern if you’re potentially returning millions of hits (i.e. Google), but these searches have hits ranging in dozens, sorting performance hit should be minimal.

That is all, just wanted to rant. And no, I have not chosen a phone yet.

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