Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Some background.
I got a Samsung Galaxy Y-Pro Duos in Sept 2012.
In May 2013, I won a new phone by cracking a cipher.
After several delays (the friend who was giving away the phone lives outside Kenya) I finally collected the new phone from our mutual friend George (of Half-Marathon fame). It was a Samsung Galaxy SIII.

After getting home and taking a few pictures, I opened the box, looked at the quick start guide and opened the phone to put in my SIM Card.

IMG_9861Alas! My SIM card did not fit. The quick start guide had said that the phone takes a microSIM card only. What to do, what to do? I Googled and found that you can cut the SIM card yourself. Or buy a SIM cutter on EBay. I called my wife to ask her to pass by a phone shop and ask them if they cut SIM cards to microSIMs. She said she would call a friend who also has/had an SIII and find out what she had sone about SIM cards. She said the friend got hers cut at a Safaricom shop. Another friend also said they got their SIM card cut for them for 100/-.

After watching a video and reading a few articles that gave the dimensions of a microSIM, I went ahead and cut the SIM card myself. After a few attempts and further trimming, I successfully slid (shoved?) it into the new phone. Yay!
I switched on the phone and ‘No SIM card,’ it said.
Tried again. No SIM card. Pushed it further in.
No SIM Card…
Looks like I will have to wait for tomorrow after all.

I put the SIM card back in the Y Pro and got varying results as I moved it from one SIM card slot to the other – sometimes the phone would ‘see’ it, sometimes it would not.

Transfer of contacts.
I finally got the YPro to see the SIM card. I copied all the contacts that were on the SIM card to the phone.
I Googled again and found that there were software applications that allow you to easily transfer stuff from one phone to another. Having once downloaded Samsung’s own Kies software, I tried installing it on my computer to transfer via my phone. The installation could not continue because the computer did not have an Internet connection. Bah.

Then I remembered seeing ‘Send Namecard via’ on the Y Pro.
I went to it and saw that one of the options was via Bluetooth. What’s more, there was an option for Select All! I did not need to send the contacts one by one.

I connected the two phones via Bluetooth, shared the contacts and voila! All the contacts were transferred! I had feared that it would take a while since I was transferring many contacts (over 400, I think), but it took only a few seconds.

I got a microSIM and an adapter from Safaricom for KShs 100/-, I think. The adapter is to be used if I want to use the microSIM with a phone that takes the larger, regular-sized SIM cards.

160MB to 16GB
The SIII has 16GB memory, while the YPro has 160MB (excluding the memory card that some apps do not use). That is 100 times as much space! No more warnings that I am running out of space. No more having to choose which apps to delete to install a new one. Now more having to uninstall and reinstall apps just to get an updated version (Updates used to fail because of insufficient space). Naturally, I was elated!

Some things I was now able to enjoy:
I installed Handcent SMS

  • allows you to attach a contact as plain text not business card
  • has the option to delay sending a message lest you spot an error or decide you are being rude and want to rephrase


  • I liked that you could set a repeating event to something like ‘Every third Sunday’ instead of the calendar picking the same date every month
  • It also offers customised reminder time, instead of forcing you to select from predetermined options

Tells % of battery charge remaining
The Y Pro Duos would only tell you the percentage when charging.

Now, I wanted a cover for the new phone.

Phone shop at Karen
Flip cover – KShs 2,500/=
Base cover – 1,000/= (the kind that covers only the back and sides of the phone)

Phone shop inside Nakumatt Karen
Flip – 2,500/=
Base – out of stock

Bright Technologies, Kimathi Avenue
Flip – 2,500/=

Moi Avenue near the Nation Couriers office
Flip – 1,500/=
Base – 700/=

Discount? 1,200/=
Of course I took the cover.

How much to put protective film on the face of the phone?
There was another client present who was lamenting about bubbles on the film that had been put for him. It was being redone for him. I asked if I would get a well-done job.
The shop guy offered to put the film put for free!
So I got a flip cover and film for 1,200/- only!


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The phone hunt is over. It was actually over when my wife joined me in going back to the Samsung shop. The leading contenders became the The Samsung Galaxy Y Duos and Y Pro Duos, reviewed in this article. My wife recommended the Y Pro Duos; the one with both touchscreen and a physical keypad. (Plus you can scroll using the button at the front. they call it the Trackpad). So I got it yesterday, and moved my SIM card in while still in the shop.

As some of you may expect, I became one of those drivers who fumble with the phone while driving. In my (weak?) defense, the traffic at that point was either moving very slowly or not moving at all. In fact, at some point I turned off the engine.

I was pleased that the Maps application worked immediately. I was shown a map of Nairobi. Later, I was more pleased to see the usual blue arrowhead on the map actually showing my exact location at the time, which was standing at the Oilibya petrol station outside Galleria, next to the aftermath of the birthday celebration my wife organised for me.

I was also able to access my GMail account on the phone and it was shown pretty nicely.

I can’t figure out yet how to read the text messages that were/are in my SIM card, but I have not yet read the manual, so I guess that will be sorted out pretty fast.

I moved my other SIM card into my (now-)old Samsung, so that I could try to transfer content from the old phone to the new. When I put the SIM card in and turned on the phone, an SMS was sent to my wife’s phone giving the SIM card phone number and presumably the phone’s IMEI number . I figured that this was Samsung’s security feature that sends notification if a new SIM card is put in your phone.

So now to Google ‘Best Android Apps’ and things like those. I foresee interesting times ahead.

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I want to get a new mobile phone. I have had a Samsung B2100 since February 2008 when my then-girlfriend-now-wife bought it for me. I have enjoyed using it. Some particular things I have noted with it that seem to lack in other (read Nokia :-D) phones are:

  • It stores multiple entries in the call log if the same person calls many times (as opposed to only the most recent call)
  • If I receive a call from a number I have not saved, then I save the number, it updates the call record immediately
  • It is not a Nokia 🙂 (Does Nokia still rule the mobile phone world?)

Small things, arguably, but I like that.

However, of late, I have noticed that Facebook keeps telling me ‘Document Too large’ when I open some pages

Also I would like to have a 3.5mm jack to listen to music from time to time (the Samsungs I have had require a proprietary jack to listen to radio or music)

I would love to use GPS and Google Maps on my phone

I would like to watch videos on my phone from time to time

Plus, my phone is showing signs of age: some cracking and chipping here and there, resistant keys, and things like those.

I was going to get a Samsung Galaxy Pocket, but my wife suggested that if I am upgrading, I should upgrade properly, not half-half.

So I contemplated the Samsung Galaxy Mini, after seeing that it is higher-priced, but it is a bit dated and the Pocket beats in in some aspects. I also read reviews that both phones have comparatively low resolution screens.

I also considered the Sony Ericsson Xperia X8, that retails at the same price as the Mini, but I think it has a slower CPU, and, it is not a Samsung 🙂

Well, the search continues.

You may read an update here.

The poll below may or may not be working:

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