Why I will never again buy a network bound phone

I have learned the hard way the annoyances of purchasing network bound phones. Never again will I
do this. The reasons are too many to write individually, but can be surmised in one word.

Annoying.

It may seem a little bland, considering that I've actually decided to put it down on a blog, but hey, there you have it. My main issue is that these phones lock you out intentionally for... what reason? Really. I still have yet to find one good reason for them locking their phones. If they want to bind you to a contract, then that's fine. Why would that justify the need to actually lock the phone? If you buy a contract and not use the phone, what loss is that for a cellular provider? They get free money from a client who doesn't use their network.

Yeah, yeah. I know the reasons. I know that people would buy these phones on a contract, break the contract, sell the phone, yadda, yadda, yadda (which was done in India and is why network bound phones never caught on there).




But let me tell you about my Sony Erricson Xperia Neo. At the time I had a choice of getting a new phone from three select choices. The HTC Desire S and the Samsung Galaxy S II. To this day I still regret not taking the other two phones. At the time I was using an HTC Desire (the original) and was loving it. I still have it and have tried to use it, but it has the infamous HTC Desire USB Bricking issue (I really need to fix that).

So anyway, the real reason why I chose the Neo was because of the 8Mp camera that came with it. The temptation of such a high-resolution picture capability was a turn on for me, considering that I was so happy with the Desire's pictures (which were at 5Mp). That and the fact that it could shoot HD (720p) videos also made me squeal in joy as I was interested in shooting high quality videos. Still, what I wasn't prepared for was the sudden influx of crap that came with the phone.

The first thing that disappointed me was the forced browser homepage. No matter what I did, the default browser would always show the network company's homepage. I changed the settings, changed the homepage... everything! Then I tried to get into the root of the device and (obviously) was blocked from making any changes because of the lock they placed on it. I never had this problem with my HTC. In the end I had to download another browser, and since this was during the beginning of Android, the marketplace (now the Google Play) did not really have much of a selection.

Then I had all these annoying apps on my phone. I could not remove them! It was impossible. Stupid apps that I never wanted or used. For example, Facebook. Why is it integrated into the phone? I don't want it! But I can't get rid of it! Or Twitter. Or any other social media app. I don't want them.

Hopefully Sony Ericsson will enable a patch that will unlock the phone's root so I can take ownership of it. I would like that very much.

This whole experience has taught me a very important lesson.

  1. Never get a network bound phone. It's worth paying the full price for a proper phone
Also, I would like to go on the record to state that Sony Ericsson's support are about as helpful as throwing yourself into a brick wall. I did not have any help at all. The online community did their best to help me, but in the end it was agreed that my phone is one of those 'unique' cases where it's bound to their contractor and will probably never be unlocked because of... who knows? Whatever the case, this will be the last Sony Ericsson phone I will ever get.

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