In the earlier review , we took a look at on how microSIM differs from the regular SIM , the iPhone 4 itself and the whole unboxing process itself. In this part of the review , like I’ve promised. I’ll be tackling some of the issues of the iPhone and not to mention the infamous antennagate problem. On top of that , i’ll be taking a look at an unexplored feature in the iPhone 4. In order for me to write this , I had to do a lot of research and googling to understand.
iPhone frenzy , well thats all I would say. No matter where you go , or which part of world you are in. People would give that look. If you’re an iPhone or iPod Touch user or an Apple user , you know what I am talking about. Apple iPhone has completely changed the way how we use our phone. Its more of a social communication device. I mean phones have completely changed. Back then we used phones to place a call , then SMS surpassed that which enables us to send a quick text message whenever calling was not convenient. Then we had Internet on our devices which allowed to get information in real time. Recently , the whole social-sphere has changed the way how we communicate.
The review will be broken into several parts as like always. In this part , I’ll be looking into the packaging of the iPhone and basically we’ll be taking a closer look on the iPhone 4 itself , including the phone itself , and my feedback on plans in Malaysia and to share a bit experience on getting microSIM. I’ll be taking another spin this time again , basically trying to make it easier for non-tech and as well as technically inclined people to understand about the iPhone 4 .
This is going to be part 2 of my VOIP Review. I thought of finishing this earlier. Anyhow , in this section. We’ll be focusing on the call quality , how the system works and my over all thoughts about P1’s VOIP Service. Firstly , if you’re totally new to the whole thing , I would recommend you to read part 1 first.
Firstly , lets take a look at the call quality. The call quality is dependent of your P1’s WiMax Internet connection. If your getting sucky upload and download speeds , frequent disconnection – expect the call quality to be pretty bad. I’ve experienced this couple of times. At times , it would just drop your call – if the connection is bad . However if its good – then expect the sound quality to be good as well. Overall , I’m somewhat sastified with the call quality. Its not clear as Skype , however the quality is just bout the same as if you would use a cell phone to place a call.
Secondly , one nice thing I like about P1’s VOIP Service is that it comes along with Caller ID service which tells you the number of incoming caller and plus it logs it to the system – meaning that you’ll have a complete log of who have called you. This is indeed useful to trace back an unknown caller or perhaps to trace back a prankster. Its indeed good. I hope they soon add the ability to block certain numbers (P1 – do take note – I hope you’ll come up with blacklisting/whitelisting functionality with your router to automatically blacklist certain calls at certain hours). You may have a look here of the system on how it logs incoming calls and outgoing calls
Yes it even logs International calls (both incoming and outgoing as well). The phone number resembles a Malaysian Fixed Line phone number , starting from 03-402xxxxx instead of a typical mobile phone number which generally starts from 012 , 013 , 017 , 016 , 019. So overall , its pretty good to have a landline replacement.
Could VOIP replace our fixed line (TM fixed line)
Now let us take a look at my analysis if its worth it to use VOIP and dump landline all together. In my honest opinion , I honestly think that in Malaysia , it will take few years before we can finally be free from TM or other land line providers. However in order for us to use VOIP as total landline replacement , our ISPs should start giving us more bandwidth and not to mention a stable connection – as there is no point of having 50-60 Kilobits of connection whereby it just disconnects every 5-10 seconds. There is no point for us to use such services and it would truly defeat the purpose of using VOIP in the first place. This problem wouldn’t arise on a traditional phone as its connected to a phone exchange instead of a server .So therefore you’ll constantly have a dial tone as opposed to VOIP – whereby you’ll have to be connected to the Internet in order to use it. So there are disadvantages also , especially if you’re in a poor coverage zone whereby its hard for you to get connected then you’ll have a big problem. The advantages are well you’ve a mobile fixed line anywhere you go and you don’t have to fork out money to telecommunication company to setup a fix line at your place , especially if you’re renting a place.
Experience and Final Thoughts
Well overall experience for P1’s VoIP service is pretty good. To be honest ,its better then Maxis’ Broadbands VOIP Service indeed. I like the whole idea and concept of having a router which doubles as a voip gateway. Not to mention that it comes along with a phone (I’m not quite sure about the final product but I am sure it would). Secondly , I would prefer if P1 gives users settings for softphone. For instance If I’m on a laptop and I would like to place a call , wouldn’t it be great that if there is some software that I could use in my netbook or laptop that allows me to place a call from my netbook itself , as these days notebooks and netbooks alike do come along with a microphone and a camera. This would be great especially if you’re using Wiggy (their Wireless modem service) or if you’re simply downstairs (whereby your router and the phone is located upstairs)
Thirdly , to me it would be great if there is a pre-paid plan. For instance , If I top up RM 25 (whereby the validity is around 6 months to 1 year) , it would be great as a land line replacement or as a backup phone – whereby I don’t have to pay any monthly fixed call charges. I just top up and use it. If I dont use then I can’t just make any outgoing call. It should be modeled after the current pre-paid system which is widely used in our country. I’ve already told P1 folks about this , just hope that they listen (hopefully it doesn’t go into deaf ears)
Would I recommend this service ? – Yes it depends on one’s preference and criteria. If you have a mobile phone and you mainly use it for texting then VOIP is not the thing. However if you’re looking for a cheap land line alternative to make calls as low as 13 sen/minute then P1’s VOIP service may interest you. However keep in mind that you’ll still have to subscribe for their internet service before you’re allowed to use VOIP Services. This can be a great solution for your parents or grandparents. If you think land line rental is expensive (RM 25 for Telekom Malaysia fixed lines) and you want your parents/grandparents to surf the internet and still make cheap phone calls , then P1 service may interest you. If your parents/grandparents are on some kind of Family plan – whereby you’re allowed to make free unlimited calls then its better on to carry using the plan. As for me , I want it to work in both ways , something like how Google Voice works whereby I have the ability to forward calls from my p1 VOIP number to my mobile phone or to another line whenever I’m away.
I am guessing P1 really loves me (Thank you guys – seriously I am not sure why you guys want me to review all your cool stuff but again I would like to express my gratitude towards the great team at P1 – giving bloggers like me a chance to review). To the rest of the you (ISPs , I know some of you cybertroopers would be reading this – Do give tech bloggers a chance to review your product instead). Anyway this is bout P1’s latest offering and I am the one of the lucky ones to get to review and submit my feedback to p1 (To tell you the truth I do it like weekly as you know I’m really tied down with my studies – heh its not easy )
Firstly and foremost , P1 WiMax VOIP Service is an additional service – think of it as a value add on package whereby you can make calls at a very low price. For those who are new to this whole VOIP (Voice over Internet protocol) , it makes use of Internet connection to make phone calls – Pretty neat right ? – Its digital. It does have several advantages over traditional phone line. For instance you don’t have to pay an additional RM 50-60 (or sometimes up to RM 200-300) for internal wiring for your phone line , which is costly to setup for some. Secondly , if you’re renting a place or if you’re a student , you don’t want to fork out that much of money to a fix line (in order for you to use streamyx). Thirdly , VOIP allows you to stretch your ringgit – you pay at a cheaper rate as opposed to your fixed line or even your mobile phone (especially if you’re using Maxis – like me :P)
Anyway back to the story (I know what you’re thinking anyway – long winded ? Umm thats me). In this section of the review , I’ll be mainly focusing on the hardware itself (as I’ve explained earlier) and the whole setup procedure. If you just want to read the summary , I suggest you to scroll down and ready the summary of the first part which generally talks bout the hardware and the on the whole setup procedure. Detailed review on VOIP will be on the next part of the review 😛
Yesterday , I got a call from P1 Careline regarding P1 newest service – VOIP . For me , it seems that now everyone is jumping into VOIP service – which is great as if there are more and more firm in the market , there would be competition – when there is competition you’ll see price wars and once a firm starts to cut price , expect other firms to follow as well. After all , if you have few firms (or providers in this case) , they are known as oligopolies. Anyway enough of talking , lets get into whats this all about.
Lets take a look at the call plans and what are the extras that they are throwing in :-
I am kind of impressed that you can call for 13/sen a minute to any number here in Malaysia and as well in three countries so far (Singapore , Thailand and China). So far I’ve seen that its the cheapest among other competitors. I am guessing P1 is trying their best to come up as an emerging Voice Over IP Provider in Malaysia
Okay lets take a look. It comes with Caller-ID (oh yeah P1 is giving me a cordless phone together with the VOIP Device , and it supports caller ID notifications which means you know whos calling you – pretty handy for VOIP). They do offer CLIR services (if you’re wondering whats CLIR its Calling Line Identification Restriction , which means you have the ability to “hide’ your number when you call someone. Pretty handy if you want to mask your identity
Just to add that you’ll be getting a 03-XXXXXXX number (in other words you’ll be getting like a fixed line number instead of a mobile phone number) – that would be your VOIP Number. In other words its counted as a “fixed line” as opposed to mobile phone as most services would require you to have a fixed line in order to sign up for something . It only works with P1’s service and it will not work with your streamyx line , etc (I just hope that they launch this service separately as I would be interested to sign up for this service if I can use it with my existing streamyx line)
I would be getting my trial soon and I would post my experience and everything else once I’ve everything running ! I’ll be doing a comparison later with other VOIP services in Malaysia !
This time its not their latest review which is on their Wiggy – the portable wimax .P1 guys are being nice with the bloggers as in giving bloggers and forumers alike to test out their device and share our thoughts. In this part , we will be taking a look at how the device looks like and how it feels (as in its looks and “aesthetic values” )
First things first , Wiggy (a cool name indeed) as you see below (the size).
I am holding it and its pretty slim !
Connected to my netbook – Wow , its like 1/4 of the size of my netbook
For the sake of comparing with something. I’ve taken another photo which compares the size of the old modem with the new one. I’ll leave the maths to you to calculate which one is easier to carry around !
Anyway , the modem itself works automagically with Windows XP/Vista/7 , whereby it installs the drivers and sets it up automatically. All you have to do is hit the connect button. Now that is what I call it simple. I was bit disapointed when there were no drivers for Linux and Mac (For your information I am a Mac user myself !) , but however I was told by the great staffs of P1 that drivers would be out for Mac/Linux somewhere in Q2/Q3 2009. So Mac users , don’t worry as we still do have a chance to use this device once the drivers are out !
Apart from that I believe that plug-n-play-n-forget makes it easier for grandma and grandpa to surf the Internet and not to mention an average Malaysian to use the Internet. In the next part , Before I end my first part of the review , in the next part. Let us take a look at how it performs on real-life senarios , such as speed-tests and stuff like that. The first part of the review (just like my old P1 WiMax Review) basically talks about the device itself ! The next part , we will be taking a look at the setup part , speed-tests and its performance. So do stay tuned for it !
Wow , this is my first post in the month of April and its about time that I did one. Actually one of my readers made me to write this post. Basically he wanted to know how to tune his P1 Modem and to position it properly in order to get better speed.
First thing first , you need to connect directly to your PC. You must bypass your router (I’ll guide you later on how to get it to play along with your router and port forward such). Assuming that we have got it to work (i.e Internet works , the modem shows a solid green or amber light). Fire up your web browser (Internet Explorer/Safari/Firefox/Google’s own browser) and go to http://10.1.1.254 (or just click on the link and enter your username/password) . You’ll be prompted to enter the username and password.
Username : admin
Password : admin123
Now lets take a look at the main screen. This concerns us the most. We are going to use these indicators to help us to position the modem in order to get good speed. The light indicator doesn’t tell us much , it just tells good or bad but it doesn’t tell you how good or how bad. These values are commonly used by engineers or those who are in the telecommunications industry to determine how good is the signal. It tells them more then the light indicator !
This is my second segment/part of the review. In this segment , I would be focusing on Internet Applications. That means how sites such as YouTube , Forums , Blogs and things like that would load. In other words , how good P1 in terms of productivity web applications and Internet entertainment.
As I’ve mentioned earlier I’ll be splitting this mega review into segments and parts. If you have missed the first segment/part , click here (Part 1 of the review) to read about it. I’ll be then creating an index (once the whole review is done) so that it would be easier for people to refer and jump into the section that they prefer. Do keep in mind that this is going to be a very long post as I’ll be basically talking and comparing stuff. Its not for the faint of heart !