Welcome Back, Koharu-chan

Let me introduce my Koharu-chan. She’s my low-end camera cellphone, of Sony Ericsson W100i type, bought on November last year. That time, I had two alternatives for my budget: that W100i and a touchscreen Samsung phone. I chose Koharu-chan because I’ve experienced the high quality music playback of older Sony Ericsson types, and it was designed with music in plan. It was the music player feature that pushed me to switch from low-end monochrome screen cellphone. Beside that, I felt more comfortable with conventional numeric keys instead of touchscreen, which was (on low-end devices at that time, IMO) less responsive. W100i’s display was also smoother than many cellphones of the same class, and I fell in love with its cute and comfortable design.

My Koharu-chan looks exactly like this one

Well, turned out that it wasn’t not the best decision (as with my other purchases). The cellphone crashed easily, especially when activating the camera feature. It also sounded like crap, almost unheard bass end and overly loud and harsh treble range. The music player always defaulted to ‘stereo widening’ mode, so that the sound rendered no longer faithful with the original recording with the channel difference exaggerated. And to make it worse, the music player simply ignored track numbers, and ordered the playback alphabetically. This was a big problem if you want to listen to a concept album. The browser sucked big time complaining ‘the page requested is too large to load’, and push-mail feature somehow didn’t appear on the menu (seemed that it is disabled only for products sold in my country since email is not very widespread except for various mailing-lists).

The problems culminated with the damaged flex cable. I could no longer fold my phone unless I wanted to use a blank screen, defunct phone. Luckily the warranty had not expired yet, so I brought it to a service center in Semarang. It was really something since flex cable would cost you an extra $15 here.

When I took it back, I didn’t have much hope other than the repaired flex cable. Then, I tested the phone on service center by doing steps required to reproduce the crash, i.e taking photos, exiting from camera mode, and activating the camera once again. Several tests, and it went fine. No crash. Yet still no push mail menu,

Well, seemed that they had improved the software.

The best surprise was when I tried playing music. I queued some tracks, the first was 花澤香菜 – 優しい夕暮れ (Mayushii – Yasashii Yuugure), one of my staple track. Hmm…. a melodic bass line start playing smoothly.

Wait, bass line? Melodic?!

Haven’t heard of it in that song before.

Yeah, I heard the bass. No more harshly boosted treble. Crystal crisp playback.

My Koharu-chan…. #manlytears

Maybe the push mail feature, browser failed page loading, music player default stereo widening and track-number sorting hasn’t not been fixed. But to have the phone running stable without crash is a nice step forward, and the improved playback quality makes the phone really worth for its ‘Walkman’ label, for it is the very label that gives Ericsson series their good reputation. I think, enabling the access to push mail feature and adding track-sorting for music player is a much smaller, easier task than the aforementioned improvements. I hope the developer team will do it someday (I don’t hope much for the browser, since the cellphone has an extremely small onboard memory of 5MB, the failing browser is just as expected).

P.S: Twinkle Real Star (DTB Ryuusei no Gemini character image song) is a good showcase for the improved playback.

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Welcome Back, Koharu-chan

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