So, before I get into the specifics about the phone, I’ll cover i-mode itself. Let me start by saying that i-mode is great – it works brilliantly, has tonnes of useful content already and is totally affordable. One of the best things that O2 has done with i-mode is put a fixed pricing structure into place – this means that whether you’re a pre-pay customer or on a contract, you’ll be paying exactly the same amount for your i-mode services.
Talking of cost, there are two costs to take into account for i-mode – the data cost and the subscription cost. As is the case with all mobile Internet services, you need to pay for the amount of data you use – of course you can purchase packages that suit your usage model, so if you think you’ll be using a lot of data you can pay a monthly fee that reduces the cost per megabyte significantly. But there are also subscription costs and this is where things can start to add up.
First off let me congratulate O2 for insisting that every content provider must offer a certain amount of free content. This means that you can get an idea of what subscribing will provide you before having to put any money down. Another good move is capping the subscription cost at a maximum of £3 per month – although it’s worth remembering that a great many services have a far lower subscription cost. If you’re worried about subscribing to services by mistake and ending up with a huge bill, don’t – in order to subscribe to a service you have to confirm three times before the subscription is activated, and if you still click yes by “mistake” at that point, you deserve to end up with a big bill.
The breadth of content available is quite staggering. Check out the lifestyle section and you’ll find familiar magazine names like Heat, Glamour and Evo. While for those desperate enough to need to look at pictures of naked bimbos on a tiny mobile phone screen, there’s also Zoo, Nuts and FHM – to quote FHM Mobile’s front page headline “This month BUMS!”, need I say more?