Datawind PocketSurfer 2R internet palmtop
More 'cheaps' than a budgie
Review Datawind's PocketSurfer 2R is all about delivering the internet on the move, for next to nowt. And that's all. It's not a phone. It's not a fashion statement.
The 2R costs £199 and, if you're careful, there's nothing else to pay to go online for the first 12 months. Go online to check your email, surf the web, get Google to tell you where you are - it's all in the price of the hardware, for as long as Datawind's in business.
Datawind's PocketSurfer 2R: low-cost mobile internet
The service isn't unlimited. You're restricted to 20 hours of online activity a month, but you can get that limit removed - and Datawind insists that by 'unlimited' it really does mean 'unlimited' - for £6. That's for a single month, but it's an ad hoc payment, not a regular monthly charge. Usage after the first year involves a £40 annual subscription, or you can stump up £60 and be sure you never have to pay a penny to Datawind ever again.
We should point out the 2R's other key feature: cheap roaming - hence the 'R'. Roaming is priced at a 5p a minute across Europe and the US. Elsewhere, it costs 25p a minute.
Given how much the UK's telcos charge for mobile internet usage, that's cheap. The question is, since there's clearly going to be a catch, is all still worth it in the end?
Catches there aplenty. Here are two: the connectivity and the hardware. The 2R, like its predecessor, connects to the mobile network over a GPRS connection. It's Vodafone for now, but Datawind has no ties. There's no Wi-Fi. There are advantages to GPRS: it's cheap - that word again - and it's more widely available than 3G.
I can Echo "Ghastly"...
I used one for a few days that came as from our IT supplier with some phones to test. Cheap tat is the best compliment I can pay it. Some may argue so are most mobile phones, but at least you GET a mobile phone too!
Severley limited even for it's limited application, and rubbish to boot.
Re: I have one
"much better than a WAP phone" WAP? Who even remembers that? It sounds like it isn't even as good as a high end phone with a decent browser. For only slightly more than that ridiculous 200 quid price tag you can get a Netbook for a fast full internet experience on a larger screen.
It attempts to fill a non existent niche between phone and SCC and is a complete fail. It looks like the sort of tat you get in one of those gift catalogues that keep falling out of magazines at this time of the year.
"I think 200 quid's cheap for a gadget"
I wish I did! It depends on the gadget, I suppose - it's not excessive for a Wii or a Netbook, but it seems an awful lot for something so crappy.