byDarren Murph||December 15th 2006 at 4:40pmDecember 15th 2006 4:40 pm
With cellular providers upping fees left and right, it's refreshing to finally see a provider offer up a valuable package to its users with a halfway decent pricetag. UK's 3 has struck a nerve with 3G gurus and multi-taskers alike, and its flagship X-Series platform has received a thorough critiquing from the folks at Digital Lifestyles. Currently running on Nokia's N73 (with Sony Ericsson's W950i to follow in January), the all-you-can-download approach to utilizing 3G applications apparently did fairly well in testing. Garnering praise in the diversity and usability departments, reviewers were pleased with the inclusion of Skype, Yahoo Go!, Mobile Mail, 3's web browser, and Windows Live Messenger -- all of which performed at least up to expectations for the low £5 ($9.85) per month fee. The only major digs came from the lack of SkypeOut support (which is promised for the future), no caller ID data on incoming Skype calls, and the inability to control / watch recorded shows via SlingPlayer. Of course, the latter headache will only bother those who spring for the £10 ($19.70) monthly package, which includes the ability to purchase the Sling software for a discounted £99 ($194.95) and use OrbPC to boot. Overall, the crew was generally pleased with the service and its performance on the N73, and while it called the SlingPlayer "a pig to set up," it dubbed the X-Series platform "the future" of cellphones.