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Amstrad Launch Video e-M@ailer (E3)

Posted: 15th Sep, 2004 By: MarkJ
Amstrad has announced the launch of their third generation e-M@ailer phone, known as the E3. The new modal adds a colour screen and video conferencing, yet at 50p per connection you might be better off using a webcam.

The device itself starts out at an affordable £99 (£179 for two) and offers website browsing, e-mailing, SMS, MMS, video conferencing, games and all the usual phone and digital answering machine features.

So where's the catch? Well, sadly, there are a few: "So that you don’t miss any email, the E3 is set to call and check for email once a day. This can be increased if required. Calls to check for email cost 15p per session plus your local rate per minute (average cost 17p)."

That's 30 days * 17p = £5.10 per month (we’re unsure if the 000 prefix trick still works to stop daily checks). There's also this little lot, which follows the same principal:

• Video calling - 50p* per call - plus the cost of the phone call.
• Surfing - 5p* per minute at ALL times.
• Photo send - 25p* per email with photo attachment.
• MMS - £1.00* per message sent.
• SMS - 50p* per message sent.
• Games - Charges vary - view on screen prior to ordering.
• Polyphonic ringtones - £1.50* per min and last approximately 2 mins 40 seconds.
• FAX - £1.00* per fax message sent.


Lest we forget this: "We believe all our e-mailer users are special, and to prove it we will send dedicated ‘SPECIAL OFFERS’ to your E3 absolutely FREE."

WOO HOO, we feel so special. So after spending all that cash and having the annoyance of reoccurring charges, now we're going to get SPAM as well? It's unclear whether there's an option to prevent this.

Now don't get us wrong, Amstrad has developed an absolutely wonderful device, especially for those that don't want or need a full PC system. However costs are unfriendly towards frequent use and why do we have to suffer SPAM?

We'd rather spend £500 on the device and buy it without the restrictions. For those that just want the video calling at normal phone call rates, then try Pic-Tel (http://www.pic-tel.co.uk). For e-mail? Get a cheapo second hand laptop, in the long run it'll cost less ;).
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