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MIR Show goes to Rome and finds locals using N73s

We’re still getting to grips with this international-bloggers-of-mystery concept here at the Mobile Industry Review Show.

Instead of bringing you updates, perspective and on-the-road tests from somewhere in London, we decided to take the MIR Show on the road. The first stop, of course, was Rome.

We flew out on the 730am British Airways flight to Rome and arrived on schedule at Leonardo da Vinci airport. We hit the hotel, dumped most of the non-essential kit and headed off to the Colosseum to begin the filming.

We used both Google Maps and Nokia Maps to get about the place. Central Rome is mostly walkable. The massive FAIL that is Nokia Maps (I thought it would be at least ‘ok’) came as a complete surprise.

Also, the G1 handset roamed perfectly… except for Google Maps — which spent the day displaying an error to an increasingly frustrated Ben Smith. (Ben was also trying to demonstrate Nokia Maps).

Dan Lane decided to stick with his iPhone 3G. Lucky he did. We were able to navigate around Rome thanks to Google Maps and the iPhone.

I really thought the Italians would be ultra hip — both in their fashion sense and their handset selection. Instead most of the locals around Rome were wearing relaxed garb. And when they weren’t kissing each other passionately (it is, yes, a very romantic place), they were talking on their Motorola RAZRs.

This, I think, is one of the biggest misconceptions I had about Italians and their mobile handsets: I thought they’d be up to date. I thought they’d be big into data. I thought there would be handsets all over the place. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.

The best handsets we saw in use? Seriously: Motorola RAZRs. Or the odd three year old Sony Ericcson.

Once or twice I saw an iPhone — and then realised it belonged to someone from the UK.

This, despite the fact that Vodafone Italy retails both the Blackberry Storm AND the iPhone 3G.

Perhaps Saturday and Sunday were the wrong days to go and do some normob watching in the capital city? Maybe most people were out in the provinces, leaving the city centre to the proles on their RAZRs?

I wonder if Italians really DO care more about talking? Rather than texting and twittering? From what we observed over the weekend I’d say that looks to be the case. The city locals were very clearly carrying about MOBILE TELEPHONES — RAZRs and ultra slim 2-3 year old Sony Ericssons and using them to talk on. The only folk using data services on their handsets appeared to be us.

Anyway we filmed a lot of content and all things being equal, we’ll be publishing two MIR Shows from Italy soon.

Fancy a few pics meantime?

Here’s Dan on the phone to his other half, reveling in the fact that his 3-Like-Home service didn’t cost him anything extra to phone home from Rome:

Dan at Roman Colosseum

Here’s Ben Smith getting more and more agitated by his N82 with Nokia Maps. Dan had already plotted the location to the Spanish Steps within 10 seconds whilst we waited for the Nokia to get on the same page:

Ben Smith and Dan Lane

We did some filming at most of the major landmarks. This one is Il Vittoriano:

Il Vittoriano_02

Next stop? I’m thinking Prague. Or Marrakech.

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