Gecko Beach Forums

Img. 1Img. 1I’ve made an addition to the Reviews section of this site. It’s a fairly new online forum for cellular enthusiasts, GeckoBeach. This is the eleventh mobile cell phone forum listed on the/Home/Technology/Mobile Phones/Forums page.

GeckoBeach is a Canadian based site and has an emphasis on Canadian providers. There is plenty of interest to non-Canadians on the site including phone reviews and experiences of travelers roaming or using local pre-paid sims around the world. The site is quite active, although nowhere near as active as such well established sites as Howard Forums, Esato or GSM Arena – all of which also have mobile editions.

One nice thing about GeckoBeach, is that you can browse the entire mobile forum as a guest without having to register (almost all mobile forums require registration – which often can only be done from a PC). Another plus is that the users seem to be more friendly than on many of these phone forums where name-calling, flaming and constant one-upmanship is unfortunately common.

The site’s not perfect. There is no search function, the links to view a subset of the forum list (A-F, G-K, etc.) all bring up the same long list of all forums. This list page is 3.9 KB which is too large to load on some phone browsers. While some recent phones allow WML pages to be as large as 50 KB, a limit of around 3 KB is much more common and Nokia’s from a couple of years ago can only handle 1.4 KB. The same problem occurs with long posts – they can be too large to load. A site like this, which transcodes web content into wireless markup needs to break long pages into manageable pieces. I also got a compile error loading the “American Providers” forum on several phones. The error occurs because of an un-escaped ampersand in the phrase “AT&T”. The WML standard requires that all ampersands be replaced with the entity &

In spite of these issues, Gecko Beach is worth visiting particularly for Canadians who have phones that can handle the issues with the site.

Content: **** Usability: ***wml