Just came across this new free service named Chawt which lets you send unlimited SMS (text messages) to any mobile phone across the globe (to over 160 countries). The service is brought to you by a company named Breathe Mobile. The site seems brand new (domain registration is as recent as 10th June, 2008) and the creator(s) have taken a very minimalistic (read bare bones) approach to the interface – the primary stress has been placed on functionality. The service is Singaporean judging from the registrant’s name.
On accessing the site, you’re greeted with a basic login/registration form and not much else. Registration is painless and involves filling up your details (name, login info.) and your mobile number. This is absolutely necessary for verification and completion of the registration process, for they send you an activation code at this number and you have to fill-in that number at a post-registration screen to activate your account. So you need to have your own mobile phone to be able to avail their services.
Once activated you can login and start sending messages right away. There’s a 80 character limit to the each message, but one shouldn’t grumble since it’s coming entirely free.
So what’s the catch? Well, this is a totally ad supported service. Each message you sent will carry a simple advertising text at the end. It’s non intrusive so try sending one to yourself now.
The messages get sent super-fast. I tried it on 2-3 different mobiles and on an average it took around 2 second between hitting Send to that distinctive message beep on the phone. Surprisingly, the activation code took a while (around 10-15 seconds) to reach. The messages the sent using the mobile number used for activation – hence, recipients can reply directly to your phone. As for those simple text ads, they were present in the form of self-advertisements, which tells us that their ad inventory is yet to roll.
Overall, a super-fast, no-frills service that gets the job done with a 100% score, though lacking big-time in the eye-candy department. I guess that’s going to come later on once the service is established a bit. This one should prove to be a very good alternative to MobiK – the free SMS service which, despite all the eye-candy and big promises vanished away to nothingness (the MobiK domain now redirects to a site called bed.travel).
Why don’t you have a go at Chawt and share your experience with us?