My mobile history

posted in: Techy stuff | 0

The mobile-phone. How would the world survive without these? I’d be completely lost without one today, but it was never always like that. I absolutely loathed and detested the things when they first became popular in the mid to late 90’s.’Oooh look at me I own a mobile-phone.’ ‘Look how cool I am.’ I truly hated them. I flatly refused to ever own one. A vow I stubbornly stuck to for many years, until somebody decided that a jazzy blue plastic lump would make a great birthday present for me 🙄 I unwrapped my Philips Savvy and put on my very best oh-how-utterly-amazing face. It was later returned to it’s box and I vowed never to use the stupid thing. I was mostly good to my word too. Annoyingly a few people would call or text me, which shocked my largely unused Philips Savvy into life. I hated the thing. I’d selected the most indiscreet ringtone and only ever answered a call if my location was 100% devoid of another human-being. Owning the damn thing was bad enough; the last thing I wanted was people to actually know I owned it. My blue plastic Philips Savvy was probably the most underused Savvy that Philips have ever made.

By 2001 my underused, un-scratched and un-loved Philips Savvy was already yesterday’s news. Two years is a long time in the fast changing world of the mobile-phone. Skip ahead to the present day and 2 years seems an eternity 😯 Back in 2001 mobile-phone design had taken a radical new twist. They’d shrunk in size (a lot) and the infamous ‘flip’ phone had been launched. In 2001 everyone wanted a phone like Neo’s in the Matrix. Picture Captain Kirk casually flipping open his ‘communicator’ to call up Starship Enterprise and you’ve got a pretty good image of 2001. Flip phones were cool. I could be Neo. I wanted one…

As phones go, yes it looks a little silly today and yes it did have the worst most annoying alarm ringtone that is still etched into my brain, but the Samsung A300 was a damn fine little (very little), solidly built phone. It served me very well indeed. I was now proudly wafting my space-age phone around for all to see. If I could ‘flip’ in front of people that was even better. ‘Oooh look at me, look how cool I am.’ I was a changed man 😎

Two years later I ditched the ever reliable little Samsung for the Motorola V545; another flip phone. Flip phones were still über cool in my eyes. Motorola were a little quirky compared to the Nokias that most people seemed to favour. So I was now über cool and quirky. I could also take photographs with my phone now 😯 A camera inside a phone!!! How space-age was that? This really was Star Trek. Admittedly the photographs were about as big as a postage stamp and could only be taken in absolute broad daylight, but that wasn’t the point.

If I’m honest this wasn’t the best phone I’ve ever had. Design wasn’t the best. Build was a little wobbly and it was all a bit too lumpy and a bit too plasticy. I’d been down that painful road once before. But at least mine wasn’t blue; I’d gone for a more subtle black design. Still, it wasn’t too long before I was impatiently counting down the days until upgrade day…

What came next was the Motorola RAZR V3i and yes I did get a blue one 🙄 It was still an über cool flip phone and it was still a quirky Motorola, but that’s where the similarities to my last phone stopped. Phones were now slimming down and none more so than Motorola’s RAZR range. Phones were beginning to get style; a bit of sex appeal. The build, design and looks of the RAZR V3i were all hugely impressive (even in blue!!!). Über cool, quirky and now with a splash of sex appeal. I was a happy chap indeed with this phone.

It’s built in camera now boasted a dizzying 1.2 megapixels 😯 I could browse the Internet (mobile version only) and could also use my phone as an MP3 player. Phone memory wasn’t huge, so I was a little way off from binning my actual MP3 player, but this new feature was a great addition. I loved this phone a lot, I really did. But it was really nothing compared to how besotted I was with the next one.

When the Motorola RAZR2 V8 arrived, I adored it instantly. Super slim, super stylish, super smooth, super shiny and gorgeously sexy. The build quality on this phone was impeccable and would probably rate pretty high even today. Plastic this was not. Philips Savvy this was not. Instead Motorola had lavishly constructed this phone from stainless steel, toughened glass and chrome. This phone oozed sex appeal. Hell, even David Beckham owned one. Über cool, quirky and simply dripping with sex appeal. I felt like a rock-star flashing this thing around.

Specs wise it wasn’t actually the best. You could get much better from other manufacturers. Phones with better cameras, bigger memory, better speakers, but the simple fact was those other phones didn’t look half as gorgeous as the RAZR2 V8. Nothing much did. I loved every second with this phone. I’d probably say hand on heart, that this was the best phone (of it’s day) that I’ve ever owned. So much so, that after two years something very strange and largely unheard of happened. I received a call from Orange; I was overdue an upgrade. My time with the lovely RAZR2 V8 was up. It was time for the Doctor to regenerate. A shiny new phone was being offered. ‘But I don’t want a new phone. I like my current phone.’That phone is old now. It’s time to move on; to change. Look at all the new phones.’ ‘But I like this phone… I don’t want to go.’ I stubbornly refused to regenerate. They couldn’t make me. I did however agree to an upgrade and a few days later a shiny new phone arrived at my door; a brand new Motorola RAZR2 V8 🙂
When 2009 rolled in I’d had my cherished RAZR2 V8 for four very happy years. But as you can imagine, things had moved on pretty quickly in those four years. The buzzword now was ‘smartphone’ and Apple’s iPhone was the must have item. You were nobody unless you owned an iPhone, which made me instantly not want to own one 🙂 I’ve always liked to be a little unique or quirky. To this day I still wouldn’t want to own an iPhone, but I really wish I’d selected more wisely back in 2009. With my Motorola blinkers fixed firmly to my head I proudly walked out of a shop clutching my new Motorola DEXT.

I’d been particularly taken with the phone’s rather unique slide-out keyboard, and the fact that this wasn’t an iPhone. Compared to my beloved RAZR2 V8 this new phone certainly lacked a bit of style, and as for sex appeal? Perhaps best if we don’t mention the sex appeal 😯 Über cool, quirky and simply dripping with sex appeal, to, rather unique. I’d made a very rash choice and I was about to embark on the longest, most painful two years of mobile-phone hell. My love affair with this so called ‘smartphone’ was very short lived. Eventually I’d loath the thing about as much as that cursed Philips Savvy!!! This dreadful device had but one redeeming feature, just the one; Android. Apple, Blackberry and Nokia all had their own unique operating systems, but from what I’d seen so far, Android was the way forward.

My Motorola Dext torture finally came to an end at the end of 2011. I’d been planning my upgrade for about the last 18 months 🙁 Right up until the day I walked into the Orange store, I was still undecided on what I wanted. I basically knew what I didn’t want. I was still very anti Apple. I hated the look of any Blackberry phone. Nokia’s ‘Ovi’ operating system was really flaky and limited. And finally, after many loyal and mainly happy years, it was definitely time for me and ‘quirky’ Motorola to go our separate ways. Which having said all of that, did eliminate a very large chunk of the market. So I did my research. I trawled the Internet, I read review after review. It was time to revisit Samsung and give the very iPhone’esk Samsung Galaxy S2 a try. It’s iPhone appearance had almost stopped me from getting the S2, but the reviews had simply been too good to ignore. And rightly so.

The Galaxy S2 is not massively eye catching in appearance. Most smartphones look the same nowadays. It’s build quality is, dare I say, rather plasticy. It has no ‘cool’ flip screen or slide out keyboard. It’s not hugely unique; millions of people bought one. So I was no longer über cool or quirky. My sex appeal had all but vanished, but I did now own a bloody amazing smartphone. I had to ‘factory reset’ my Motorola Dext after just 6 months. My Galaxy S2 has only just started to slightly misbehave; two and a half years since the day I unboxed it 😯 The phone has been an absolute dream to own and use, which explains why I was in no immediate panic to upgrade at the beginning of this year. I still owned a super fast smartphone, running the very latest software. No Mr Orange (or EE) you can keep your upgrade while I wait for something a little better to arrive…

Which brings things right up to date. Today I processed my upgrade online. In a few days time something a little better will arrive. And no, unfortunately my Samsung Galaxy S5 won’t be blue. I wanted blue, but the wait is too long 🙁 I’ll just get a sexy blue case instead 😉 What I will get is a smartphone that is faster and more powerful than my current laptop! The device has a better camera than my actual camera! It has more storage than any MP3 device I’ve ever owned! It can download data faster than my home broadband! And the S5 is fully functioning underwater too 😯 This is about as far removed from a Philips Savvy as it’s possible to be, and it’s taken just 15 years for this to happen… That’s progress for you.