|My Past Cell Phones (7/5/11)
I finally decided to take a moment and go back in time to my first cell phone. I think I bought my first cell phone in my second or third year in college. I started with a paltry 300 minutes which was fine most of the time. I did go on a vacation one time, and back then (late 1990's early 2000) when you go on roaming you may get jacked. And I did, I think I had a bill for $130 just for what seemed to be a handful of calls.
It was a Motorola v120c, and I thought it was particularly cool because of it looked like a walkie talkie (not a desired feature these days) and it had a long antenna. The LCD was monochromatic with a light green backlight. I was also particularly fond of the checkerboard pattern around the display.
This was a time when cell phones looked weird and everyone had a different shaped phone. A few years later when my contract was up, I decided to get new phone. Still in college, I went for the free with contract phone.
Kyocera QCP 3035
This phone also had an uber long antenna that is pulled out. The display was bigger than my previous phone by about 2 or 3 lines, which was important back then. I remember that this phone, even with the keypad locked, had a problem of pocket dialing people. Never figured that out...
I remember at the time being jealous of another phone, the Kyocera QCP 6035, which was basically looked like a scientific calculator. One of the neat things about this phone was that it could store like 6000 contacts, which if you recall that during these days, you sometimes ran out of phonebook space and had to decide who you didn't really like or call much to make more room. Here's a pic of the QCP 3035 although I never owned it. The front face/dialpad flipped out to reveal a pda-style interface
Time to get a new phone again. Seems like Nokia was doing very well at this time. I seemed to really like candybar phones, even though I should have learned my lesson with pocket dialing. Nevertheless, I decided to get Nokia candybar phone, with yes, a super-extendo antenna. It wasn't a bad phone, but not very cool either.
This phone had an endless supply of different covers you can snap on that can make the buttons different shapes or so you can fly the American flag on your cell phone. I never really got into all of the mods, just kept it plain jane.
I finally decided to get a flip phone. This was also my first phone with a camera and a color LCD screen. The added bonus was an outside facing clock (Ooooh). The phone antenna could also be extended, but I rarely ever did so.
The battery life on this thing was starting to fade after a year of use. So I went with an extended battery, which was big and bulgy and needed a bigger outside cover. This made the whole thing over 1" thick!
It had a slot in the back for a microSD card, so I threw a 1GB card in just to see how it plays music. It also made it easy to save pics to the card instead of trying to transfer it to the computer otherwise. The camera, if I recall, wasn't that bad.
Smartphones were already very popular at this point. The iPhone was already out making headlines, and I believe you could still get a Palm Treo. When I got this phone, it actually seemed really fast ands mooth. Compared to devices out now, its actually rather sluggish. It ran Windows Mobile 6.1 The camera was very good for picture and video. And it was a very handy and small design.
A neat aspect of this was the optical 'mouse,' which can be seen as the black square in the front. It was a must since Windows Mobile 6.1 and 6.5 were still designed to be used with a stylus, so being able to leave the stylus at home and still hit the teeny-tiny on screen buttons with a mouse using the optical pad was important.
What's nice about the Omnia is all the stuff people started to do with it. I did run Android on it (1.6 from Andromnia ) and its amazing how smooth it runs on this device. The downside with the current port of Android for this phone is that you can't turn it off and it gets super hot! As a test I let Android run until thermal protection kicked in and shut off the phone.
The Omnia was the first phone with a data plan and I was at a point where I didn't like all of the add-on's with cell phones, cable, etc. I had cancelled my XM satellite service, reduced my cable to basic cable, and decided to get a new phone without the data plan, saving me just under $30/mo. $30/mo for 2 years is $720, so its pretty considerable.
The Pantech was a phone you couldn't buy in the store, you had to purchase it online. It had a few first's for me like that it was a slider and it had a QWERTY keypad.The touchscreen keypad of the Omnia sucked, so I was looking forward to actual buttons to press.
The Jest also had an 'optical' direction pad, which was under the 'OK' button. Most of the time it was fine but it would every now and then not respond, and either I'd have to wait a moment or hit back then go back in to what I was working on. The camera quality was really poor (still and video) and viewing pictures in the gallery was agonizingly slow (especially if it was stored on the microSD card). Memory was also low, and I would have to delete text message threads often because of this (I don't think there was an option to store texts onto external memory).
Tired of the Pantech, missing access to the internet from my phone, and seeing how technology had improved, I decided to get back into smart phones. I had done a little research, but it was pretty much an impulsive action to stop into the store and buy a Droid Charg. It runs Android 2.2, exceptionally smooth, and I haven't had any complaints so far. The only challenge is the slight learning curve for using everything in Android efficiently (task switching, settings, etc). It's not hard, but considering I just moved from the Pantech, it was new to me.
This is my current phone.
This phone was purchased because it is a Quad-band GSM phone (850/900/1800/1900). 850/1900 is used in the Americas, and 900/1800 is used everywhere else. Because I am a man of international travel (not really) I wanted a phone that I could use everywhere instead of getting a local phone or figuring out other clever ways of communicating back with the family at home.
I believe the EX112 is actually sold for the South American market (not US). Similar there is an EX115 that I think is sold for the Indian market. I just tested it out and its video/photo capability is not bad. It's also very thin and light. It's a very basic interface, but when travelling I don't think it will matter.