Sunday, May 18, 2008

Slippery slope

My phone's on its last legs. I'm heartbroken about it because there are too many things in my life that have changed and I find myself holding on to the things that have remained constant. One of them being my phone. I know I'm being a tad bit dramatic here but I'm feeling slightly dramatic right now.

Actually, I feel irrationally stressed right now. I mean, at the end of the day, it's just another piece of tech equipment. But even then, it's an appendage that I'm not comfortable living without, although I have on occasion left home without it. It's importance then, must be less than an American Express card.

Anyway, I need to give it up at some point. And I need to replace it. That's where the problem lies. I have had Nokia phones all my life. And there aren't any Nokias out there that have caught my attention. My last Nokia, I bought for very 'girly' and superficial reasons- a) it was pretty and b) it was a clam shell phone and I adored clam shell phones.

So I bought it. I bought it when I was newly pregnant and needing to throw up every other minute. It was a good thing though because it meant that I was distracted enough by trying to figure out how to use it, I would forget for that short time what ailed me.

But now, I have to trade it in. Not because I stopped loving it but because it stopped loving me. On occasion, I would flip it open and be met with a blank screen. Packrat warned me rather ominously that it was the beginning of the end and that it would just give up on me at the most inopportune time. He counselled me into getting a new phone even though there really was no Nokia that caught my eye.

Because I was left without a choice, I had to cast a wider net and see what that would trawl up. Packrat suggested I try one of the Touch phones since I was quite fascinated with the iPhone a few months back. The problem primarily was that Nokia, of course, did not make Touch phones so that meant I would have to learn a new interface from scratch. And my mind blanks out when I try to learn a new interface. I remember wanting to fling my brother's Samsung against the wall because I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to back space on it.

Like buying a car, the only way to decide is to take it out for a spin and see which one feels right in my hands. Very quickly, I narrowed the field to only the HTC Touch Cruise eliminating the LG successor-to-the-Prada-phone and the Asus something or other. My reasons for elimination were rather whimsical and ditzy.

1. I did not like the Asus because it was big, thick and bulky. Even though it had a key pad that I could use to text rather than the touch screen.

2. It was also butt ugly. There was absolutely no aesthetic value in it whatsoever. It would be fine if it was going to be bought by a guy for work purposes but not for a girl who didn't really need Windows Mobile Office to download and read documents.

3. I did not like the LG because one of the key selling features of the phone was this tactile feedback thing where every time a key was activated to text, it would buzz in my hand. I wanted to throw away the phone just to stop the buzzing.

4. The LG's stylus made me write gibberish. Yes, made me. And the stylus is connected to where my phone strap would dangle and since Packrat gave me the phone strap, I wasn't going to leave my pretty clam shell without her coming along.

5. After looking at the HTC's interface where with a flick of the finger, one could toggle the menu, sift through photos in a file, enlarge, shrink or rotate photos by running a finger across the screen or clockwise or anti-clockwise, there was no way I could accept the LG's rather boring conventional interface. Packrat then, very smugly informs me that if I were to have bought the Prada phone that I thought would have been a good replacement, my lot in life would have been much worse.

So there, why I didn't choose the other two. The problem was even at that point, I was still hesitant to give the go ahead. And the list of reasons was as long.

1. I didn't want to part with my beloved clam shell.

2. It had a new interface that I needed to learn and I'm very very stupid when it comes to learning new tech things. I'm likely to enlarge photos when I'm supposed to shrink it or rotate it upside down when I'm trying to rotate it right side up because I have absolutely zero intuitiveness when it comes to which direction to head.

3. The emoticons do not come up as smiley faces. They appear as a colon and a close bracket or in this case, a colon and an open bracket to indicate that I am displeased by this fact.

4. It is $150 more than I can afford.

5. This is probably a good thing but because there isn't a key pad, I can't text while driving.

6. The camera is sans flash.

7. I was concerned that because it was so expensive, I had to like it and couldn't just give it up and I didn't know if I was going to like it or get used to it. In other words, I didn't know how much of a commitment I was willing to give to it.

So, we put the phone back and went off to dinner buying me some time to decide. I got increasingly stressed because I wasn't sure. When such stress afflicts me, it usually heralds the end to impetuous shopping and I walk away from the item. In this case, I couldn't quite because it would be bad if I couldn't decide and my phone died a sudden death which it was apt to do. Packrat did suggest that since I was concerned that it was going to be costly and I would have to commit to learning a whole different interface, I should just get a cheap Nokia to tide me over till something that I fancied more and cost less appeared in the market.

To which, I lamented that he had already shown me the crown jewels of mobile phones (well, sort of anyway) and I couldn't go back to looking at the regular plebian Nokias. Ondine, I discovered and announced loudly, was NOT backward compatible and I accused him of sending me down the slippery slope of techno-snobbery.

So, now I await the public holiday to be over so that my new phone may be delivered and I send along with the delivery guy, my beloved clam shell to be stripped of its beauty into tiny little parts or refurbished and re-packaged for export; hopefully falling into the hands of someone who would enjoy it as much as I did.


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Ondine tossed this thought in at 22:08

2 thoughts...

2 thoughts...

At 9:54 am Blogger wahj said...

Repeat after me:
"iPhone 3G released in June"


At 10:42 pm Blogger Jonathan said...

looks like u're headed into the weird world of windows mobile. It can, like its full-blown OS brethern, be frustrating at times but HTC usually does a decent job at helping u cover up most of the glaring issues with a windows mobile phone.

let me know if you need help with windows mobile issues. my experiences & solutions won't be 100% similar to yours (since each phone developer customises the software to their individual hardware) but it's useful to have when delving into a semi-clunky OS.


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