I was thinking about my new iPhone 4S and reflecting on what a marvel of technology it really is. I got me thinking about all of the phones I have had over the past 2 decades and thought it would be fun to try to write down a history of all the phones that I have had. I’m not sure I have the exact models, but they are pretty close to the actual phones.
Some of these phones look plain stupid today, but at the time they were often cutting edge, and great devices.
So without further adieu, lets start at the beginning.
It was 1993 and I decided to take the leap and get my first phone. I remember buying it from an ad in the local paper and drove 45-minutes to go pick it up. Even then I knew it as the Motorola bag phone. It was a car phone with a battery in a leather bag. I used to leave my wallet and cigarettes in there like a quasi-man-bag.
The size of the antenna made it really good for maintaining reception, but the sheer size of it was just bullshit. But it gave me the freedom to be contactable at any time, and I was hooked. Now I needed something more portable.
The brick phone was being sold as a pocketable device, but I didn’t have any pockets this big. The biggest problem I had with the brick was the battery. The phones didn’t respond well to the repeated charge cycles and became useless within the first year. So in addition to a big-ass phone to carry, I also packed a spare.
I went to work for Foxtel as a door-to-door sales guy and was given a work phone. One of these CDMA Motorola flip phones. This was the worst quality phone I had owned to date and I hated using it, even for phone calls. The battery problem was persistant, and I recall having the manager drop around every few hours with a fresh battery to get me through the shift.
When we made the shift from CDMA to GSM phones, not only did we add an extra digit to our phone numbers, but the phones improved also. This also marked the last Motorola phone I have ever owned.
I loved the upgrade to the Ericcson GH688. It had a metal band around the outside like the current iPhone and also used it as an antenna. This screen had three whole lines for displaying information, and was a great phone.
For my next upgrade, I made the shift to Nokia for the first time. This phone, a 5190, had faceplates on the front allowing users to change the cover on the phone, and could also swap the clear rubber button pad for a black button pad.
I had a lime green cover and a chrome cover for my phone. It also had an attachable belt clip on the back, so I became one of the dickheads that would wear their phone on their belt. It was the 90’s and a simpler time.
The 5190 was an improvement, but it was a middle-of-the-road model. The 8210 was a top of the line phone and was brilliant. Not only was it small and fast but it was fun to use. It now had 4 or 5 lines for displaying information.
I may have the model wrong, but as I recall it had a blue screen making it different from the usual green screen most other phones had at the time.
So here was one of my big mistakes. I moved to the Orange network and bought a Kyocera Slider. I was still naive when picking a phone thinking that an operating system actually mattered. This phone was crap. But it did have a colour screen…… that is all.
Back to the safety of Nokia, this time an N73. The Symbian OS was good for the time, the camera was very good and the screen was fantastic. I still have this as a back-up phone.
The iPhone was launched and this would have been my next phone, but face had other plans. II was working at P&O and they gave me a work phone. Being another corporate bureaucracy they gave managers Blackberry Pearls. They were so very bad.
The Blackberry’s were known for there keyboard and email features, but these were not awful. Don’t they still sell this crap?
After crewing on the ears of the IT team long enough, they gave me a second-hand Curve to use. I think these did a great job of email and was generally a better phone to use. If this had been a world without the iPhone, or even the G1, this would have been a great phone. But, it was, and it was very average.
I borrowed a phone for a while after leaving P&O, and had this E71. It was like a bad version of the Pearl. ‘Nuff said.
I was given a Sony Ericcson Xperia as my first Android phone. It was running 1.6 even though 2.0 was released. *cough* fragmentation *cough*.
I waited and waited and waited for an upgrade, lobbied SE, but was a bit gun-shy to try to load a ROM myself. The SE skin was terrible, and Android apps were terrible and the phone’s build was awful.
I decided to do something drastic. The new iPhone was only a few months away, so I borrowed a friends old iPhone for the duration.
Although 2.5 years old, the 3G was a better phone that the brand-new SE Xperia. The battery on this baby was shot, but it was a good phone running iOS 4. I also bought an iPad 1 a few months later and the ability to share apps became invaluable.
It was then that I realised it was a trap. I was no so invested with music in iTunes, photos in iPhoto, and the growing mountain of apps, how could I go to Android or WP7?
So I didn’t, and won’t be any time in the foreseeable future.
I delayed buying an iPhone 4 for too long, and then though I only had to wait until June 2011 for the new iPhone. As we now know, Apple made we wait until October. The iPhone 4S is an awesome phone, and I’m really happy with it.
Thinking back to the Motorola bag phone until this mini-computer is an amazing transition. There are some clunkers in there, but some of them were such great companions they I truly enjoyed using.