The story behind my best friend; my Mobile Phone(s)

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For most of us, I believe that the thing we spend the most time with (besides the computer and our bed), would be our mobile phone. Before I start archiving my memories into the vault, I guess it would be good to start penning some of these moments down. This entry would be dedicated to my loyal companion, my handphone.

The handphone has become such an integral part of our lives that we just can’t live without it. There are times where I return home after leaving house just to take my phone. I check my phone when I wake up in the morning, before I sleep, when I’m on the public transport, when I’m having my meals, whenever I’m bored or just stoning around. From checking bus timings to buying movie tickets to using the GPS or even make internet bank transfers to blogging from my mobile phone, and the list goes on. There were times where I thought that my tablet (used to be Samsung, now xiaoMi) could overthrow my handphone’s position, but my handphone still remains as the reigning champion for its portability.

If I’m not wrong, I got my mobile number from M1 back in 2001, somewhere near my birthday from the Parkway Branch. Even though the sim card was not bought with the intention of being mine, I gained possession of it as time went by. To date, my mobile number is 13 years old and I finally switched from m1 to singtel last year after they introduced the mobile portability scheme. In the past, if you were to change telcos, you would have to change your mobile number as well and that can be really really annoying.

So.. I can’t remember which had been my first official phone but I think this orange-lighted alcatel phone had been in my possession for quite some time. In the past, it must seem really cool to type on your keypads so much that the numbers and alphabets become faint.

Alcatel (can’t remember the exact model) 

Alcatel OT Club db

Back then, SMSs were 5 cents (price remained unchanged throughout the years) and talktime were limited to the usual 60 or 100 minutes with NO FREE INCOMING. On the hindsight, there was this “PROMOTION” whereby Singtel customers do not have to pay for the first 7 seconds of their incoming call. Most of us saw this promotion as a challenge to keep conversations as short as possible. Often, I had to call my brother and get a reply from him on whether he was eating dinner or not, all within 7 seconds.

This Ericsson phone looks extremely familiar but I can’t remember if I owned it or not.

Do you remember this ringtone? The cool but annoying ringtone..

Motorola V70 (2002 to 2003/4)

This was one of the coolest mobile phones during that time and (on a hindsight) they were really brilliant in marketing this totally useless 360 degrees function, as the most amazing thing ever. When it was launched, it was positioned as a high-end and classy phone, costing a freaking $750. Don’t ask me how I became the proud ‘owner’ for this phone. I did not exactly chose it. It was just a “spare” phone for my use..

Motorola Walkie Talkie which also functions as a mobile phone

This walkie talkie had a rather significant role in my life. It has this godlike battery life and I think unlimited free incoming calls for a specific timing like 7pm to 7am (a rarity during the early 2000s). As my house did not have a cordless land line phone, it was troublesome if I wanted to talk on the phone in the comfort of my room. With this amazing free-incoming walkie talkie, I could get my friends to call me using their home phone and the conversations would just go on forever.. I have no idea how much radiation entered my brain cells back then :/

Nokia 2100 (2004 to 2006)

NOKIA 2100 was my second choice phone back then. It’s white and bright back-light was one of it’s selling factor and I always use my phone as a night light when the lights are all turned off.

Back then, the coolest thing about Nokia was NOT snake or snake 2, it was the customization of ringtones within the keypad. If I’m not wrong, I was trying to set some 5566 ringtone or something. There were limited spaces in the phone and you can only store a few at each time. It was always a tough choice to decide which ringtone to replace..

SMS was limited to the pathetic 160 characters and mobile language was born. Short forms like “u” for you or “gd” for good, “oredi” for already, “thx” for thanks, “ty” for thank you, “tmr” for tomorrow.

For most phones, SMS inbox was limited to like 30 messages. It was so hard to decide which messages to delete and there were those cute old school SMS “emoticons” or text art. I even tried to design my own text art before! It’s just so cute and adorable. There were some messages which even shows “moving” text art as you press down on your (nokia) mobile phone.

rose
@)–‘–,—

(\__/)
(=’.’=)
(“)_(“)

☆.´ `. ☽¸.☆
(͡๏̯͡๏)(͡๏̯͡๏)
( , ,)( , ,).
¯**´¯**´¯`

Nokia 7650 (2002)

I did not own this phone but I remember it was one of the earlier colour phones. Back then, I felt that this phone was ugly and bulky and we were discussing on how there’s a higher possibility of spoiling due to its slide function (which could possibly become loose some day). Back then, although the handphone camera was like uber pixelated, it was already good enough to give the WAH! factor.

Nokia 6233 (2006-2007,2008 to 2009)

This phone was totally not my first choice. It is kind of ugly and looks like a brick but it became one of my prized possession due to its long life. This was my first camera phone, weighing 110g, with a 2 megapixel camera which surprisingly takes quite decent photos which I developed prints for. It was also the phone whereby we used the infrared and/pr bluetooth function frequently to transfer songs and games between phones. In this phone, I have installed games like diner dash, puzzle bubble, monopoly and even worms! The best thing is that it has a micro SD slot for me to increase the size of my storage. It was a really tough choice to decide between having more songs, more games or more photos. Also, the inbox in this phone was no longer limited to the pathetic 30 messages. You could store more messages at the expense of lesser songs and photos. This model was the longest phone that I ever used, before iPhone came into the picture.

Photos taken using Nokia 6233:

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Sony Ericsson w910i (2007-2008)

At 86grams, it’s very light in comparison to my Nokia 6233. (Lightest phone I ever owned was still Motorola V70 at 83 grams) I chose this phone for its aesthetically striking red colour and walkman function. Back then when everyone else owned a iPod Nano or iPod, I was just super satisfied with my all-in-one mobile phone which had the functions of an MP3 player, a gameboy and a camera. Sad but true, pretty things usually don’t have a long lifespan. This phone died five days after the one year warranty.

Photos by w910i:

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iPhone 3G (2008 Oct – May 2009)

Once again, it was due to luck and chance that I gotten my hands on an iPhone 3G, the ultra amazing touch screen phone. Since then, apple and I had an amazing relationship, even till today. It had been a pretty tough switch initially. The learning curve was hard and I now have to use qwerty keyboard instead of the number pad to type messages. There were no more songs or game transfers between phones and iPhone was pretty much a stand alone phone. I got to admit, its file sharing capability is crap and the lack of customization (without jailbreak) makes it boring for adventure seekers. However, being able to surf the internet on my mobile phone and use the GPS function was really the coolest thing ever. The photographs taken on my iPhone was pretty decent, even though the camera was only 2.0 mega pixel. Despite it being heavy weighted, at 133 grams, its functions and capabilities (with 16GB of storage space) way exceeds the extra weight and bulk. To me, the iPhone was really one of the best invention of the century.

Sadly, the relationship between me and iPhone 3 was a really short one. I lost my phone during a camp as I was hanging both my camera and my iPhone around my neck on my lanyards. The zip attaching the camera pouch (with the phone) to my lanyard snapped and disappeared somewhere in marine parade/east coast park on a saturday evening during a night activity T_T (Lesson Learnt: never hang two heavy things around your neck. It’s very hard to tell if anything has fallen off as the tension is pretty suffocating. Moreover, the rush and confusion that night.. I think I only realised that I had lost my phone after a few hours)

(in between May 2009 and Nov 2009, I was using Nokia 6233 – the loyal and reliable Nokia Phone)

The iconic and default iPhone ringtone. The annoying alarm ringtone which I have. The ringtone which identifies you as an apple user. The annoyance when multiple marimba’s ring concurrently. Urgh!

iPhone 3GS (Nov 2009 – Oct 2012)

During the months where I had to survive without an iPhone, I really felt terrible and I kind of started saving money in order to buy another iPhone. Not sure if I did managed to pay the full amount myself or that I had a partial sponsorship, I had my hands on a White 32 GB iPhone 3GS. At 135grams, with a 3 Megapixels camera, this phone was my companion for 3 years. As of today, my phone is 5 years old (replacing my Nokia 6233 as the longest surviving phone) but it is working perfectly fine as an MP3 for my alarm clock. I have not updated anything on the phone for the past 2 years and my music collection remains stagnant as at 2012. It is permanently docked and “charging” on my radio and it’s something really special and I will not throw it away. I learnt a lot from this phone, including jail breaking and customizing my own themes (All these were only possible when I was a student). FYI, I (with my brother’s help) changed its battery once in the first half of 2012 as the battery life was crap. It will auto shut down and show battery low although its battery life shows 20%+. After I changed its battery, my iPhone 3GS was given a new life and it was all good and mighty again =p

Motorola Walkie Talkie i335 (adhoc “phone”)

Some of my family and friends would have known of this amazing walkie talkie which can send SMSs for 5 cents in USA and South Korea (back in 2010-2011). There was some special partnership then, and all 4 of us had this walkie talkie when we were in USA. It allowed me to SMS my friends back in Singapore without having to pay the international charges (whatsapp and 3G was not that popular yet). To use this phone, I had to type using the number pad AND restrict myself to the pathetic inbox space. argh, but it was good while it lasted.

iPhone 5 (Oct 2012 – Now)

I was a little unwilling to part with my iPhone 3GS but with its increasing lag, absence of front camera, outdated mega pixels and heavy weight, I decided to upgrade to a white 32 GB iPhone 5 (112grams, 8.0MP). Despite being two years old, it is still a relatively good phone (FYI, battery replacement done in early 2014 due to bloated battery problem which apple only acknowledged and offered free replacement in Aug 2014.)

I think the main evolution of mobile phones during this time frame was the introduction of power banks and selfie sticks. AND, the person who replaced my battery claimed that over reliance on powerbanks and overnight-charging killed my battery life. Last year, I was so tempted to upgrade to iPhone 5S due to it’s gold colour but it felt a little bit retarded as I always use handphone covers which would hide the “gold” away. This year, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus was introduced but there wasn’t enough wow factor for me to make the switch. MOREOVER, my phone still works perfectly fine, I guess I don’t have any urge to change my phone for now.

So.. the other day I was thinking.. iPhone’s long lifespan and its stability and reliability might end up killing its own brand. I’ve not met much Samsung (or other brands) users who are able to use the same phone for more than 3 years. Most of the time, the laggy-ness pisses them off and they feel irritated and change their phone. Sometimes, they switch to a newer Samsung model, sometimes, they get really annoyed and switch to iPhone (welcome to the club!) and rejoice at its speed. Of course, there are the other brands like HTC and LG which pretty much don’t perform well after 1 to 2 years. At the end of the day, I still root for iPhone but at the same time, I worry about its declining sales as people like me stop buying phones as often as before.

So.. can you remember your phone’s history? It was pretty touch for me at first and I kind of suspect that my vague memories were a little incorrect at the beginning.

Well, I challenged my friend to remember all their old phones that they have used over the period of time.

This was the answer: nokia 8210 > nokia 3210 > nokia 8310 > nokia 6510 > nokia 6610 > nokia 6680 > nokia n70> nokia n73 > nokia e51 > HTC touch diamond > samsung s8300 ultratouch > iphone 4 > nokia lumia 920 > iphone 4s > iphone 5 > sony xperia sp > iphone 5s

and at the end of the day, iPhone is the reigning champion!

(Note: This article was written on my own freewill and I am not sponsored by apple in any way or another, though I wouldn’t mind if any phone sponsorship comes along.)

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