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My Life...In Phones

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Warning: this blog post will date me. Horribly.

I can remember life before mobile phones. Quite clearly actually. They weren't really common until I was well into my teens. Dad had a hilarious businessman type car phone but the only time I'd ever seen a proper mobile was on Saved By The Bell. And how funny was that? Ringing for pizza at your desk. Oh Zack, you scamp.

Shell, my best friend, had a pager. I don't think we ever quite got to grips with that, but we both poured absolute scorn on our friends Ruth and Claire when they got mobile phones one summer. They only ever rang each other! We couldn't understand it at all. I think their logic was something to do with going horse riding and potentially falling in a ditch. Well, we did that too, but we didn't see the need for phones.

You can see how this one goes, can't you? About six months later Ruth and Claire could be totally smug in their status of trendsetters because we ALL had phones. Brick-like Nokia 5110s which had the amazing technological capacity to phone, text and play Snake. That's it. We were very easily pleased back then. My mum had a super slimline Motorola (honestly, it was thinner than the phone I have now - way ahead of its time) which was considered *very* cool.  And phone shopping was really fun and even a bit exotic!  I remember wandering into Carphone Warehouse and being faintly awestruck by all the technology on offer.  When you've only ever been able to do three things on your phone, any new development seemed rather magical.  If you'd have told me then that less then a decade later I'd be able to watch live tv on an app on my phone whilst sailing down a river on a boat, I would have laughed in your face.

I've been very loyal. Since that first venture into mobile phone ownership, I've had two Nokias, one Motorola clam phone, one LG Chocolate (which I adored. Beautiful, beautiful thing) and then an iPhone. I haven't lost a single one or dropped one down the loo or left it in a bar on a night out. They either died or needed replacing because, well, they're not made to last, are they? That's modern technology for you.

I got my iPhone nearly 3 years ago and I've been kind to it - it's always had a nice green cover and a Phone Devil screen protector (which I buy mainly cos they send you sweets as well but also cos they really do last well). It's out of contract now and on a SIM only deal (much cheaper, hurrah!) because my thrifty radar informed me that a new model was due this year and that would push the price of other handsets down, so I held off on upgrading. See, I'm canny! I was trying to be canny enough to spin it out for a little while longer but I had to upgrade the iOS in order to make an app work and now it's all "woe is me, I am so very, very old and slow" and keeps turning itself off. So now I'm all "woe is me, I will have to buy a new phone."  And it has to be an iPhone because I am completely smitten with this one and can't imagine life with a Samsung in my hand.

What I really want to know is, is it worth paying more for the iPhone 5 or should I stick with my initial inclinations and get the 4S?  Are they that different from each other? I can't read techy website comparisons: they baffle me.  I'd much rather have proper opinions and I know lots of you are fellow iPhone fangirls!


  1. I started out with a Siemens at Uni. It cost a billion pounds and call (or thereabouts) and came with a princely TWENTY MINUTES FREE A MONTH AND FIFTEEN TEXTS. Which was normal back then.

  2. I think I'm about the same age as you, I was about 14-15 when everyone was getting phones and I wasn't aloud one. Finally got a Nokia 3330 when I was 17.
    Crazy how much they've changed, when they got coloured screens and cameras.
    I had a Samsung D900 which lasted 5 years, and actually still works.
    Now have a Blackberry, purely for the qwerty keyboard. And because an iPhone was far too expensive.

  3. I remember one someone got a pager, we were all fascinated! ALL my friends had phones before me (yet my parents had a BRICK so big it needed to be carried in a video camera bag!)
    My first phone when I was 17 was a 3410 (I think) the bluey green one with merging buttons. I called it Cecil and he lasted for years 'til I foolishly traded him in for a Sagem with a colour screen. What a mistake. Ah, the memories....

  4. Oh my first phone was a Phillips something or other, with rubber buttons, an aerial and a tiny thin screen on which texts would scroll along at a snail's pace.

    Needless to say I LOVE my iPhone now, I got the 3GS when the 4 came out and am only paying about £4 a month more than I was for my outdated Nokia. Contract is up in February so I'm hoping to pull the same trick with the 4S now that the 5 is out, fingers crossed the prices drop a bit from what they are now.

    I can also vouch for the Phone Devil screen protectors, they're brilliant!

  5. My first phone was that same Nokia 5110 I had about 15 different coloured covers for it - it was the only interesting thing you could do with it!! It cost £20 per month - no PAYG back then, I think that was about 1996 ish.

  6. When I was little, my grandad had a car-phone. It was the coolest thing ever and we used to sit on the drive and call their house, to speak to my nan (it cost about a million pounds per minute). But when your'e 8, that impresses you!

  7. I was in my 30s when I got my first mobile, so can easily remember life pre-mobiles. Altho they are convenient, you can't ever really get away from things nowadays. Well not true - my best friend refuses to take her mobile with her when she goes away, so she can relax and forget about what is going on at home.
    I still have a really basic mobile and have never even held a blackberry or iphone - I don't even know the difference, so afraid your question in your last paragraph means nothing to me. I'm so up to date with technology!

  8. Loved this post. How I loved my 3210 x

  9. Awww I loved my Nokia 5110 and it's changeable covers. I painted the original blue cover with glittery nail polish. Everyone laughed at my sparkly brick (I kept it for YEARS) but I loved it. Mostly for snake! Afraid I can't pass on any iphone wisdom, I'm still with Nokia (a C6, the brick died)

  10. Such nostalgia- my early phone history was dictated by my parents, in that I always inherited whatever they were finished with, and it was deemed necessary for my to have one from age 11 because my parents had a tendency to need to leave me places, forget where I was supposed to be, or change where I was supposed to be, with some regularity.

    If you're buying your phone outright, I reckon it's probably as well to spend a bit more on the iphone 5 which is going to be better geared up for the next round of updates etc over the next couple of years. I really like my 4S, but it was free on contract earlier this year, and I suspect the longevity that will come from an iphone 5 will likely bve justified in the price increase. Beware though- apparently they're only available on contract at the moment, and most phone retailers won't be able to tell you when they're available without a contract.

  11. I can't remember Claire's first phone, but Kathy had the first one in the family. All I can remember was that it cost £100 and you had to buy 'making calls' time and 'receiving calls' time separately, so if you made a lot of calls but didn't receive many, you ended up wasting a lot of money because you had to buy both at once.

  12. When I was at high-school, mobiles weren't a thing at all, the only people with them were those that lived in the back of beyond and needed them for 'emergencies' during snow and such like and there were maybe only 2 or 3 people I knew that had one. When I went to Uni (1998) our halls of residence had 3 phones, one was a card, the other pay-phones (nobody used the card one). Nobody these days will believe that all however many hundred of us, crowded around these two phones to call home (with only a little paisley curtain for privacy)! I think it was later that year or the next year I got a mobile because it was a nightmare coming home at weekends from the Borders and I would get delayed in Edinburgh and have no way of calling home (and once had to get a very nice tourist couple to mind my case while I ran back to the shopping centre to find a pay-phone). It was the Nokia one with the changing covers that everyone wanted and I LOVED it, all my friends wanted it! I had dalmatian print, pink glitter, red, green and leopard print covers! After that I got a clamshell one (Samsung I think) purely because I wanted it to 'click' shut! Next was a cheap one that I hated but it actually came with a great plan, so I still use that sim today in my Alcatel OT-808, little pale pink mirror phone. I LOVE this phone, I've never seen anyone else with it and it does everything I need. I don't really want to go down the smartphone route yet (sure some people wonder how I live without one), but I rarely go anywhere or phone anyone, so as long as it texts, I can get a decent ring/message sound and I can check my makeup in the reflection, it's all good!

  13. I got my 4S a month before the iphone 5 came out (silly) but it is wonderful. The 4S and 5 are pretty much the same except the 5 is thinner and has a bigger screen. You'd probably get a better (/cheaper) deal on the 4S and it's such a good phone anyway!

  14. I've actually just had this convo with my friends cause I can finally upgrade in January (goodbye forever shitty HTC!) The general feedback seems to be either get an iPhone 4 or pay £100 or so for the 5 to get a reasonable contract price - the only difference between the 4 and 4S is the addition of Suri, that annoying voice thing, which I know I wouldn't use anyway, so I've decided to look at deals for the 5 and if I can't find anything in my price range just go for the 4, which would be much cheaper now thanks to the 5 being released :)

  15. I knew a few people with pagers at university, but they were drug dealers...hmm.

    I liked my first ever phone, it had a funny sort of built in app giving me my daily personalised outlook for love, luck and success!

    Sorry, no techy knowledge here!


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