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Ching’s Old Phones [I’m a Camera Phone Junkie]

Posted on June 8, 2009 by under Toys.    

Brian’s nostalgic reminiscence of all of the phones he’s ever owned made me want to come up with my own list. Unlike Brian, I’m not loyal to any one particular company so you’ll find a smorgasbord on my list. I’ve owned this brand and that brand. I don’t particularly care what brand a phone is as long as it has the features I like. I don’t even care if my cellphone service provider carries or supports the phone, as you’ll see later on.

I’m going to start backwards so I’ll begin with my current phone. I’ve had my T-Mobile Wing (pictured above) for two years or so now. I actually need to replace it because it’s missing a button. I’m in dire need of a new phone, but I can’t convince myself to part with the Wing just yet because there are no other touch screen phones (in this price range) that are wi-fi capable. Wi-fi capability is extremely important to me because I don’t want to pay an additional $20 or $30 on top of my regular monthly cellphone plan for internet service. With my Wing, I can connect to any free wi-fi anywhere and access the internet for free. There’s an abundance of free wi-fi nowadays so I don’t really see the point of paying for a data plan. That’s at least $250 a year that my Wing is saving me.

Other features of the Wing that I really like are the 2.0 MP camera (the highest resolution that you could get on a camera phone from T-Mobile when I first got the phone), QWERTY keypad (great for texting or tweeting, which is mostly what I do), Micro SD memory slot (for more picture storage), and Windows Media Player (so I could listen to my MP3s). Honestly, the Wing had so many great features — most of them, I don’t even use — but those four things I listed were the features most important to me at the time. Even now, they are the features preventing me from just buying another phone despite my missing button. No worries on the missing button, though. I can survive without it since I never used it anyway. The phone is touch screen so I didn’t even know what most of the buttons are for (besides the QWERTY keypad, which I found particularly useful).

Sony Ericsson s710a

The phone I had prior to the T-Mobile Wing was the Sony Ericsson S710a. I wanted a really good camera phone and T-Mobile (they have the best rate plans, but the crappiest phones) didn’t have any good ones at the time. The S710a, offered by AT&T, had a 1.3 MP camera. That’s pretty impressive considering my very first digital camera (which was a Sony camera incidentally) was only 1.3 MP. I don’t really remember any of the features of this phone, other than the fact that it swiveled to reveal the keypad hidden inside. I think I spent more time taking pictures with the phone than actually talking on it. I suppose I could say the same about the Wing.

Now that I think about it, some of the features that were proprietary to AT&T didn’t work because I was with T-Mobile. I purchased an unlocked phone through eBay so that I wouldn’t have to switch service providers. On occasions when I couldn’t figure something out or something wasn’t working quite right, I was on my own because T-Mobile didn’t provide any support for the phone. For instance, I had to set up my MMS and email and all of that myself. Some things were a hassle but, as soon as I figured out how to get pictures from the phone straight to Flickr, I was all set. That’s all I really needed.

The other thing that I disliked about this phone was the size of it. It was so big and clunky that it felt like you were carrying an actual camera around with you, rather than a phone. I did like the light it emitted when taking pictures. It allowed me to take good pictures with the phone even in the dark.

The phone I had before the S710a was a Samsung SGH-D415. It was also a camera phone. Do you see a pattern emerging here? LOL.

The neat thing about the D415 is that the camera turns to face in or out so you can take pictures of yourself and see how the image will look on the display. Also, I mostly had bar phones prior to this phone so I thought the whole sliding thing was neat. The quality of the images taken using the D415 was pretty weak, but considering other camera phones of this era, it was actually pretty cutting edge. I was glad when I got the S710a, though, because the picture quality was such a huge improvement over the D415.

I had a Nokia 3650 (also a camera phone) prior to the D415. Brian had the same phone, but his had the straight keypad. Mine had the very annoying circular keypad. Not only was the keypad annoying, but this was an enormous phone. It’s only redeeming quality was the camera feature. I didn’t have this phone long before I was anxious to get rid of it. Luckily for us, Brian worked for T-Mobile at the time so we got our phones pretty cheap. We had new phones all the time back then. Now I’m lucky if I get a new phone every three years. My pragmatic side just won’t allow it. I think I will keep my Wing, missing button and all, until it actually quits working.

Around the same time I had the Nokia 3650, I also had a Sony Ericsson T300. The T300 was also a camera phone, but its camera is an external/detachable one. I switched to the T300 because it was cute and little. Mine had a cherry faceplate.

Prior to the whole camera phone craze, I had the same Nokia bar phones that Brian had. He had labeled them as Nokia 3310, 8210, and 5110 in his blog post, but the T-Mobile versions were actually numbered 3390, 8290, and 5110 respectively. I liked the Nokia 8290 the best out of the three because of its tiny size. Brian didn’t like it as much because the buttons were too close together for his fingers. He tended to misdial because of it. The phone was just the right size for me, though.

The funny thing is that if Brian hadn’t started working for Voicestream (now T-Mobile) at the time, we never would have gotten into cellphones. We were totally anti-cellphone in the beginning. We didn’t really understand why we would need to add something so “unnecessary” to our regular monthly bills. Well, when Brian started working for the cellphone company the monthly service charge was so cheap it was practically free. Plus, we got phones at such deep discounts.

Once you had one, it became a necessity. Today, in this age of instant connectivity, I can’t imagine life without a cellphone. I suppose many of you feel the same way. Anyway, there you have it — my cellphone history.

Related Stories

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  • Ching’s New Phone on August 23, 2009
  • Our New Cellphones Arrived on Friday on August 26, 2010
  • My Wishlist on May 4, 2009
  • Like Selling Cigarettes to Children on August 23, 2009

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