05 February 2008

Bombproof gadgets at CNET : I am validated


For many years, I have used an old Nokia phone. It's black and white, lacks camera, internet, mp3 player, but is the most reliable phone I have ever used. It seems that CNET agrees with me (finally, I have some back!)

I like it because (1) the battery lasts forever, (2) the firmware is simple, reliable and well-designed, (3) it is virtually bullet-proof, and (4) it gets great reception.

[1] is true mostly because it lacks camera, internet, mp3 player, etc. For each of those devices, we add to its power consumption. Additionally, if any of those peripherals require a different voltage, we need to add additional regulators, and suffer a conversion loss for each. Because it is a black and white, low resolution screen, the video update clock can operate at a lower speed (which reduces switching losses) and less video ram is needed (also reducing power consumption).

[2] speaks for itself. No bells and whistles, no stupid animations, but a sleek menu driven interface that takes advantages of hotkeys.

[3] needs elaboration. Whenever I drop the phone, the battery cover pops off, and the battery pops out. I can't be sure, but I think this acts to absorb most of the shock from dropping it. I might also add that it is reliable because it is NOT a flip phone. The problem with flip phones is that the processor is at one end and the screen is at the other. A lot of data travels from the processor to the screen via a "flex circuit" which coils through the hinge. Flex circuits are... dinky, and prone to failure.

[4] is a result of its mixed digital/analog receiver. If I'm outside of a digital coverage area, it will switch to analog.

If this thing should ever break, I'll go to ebay and find another one. I've already turned down free phones from my service provider 'cause I like this one. My only problem? Whenever I pull this thing out at a business meeting, I need to explain why I use a ten year old phone.

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