* Prices may differ from that shown
Bill Gates once quipped that if he and his geek friends had been born in any other generation they would be Saber Tooth Tiger breakfast. But this is the technology age and he is one of the world's richest men because of and the thirst for gadgets remains unabated, upgrading mobile communication particularly popular. It used to be clothes that define you. Now it's your phone, which my current and previous models makes me not quite Neanderthal man but bordering on Homo Habilis, this cheapo 'Blackberrious lookalikicus' model all the budget can muster these days.
I now have three handsets, one for work, one for play and one for formal. I feel like a drug dealer with my throw away phones. The worse of it, of course, is that the rare metals required to make mobile phones work are mostly obtained in West Africa and China through forced and child labor, mines run by local militia and government troops, those African countries corrupt leaders backed by the west to keep those metals coming at a good price. When we give Rwanda £15 million a year aid money its not to help the poor there but to subsidize the neighboring Congolese militia President Kagame is running in those mining areas, a nasty business.
Mobiles date very quickly and some of us still have what are considered embarrassing handsets today. But I really don't care how uncool my phone is. A mobile phone is to make texts and phone calls on the move, end of. How many people actually make calls on them anyway on PAYG sims? All new phones have internet although again expensive to use and no real reason to connect to the internet when you are on the move if you are normal consumer and so just the basic internet here enough. Ok, sending a photo of you in Nando's with your mates may feel groovy but do your other friends really want to see that on Facebook when they are not invited? As far as I'm concerned most browsers on these newfangled 'widescreen' phones are being used by schoolboys and sales reps, not to improve their mobile experience but to look at porn.
Oh, the phone. Well it's a blatant Blackberry lookalike, as I said and cost £ 14 (reduced from £15!) on Amazon and came with a battery, a Vodafone simcard, a charger and the various wires. Technology races on so quick that this bottom end stuff today would have been top end stuff just five years ago and cost £200 quid. I have already had an issue with the phone locking me out and had to take the battery out to get it working again, the space bar release for the automatic keyboard lock not reliable.
It's a decent size screen (3x3) for the non IPod style phones and the QWERTY leyboard a big help with emails and texts. I hate that lag when you have to press the key a number of times to find a letter and then you press that same letter again, or an obscure winding, to bugger your text message and so this one an emancipating experience.
Its nice and light and back pocket size although, like I said, the keyboard sensitive to touch and may switch on in your pocket. Its Opera mini browsing and the screen supports Facebook, this cheapest phone on the market that has that spec so another selling point. A purchase of a micro SG card option allows you to download and play music files, whilst the camera is a basic VGA and good for boozy pub snaps and holiday giggles. The phone really is very basic compared to others and doesn't include any free games. It has a specific file to store all your in and out going emails, which is a useful touch, the Blackberry bit, and all the other stuff you would expect on a basic phone with a colorful desktop to explore them.
It's a genuine Vodafone cell so you have to use that network. It's 50p an hour to browse the net and 12p per text. Call coasts are high on PAYG whatever network you use. If you are going to want to make calls it has to be a contract phone thee days.
On the whole it looks pretty good and with a 560 hour standby and 7 hour call window on the full battery and so it's good for transit if you lose your charger. It's nice and thin and with a three inch square window you get good visibility of your emails and browsing. If you prefer the touch screen 345 versions it will only set you back another twenty quid.