Monday, March 11, 2013

Going Low Tech With The Cellphone

From this...
to this.

          Well no, not really. When I bought my first Android cell phone two years ago (I know, I know, I'm late in the smart phone game), I was very underwhelmed with its battery life. This after getting used to phones which lasted for days before requiring a recharge. I was using Virgin Mobile prepaid service then but since moved to AT&T last year after returning from the Philippines, because I was already using an unlocked phone there. Since AT&T runs on the GSM network, I couldn't use my Virgin Mobile CDMA phone. The battery of the new Android phone I got wasn't any better, so last week I downgraded to a non-smart phone. After all, I didn't have a data plan and wasn't using the internet on the Android phone anyway. I use the tablet for that.

          I managed to get a very good deal on the Blackberry style phone which was on sale for $29.99 at Radio Shack. The original price on the AT&T website was 39.99. A few days after it went on sale at the brick and mortar store, AT&T matched the price. I went to Radio Shack to pick one up and was pleasantly suprised when the cashier rang up my purchase and told me it was $19.99 (plus tax). Apparently, when AT&T matched the store price, the store included a $10.00 rebate to their already sale price. For me, that's like hitting a home run or a hole in one as far as bargain shopping goes!

          First, if there is anything I can complain about regarding this phone, it is that it's locked. But since I had already used a similar unlocked phone while I was in the Philippines, I was already familiar with its functions so it was not a steep learning curve. All I had to do was move the SIM card from the Android phone then set everything up to my taste and that was all there was to it. The new phone has one function that I didn't expect though. Normally, when you turn the power off with any cell phone, the alarm clock doesn't go off. With this one, it does, much to my consternation the first night I used the phone. I was already drifting off to sleep when the alarm went off at 11:30 p.m.! Well, I had set the alarm to go off at that time and at midnight because that was the time I usually clock out and in for lunch at work. I had to turn on the phone and turn off the alarms that first night. Now I have to remind myself to turn them on during the nights that I work and turn them off on the nights I don't.

          So what other reasons did I buy the phone aside from the longer battery life? It has the usual mp3 player, camera, and camcorder or course, but it also had a built in FM radio and flashlight function. When I am doing my what used to be runs which are now walks outdoors, I like listening to the radio, so I usually have my cell phone plus a separate HD radio with me. With the new phone, I can now eliminate a device. The FM radio had a surprisingly good reception when I went out for an hour and half walk one morning. Almost as good as the HD radio. The flashlight, I can use at work when I check on patients in their dark rooms. So by and large, I like my downgraded phone a lot even without a touch screen. It's a lot of phone for less than 20 bucks and it's the cheapest cell phone I've ever bought!
My dumbed down phone

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