In Past Tense: The story of Paul’s telephones #Toronto #Montreal #Calgary #Ottawa #Canada


In Past Tense is our collection of articles wherein GSMArena veterans take you on a nostalgia-infused experience by way of the years.

Hi, I’m Paul, the veteran right here at GSMArena Towers and my journey takes us on a barely longer observe when in comparison with earlier installments on this collection.

Before proudly owning my first cell phone I had entry to 1 by way of the UK firm I labored for, and I’ve racked my brains, however for the lifetime of me, I am unable to keep in mind what make or mannequin it was. What I do keep in mind although is pranking my pals, I used to name them up whereas stood exterior their home, pretending I used to be at house after which ringing their doorbell seconds after hanging up. Remember, this was within the late’80s when no-one had a cell phone or YouTube – guess you needed to be there.

To help me in writing this text I jotted down all of the telephones I’ve beforehand owned to assist map out my journey, so I’ll take the chance to share an abridged model with you.

Abridged version of Paul's phones and consumer electronics

Abridged model of my telephones and client electronics

It could be a number of years earlier than I felt that I wanted to personal a cell phone. In 1996, Nokia launched the Nokia 1610 (too previous even for the GSMArena Database – come on guys), its second consumer-focused cell phone after the Nokia 2010, and that is what I bought.

The decision-making course of? Well there wasn’t one. I wanted a telephone and the Nokia made calls which was its ‘killer app’. That was obtainable in a single colour solely, in order that was that. No totally different to purchasing quite a few different ‘white’ items – fairly rattling simple and now I used to be the proud proprietor of a classy and cutting-edge cellular.

The shock function was the quick message service (SMS) which I attempted to make use of, nevertheless it was a one-way dialog on account of a number of limitations. Initially, you would solely ship messages to different customers on the identical community; not all telephones supported SMS – Nokia was one of many first; and typing out a message was painful as predictive textual content would come later. Fun truth – in 1995 customers would common 0.Four messages per GSM buyer per 30 days!

Mobile telephones have been on the cusp of turning into trend objects at this juncture, however they weren’t fairly there but. And as they did not have the mass of performance that we have come to count on at this time, my choice standards over the subsequent few years have been easy – to get the scale and weight down. Within purpose, as I’m a fairly model loyal man, and so my next few telephones have been all Nokias.

Nokia 6110
Nokia 8210

Nokia 1610 • Nokia 6110 • Nokia 8210

In the late 1990’s Nokia pushed the cell phone as trend objects, striving to make the ‘ugly’ exterior antenna a factor of the previous and providing Xpress-on covers to alter the colour of the telephone. Such was their conviction, Nokia collaborated with the Kenzo trend home on the Nokia 8210 which launched in the course of the Paris Fashion week in ’99.

Pitched as a ‘cool’ client telephone on the premium worth of £250 and at 79 g (2.79 oz), the lightest within the Nokia vary, it was good for me. Of course, given the scale, there was the anticipated commerce off on battery life providing circa 60% that of the Nokia 3310. With predictive textual content, abruptly composing an SMS turned rather more handy and I keep in mind notably liking the power to shortly change between profiles to place the telephone on vibrate when in conferences or make the ringer louder when in a bar.

At the time I bought the Nokia 8210 I used to be utilizing Palm’s Personal Digital Assistants (PDA’s) for holding my private data. My one overriding thought on the time was ‘I want my Palm would ring’ – I did not wish to carry two gadgets round with me.

In 2000 I used to be issued with the compulsory Nokia 6210 by way of work. You would go right into a administration assembly, and everybody would take out their mobiles – all Nokia 6210’s – and place them on the desk. Oh, the company life. The firm even put in a cradle automobile equipment in my automobile.

As this cradle solely fitted the Nokia 6210 and its future siblings, I used to be tied in and upgraded to the Nokia 6310 adopted by the Nokia 6310i. While not thrilling or modern telephones, they have been bullet-proof and survived fixed drops. During this time although I used to be nonetheless utilizing the Nokia 8210 as my private driver.

Nokia 6210
Nokia 6310
Nokia 6310i

Nokia 6210 • Nokia 6310 • Nokia 6310i • Nokia Car Kit

During this explicit improve cycle Bluetooth appeared on the scene and I started experimenting with attempting to sync gadgets through that. Yet, within the early days of Bluetooth, producers had issues in making their gadgets appropriate with each other, leaving me very pissed off.

In 2002 I believed I’d solved my drawback of getting one system when Sony Ericsson launched the pioneering P800. It adopted a crafty answer by combing a resistive touchscreen that was half coated with a flip-down keypad. When the keypad was up, the keys would press on the display screen to function in a extra standard function telephone method. Flip the keypad down, and also you had the entire 2.9″ colour display screen to work together with.

While this may occasionally have been the height of expertise again then, and I do know many individuals have fond reminiscences of this system – for me, it merely did not work. It was a mix of many issues, it simply wasn’t intuitive, and as a result of nature of the resistive touchscreen, it took an effort to make use of. When the keypad was over the display screen you needed to press more durable for a keypress to register so in ‘function telephone’ mode it pissed off.

Compared to the PDA’s that I used to be utilizing presently, it felt too compromised. I endured it for per week after which despatched it again. Looking again although, we mustn’t lose sight of the affect that gadgets like that had on the tech panorama.

Sony Ericsson P800

Sony Ericsson P800

Then in 2003, our son was born, and with him got here each father or mother’s overriding need to {photograph} and video each waking, and sleeping second of his existence. So we might take advantage of this digital existence we jumped ship again to Apple Macs, particularly the newly introduced 17″ sunflower iMac and a 17″ PowerBook.

1 week previous and one of many many photographs and movies we might go on to take

I point out the Macs as a result of they largely influenced how I’d choose my telephones transferring ahead. Apple OS X (that is what macOS was often called again then) had a built-in syncing service/utility referred to as, you guessed it, iSync. Enabling the syncing of information throughout a number of gadgets, whereas not with out its points, shortly improved over time additional cementing the Mac as our digital hub.

Next up, the Sony Ericsson T610, which was for me the religious successor to my Nokia 8210. Near equivalent in peak and width and just one.6 millimeters thicker. Apart from the short-lived P800, this was my first long-term telephone with a colour display screen. This was additionally the primary telephone that I used to entry the web through WAP and Email.

While usable, the pace limitations ensured that I hardly ever used these besides in circumstances the place the telephone was the one system I had, even then I can keep in mind typically giving up midway by way of.

Sony Ericsson T610

17″ G4 iMac • Apple iSync • Sony Ericsson T610

Importantly, it synced flawlessly with the Mac through iSync as talked about earlier. I additionally used a utility from Salling Software referred to as Salling Clickerwhich allowed me to regulate our Macs from the telephone. I used it to regulate each my laptop computer for Keynote/PowerPoint shows and when at house with iTunes that held our whole music assortment on the iMac that I’d plumbed into the ceiling mounted audio system round the home.

Time to get emotional

Up up to now, my telephone choice was based mostly purely on chilly specs, no telephones up up to now had elicited an emotional response. That was about to alter.

Motorola introduced the RAZR V3 and wowed me. Quoting Wayne’s World – ‘It might be mine. Oh sure. It might be mine.’ This was the primary telephone that I’d purchase off contract at £500, I needed, no, wanted it that a lot.

The use of plane grade aluminum felt nice, instantly making this stand out from the gang and when opened the backlit keys mixed with the two.2″ TFT display screen made this really feel like a telephone from the longer term. It turned a positive factor as soon as I found that it might match proper into my Apple eco-system. I linked the RAZR to the Mac through Bluetooth, and all the pieces was squirted down. Also, the launch fashions got here in an aluminum presentation field with a leather-based case and all of the equipment you would ask for. Being trustworthy, the person interface was poor, however I endured for these seems alone.

Motorola RAZR V3

Motorola RAZR V3 • Aluminum packaging for the RAZR V3

When I made the change to digital pictures, I adopted the Minolta Dimage X. Like the RAZR it was clad in aluminum and featured an inner telescopic lens in a periscope association, very cool and really small. This was, as well as, the Panasonic GS5 camcorder that we used for video. Therefore when the Minolta Dimage Xt got here alongside, I instantly upgraded, giving me an entire 3.2 megapixels to play inside the identical compact physique.

I point out the cameras since when in 2006 Sony Ericcson launched the Okay800i with a 3.15 megapixel digital camera I instantly went out and bought one, one much less factor to hold round on household journeys. While I attempted to make use of the Okay800i as my each day driver, I wasn’t that proud of the scale or the image high quality when in comparison with the Dimage Xt, and so I typically discovered myself swapping my SIM card again into the RAZR.

Sony Ericsson K800

Sony Ericsson Okay800

Sticking with my most popular small telephone measurement and flip telephone format, I then bought the RAZR2 V8. Yes, the digital camera was not good, however at this level, my digital digital camera was a Fuji Finepix F40d, and no telephone got here even shut.

For me, the milestone with the RAZR2 was that I might play, albeit a small number of, music on it. It did not sound pretty much as good as my 4th Generation iPod on the time however nonetheless it meant that I left my iPod at house on extra events.

Motorola RAZR2 V8

Motorola RAZR2 V8

The iPhone period

Being the Apple fanboy I used to be, in 2007 at Macworld when Steve Jobs launched the iPhone, I knew that at one level I’d personal one, however not this one. The 2 megapixel digital camera definitely did not impress, iOS (it wasn’t referred to as that initially) whereas achieved, lacked a number of key options (for instance MMS) and the shortage of 3G was a dealbreaker for me. However, I did get a big quantity of hands-on expertise with the primary era iPhone as my spouse bought one instantly for her enterprise.


Up till this juncture I had tried to merge a lot of my client digital objects and failed. So right here I used to be in 2008 actively utilizing;

  • Motorola RAZR2 V8
  • Apple 4th Generation iPod
  • Sony PSP – ‘backed up’ my DVD’s to play when touring or vacation
  • Nikon D300 DSLR digital camera
  • FUJIFILM FinePix F40fd for stills and video
  • TomTom Sat Nav

And whereas all of the above built-in completely with the Mac I nonetheless longed for the day when the standard telephone would consign a few of these objects to the historical past books.

Hence, I discovered myself queuing exterior an O2 retailer ready to select up a 16GB iPhone 3G that I’d reserved, with that very same pleasure that I felt after I bought the primary Motorola RAZR.

Yes, the design was ‘muted’ with its black plastic again when in comparison with my wives unique aluminum-clad iPhone, however non the much less it was a pleasure to make use of because it bought a lot proper. Literally, in a single day, I used to be utilizing my iPod and PSP considerably much less as I might now have a significant quantity of my music and media on the one system.

Visual Voicemail was a recreation changer, and I’m nonetheless shocked that every one carriers did not invested to help it – an indication that ‘making calls’ appears to now not be the killer function it as soon as was. The identical might be utilized to VoLTE, Wi-Fi calling and extra not too long ago Voicemail transcription companies.

Apple iPhone 3G
Visual Voicemail and Transcription in iOS

My first iPhone – the iPhone 3G • Visual Voicemail at this time and Transcription in iOS

And so considerably predictably, I plunged additional into the Apple eco-system (From iTools in 2003 by way of to iCloud at this time) and future iDevices. I had managed by way of luck to get a telephone tariff with limitless all the pieces at an awesome worth. So from that time onwards I’d purchase my iPhones outright, cascade my previous one to my son and promote his – and so the cycle went.

As I take pleasure in consuming media, the very last thing I needed was white bezels to detract from the general experiences (private factor and possibly one for a Sunday Debate). For me, bezels ought to mix in and never stand out, therefore why each iPhone I’ve ever bought was both area grey or black.

Apple iPhone 4
Apple iPhone 4s
Apple iPhone 5
Apple iPhone 5s

Apple iPhone 4 • Apple iPhone 4s • Apple iPhone 5 • Apple iPhone 5s

Career clever, I designed and manufactured interactive touchscreen methods and digital signage. With the arrival of the iPhone and the following launch of Android, each Apple and Google have been, in impact, coaching customers easy methods to use touchscreens.

Hence I had to make sure that we did not go in opposition to what the populace was turning into accustomed to and the place attainable stand on their shoulders. To support in my understanding, this resulted in me buying my first Android telephone in 2010 – the unique HTC Desire.

HTC Desire

HTC Desire

The HTC Desire’s construct high quality was left wanting when in comparison with the iPhone 4’s glass and metallic development, however for a predominantly plastic development, it nonetheless impressed. You might develop its storage through microSD playing cards (nonetheless grates me that Apple expenses a lot for storage) and its display screen high quality with its AMOLED show, even with its decrease pixel rely, was mightily spectacular even in comparison with the iPhone 4’s Retina Display. Android was a refreshing various to iOS with its house display screen widgets and extra open/versatile method.

Jumping forward, by the point I had the iPhone 5s in my arms, I had attuned myself to Apple’s tick-tock design cycle. An totally new design each two years with what amounted to an inner improve in between. That was about to alter although with the introduction of the iPhone 6.

I had to decide on what measurement telephone I needed, the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus. It was a thought-about selection. I’m not a small man however the bigger screened gadgets on the time appeared, properly, simply too large. Carrying a bigger telephone round in a swimsuit jacket pocket additionally did not attraction. Technically, the bigger iPhone 6 Plus had Optical Image Stabilization and a extra vital battery. I performed it protected and went with the iPhone 6 and did not remorse it.

The iPhone 6 additionally launched Apple Pay. While it took some time to get absolutely supported by my UK financial institution, as soon as obtainable I shortly tailored to not having to take my pockets with me in all places – particularly in coffeshops and bars.

When the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus have been introduced I discovered that I had to make use of studying glasses as a rule so the bigger display screen appealed, and the iPhone 6s Plus it was.

Apple iPhone 6
Apple iPhone 6s Plus
Apple iPhone 8 Plus

Apple iPhone 6 • Apple iPhone 6s Plus • Apple iPhone 8 Plus

I skipped the iPhone 7 utterly. Nothing new design clever and the efficiency of the iPhone 6s Plus (CPU throttling apart) was ok. When at house, 99% of the time I take advantage of an iPad.

Everyone assumed that when the iPhone X got here out, I’d hop aboard. I’ve coated a few of my causes right herehowever suffice to say it is not for me.

The cash I saved not going with the iPhone X went in the direction of upgrading to a 256GB iPhone 8 Plus and being trustworthy, if it wasn’t for work, I could properly have caught with my iPhone 6s Plus (with £29 battery alternative) operating iOS 11 for some time longer.

Miscellaneous telephones

Throughout the years I’ve procured quite a few telephones for very particular area of interest causes with out caring what eco-system they function in. There was a time when each weekend I’d be out within the nice open air, and I needed a extra rugged telephone – step up the brand new on the time Nokia 5100. Other instances, I’d use a less expensive telephone to be used within the gymnasium to log my exercises, early Motorola G & E collection.

Nokia 5100
Motorola Moto E
Motorola Moto G 4G

Nokia 5100 • Motorola Moto E • Motorola Moto G 4G

What’s subsequent?

Looking again, not solely has the smartphone consolidated a lot of these client digital gadgets that I used to lug round nevertheless it has enabled a lot extra. I at present put on a Garmin Fenix 5 watch which is made all of the extra accessible and configurable by way of my smartphone. I can stream music both through Bluetooth or AirPlay to varied audio system in each room in the home and automate my house. All cost-effectively and simplistically.

So there you’ve got it, an abridged model of my telephone historical past. In the final ten years, buying iPhones was a given, plus it helped that I used to be getting a dependable OS mixed with nice {hardware} and design. I do not really feel that would be the case for my subsequent telephone although. iOS is now not the shining mild it as soon as was (iOS 11 has underwhelmed) and we’re awash with telephones manufactured to the identical high quality as iDevices, with many even exceeding them.

The solely factor that stops me ‘switching’ to my two most popular Android telephones, the Samsung Galaxy S9+ or Pixel 2 XL, is my aforementioned tie-in to Apple’s companies and eco-system. We have an Apple Music Family Plan and the final time I checked, Apple Music on Android was poor – deliberately maybe?

We use ‘Find My Friends’ exhaustively, and whereas my iTunes film purchases are predominantly watched through the Apple TV, I’d now not be capable of view them on my telephone. While sharing photographs and different stuff between us is made accessible through airdrop and sharing Apple picture albums.

So for the right here and now, Apple it’s and I’m reserving judgment till the 2018 iPhones are introduced. In the background, I’ll be devoting extra time wanting into workarounds for the above and convincing the remainder of the household to make use of them, simply in time for Andy Rubin to launch the Essential 2 maybe.

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Jean Ricks


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