Science and technology
Friday, 3 October, 2014 - 13:11
My £7 smartphone
So last week I finally gave in to the world of smartphone dominance and ordered a Samsung Galaxy S4 and I reluctantly parted with my £7 basic Nokia phone which had served me well for the best part of my second year at university.
For all its simplicity and limited functions, I had grown rather attached to my little brick-like Nokia. People stared at it when I had it out during lectures and when I needed to use it at parties. It boasted one of the best games ever known in gaming history, a game called Snake which was arguably its most appealing feature. I joked about how the battery would last for days, about how I had left it unattended once in the gym before casually walking back to collect it, not to mention the way it would completely fall apart when dropped on the floor, always with the screen completely intact.
Amid the expensive iPhones and the latest touchscreen devices, my little phone really held its own. I could walk down the street in the studenty area of Leeds (where the threats of mugging and burglaries are higher than the national average) without fear of texting whilst walking. A mugger could have my Nokia if they wished. The price I and they would pay for an interesting encounter would cost far less than your average restaurant meal.
The biggest thing I noticed when I did have my 'retro' (as some of my friends described it) Nokia was that it restricted one particular habit that most students loathe – procrastination. Whenever I used public transport, commuters, teenagers, students, and even a significant proportion of elderly people would be enclosed in their own little world on their smartphones, immersed in trying to beat their latest Flappy Bird score, scrolling unnecessarily down a social media feed because they had only seen it minutes earlier. The number of people actually making phone calls was at an all-time low.
With the luxury of one of the latest Android smartphones, I now have the world of Snapchat, games and a whole load of other apps to explore. For all the clever technology they employ, and determining by how much I have already used the former, I cannot help but see them as future enemies of individual productivity.
So upon reflection, I can't criticise my Nokia. Okay, the signal was occasionally bad in receiving text messages and my inbox had a capacity of about 30 messages. Aside from that, I couldn't over-rely on social media sites and the fact that no one would want to steal it made me feel almost … grateful, for the simplicity of such a smart thing.