I mean, you have a look at any catalogue and it’s plainly disgusting. Instead of making more attractive phones, they are just more horrible with each new generation, while maintaining the same ultra-abusive tariffs which could also be referred to as complete rip-off, honestly.
We started with the Brick generation. Those phones were ugly as hell but we had faith in them. We could speak from (almost) anywhere with our friends. Hey!!! I’m in the beach!!! I’m not calling you from a cabin! I’m calling you from MY OWN MOBILE PHONE!! Isn’t it amazing YAY!
Then the WAP shit began. With WAP you’ll be able to access an infinite world of possibilities, they said. Bollocks! I always deactivated it (set the server to 0.0.0.0). What’s the point of browsing a slow connection in a 4 line screen, when there wasn’t anything interesting to browse. Unless you’re interested in 20 word descriptions of horoscopes, weather, lottery and irrelevant stuff like that, which can be checked in just 1 minute with your local free newspaper. Instead, the phone companies used to charge something like 1 euro just for the connection. God knows what else would follow, should you continue connected1.
As WAP wasn’t attractive at all -even if they tried to promote it until our ears poured blood in agony, they decided to spend insane amounts of money into getting licenses which would allow us to watch crap videoclips in small minuscule screens with a terrible sound system. This has only led to those stupid chavs in the buses and tubes listening to their pathethic black and bling music2, while us the rest of the passengers try to decide between leaving the bus/tube in the next stop, stamping their damn phone on their self-complacent faces, killing them or killing ourselves instead.
In the meantime, how’s the design gone? In a disastrous way. My third phone reached the best mark. It was a samsung which just weighed 96g, was small and handy. But one day it decided to act awkwardly and add strange noises to my conversations. But only when sending voice, so I heard the others perfectly, but they might think I was using one of those devices for altering voices so that it isn’t recognized.
Then I got another samsung which is slightly smaller but heavier. But hey, it has camera and can record sounds. But no Bluetooth or normal cable. Because you know, vendors love to create incompatible interfaces and their own standards, and don’t even dream of connecting it with a Mac, which is not using a normal operating system such as Windows.
Not that I bought it because it had camera or voice recorder. I bought it because it was the less ugly of the catalogue. And I wanted to try a shell phone; with regards to that, I would say that’s the worst idea since the creation of 3G. Mobile phone designers seem slightly retarded on this: while any other microdevices vendor is aiming at reducing the number of mobile parts, they go and add a cover to a phone, so that you need to open the cover each time you need to use the phone. That might be a lot of times a day (unless you’re me, obviously3). Maybe they thought it was fashionable to emulate laptops’ design.
Who knows! Who can understand people which think is a good idea to do offer entire line ranges in shiny pale pink, even with fake jewelery to imitate high end devices like those which feature real diamonds (and why would you want to have diamonds in a phone!!!? aaah!!). They could stick a (Bling) Barbie lifestyle on them and it would feel very appropriate, certainly.
And then they extortionate consumers which want to use mobile phones for their very purpose – mobility. Have you looked at the prices for internet connectivity? I just had a look at the prices for Spain. I felt outraged. The cheapest option is to sign up for a monthly flat rate of €39. But it’s not that flat. For those €39 you are just allowed to download ONE GIGABYTE. Should you exceed that, you will be charged 20€ per extra Gb.
That’s for the monthly option, which feels like been robbed already. But don’t get angry yet. If you happen to be an occasional visitor in Spain like me you would choose a per volume plan. Are you ready? 0.5€ per session. “Session” means 256kb of transmitted data (not sure if they mean up or downloaded data). So it means paying 2€ per Megabyte. I don’t want to think of downloading a Gigabyte.
I really doubt it is that expensive for them to provide that service. Obviously they are making their customers pay for all the inversions they did on those super 3G networks. But the worst is that kind of super-artificial marketing powered insane necessity they create. Just have a look at their imagery – it’s all about connecting with your friends, your family, your loved ones. Because obviously you need to have one zillion friends and send them one hundred messages per hour to demonstrate them how much you love them, chat with them in real time describing the most anodyne and insignificant events of your life (twitter anyone4?), and even more, have 0.5fps videocalls which sound worse than 2-bit synthesized sounds.
So when you approach this whole business looking for a normal solution to a normal problem (a mobile phone which also allows you to connect your mobile computer if you happen to need to check your email etc) and find this house of robbers, you end up as frustrated as me each time I have the feeling my phone is not working as it should5 and I might need to replace it.
I am so terrified.
I mean it.
1 I have no idea. Just know about the euro because the designers of my phone decided it would be a very good idea to have a one-click-connect button, and I clicked it accidentally, until I discovered how to deactivate WAP using brute force.
2 And what about the ohm ohm yo yo brotha ooooooooh yeah yeah yeah ohm ohm embarrassing lack of musical/vocal resources? I wouldn’t be so annoyed at this style if it hadn’t been brought to my attention. Otherwise, I would just have ignored it.
3 I can spend several days without turning the phone on, and even more, without noticing it’s off.
4 Maybe the reason twitter is not that famous here in Europe (for mobile phone) is because of these data rates!
5 I didn’t tell you about its tendency to get hung. You turn it on and expect it to be ok after you enter the pin. Instead it freezes there… and I have to disconnect the battery so that it really turns off. And more funnily, it shoots pictures by itself. A pity it just happens when it’s on my bag, so they are really dark and boring pics. In other case I would use it as the source for a daily photolog. Well, if only I could find a cable which worked with mac. HA HA HA. Mobile phones suck.