Thursday, 28 January 2016

Un-smart phone...

It was a mistake. I bought a fancy smartphone, without considering how much power it would need. Whenever I tried to use the damn thing, it would need re-charging. In the Romahome this isn’t just a matter of plugging it into a socket. Electrical power is a finite resource, and I often have to prioritise. If I’m writing, I have to charge up the laptop; if I’m photographing I have to charge up the camera battery. And, for my own peace of mind, I like to keep my little DAB radio charged up. Without a TV (by choice), the radio is my ‘window on the world’. So there never seemed to be a convenient moment to charge the phone; charging took a long time, and it would need charging again before the day was out. This is the downside of having a powerful, pocket-sized computer that, almost by accident, also made phone calls.

So I looked around for a lo-spec replacement phone, the simpler the better. I settled on a Doro PhoneEasy 508, which is seemingly aimed at the ‘silly old duffer’ market. The buttons are big, the ‘features’ are few and there's a button on the back for emergencies (once I’ve entered a few numbers into the phone’s memory). If I press this button for a couple of seconds, the phone will ring the numbers in turn until it gets a response. If I’m out in the wilds, with my leg bent at an improbable angle, this could be a literal life-saver.

I charged the phone up yesterday, to see how long it would last on one charge. After a day, there are still five ‘bars’ on the little screen, which suggests I won’t need to think about charging it again for a few more days. A week on one charge would be perfect.

I’ve cancelled my contract - with 3 - and gone back to a simple ‘pay as you go’ deal with Vodaphone. They always seemed to have the best coverage, in the out-of-the-way places I like to visit. The ‘phone experience’ is like going back ten years, and I’ll be able to top up at an ATM. I feel good about the new phone. My smart phone was too noisy, too distracting, too demanding, too power-hungry; it will be going on eBay shortly…

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