Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Gallery to Ghetto

Back in December of 2006, I happened to notice that my friend Keith had purchased a new cell phone from T-Mobile. He said it was a "Smartphone". I didn't know at the time what that was, but I was intrigued by the pretty little Windows display and the full keyboard. My tiny Samsung was getting a little flaky, so I decided that it was time to go shopping.

After some online research and a few in-store visits, I settled on the Cingular (pre AT&T) 3125 Smartphone, which was billed as the first Windows Smartphone in a flip-phone format. I had read several online reviews of the 3125, and one in particular caught my eye. When the designers of the phone were asked about its unique appearance, one of them said:

Besides thinness, we wanted to really create a sexy device that would fit in at a gallery opening as it would a board room, to show that smart devices need not sacrifice form for function.

Well, what could be better than that?

I purchased the phone, went back to the office, and showed it to Keith the next day. He was impressed by its compact size and clear display, but when I pointed out the article I had read, he was amused by the phrase "gallery opening" as it pertained to the phone. Keith immediately declared that he had been outclassed in phones, since his phone was, in his words, not suitable for a gallery opening.

Things went along quite well for about a year, until my 3125 began to exhibit some rather strange behavior. The first feature to falter was the keypad backlight, important for making phone calls at night or inside some buildings. Then I noticed that at certain times, all sent email messages would disappear. Finally came a battery cover issue, in which the cover would loosen and the phone would reboot itself (being a Windows device, this is to be expected).

At any rate, it soon became necessary to place a piece of tape on the back of the 3125 to hold the battery cover on and to prevent missed calls. And actually, that's where things stand now: the phone has gone from gallery to ghetto, although not quite all the way to ghetto, at least as long as the tape holds.

Of course, Keith's phone is humming away just like the day he bought it. I think that with a little polish here and there, he can take it to a gallery opening. My phone, least I'm using invisible tape.