While sorting out boxes of stuff hidden away in a cupboard (so I’d have less pointless stuff to carry around when we move house), I came across some of my old mobile phones.
Exactly why I kept them I’m not sure, but I tend to find it difficult to throw old hardware away in general. I have a whole drawer of old ISA cards that I need to sort out later.
About the only reason to keep stuff like this is to laugh at it years later:
My first mobile phone, which I got in late 1999/early 2000 I think. It’s definitely a ‘brick’ phone, being shaped exactly like one only slightly bigger and less useful for contacting your friends. It has a three-line block character display so the most graphical part of the menus was an arrow character indicating where you could scroll. I remember two things in particular about this phone: it was very very slow and the way the battery clipped on the back meant pulling it out of your pocket could cut the power (before it had saved a record of who the incoming call was from).
This was my second phone which I got in mid-2000. It’s a slide phone, a bit like the one used by Neo in The Matrix. It has a little silver button on the back which where your finger rests which makes the slide jump open. They were renowned for breaking, particularly if you let your friends play with them. The other gimmick of this phone was the roller control, which worked like a scroll wheel on a mouse. It was ok, although I think it was easy to accidentally scroll and select the item either side of what you actually wanted when you tried to click. There were a couple of scrollwheel-based games on it but nothing amazing. It was also a bit slow, but was my first phone with predictive text.
Skip forward a couple of handsets (a Nokia 6230 which was awesome and a Sony Z7 which was shit) and we arrive at the Nokia 6820. I could never actually remember this phone’s model number and even now found it so unmemorable that I had to look under the battery three times. It was a pretty neat phone though, which swung open (and rotated 90 degrees) to give a split QWERTY keyboard for writing texts. It was marketed as a business phone but the mobile browser on it was so rubbish I think they’d have been better sticking to branding it a phone for people who send a lot of SMSes. The QWERTY keyboard worked really well but the phone was let down by a display that was slow to update (very Dual scan) and was set about half a centimeter back from the plastic case which was a bit weird.
All these phones have finally been consigned to the bin having at last served the purpose I probably kept them for – nostalgia.