Phone upgrades – Android, Apple or Windows Phone?

I looked at my watch. 9.15pm and no sign of The Boy. His mobile phone was upstairs, on his desk and he was down the road at his friend’s house.

No problem. I fired up FaceTime and gave him a call on his iPod,

“Time to head back up home,” I said.

“What? Oh, right,” he replied. I watched him on the screen as he walked down the stairs, shouted goodbye to his mates and started up the street.

Technology is astonishing, isn’t it? Here I am, with a slab of plastic, glass and other assorted bits, holding a video call with my son’s slightly smaller slab of plastic, glass and other assorted bits halfway down the street. He could have been halfway around the world and we’d have had much the same experience. My magic slab talked to a box in the corner of the dining room, which sent a message via various wires & cables to a phone exchange then on to a box in the corner of their dining room and finally, to his magic slab.

It still staggers me that this actually works. It’s like Star Trek. But, more of that in another post.

Roll back earlier in the day. I’ve been looking at new phones as my 2-year phone contract is nearly up for renewal. I think I’ve pretty much decided which one I’m going to get, and this prompted a discussion amongst colleagues about our first mobile phones.

Mine was back in… 1996? A Nokia 1610, if memory serves.

Nokia 1610
Nokia 1610 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It was a beast compared to today’s shiny magic slabs. It made phone calls, and I’m not entirely sure it did text messaging. Mobiles were starting to gain in popularity, and it was a *huge* event to get your first phone. Even if you had to carry it round in a bag rather than in your pocket.

I graduated from that to a Motorola StarTAC, beloved of Fox Mulder from the X-Files. The epitome of cool.

Oh yes it was. Shush. 🙂

Various phones came and went, usually of the Nokia variety. I’ve still got some of the handsets, though they’ve been relegated to the kids’ bedrooms as toys. I had a brief (ok, 2-year) dalliance with a Blackberry Pearl (which I’ve just about recovered from) before going Android with the wonderfully chinny (and stupidly-named) HTC Hero.

English: HTC Hero
English: HTC Hero (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I loved that phone, with its nobbly little trackball and jutty chin. I moved on from that to my current phone, the HTC Desire S.

Seriously, HTC. What is it with you and daft phone names?

It’s served me well, but it’s time for an upgrade. I had a prod at a Nokia 820 and 920 for old time’s sake, but whilst Windows Phone is all pretty and tiley, it didn’t seem… enough to tempt me away from Android. The Nexus 4 similarly caught my eye, but lack of expandable storage was a big no-no. IPhones are lovely and shiny but still daft prices on a contract even for the iPhone 4. 

So, come July I think I’m going for the Samsung S3. That said, there are still a couple of weeks until I can upgrade, so anything can happen… 

Phones

Seen on the news this morning: Nokia’s £13 phone with a battery that lasts a month

Finnish smartphone maker Nokia has launched a budget mobile that costs less than a cheap rubber smartphone case – and has a battery that lasts one month per charge.

An interesting idea from our Finnish friends. The trend has been for bigger and bigger smartphones that do any and everything, but here’s the Nokia 105, a phone that’s dirt cheap and with a battery life that actually makes sense.

My current phone is a two year old HTC Desire S, and the battery lasts maybe a couple of days if I’m *really* careful and switch off 3G, turn the screen brightness down and only use it occasionally. In regular daily use the battery is down to 10% by bedtime, and it lives on my desk plugged into a USB lead to make it through the day. I’m a fairly heavy user of it though, checking Twitter and emails regularly (yes, and Facebook from time to time). I also watch video on my phone on my commute, read books on the kindle app, check train times etc.

I’m due an upgrade on my current contract in July, and have spent some time looking at the latest & greatest smartphones. I quite like the look of the HTC One X and the Nexus 4, but both are *massive* phones, verging on the mini-tablet. I’m not sure my pockets could cope! And I bet battery life hasn’t improved – bigger screen + faster processor…

So, would I swap out my beloved always-connected HTC for a Nokia candybar phone?

I have to say that I’m tempted. Simplicity of use + a long long battery life sound very appealing…