Over many years, there have been many portable electronics (mobile phone, PDA, tablet, and laptops) that I’ve used, some briefly, some for a much longer time. Here they are with my thoughts on how I felt using them.
Motorola Startac (1998)
Free, a gift from my uncle’s boss. I somehow managed to block the phone after 1 day of usage with 3 wrong PINs and 10 wrong PUKs. Needless to say, I got an earful from my uncle that day.
Nokia 6150 (1999-2001)
$650 I think. Bought during first year in NTU. Was a great phone, size was great for its time. That sticking antenna is a pain sometimes, and after prolonged usage, the blue paint job has peeled off bit by bit.
Motorola v3688 (1999)
$700 if I remember correctly. Bought this for my dad. Lost it in SBS bus on the first week. Picked up by a girl who returned it to me few hours later. Was super grateful that day. I passed this phone to my dad a few weeks later when I met him, and the next time I saw this phone again a few years later, it was already broken in two pieces, courtesy of my first niece who didn’t understand yet that the phone can only be closed in one direction, not the other.
Nokia 8250 (Feb 2001-July 2003)
The very first handphone with blue LCD screen and it was brilliant phone for its size. Bought if for $450 with 2-years contract with Starhub on 15th February 2001 as part of Valentine’s day package.
hp Jornada 928 (Jan 2002-Oct 2003)
Free. At a time when everyone is getting smaller and smaller phones, I went totally opposite direction with a HUGE Pocket PC, courtesy of internship with hp Jornada lab. I remembered the very first time I picked up a call with this phone in KFC Jurong Point, I noticed the table next to me was looking at me with weird look, as if I came from another planet. Imagine using Samsung Galaxy Note when everyone else was using Nokia 8250-size phones at that time.
Sony Ericsson T610 blue (Oct 2003-Dec 2004)
This was the pair made in heaven for hp iPAQ 2210 (see below), one of the first phone with Bluetooth implementation that I could connect to my PDA. One of the first phone I had with color screen. After prolonged usage, the joystick would get too dusty that it was no longer as responsive as before. Died shortly after the first year warranty expired. Bought if for $600, sold a dead phone for $190 over a year later.
hp iPAQ 2210 (Oct 2003-Jul 2006)
$450. Excellent Pocket PC with nice screen, was very useful as an organizer and everything smartphone nowadays can do. One thing smartphone nowadays can’t do is to act as a universal IR remote control. Used it a few times in public places to change the TV channel
Sony Ericsson K700i (Nov 2004-Nov 2006)
$298 with 2 years Starhub contract. Another excellent phone for its day, still suffer with the same joystick problem as T610.
Samsung D520 (2006)
Free. Gotten it in a lucky draw. Had nothing but bad experience with this phone. It was slim, yes, looks good yes, but was not functional as a phone. First, it has silent mode, but no vibration, ensuring that I will miss a lot of text and calls when I set it to silent. Used it for a few weeks and the radio inside is dead. Brought it to Samsung service centre, they replaced the mainboard, crystal, and virtually everything inside. Lasted a couple of months before it died again. With that, Samsung went into my blacklist together with Motorola for phones. How far Samsung has gone since those days to one of the top phone manufacturer these days.
Dell Axim X51v (Jul 2006-2009)
Very popular PDA, very fast, excellent screen. $483 when Dell is having a huge discount for their products. If not for the smartphone nowadays, I probably will still be using this. Both batteries gotten bloated, and couldn’t stand a minute away from the charger though.
Sony Ericsson K800i (Nov 2006-2008)
Continuing my preference for Sony Ericsson phones for its great camera quality, bought this $466 with 2 years Starhub contract. It may be six years old now, but my mom is still using this phone now.
Nokia N95 (Oct 2007-May 2008)
My dad bought this in Jakarta, and I swapped with him with my Sony Ericsson K800i. Excellent camera, though the GPS could be very slow in getting a fix.
Macbook white (early 2008 model) (Apr 2008-Mar 2011)
My very first notebook, my very first venture into the Apple world. This is the product that convinced me to switch from Windows to Apple with the excellent OS X. Excellent keyboard and trackpad no other Windows notebooks, even in 2012, can match. Bought it for $1400, sold it for $700 three years later. The time I sold this was the time I realized that Apple products may be expensive to buy, but the depreciation cost is much lower compared to Windows notebooks. I think there isn’t a Windows notebook that you can sell for half price after 3 years, is there?
Nokia E90 (May 2008-Aug 2010)
Less than a year later, my dad bought this phone, and he swapped this with N95 he gave me earlier. This E90 became my phone for more than 2 years, suffering the ridicule of people around me who commented you could kill a dog if this phone hit it; that it wouldn’t look out of place among the bricks for HDB constructions; that it was an excellent paper weight; and so on. You get the idea. As for the phone itself, the internal screen was a joy to do web browsing, though the internet browser was not great to start with. The keyboard was excellent, I could type a long email without looking at the keyboard.
Apple iPod Nano 8GB (4th gen) (Oct 2008-present)
Bought in Apple Store at Fifth Avenue New York after I used iPod shuffle lent to me and came out very impressed with it. $200.
Apple iPhone 4 – 32GB (Aug 2010-present)
$515 with 2-years Starhub contract. The phone which cements Apple as the top company in smartphones. The first one with Retina display. The one people would queue for days to buy it. The one that made Apple shareholders rich. The one which freed me from the dreaded Nokia E90 phone. Two years on now, after I recontracted my Starhub plan, gotten a Samsung Galaxy S3, but sold it instead. I still love my iPhone.
Macbook Pro 15-inch (early 2011 model) (Mar 2011-present)
$2,627 with 3-years Apple Care. After I sold my Macbook, the natural progression is to move to Macbook Pro. Upgraded the screen resolution to 1600×1050 instead of the default 1400×900, RAM to 8GB, and replaced the built-in 500GB HDD with 160GB SSD. It’s blazing fast. I could import/export photos in Lightroom, convert videos with Premiere, run Photoshop, run Windows 8 in virtual machine, and not a single hiccups. If I could sell this for half its price in 2014, I’ll be more than happy, but I intend to keep using it far beyond 2014.
Apple iPad Wifi+4G 64GB (3rd gen) (Mar 2012-present)
iPhone and Macbook Pro is never complete without iPad, isn’t it? Retina-display is brilliant. Excellent for reading books with Kindle, playing games, read news, etc.