When Newer Is Not Newest


Gadget season.

There has always been something going on between gadgets and me.

Starting with the definition. What the hell is a gadget? What it the difference between a gadget and any other piece of technology you use or own?

Let's play defining concepts. As I am not very good at it I will, instead, explain myself. Gadget IS a piece of technology you use or own (mostly the later). But it has also to do with indulging yourself a bit. You could just get a lower-end device, but the forces within you fight against getting a "clearly inferior" item and the forces above you -tight budget, expenditure-minding-couple,...- disallow wasting your moneys happily or just make you feel too guilty for it. So what you finally get is a more or less a balanced device (or at least you try to convince the aforementioned "powers" that it is). I follow this rule of thumb: not too new to be paying to become a beta tester but not too old to see it discontinued before you warranty expires. And boy, is it a difficult to fulfil rule in these days!

So, if I stick to my explanation, I did not acquire a gadget, but something else instead. I bought a mobile phone. The one I had was getting old (I was getting tired of it since it still works as it should) and I have never been mad about it.

How come did I not buy a gadget instead a boring and bland mobile phone?

I did not listen my inner voices whispering the goodness of a smartphones. I turned my eyes from the Diamond and its old cousin the Touch-Flo and of course the iPhone. I realised I do not need an smartphone (yet). I own a Pda, and my PIM needs are more than covered with it and a simple phone in sync with Outlook (if synchronization ever got uneventful).

I do not need a high-end device either:

  • Nice camera? what for? I have a digital camera a fraction of the cost.
  • Internet browsing? Not really, if I am forced to, I could use a smaller screen or use the phone as a modem. And with data fares being still too expensive I do not feel compelled either.
  • GPS? I have a nice and big screen and a nice and working navigation software in my PDA.
  • High-end devices are way too expensive. Sure the contract with the phone company makes them affordable, but not with my profile of usage. I have pay-as-you go and very low consumption.

Silenced the voices, my only requirements were: small, light and bluetooth-enabled. Modest ones.

And then I saw it. It's the phone of my mother-in-law (so to speak, not politically) and she is a non-techie in a mom-and-pa way.

The phone is nice looking (really nice), liiiight(70 g.), same size as my old Nokia 6230, bluetooth, decent screen, faster than my previous terminal... Everything was nice and dandy. Even I found a very good deal on the Internet if I did not mind having a bit of fiery red sharing looks with elegant black.

But I do mind. Not too much as to be considered a fashion victim (hey, look at my Mp3 player, a hideous but nice quality Archos Xs202) but I do care about the looks.

So instead of the cheapest solution I went for the slightly more expensive but more pleasant to my eye: All-Black Nokia 5310. The extra price (around 30€) will surely pay off though the years I expect to have this terminal working.

Am I happy? Too early to say. So far so good. It has everything I had before and I am not a demanding user: I never browsed the net with my previous phone, I only sent a couple of MMS, no fancy agenda, ... Just a 90's user.

Of course I would like that synchronization programs got it right at last. It must not be that difficult to invest some knowledge on bringing some information from a well-known source with a well-known schema. Or is it?

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