Posted by: kcgadiyar | August 18, 2011

Things i learnt after a week without my smartphone

Last week, my N8 was gone for repairs for water damage (it rained, mobile got wet, refused to start up). So through roughly 8 days, i was using an Onida handset as a replacement. At the end of the week, when i finally got my phone back, i realized that i had learnt a few things in a week without my smartphone, namely:

– 90% of my phone usage is making calls: This was the first thing i noticed. I have a music player, bluetooth, FM Radio, Camera etc. in my smartphone, but a majority of my usage is “making calls”. Sure, i do use the camera once in a while, and sometimes i even listen to music on the phone (i normally listen to music on my laptop or my mp3 player) but 80-90% of usage of my phone is, shockingly enough, as a phone.

– I can live without 3G: 3G is probably the best way telecom companies are making money off us. The speeds are no better than normal GPRS, the coverage is somewhere between pathetic and unsalvagable and the costs are too much. Getting a non-3G, no-frills set as a replacement was an eyeopener in this case. The first thing i did after getting my phone back was to cancel my 3G plan.

– There is no such thing as a critically important email: This is something i should have learnt a long time ago, but better late than never. Since syncing my exchange server to the phone, i look at each email as it is delivered and try to reply asap. In the week without my N8, i sometimes did not check my mail outside office for a whole day and surprisingly enough, the world did not end. This taught me that email can wait. If it is really that important, people will call you up.

– It is nice to not have the Internet follow you everywhere: It was really nice to not be connected to the information superhighway 24/7. The break that i got from the internet was just brilliant.

– While it is nice to have a number of apps, you don’t notice them when they are gone: Previously, it was, “What is the score” Let me check the mobile espn app. “When is the train scheduled” Let me check the Indian railways app. During the phone outage it was “What is the score” Lets check it on the TV in the break room. “When is the train scheduled” erail.in will have the updates, else we can call them up. Basically, apps do make things easier, but in today’s day and age, they are an addition rather than the only option.

– I freaking love Swype: This is something i realized when my replacement mobile did not even have T9 predictive texting. Texting by pressing a button a number of times versus swyping? Give me Swype anyday. Best. Addon. Ever.

– Angry Birds is not my life: Angry Birds, Angry Birds Seasons, Angry Birds Rio –  i have them all on my phone and have destroyed a number of hours of my life playing them. When my phone was taken away for a week, a strange thing happened, i realized that i do not need to play angry birds (i know, shocking right.). Yes, it is a great game by Rovio. Yes, it has probably cost the world a lot in terms of productivity. Yes, it is ultra addictive. But, it is not a necessity.

– Mobiles are cheaper and way more functional than ever: I wanted a replacement for my phone for cheap, so when i went to the phone shop, the salesman showed me the Onida phone which cost a 1000 bucks. For 1000 rupees, you get a color screen, music player, FM, a 1.2 MP camera, a 2GB memory card expandable to 8 GB, dual sim and bluetooth. This is just ridiculous. The Nokia 3315 had cost my dad 4500 or so when he had first bought it 8 years ago. We have truly come a long way.

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