My Nokia was munched!

When it comes to technology, I’m very willing to be at the cutting edge, but I have a strong practical bent.  I don’t run out and buy the latest thing unless I can see a particular practial use for it.  A good example of this is my phone, a “classic” Nokia 3120.  The copyright date in the user manual is 2004, so it is very old by mobile phone standards.

When I bought it, I specifically bought a black and white screen even though most models at the time featured color screens.  I just didn’t see a need to have color as all I did with the phone is place calls and send/receive text messages.  It has no camera, no MP3 player, no GPS.  It does have a nifty silver chrome finish.  At least, it used to.  And it has Thai language capability.

In any case, I’ve been suspecting that the time would come when I would have to cave in and buy a new phone.  That time was hastened thanks to the ticket gates on the BTS Skytrain.  During rush hour yesterday, I passed through and as sometimes happens when there is a queue trying to move through the gates quickly, the closing mechanisms got confused and closed right on my hips.

Oww!  Those things hurt.  In fact, BTS safety regulations ask young children and pregnant women to walk through a side entry gate, precisely because of the danger these fare gates pose.  My first thought is that something that closes with so much force probably is too dangerous for general public use!


My phone, which was in my front left-hand pocket, caught the full force of the blow and the LCD screen (as you can see) has cracked.  So this weekend I guess I will have to cave in and go buy a new phone.

Yuck.  There are too many models out there for me to make sense of.  One trip to the Nokia website left my head spinning.  And that’s just considering one maker.  ‘iPhone! iPhone! iPhone!”  I can hear the chants growing.  It seems like half the people I know have one of these, which are expensive in Thailand.  I don’t know that I really need all the features they offer plus the thousands of apps.

Web browsing might be useful, but I was using Tawn’s HTC web phone the other day and had to give up as I think the little keyboard is too small for convenient use. 

The only features besides phone and texting that I really want: a decent camera and GPS so I can geo-tag the pictures.  That would be useful when riding my bike, so I can map my route more easily.  MP3 isn’t so important as I don’t like wearing earphones when walking about town.  I like to be connected with my surroundings.

Any thoughts or recommendations?


0 thoughts on “My Nokia was munched!

  1. Let me know what you get. I have basically the same philosophy when buying a phone. The only exception I have is that I want it to sync with my Mac. There are only some brands that do this. Most Nokia, Sony Ericson, Motorola, and the iPhone of course. Check out Apple’s list:

  2. Many phones have the GPS capability but I think maybe the geotagging would limit the choices quite a bit? I’m not aware of what is available for GSM900/1800 so maybe you could pick a few and do an update with the contenders?!

  3. @yang1815 – I’m under the impression that most camera phones with GPS can geo-tag pictures.  I don’t know if that is true, though.  Tawn and I will go shopping this weekend and see what is available.

  4. I too have first hand experience with the BTS ticket gates….   I was in Bangkok in at the end of 2006 and was travelling with  a really sore lower back  and didn’t move fast enough through the gates and got crunched – the pain was unbelievable.   I really don’t understand why they need to hurt so much….!My 2 year contract is nearing to an end with my mobile phone and I need to choose a new one.   I can understand your dilemma as I get very attached to what I am using and really don’t like change.   I’d be very interested to know what you end up getting.

  5. Ugh. I had a turnstile pinch me at the gym a few months ago. It was more than a pinch, it jabbed my waist and the force shoved me into the side wall and ended up bruising my leg. I hate stupid contraptions that we have to go through in our daily lives. I’m surprised you don’t have a Blackberry. I saw you as a Blackberry kind of guy. But please stay away from the horrid Blackberry Storm. I hate that phone. In fact, I loathe that phone.  I have a LG Dare…which is soooo behind the times compared to all the cool asian phones out there. You should pick one up from Korea or Japan! They make the iphone look rather dated…

  6. @christao408 – Sync is a useful feature for contacts and calendars. That way, if you have everyone in your address book on your computer, you don’t have to keep track of who is (or isn’t) on your phone whenever you add/delete/modify a person’s information. And, I personally, use calendar sync a lot (it’s not on all phones), since I can enter appointments on the go and sync them back to my desktop.The Missing Sync is a good program that syncs to a lot of different mobile and smart phones for Mac (lacking good sync software from the OEM). It might be worth investigating compatibility before shopping, just to know what all is possible.

  7. I just got a new Samsumg Instinct S30 that is comparable to iPhone and love it. The GPS, email, and internet are very useful. Only negative is the touch keyboard. You can sue the BTS for snapping your hip for the life-time Metrocard!Happy Memorial Day!

  8. Nokia just announced a cool candybar called the 6700. It has a nice camera(5 mpx) and GPS. It looks a little expensive though. But pretty. Sorry about your other one. It can be rough losing a workhorse like the 3120. Good luck.

  9. I remember whenever I visited the Big Mango, a trip to the Paragon, or the electronics center somewhere near the Baiyok hotel (correct me if I missed the spelling) is a must. The Nokia (and Sony) phones are quite popular with the locals; very impressed with the new Nokia N Series, do check that out. I have no complaints with my i-phone so far but the monthly fee is quite pricey! Have fun shopping!

  10. Whoa! You seriously kept THAT phone for this long??? I don’t care much for the fancy phones; like you even I use it only for calls and texts and occasional photos… but even then your phone kind of shocks me! Anyway, hope you will be able to find a phone which suits you best! Good luck!

  11. I’d go for the simplest, oldest phone that meets your requirements. I use the EnV, and I like it, because it’s a brick and has taken massive amounts of abuse. It has a nice camera, and good texting. It is a pretty ig phone, though. I like LG phones a lot in general.

  12. Seems like you got great advice from everyone.Just to shorten/lengthen your research, I always refer to this site for my phone searches: gives quite a comprehensive of the good, bad, and features of the phone.Just don’t go out and think you can replace your digital camera with your phone…It’s…just not quite there…

  13. I have an IPHONE and I love it. I was hesitant to buy it at first because I thought to myself I dont need all those nifty fancy stuff that came with it, but I actually found it very useful especially for someone who is very active and mobile. It has a 3G fast internet connection. It is like a desktop computer on the palm of your hand. You can sync all your contacts and calendars that you have have from your desktop to your IPHONE. The camera takes a very good picture, and you can automatically send them thru your email feature, but it doesn’t  zoom in or out.Texting has a very cool graphic format. All your texts come out in Bubble Chat feature like a comic strip, and saves those txting you had with that person for as long as you guys had started talking. I dont know how long it saves them but so far I still have my convo with a friend from a year ago. It’s a useful feature cuz if you want to catch them on their lie of what they said long time ago you can go back and call them on it, hahahaha. There are so many cool things you can discover with the IPHONE that you thought wasnt possible, but even if you are not that kind of a person it is still a great phone just for checking emails, txting, GPS Maps and find the nearest place or restaurant just by typing the info on ur GPS map and give you step by step direction.It has an IM feature if you are into that, and you are connected to it 24hrs and free, instead of using the txting that can be expensive sometimes if u dont have have unlimited program or your one of those who text all day non stop.Email is very easy to use, looks exactly like the way it is on your desktop when you open your email.I know you said you dont care much for the music, but you be glad that Iphone has this feature cuz if you are an avid book reader you can also download audio books into it and can also podcast certain programs. So many more things to discover but I dont have time to write them all.The only thing I dont like about the IPHONE is the  typing feature. It is not a typical blackberry where you can feel the buttons.The iphone typing feature is animated and you tend to use one finger just to type the words right, but IPHONe does come with automatic spell correction. It is still pretty bulky even if its only  less than half an inch thick, and when u put covers and accessories it can get more bulky. It sometimes crashes when you are using some apps but not always. The batteries does not last long although you can find ways to save energy  by putting the phone on idle or sleep or decreasing the backlight. I constantly have to clean the screen cause our fingers can be oily. Even with all that, the good  outweighs the bad, at least for me that is.I can only tell you about IPHONE maybe other phones are better cuz I havent really tried them,but at least I have given you what IPHONE users views are.

  14. Wah…the guy previous gave a really lengthy comment… Oh, I just wanted to say another thing, don’t ever get anything with LED flash, because it’s no replacement for real flash.It’s quite useless, actually. The light is very short ranged…as you can see from other LED lighted devices

  15. Well, ok, here is another benefit I got from getting a phone that EVERYBODY is using.There is a huge community out there for those kind of phones, and a lot of people writing and releasing modifications to those phones.So even if that company does not offer certain kind of support, there are other users out there that would do it for you.Namely, iPhone, Nokia series

  16. @Wangium – Thanks for the recommendation of the website, Jason.  That’s exactly the type of resource I was looking for.  As for the camera issue, I know it will be a long time before a phone’s camera will be high enough quality.  You can have all the megapixels in the world but if the sensor is too small or the optics are crap, you just won’t get a good picture.  I’ll compare and consider my options.

  17. @kenpcho – When I lived in the US, I had a Blackberry for work for about six months then gave it up.  I realized something that most B’berry users don’t: being more connected doesn’t improve your productivity; it merely encourages people to be more dependent upon you rather than thinking for themselves.

  18. @mike august – Thanks for those thoughts, Mike.  Syncing probably won’t be terribly critical for me since I don’t make a lot of use of Outlook or similar programs, but it is a good feature to keep in mind.

  19. @zacksamurai – Thanks for the suggestion, both about the phone and the legal action against the BTS.  Have a good holiday!@michael – I’ll take a look for it, thanks.@zozoyork – It seems like many of their phones have GPS.  Can’t believe how many models they have.  It’s like buying toothpaste!@curry69curry – With the iPhone here, since I don’t want to change providers I’d have to buy it full price, about 25,000 baht.  Yikes!  But that is comparable to other high-end smart phones.@Dezinerdreams – Well, there didn’t seem to be a need to change it as it was working very well and I carry my camera with me.  Why change if the old phone still works?@secade – There are some models about 10% of the price of an iPhone that I may very well go with.  Sure, they don’t do anything but make calls and send SMS, but that’s worked well for me so far.

  20. I’m useless when it comes to phones. I’m almost a luddite. I guess I still prefer carrier piegeons. :PI’m also looking for a new phone to replace an older Samsung model.

  21. Ouch! That’s really dangerous! I actually have an older Nokia. Sorry no recs here for you. I’m the just call and text person. Some dental schools actually require we get iPhones or Blackberrys now. (Would I spell that ‘Blackberries’?)

  22. Here’s my two cents worth… the big techno freak!! not!! Anyway, Sayeed had to get a new phone this winter, and he was in a similar predicament like you. He does use it a lot for texting, GPS, and sending quiick emails. He didn’t like Apple and so didn’t go with i phone. He bought  a Blackberry, and absolutely loves it. It has a camera also in it with a video part if you want to film any thing. good luck hunting for the right phone.But on the other hand, Chris, you could have got hurt so bad. If something like that happened here, there would have been an attorney involved , and all sorts of nonsense. ( Like that lady who spilled her hot coffee on her thighs at MickeyD’s pick up line.) Hope you weren’t hurt.

  23. I feel your pain Chris, I’m also in need of a new mobile phone. I’ve been avoiding getting one as I just want a phone that’s good at being a phone. I don’t want or need to be able to send & receive email, a GPS or an Mp3 player… I don’t really need a camera either as I always have my Canon PowerShot with me. I’ve checked out a few that are fairly simple and don’t cost too much, but when I hold them and try out their functions, the phone feels very poorly made. I’ll read through the recommendations you’ve received and see if I can find a winner. Let us know what you end up with and good luck!

  24. Chris I am so technically/ computer challenged, and I don’t know why I even bother with this thing. I wrote you a long comment about your phone and how I am happy you didn’t get hurt, and how if it happened here to any body, how quickly an attorney would be consulted etc etc, Then I also talked about how Sayeed needed to change his phone this winter, and because he doesn’t like Apple, he went with Blackberry, which he loves. It has a camera with video options, texting, easy emailing and ofcourse the GPS to find all the neat restaurants in Chicago area. Well I said all this to you in my comment a little while ago, and instead of submitting, it I clicked on the back arrow at the top. Pffffttt. Good luck finding something you like.

  25. @alextebow – Alex, I’m inclined towards a simple phone, too.  The only thing that would be helpful is the camera/GPS feature.  I do a lot of exploring when I ride and it is sometimes hard to remember exactly which small path I turned down.  I could use the camera to take pictures of landmarks and intersections, geo-tag them with the GPS, and then construct a ride map on Google Maps afterwards.  But to do that, I think I have to increase the overall complexity of the phone.  Bah!

  26. gosh, if only I could just give you my phone! I have a brand new Nokia 6500 just sitting in its original box collecting dust. If I gave it to you, you might just end up using it and don’t have to go through all this headache!

  27. We all got phones a few months ago. They were all Samsung – my husband got the best one (the only one left in stock), the Catalyst. Very nifty.

  28. wow….ur phone really looks like a vintage or a hard working phone…maybe the accident was s sign for you to get a new one…..:p

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