By Talya Mizrahi-Yaakov, Marketing Manager
Remember what life was like before owning a smartphone? Remember when the only kind of message you could send was a regular SMS text message because third-party chat apps didn’t exist yet (and if even then you didn’t send a lot of messages because data plans were expensive…)? Remember what life was like before you could get Internet on your phone? That seems like a lifetime ago…
I was just reminiscing how my life has changed dramatically pre and post smartphone ownership. And even after I became a smartphone user, there is a day and night difference between my current smartphone and the one I owned two years ago.
My first encounter with a phone that was not connected to a landline was my dad’s carphone. My sister and I used to think it was the coolest thing ever. We would pretend to call people on it but we never actually figured out how it worked. None of our cars after that had carphones, sadly enough…
I distinctly remember when my parents bought this badboy, the Motoral MicroTAC from our local Radio Shack. The world’s first flip phone, the hardware was placed in a hinged section of the phone, reducing the phone’s size when not in use. It was quite revolutionary. But then someone stole it from our car and they weren’t able to buy a new one for another few months.
After a few years, my parents then upgraded to the “first clamshell mobile phone” also by Motorala, in conjunction with StarTAC. Wow…I guess my parents really were into up and coming technology, considering that they can barely compose a WhatsApp message today (sorry!). Apparently, this phone was inspired by the communicator from the Original Star Trek series.
In the year 2000…I got my very own phone, the Motorola Timesport! I was an adult! I had my very own phone! The downside was that I couldn’t really do much with it. And I had to share it with my sister. Calls were for emergencies only. That was lame.
By 2002, our family branched out to other mobile phone providers. My parents each got a Sanyo 5300, the first camera phone sold in North America. As part of this “package deal”, the kids got a Kyocera 3245. But we didn’t really have a data plan, so no calls or texting unless it was at night or on the weekend (remember that?).
In a very short time span, I owned both a Motorola Razr and a LG Pantech Crux (technically the LG Pantech Crux is a smartphone but I didn’t want to pay for a data plan so it was used for calls and texts only). I left the Motorola Razr on a bench while I was waiting for the train on my way to work. I remember frantically ran to the Verizon store to buy a new phone, the LG Pantech Crux. The shift to a QWERTY keyboard was quite mind blowing.
In late 2010, I proudly became the owner of my very first smartphone, the LG Optimus S. Running on Google’s Android OS, it featured a full HTML web browser, Gmail, YouTube and more, and paved the way for phones like the Nexus One and Motorola DROID.
I really did love my LG Android phone but a year later I decided to cross the smartphone universe, and try out an iPhone. A co-worker gave me their iPhone 3 for free, so it was a sign from above to check out what I had been missing all this time. Well, I don’t have to explain why the iPhone was revolutionary. Compared to my LG, the iPhone was a sleek device, with an organized app drawer and seamlessly fulfilled my mobile experience. Unfortunately, it died 6 months later and was forced to upgrade to an iPhone 4.
The iPhone 4 was even better than the iPhone 3, but I didn’t seem to have much good luck with it. My iPhone 4 was stolen twice (which means, I owned 2 iPhone 4s within the span of one year….)! Then in some botched experiment to get rid of my smartphone and live a more simple life, I sold my iPhone to a friend, and purchased an old Nokia phone. Well that didn’t last very long…I couldn’t use Waze, I couldn’t WhatsApp, or access the Internet. So that experiment failed miserably…and just goes to show how addicted I became to a smartphone.
After my iPhone 4 – Nokia debacle, I purchased a ZTE Blade III. I didn’t have any money to purchase a new iPhone, so I needed to find a much cheaper alternative. I can honestly say that the ZTE Blade III was the worst phone I ever owned. It barely functioned. Chinese phones have come a long way since 2013; I even have quite a few friends who are happy with their Chinese smartphones. But I will never go back to the ZTE Blade III.
I’m currently the owner of a Samsung S5. When purchased a little less than a year ago, it was the newest phone on the market. Today…it’s almost old news. So far, so good…I hope it lasts me for a while before “needing” the latest and newest smartphone.
Where were you when you owned your first cellphone? Were you an adult? Were you a kid? How has owning a smartphone transformed your life? Where do you think mobile technology is headed? What new-fangled technology will become the “next big thing” in the mobile world?