Ohh, those to most conflicting of emotions – the love of gadgetry versus miserly tendencies. The internal battle raged as I tried to select a new phone. Turns out that unless you get the most basic model, you can’t get a cell phone without a camera, at least with our carrier. This is a problem. Laura can’t have a camphone for security reasons at work, and I don’t care for one. While it would be cool to ALWAYS have a camera handy, I usually have my tiny Nikon with me, and there’s no way a camphone’s imagery is going to be even close.
So, rather than go for the really cool Razor, or one of the other sleek models, I settled for a phone that was similar enough to my old one that I didn’t have to purchase new headsets or other accessories. We also found an adequate one for Laura. Hers was free with the purchase of mine, and I made sure that the two of them could share power adapters and other accessories. That satisfied my miserly tendencies. However, the new phone does have a 1.3 megapixel camera, plays digital music, has a mini-SD slot, and will surf the web and do tons of other cool stuff I’ll probably never use.
Even after the phone was selected, there were more internal conflicts. Yeah, you got an OK cam, but it’s either shell out 27 cents per shot to send (or even receive) images, or sign up for a per-month payment. You can download tunes, but there’s a charge for that, too. Fortunately with this phone, you can copy images to, and play music from the mini-SD card. Surfing the web will cost an additional $15 per month. I tried it out, and so far haven’t been impressed. With WiFi just about everywhere I need it to be, I figure I’m connected to the web enough.
It is amazing what these phones will do (geez, I sound like an old geezer). However, I do have a dream of an ultimate gadget. It would have the following feature set…
- 200 GB micro drive
- GPS with WAAS and mapping software, capable of storing, importing, and exporting waypoints
- Multiple music file formats accepted
- Optional separate Bluetooth folding keyboard
- Simple controls
- Cell phone functions
- 10 megapixel camera with flash, 12x optical zoom and multiple photo settings
- SD memory slot
- Ability to transfer data seamlessly via USB
- Multi-tasking capabilities
- Standard web browser
- Pop3 e-mail client
- FM and short-wave receiver. Heck, let’s even throw in a broadcast TV receiver
…and all this in a package about the size of my video iPod. I’m sure it’s in the works. And I’m just as sure that should it ever be built, some service provide would figure out a way to charge for each of those services.