📱 All the phones, I owned

I paused blogging for a while, because re-starting work and having a sick baby at home took more of my energy than I thought. Hopefully, I can find more time soon again, because I miss it. 🙂

This one is in the backlog for quite some time, inspired by Kev’s blog post about all the motorbikes he owned. When I read it, I thought this is a cool idea! I should do something similar. But, I never owned a motorbike and technically not even a car. Thinking about things I did collect over the years, mobiles phones sounded interesting. I thought I remember all my phones, but it took investigation in my email inbox to get all the names and dates.

1) Nokia 3310 | December 2001 | couple of weeks

This was the toughest phone I ever had. The internet is full of jokes on this. It was robust, had great battery life, and I could type text messages without looking at the screen below my desk at school. And of course … Snake! Unfortunately, our joint journey was short. I owned this phone a couple of weeks, until it was stolen in school. Bad. I think we could have had a great time together.

Nokia 3310

2) Siemens SL45 | ~ 2002 | ~ one year

After the 3310 was gone, I needed a new phone. Having internet at home was not yet common. ICQ becoming my main way of communication years into the future. Being reachable via text message (we never did phone calls), was crucial. I wanted something that looked more elegant than the plastic design of the 3310 and went with the Siemens SL45. It was a cheaper version of a business phone, Siemens released earlier. It had great games preinstalled. We had a short joint time. Back then I lived in Dresden and later that year we had the “Jahrhundertflut” (the flood of a century). On my way home from school, the phone got wet and didn’t took it well. It was functioning, but the 1 key was no longer working. For people knowing how to type on these keyboards, you may understand that it was usable (the “.” was missing) was missing - but who wants a broken phone?

Siemens SL45

3) Nokia 3650 | ~ 2003 | ~ five years

A good year after I bought the Siemens, I switched back to Nokia and bought the 3650. After I had bad luck with the first two phones, this one sticked around a while and accompanied me on my first trips abroad as well as the work and travel experience to Australia and New Zealand. Nokia built robust phones back then. Although made of plastic, falling down didn’t cause major demolition. The design of the 3650 was polarising. The dial like on old landline phones needed more space and was a little cumbersome to type on, but I liked owning something extraordinary. This was a phone that was unlikely to be confused accidentally.

Nokia 3650

4) Nokia E65 | April 2008 | ~ 1.5 years

After five years of extensive usage, the 3650 reached its end of life. To be honest, my demands changed, too. I wanted something smaller, with more features. The possibility to manage your calendar on the phone was the hot shit. And it was the time, that newer phones had a camera allowing you to actually identify what you took a photo off. I went for the Nokia E65, because a friend of mine had and recommended it. Plus, how cool is it to extend the keyboard using a swipe up gesture?

Nokia E65

5) iPhone 3GS | September 2009 | ~ 3.5 years

I think the Nokia E65 and I could have become good friends for a long time, but in 2009 Apple decided to improve the iPhone significantly. S meant speed. It had a camera that was actually usable. Beginning of 2009, I bought an iPod Touch, liked it, but quickly understood that this device - without a permanent internet connection felt like binding its hands behind it’s back. I needed to have the iPhone and after long arguments with myself I bought it for a huge amount of money.

iPhone 3GS

6) Google Nexus 4 | January 2013 | ~ 2 years

The 3GS was a loyal companion. I loved it and the form factor was perfect for me. However, after five years of intense usage the battery got week and the phone after several os upgrades slow. In January 2013, the iPhone 5 was out, it was time for a new phone. This time, I wanted to try something new and since Android had improved in the recent years a lot, I bought a Nexus 4. Manufactured by LG but sold by and through Google. The phone was super big compared to my beloved 3GS, but average size for today’s standards. The camera was a tremendous improvement (was that the only thing that mattered to me?). But when I try to remember how I felt about the phone, I think we never bonded. Maybe because of our short time together. Roughly two years later, when I handed in my masters’ thesis, I dropped it in front of the university building, the display broke. Not usable anymore.

Google Nexus 4

7) Motorola Moto G (2014) | March 2015 | ~ 1.75 years

Although I was ok with the Nexus, I liked Android back then. That’s why I replaced it with another Android phone. My wife was using a Motorola phone at that time and was satisfied with it. So I bought one. I liked it more than the Nexus, one reasons being the form factor. In retrospective, I do not remember why I only had it for a short time.

Moto G 2014

8) OnePlus 3T | December 2016 | ~ 1 year

The 3T was a power house. It had 6GB of RAM and it felt like THE fastest smartphone I ever owned. It was running on Vanilla Android without any bloatware and could run dozen of apps at the same time. Awesome! This was the time when I was really into Pokemon Go and while it was giving my previous phone a hard time, it was no problem for the 3T. I could even write messages while having Pokemon Go running in the background. It seems I have to make the same error multiple times, before I finally get it. The phone was just too big for my hands. I was commuting with the train a lot that time and always had to pause walking while checking on which platform I need to transfer, because I needed two hands to hold the phone and couldn’t carry the suitcase anymore.

OnePlus 3T

9) iPhone 7 | December 2017 | ~ 3.5 years

When the iPhone X was released, all my colleagues owned iPhones, while I was unsatisfied with the too big 3T. The X was too expensive for me, so I bought a used iPhone 7 with 500GB of storage. I was in love, the moment I had it in my hands. Everything was perfect - for three and a half years. Slowly, but steadily I recognised that the pre-used battery got weaker and weaker. Besides, all the cool kids had phones with more than one camera now. It was time for a new one again - however, the 7 is still used until today in the family.

iPhone 7

10) iPhone 12 mini | June 2021

I am not so happy with the edgy design of 12, but wanted to support the idea of building smaller smartphones. It looks like it needs to last for a very long time since Apple stopped producing the “minis” already. But, I am happy. If I don’t break it, the plan is to upgrade only when at least the 17 is out.

iPhone 12 mini

Fun Fact: It might not be the case for everyone, but at least for me it looks the iPhones are more sustainable. While I had the three Android phones for roughly 1.6 years each, my average iPhones usage was 3.5 years.

All images taken from Wikipedia.

iPhone Android Nokia

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