Archive for the 'Cell Phones' Category

Six Bad Things About the RAZR

August 21, 2006

I was going to post a long, thoughtful essay on the art of living an intuition-based life but instead I am going to post a whiBAD!ney review of my new Motorla RAZR VC3 phone.

-HAND FEEL: BAD! Yes is it thin, but it is also very wide and very flat. Talking on a RAZR is like trying to talk on a credit card. You have to balance its skinnny edges on the tips of your fingers and hope for smooth sailing. Forget about walking the Rottweiler while you chat with your sweetheart.

-RINGER: BAD! The ringer isn’t loud enough, and the vibrate buzz function is weak. I only hear the phone when I’m in church, and I don’t go to church.

-MENU LABELING: BAD! It bugs me that to turn off the vibrate function and turn on the ringer, you have to select “master volume.” Hello–it’s a cell phone, not a studio recording mixer.

-EXTERNAL LCD: BAD! It’s so dim you pretty much have to duck into a cave to check the time.

-TIMING: BAD! Polite people pretend it’s cool I have a RAZR, but I know what they’re really thinking: It would be cool if this was still 2004.

-MISC: BAD! It takes pictures when I mean to take videos, and takes videos when I mean to take pictures. I can’t find the smiley face menu for purposes of annoying the recipients of my text messages. And on what planet do dark red and light blue make a pleasing screen color combo?

Grade: BAD!


Q: What kind of phone do pirates use?



My Phone: a Memorial

July 6, 2006

Last winter I dropped my phone. In the toilet. In the ladies room at work. Upon retrieval, the little LG was speaking in tongues and displaying scenes from 2001 Space Odessey. I turned it off, I turned it on, and it had a message: Service Required. So I called my provider (I won’t give away the name, but it sounds a lot like “Verizon Wireless”) and they told me the only thing they could do was sell me a new phone, at full price.

No. I took the phone home, removed the battery and put it in the oven for a good bake on the “warm” setting, followed by a half hour in front of the blow dryer. It sprang back to life. I thought that was pretty cool, although the first friend I called wanted to know if I’d washed the phone before dialing. I guess he was worried about getting toilet germs in his ear.

I had six more months with my phone until May rolled around and it went dead again. I took it to the Verizon Wireless store for repair. The rep took the battery off the back and shot me an accusing stare: “This phone got wet!” It turns out there’s a little white dot on the inside of the phone that turns pink when submerged. The only thing he could do was sell me a new phone, at full price. So I took it home. Oven, blow dryer. Ta-da.

This time the effect didn’t last as long. Two or three weeks would go by and then the phone would need another treatment. My guess is that it collected moisture faster in the summer humidity. But we were making do until this past weekend when I put it in the oven with the battery on, and forgot about it. The phone came out blazing hot and made one final call before it died for good.

But there was some payoff. Apparently, those extra months put me far enough along in my contract to qualify for an early upgrade. Instead of paying the full suckers-only price for my new silver RAZR phone tonight (I know, the RAZR was hot two years ago, before they invented telepathy) I paid the new subscriber price, saving roughly $1 billion. Winnah!