Cell Hell

I finally did it. After a year and a half of frustration, I finally bought a new cell phone. I’m still trapped in my contract and unable to upgrade my equipment until March of next year, but I couldn’t wait any longer. I’ve been browsing EBay and finally found the deal I could get with.

Now, I’ve got some real problems with my existing phone and you’re gonna hear about them.

Here is the deal, 18 months ago I bought a new phone in order to replace my REAL old Nokia. I did my research. I read reviews. My main goal was to find a well reviewed phone that was very small. See, I carry my phone in my pocket. I’m not one of these tools who feels the need to show how important they are by displaying their phone on their belt. I hate those people. (No offense dad…) I tried the belt clips way back with my very first phone. After destroying two of them by simply sitting in my car, that turned me off. I keep it in my pocket. I keep it on vibrate. I really don’t need everyone to know how cool I am that I have a cell phone, because you know what? You’re not cool because you have a cell phone, you idiot. EVERYONE has a cell phone in case you haven’t noticed. You’re not cool that you are so important that everyone has to get a hold of you at all times. So, shut up and pay the damn cashier so I can get the hell out of here… Is there anything worse than someone in front of you in line on the phone an paying no friggin attention at all?! Sorry… I digress.

Here is my review of everything that makes me crazy about this phone, my Samsung SGH-E317. Wait, let me say what I do like about this phone… Um… It can make phone calls. That’s it, that’s the list.

The first thing that makes me absolutely apoplectic is the camera feature. This thing takes pretty craptacular pictures. But, I don’t care about that because I don’t want it to take pictures at all. The engineers, in their infinite wisdom, put a quick access camera button on the side of the phone, so you can take pictures without opening the phone up. Well, gee, that’s terrific. Lord knows how often you need quick grainy shot of something right now! However, they also did not include any way to disable said button. Thus, I have taken probably a thousand pictures of the inside of my pockets over the past 18 months. The straw that broke the back was last week, I picked up my phone from the pocket of my pants and saw that during the night, the button again was depressed, and I had 109 pictures of the inside of my pocket. Even better, the only way to delete these pictures is you have to view the picture, select ‘options’, select ‘delete’, select ‘ok’ and then about 5 seconds later, its deleted. So, I was staring at like 400 button pushes and 10 minutes of pure wait time to delete all of these pictures.

My second gripe is a minor quibble in comparison, but it still makes me crazy. Like I said, I keep my phone on silent/vibrate most of the time. However, occasionally I’m expecting a call and have the audio on. Thus, when I’m heading into a meeting, or a movie or something, I always make sure to change it to ‘silent’ mode again. Well, explain this to me. When you are switching something to silent mode, you are probably already somewhere quiet, right? Well, what does this phone do when you switch into silent mode? It beeps! How much friggin sense does that make!? The very thing you’re trying to avoid! When you bring it out of silent mode, when you’re back where there is some noise most likely… No beep. Who the hell thought that was a good idea?

Another minor annoyance is they have chosen to have the option to have an “animated” wall paper for the main screen. Cute. However, this phone doesn’t have enough power to do anything but about 1 frame a second of animation. Thus, the animation, such as it is, looks more like stop motion. Really conveys the feeling that, “this phone is a piece of crap that looks like its about to crash any second”. Doesn’t instill a lot of confidence.

Next, I’ve got a problem with the outside of this phone. This is a flip phone with an external screen and what they call a ‘service light’. This service light blinks once every 5 seconds for absolutely no reason I can discern other than to tell you the phone is ‘on’. More on that light in a minute. The external screen, is black, unless you have the phone open, or you are receiving a call/message/email/etc. But, its only lit for 7 seconds before it goes black again. Now, having the screen off, ok, I can see that. Save battery. I get it. But, there is no way to activate the screen short of opening up the phone. The external buttons do nothing (except activate that goddamn camera). But what really honks me off, is when you may have a missed call, or have a voice mail, text message or something waiting, once the external screen goes off, you’d never know! Nothing. Oh, if you open the phone, it will tell you what you missed, but if you just glance at it? Nothing. Which brings me back to this ‘service light’. This light flashes when the phone is ringing. Terrific! Not much help when the phone is in your pocket, but whatever. I guess my question is, why in the hell doesn’t this light flash to let you know that you missed something? Instead of the standard 5 second “hi, we’re still powered on” light, couldn’t we get a 2 second “woo… Someone tried to contact you… You should open me up and check!” light? I’m no software engineer, but I gotta think about 50 lines of code would make that happen. Instead, they just want to torture me. I have had a missed call and a message on my phone for well over a day because I never opened the damn thing to see that there was anything waiting. “Hey wait a sec? I missed a call last Tuesday!? Son of a….”

I’m sure there are other things for me to bitch about, but I’m done. My new phone, the super stylish Motorola RAZR should be here in a few days, and my long suffering shall come to an end. Or, more likely, I shall simply find something else to vent my hatred about.

Stay tuned!

3 Replies to “Cell Hell”

  1. See, Jas, that is why I choose to live in the “dark ages” and forego cell phones altogether, along with suvs, atms, ipods, blackberries, and all that other techno crap! Life was so much simpler and less aggravating when I was your age…sigh…

  2. I ‘talk’ on my cel phone…I need nothing more. I’ve never understood how folks that rack up hundreds of dollars on their bill due to text messaging and downloading overpriced crappy games…not to mention actually using the device for what it’s supposed to be used for…talking. I’ve seen some kids that are on their friggin cel phone non-stop, and I want to yank it out of their hands and throw it in a lake. I must be getting old.

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