April 10 2010
Packing recently for a trip to China, I found out just before leaving that the old phone I use with foreign SIM cards was dead. At the back of a cupboard, though, I found this Nokia 1100 from 2002. Apart from calls and texts, it has just one function – a torch.
Yet the 1100 is no “brickberry”. It is a svelte sliver of a thing and so simple a chimp could use it. So on the trip, my iPhone dealt with calls and e-mails from the UK, the Nokia with local calls and texts.
Having a phone with no camera, e-mail, internet, radio, games, music, video, satnav, barcode reader etc was... strangely liberating. Nobody wanted to steal it and everyone said they could hear me better than on the iPhone. I was able to conduct work calls and social chats from rickshaws. Oh, and the battery took a week of heavy use before it needed a charge. I loved using it.
There is serious learning here: simple phones can rock. In fact, simplicity is the great virtue in any piece of technology.