Thursday, August 28, 2014

nokia to xiaomi

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As all my friends would say, FINALLY.

The passing of the days finally led to this point: I have had to exchange my durable trusty never-lost Nokia (only good for calls and SMS) for a smartphone with a Data Plan (gasp).

Why have I been so reluctant to release my grip on my beloved Nokia?
  • By now, it’s a rare vintage. Nobody else uses it and I like using something which nobody else does. It was a conversation starter with nearly every stranger I've met for a long time, as in "Oh you're still using an old phone!"
  • I never lost it. The few times I misplaced it, it was unerringly returned to me (meaning, I call my number and the person who picked up the phone always gives it back). No one wanted it.
  • It was durable. Even though of late it occasionally died during calls, multiple drops never killed it.
  • It’s small, smaller than a smartphone.
  • Amidst talk of privacy and stealing of data, there was nothing much to steal from my Nokia apart from a bunch of phone numbers. No transactions could be conducted on it.
  • The kids never snatched it because there was nothing in it (apart from the ancient snake game and pinball on a tiny screen). Which means that they hardly get to touch - and get their lives sucked into - a smart phone and I liked it that way.
  • The kids (except Lu) learnt how to SMS using the numeric keypad. That’s a skill that’s dead to most of their (and maybe my) generation.
But here’s the Number One reason for conversion: I needed Whatsapp.

I don’t care about the million and one apps which purportedly transform lives. I was losing out on information because it wasn't convenient for people to send me a SMS separate from group Whatsapp messages. Often I didn’t know what was going on, in a “Oh, no one informed me!” kind of way. It got to the point where I had to apologise for not having Whatsapp.

So when KK tripped across the wire which was charging up my Nokia sometime last week, and the wire split, it seemed timely.

I still stubbornly wanted to stick with my Nokia, by borrowing another charger from my Mum.

But KK jumped at the opportunity. He hinted, suggested, badgered me into getting a smartphone. I’ll pay for it, he said.

He calls me from work and arranges to meet me alone at the mall in the evening (that NEVER happens). He walks into the shop, picks out a phone for me, and that’s it. As it turns out, the phone – a Xiaomi – is free because I bind myself to a two-year plan.

Still, I pout because I have to pay about $10 more a month. Having figured out how to call, SMS and Whatsapp (that’s all I need), I drop the phone in my bag, forgotten. I'm not the least bit interested in it.

Once home, however, the phone is whipped out by the kids who all descend on it, swiping here, swiping there. KK himself is wide-eyed with glee: Oh the Xiaomi is so COOL! It’s so much better than iPhone, I want one too! I can re-contract! Oh let’s download Clumsy Ninja!

The kids squeal. I eyeball KK, stern: No games in my phone. NO GAMES. You download it, you delete it.

3 comments:

Pearlyn said...

Shimian,
Xiaomi is good except it keeps on sending data back to the manufacturer without your knowledge or permission.
I changed from my Nokia to a smartphone 2 years ago. Glad I did it.
You can also read emails and news on the phone during the commutes - I find that a time saver.
The ability to Google on the go is a lifesaver.
And finally, love the ability to take photos to document what I see and perhaps share it.
Pearlyn

Anonymous said...

I got my smartphone only 2 years ago. Few years ago, I don't even have a mobile phone and when I go back to S'pore, once I had to sent something to a shop to repair, the guy serving me asked me for my mobile no and I told him I don't have one. He looked at me very suspiciously and did not believe me at all even when I offered to open my bag to show him. Now I do love my smart phone because it has become my camera and video. recorder.

Hai Wei

Sher said...

pearlyn: someone did say something about xiaomi sending data back. but i reckon if u choose to use the tech, u hv to accept the necessary evils (unless ur v savvy). who knows if the other smartphone manufacturers are not also sending data back?

hai wei: haha, we dinosaurs take a long time to embrace tech!