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Nokia 6822: A European Cell Phone in America for Easy Text Messaging

November 12 2005 – 03:32am

I’ve been looking for a new cell phone, and I am extremely frustrated and disappointed with the selection of cell phones on the U.S. market. The service providers and cell phone manufacturers just don’t seem to get it. Camera phones really are of little use, and cell phones need video capability even less. What does have potential and is actually useful is text messaging – which is absolutely huge in most of the world and is spreading. I have found that text messaging is a necessary component of socializing in California, so naturally I would like to have a cell phone with some sort of efficient system for text messaging. Unfortunately, all of the phones that have QWERTY keyboards and the like have way too many features and as a result are enormous. I don’t want a picture phone. I don’t want to surf the web. I don’t even want a color screen. All I want is the smallest phone possible with good reception, the capability to text with the quickness, and Bluetooth to back up my address book.

I think Google has the right idea with Google SMS on what is really useful in a cell phone (they’re always right). Very little of the information that we actually want to consume while out and about involves video or even pictures ��� it’s textual information like movie showtimes or business addresses and phone numbers. No, I don’t want to watch TV on my cell phone. I can appreciate that there may be a miniscule segment of the population in car-dependent America that may want to watch TV during commute, but this idea…is fucking stupid.

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Along with all of these new and useless features comes interfaces and form factors that are more and more unusable. Now that color screens are pretty much standard, every interface has convoluted icons that bounce, twinkle and do whatever else they can do to make them absolutely useless in communicating what they represent. The phones themselves appear to have been designed by out-of-work comic book illustrators, complete with swooshy keypad designs and other unnecessary intricacies.

After looking at some European cell phone reviews, it looks like the Nokia 6822 (buy on Amazon) is about as close to “the phone for me” as I will find. I think I can get my hands on one through eBay (making sure to get an unlocked one), and if I change to a GSM provider such as Cingular or T-Mobile, rather than a CDMA provider (which will involve me surrendering my grandfathered-in 8 o’clock off-peak with Sprint), I can just swap out the SIM card. GSM and the flexibility of SIM cards sounds superior anyway, and will come in handy in the event of a trip abroad.

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This post is filed under Design, Technology, Travel.