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The indestructible phone

Ooh-ah, fluoro screen.

Ooh-ah, fluoro screen.

If you piled up all the electronic products the average mouth-breathing Aussie household discards in a "good" year, I reckon you could fill a bathtub.

In a "bad" year you'd max out a sunroom, perhaps fill a single-car garage.

Printers, desktop computers, fax machines (remember them?), vacuum cleaners, juicers, big-screen TVs, DVD players ... and then you're into white goods and it gets really ugly.

Mostly, we do it because a seven cent part wears out and it's cheaper to buy a replacement appliance than repair it and we thus shunt the cost (i.e. the social and environmental expense of making shit really cheaply) down the food chain to some third-world country and the stinking rivers that feed it.

Other times it's because we just want the new, new thing 'cos it's heaps cool (which I'll admit I've done on more than one occasion, but I tend to pass my superseded technology onto my mum because she's old and can't tell the difference).

Frustratingly, however, when it comes to whiz-bang check-this-out-it's-so-small-I-can-fit-it-in-me-nostril consumer technology, stuff breaks because it's more fragile than a Waterhouse's moral code.

Small and thin, usually means if you drop it, it's rooted.

I got sent an awesome, bangin' new HT-i-Galaga touch phone last year, sat on it once and that was all she wrote. It looked like it'd been in a head-on on the Pacific Highway, and henceforth shot splinters of hot glass in my ear when I took a phone call.

(Here ya go, mum, we'll just tape it up).

Anyway, after that phone broke, I went back to my other phone, and then that packed it up, so I went back to my old iPhone 3, but I dropped that with similar results to the HT-i-Galaga.

So then I went to my Decomissioned Electronics Closet and retrieved my humble Nokia 1110, manufactured 2005, and it's still getting stronger signals than I did in the forecourt of the Opera House at Daily Life's All About Women feminist gabfest.

A lot of people like to nominate the Nokia 3210 or the 3310 as the Most Indestructible Mobile Phone EVA but I've always had a soft spot for the 1110.

More than anything, I'm just thankful something that was designed to do Task A still does it, compared to so many gadgets designed to do Tasks A, B, C through to M that won't even switch on anymore.

Nokia, your market share might look like a bucket of KFC after Nathan Tinkler's gotten home after a night on the sherbet, but I still love ya. 

What has been your best phone ... ever?

Most indestructible appliance?

You can follow Sam on Twitter here. His email address is here.


  • I was always a big fan of the Nokia's...I spent a couple of years reviewing mobile phones for a living, and played with the (at the time) latest and greatest, and all the whizz-bang features. And I'd write them up - but I'd always put in what was fundamentally important: Battery life and ease of keypad use. Nokia always won out on those.

    Most indestructible appliance? Probably the fridge.

    And by the way - I think you'll find it's the nose-breathing hipsters who generate the most electronic garbage.

    Date and time
    April 29, 2013, 3:05PM
    • I refuse to give up Nokia. I've started a collection other old Nokias for when this one dies. It probably won't. I've dropped it on concrete more times than the rest of iPhonedom combined and it still works after seven years.
      Anything that can survive a drop in the toilet by just brushed its insides with methylated spirits is proper tech.

      Date and time
      May 01, 2013, 8:31AM
  • I'm your metaphorical mum to my mate, he gives me old iphone, Which I upgrade IOS beyond what he bought new. and do more with less

    Ignorace is Bliss,
    Those who can do.

    Just like theThird word.
    Phones a real world issue


    Date and time
    April 29, 2013, 3:53PM
    • I wouldn’t buy a Nokia even if it was contingent upon getting my first born back in a kidnapping. But push-button phones are where telephone technology started and ended and that is because you can touch-type with them. You don’t have to stare down and prod a screen like you do with touch phones. It is like touch phones where actually made for people with a mental age of between 3 and 7.

      I find it is the Boomers getting cock stands over technology. Technology is for Boomers what tattoos are for youngster: instant cred getters. I don’t feel that smart using touch phone technology and I’ll be damned how a calf or neck tatt assists with credibility.

      Date and time
      April 29, 2013, 3:56PM
      • a good point and probably some truth to that, for the younger ones technology is a way of life but for the older folk it's a novelty.

        Victorious Painter
        Date and time
        April 30, 2013, 9:46AM
      • I think it’s a bit more than a novelty to them. Im around a lot of Boomers and I honestly think their inner dialogue goes a little like this; Look, im using an iPad. Cant you see Im on an iPad for god sake. Don’t bother me im on my iPad.

        Wonder if when theyre at home on their commode they say; Honey not now, Im on the Coroma and then im going in under the Dorf.

        Date and time
        April 30, 2013, 10:55AM
      • YES... my parents in law and to some extent my parents are showing off some shiny new gadget every time I see them, and it really is a credibility thing. The sad thing is that their perfectly good gadget that they are replacing generally ends in landfill. My friends and I (around 30) have better things to spend our money on than the latest flatscreen that is 4mm thick and wipes your bum for you.

        Date and time
        May 01, 2013, 7:36AM
    • Despite frequent and repeated attempts at phonocide, my Nokia 1110 refuses to lie down....and I've never quite got around to replacing it. Sad, I know. At least I'll feel right at home in the upcoming Abbott era of seriously retro technology, although to really fit in, I may need to go back to something a little more Magnum PI.

      Date and time
      April 29, 2013, 4:19PM
      • The problem is my $400 juicer is no longer manufactured and the lack of a $5.00 part means that its junk. At least the motor will last the 10 year warranty.
        I've always had a Nokia and the price means there is no issue when it's dropped in the water. All the fancy stuff I do on my ipad, bigger keyboard and screen makes it easy for the older person and less likely to be dropped into water. Matched with a bespoke man bag and I don't look silly carting it around.

        Date and time
        April 29, 2013, 4:26PM
        • I'm still regularly using, my Australian made 'Supermix' blender, juicer, mixer and knife sharpener that was sold to my grandmother by a travelling salesman in 1961!! Apparently many were sold.
          Clearly the exceptionally strong 50+ yo motor shows no sign of giving up.

          My 3 yo HTC Android, in its leather case in a plastic lunch bag still looks as good as new, and it won't be replaced until it carks it.

          Ballan, Vic.
          Date and time
          May 01, 2013, 6:16AM

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