On our last move, we decided to lose the land line and go all-wireless for our telephony. A phone line at the house was another expense and we barely used it anyway. It’s been almost a year now and we haven’t looked back. During this time my cell phone and I have grown closer. I’ve gotten a bit more reliable about keeping it with me constantly.
Now, my phone is a fairly typical marvel of modern nanotechnology. It’s got hours of music on it, Internet access, a navigation app with voice recognition, Bluetooth, a 3 Megapixel camera with video capability… and oh yeah, you can use it to make calls too. And perhaps most amazing of all, it’s small enough to fit in the same pocket with my keys (just in case I should happen to want to scratch it all up like a turntable at a rap concert).
But therein lies my beef with the thing. It’s designed for the human pocket, not the human head. It’s uncomfortable to hold in the hand for any length of time. Forget cradling it on your shoulder while your hands are busy, it’s so thin that you have to kink your neck at about an 80° angle to pin it there. And the flip-open style does get the microphone closer to my mouth than my old phone did, but it’s still not quite close enough that I can talk at a volume that I consider normal. (And I can’t stand “cell phone voice.” It doesn’t seem to bother most people to have to raise your voice to be heard, but it’s kind of a pet peeve of mine, in any context.)
Enter this thing. It’s a handset like old fashioned telephones used to have, back when cranial compatibility was a primary design goal — there’s a reason phones were shaped that way for so long, after all. But this one’s got Bluetooth, so you can use it wirelessly.
I got myself one with birthday money a while back. It’s as comfortable as I wanted it to be, holding it is like a friendly handshake. The classic shoulder-prop is a much more reasonable technique now, and it cups right up to my mouth so my soft normal voice is usually enough. I do need to crank up the headset volume on my phone to make the earpiece loud enough, but that works perfectly. The battery life is good, for my usage anyway. Two thumbs up!
On a semi-related note: This evening, I was reading the book “Wacky Wednesday” to my son for bedtime. You have to find all the things that are “wacky.” One of his things: The telephone on the table had a cord.
That is awesome.
I just fired my phone company (mostly)
Interesting to read this today, as I just called my phone company (Frontier Communications) and told them to strip my phone account down to a pay-by-the-call program. (I have a DSL contract with them, and apparently I need to maintain minimal phone service. I’ll be dropping the entire service once my DSL contract is up.) I actually didn’t mind paying for the land line, but Frontier just jacked the rate up BY TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT! This after I had just received a coy “we’re all in this recession together” letter from the CEO. She had the frickin’ cajones to castigate cable companies for raising annual rates.