Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

A Decade Old Mobile Phone

060620093042It feels like stepping back in history and it sorts of feels so nostalgic holding this antiquated mobile phone. Surprisingly, its form factor isn’t all that antiquated. At least, it’s not one of those “big brother” mobile phone that could double up as a weapon any time. No, this is something more elegant, and one of the star phones in its hey days. It’s the Motorola StarTac X. It’s something I had in 1999, which makes it about 10 years old.

The StarTac X is also the only Motorola phone I ever owned. It’s user interface was one of its kind, not designed for normal humans to use. One of the reasons I decided never to get a Motorola again was the user interface. Several more phones after the StarTac X continued to use its broken user interface. I don’t know how Motorola mobile phone’s user interface is like now, but I imagine they must have improved a whole lot otherwise they won’t be in the mobile phone business anymore. (Come to think of it, they are really lagging far behind in the mobile phone market share.)

Mobile phones in pre-2000 era were just for making phone calls. You didn’t need the phone to do much more. Nowadays, we’re demanding a lot more from our mobile phones. In the next couple of weeks, I’m going to be missing my N95 8GB for a while due to the annual necessary evil activity. It’s reservist time again. I’m going to be using my Sony Ericsson M600i. Every new phone on the planet nowadays has a camera of some sort, no matter how lousy, and it’s just that very thing that makes it prohibited from carrying into an army camp.

I was just trying to revive my M600i yesterday and getting it to work with my MacBook. I’m somewhat disappointed that it will not cooperate with iSync. Many people on the net seemed to have condemned the M600i as having broken SyncML support which makes it unworkable with iSync (and unfixable). The M600i is not exactly in the era of StarTac X. But just a few years ago only, simple things like data syncing was so difficult.

Someone needs to develop a new hi-tech mobile phone without camera, and yet be “killer” enough to be wanted by many people.

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