diamond geezer

 Thursday, January 07, 2021

I finally got round to buying a new phone. I should probably have done it earlier.



I usually wait until my phone's on its last legs before replacing it. My last started flickering alarmingly, the one before that developed an erupting battery and the one before that was unsmart long after its time. I kept that particular Sony Ericsson for over five years, and I kept my latest for over five years too. I am very much afflicted with technological inertia.

To give you some idea how old my most recent phone was, I bought it in the week Jeremy Corbyn became Labour leader. Simpler times. After two years it needed a new battery so I got that replaced and took some tips from the guy in the shop on how to prolong it. Try not to recharge it until it's really low, he said, so I did that and battery two lasted rather longer.

But by this time last year it had started to degrade, losing charge more rapidly and occasionally plummeting in power for no readily apparent reason. I started operating in Low Power Mode as my daily default, just in case. But it was still good enough that I managed to get all the way to Cornwall and back, and took 300 photos, without a recharge. False optimism.

In the week that lockdown started an overnight charge failed and my phone wouldn't turn back on no matter how many cables I plugged in or buttons I pressed. I spent five agonising hours convinced it was never going to revive, furious that battery failure had happened at precisely the wrong moment, until ohthankgod it somehow magically woke up again.

The issue wasn't so much the phone as the charger connection, which over the course of four and a half years had become increasingly worn. It meant that plugging in the cable didn't always work first time, I had to jiggle it a bit until the charging symbol lit up. And if the power hit ever zero this charade didn't always work, because I couldn't tell if the cable was connected and the phone had started recharging... or not.

In normal times I would have popped to a shop for repairs, an upgrade or a new phone, but shops were no longer open so that wasn't an option. You might have had a new phone delivered at this point, but I decided to continue with a suboptimal device. I can string this out, I thought, and did.

I spent the subsequent nine months trying very hard to ensure my phone never turned itself off in case it never turned itself back on. This mitigation generally worked fine, and I was able to continue to use my phone on a day to day basis, but all the time the battery was fading away a little quicker.

The turning point was Christmas Day when I went for a walk into central London hoping to take some unique photos, but having taken a handful my previously full battery suddenly claimed to be at 27%. I had a proper camera with me but that failed too, again a battery issue, so I knew my days of technological inertia were numbered.

I did my research. I sought advice. I seriously considered all sorts of repurchasing options that later proved to be either suboptimal or entirely unnecessary. This is why I normally like to go to shops to buy things rather than sitting here and guessing incorrectly. But I got there in the end.

On Monday I finally worked out that I didn't need to wait days for a phone to be delivered because John Lewis were still offering Click and Collect a mile away. I took the plunge and forked out, anticipating a pick-up time the next day... then a few hours later the Prime Minister popped up and announced Lockdown Three. Damn, I thought, I timed that appallingly.

But it was fine, because under the latest rules it seems Click and Collect remains a perfectly permissible service. I received an email earlier than expected inviting me to pick up my purchase, so trooped over to Westfield and located a lowly table placed outside the store's back door. The member of staff struggled to read my barcode with her gizmo because the display on my ageing phone wasn't bright enough, but a minute later I was walking away with its replacement. Hurrah.

Back in 2015 I'd got somebody else to do the entire changeover for me, but this time I managed it all by myself. The magic of bluetooth helped out, plus the cosy friendliness of modern gadgets, plus advice on the internet when things didn't quite go as expected. Small victories, but this is what happens when you don't do this kind of thing very often.

Contrary to normal technological progress my new phone is exactly the same size as the old one. That's potentially useful because the case from the old one still fits... although the hole where the camera goes is in a slightly different place so damn, I'm going to need a new case soon. I already have that new-phone paranoia that comes from holding a slippery unprotected slab of unblemished metal.

I'm now trying to readjust to having a phone that works the way it's supposed to. The battery survives happily for more than one day. I can listen to audio or take a photo without fear it might conk out. I don't have to repeatedly jiggle my USB cable before it connects, it just works. I've been putting up with a diminished product for so long that normality has been a pleasant shock.

But it's still a learning curve. Lots of settings aren't quite what they used to be, or more likely weren't previously featured, so I've spent a lot of time turning options off. No I do not want my phone to take a snatch of video every single time I take a photo. No I do not want to send Memoji Stickers, thanks. I'm still at the stage of wondering what I've missed.

It's been good to lose the fear that my phone might ultimately brick itself, which I now realise has been niggling away since March last year. A lot of crucial functions like banking or making a purchase assume you have a functioning phone and will lock you out if you're unable to use it. I'd hate to have missed out on a future vaccination because my local surgery wrongly assumed I could read the one-off text they sent.

So I wish my new phone a long and healthy life. The last one surprisingly cost £10 more but endured for an impressive 1937 days so turned out to be a bit of a bargain. How quickly a former luxury becomes a future essential.


<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>


click to return to the main page


...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan21
Jan20  Feb20  Mar20  Apr20  May20  Jun20  Jul20  Aug20  Sep20  Oct20  Nov20  Dec20
Jan19  Feb19  Mar19  Apr19  May19  Jun19  Jul19  Aug19  Sep19  Oct19  Nov19  Dec19
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18  Jun18  Jul18  Aug18  Sep18  Oct18  Nov18  Dec18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

» my flickr photostream

twenty blogs
853
arseblog
ian visits
londonist
blue witch
the great wen
edith's streets
spitalfields life
linkmachinego
in the aquarium
round the island
wanstead meteo
christopher fowler
ruth's coastal walk
the ladies who bus
round the rails we go
london reconnections
dirty modern scoundrel
from the murky depths
exploring urban wastelands

quick reference features
Things to do in Outer London
Things to do outside London
Inner London toilet map
The DG Tour of Britain
#coronavirus

read the archive
Jan21
Dec20  Nov20  Oct20  Sep20
Aug20  Jul20  Jun20  May20
Apr20  Mar20  Feb20  Jan20
Dec19  Nov19  Oct19  Sep19
Aug19  Jul19  Jun19  May19
Apr19  Mar19  Feb19  Jan19
Dec18  Nov18  Oct18  Sep18
Aug18  Jul18  Jun18  May18
Apr18  Mar18  Feb18  Jan18
Dec17  Nov17  Oct17  Sep17
Aug17  Jul17  Jun17  May17
Apr17  Mar17  Feb17  Jan17
Dec16  Nov16  Oct16  Sep16
Aug16  Jul16  Jun16  May16
Apr16  Mar16  Feb16  Jan16
Dec15  Nov15  Oct15  Sep15
Aug15  Jul15  Jun15  May15
Apr15  Mar15  Feb15  Jan15
Dec14  Nov14  Oct14  Sep14
Aug14  Jul14  Jun14  May14
Apr14  Mar14  Feb14  Jan14
Dec13  Nov13  Oct13  Sep13
Aug13  Jul13  Jun13  May13
Apr13  Mar13  Feb13  Jan13
Dec12  Nov12  Oct12  Sep12
Aug12  Jul12  Jun12  May12
Apr12  Mar12  Feb12  Jan12
Dec11  Nov11  Oct11  Sep11
Aug11  Jul11  Jun11  May11
Apr11  Mar11  Feb11  Jan11
Dec10  Nov10  Oct10  Sep10
Aug10  Jul10  Jun10  May10
Apr10  Mar10  Feb10  Jan10
Dec09  Nov09  Oct09  Sep09
Aug09  Jul09  Jun09  May09
Apr09  Mar09  Feb09  Jan09
Dec08  Nov08  Oct08  Sep08
Aug08  Jul08  Jun08  May08
Apr08  Mar08  Feb08  Jan08
Dec07  Nov07  Oct07  Sep07
Aug07  Jul07  Jun07  May07
Apr07  Mar07  Feb07  Jan07
Dec06  Nov06  Oct06  Sep06
Aug06  Jul06  Jun06  May06
Apr06  Mar06  Feb06  Jan06
Dec05  Nov05  Oct05  Sep05
Aug05  Jul05  Jun05  May05
Apr05  Mar05  Feb05  Jan05
Dec04  Nov04  Oct04  Sep04
Aug04  Jul04  Jun04  May04
Apr04  Mar04  Feb04  Jan04
Dec03  Nov03  Oct03  Sep03
Aug03  Jul03  Jun03  May03
Apr03  Mar03  Feb03  Jan03
Dec02  Nov02  Oct02  Sep02
back to main page

the diamond geezer index
2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
2015 2014 2013 2012 2011
2010 2009 2008 2007 2006
2005 2004 2003 2002

my special London features
a-z of london museums
E3 - local history month
greenwich meridian (N)
greenwich meridian (S)
the real eastenders
london's lost rivers
olympic park 2007
great british roads
oranges & lemons
random boroughs
bow road station
high street 2012
river westbourne
trafalgar square
capital numbers
east london line
lea valley walk
olympics 2005
regent's canal
square routes
silver jubilee
unlost rivers
cube routes
Herbert Dip
metro-land
capital ring
river fleet
piccadilly
bakerloo

ten of my favourite posts
the seven ages of blog
my new Z470xi mobile
five equations of blog
the dome of doom
chemical attraction
quality & risk
london 2102
single life
boredom
april fool

ten sets of lovely photos
my "most interesting" photos
london 2012 olympic zone
harris and the hebrides
betjeman's metro-land
marking the meridian
tracing the river fleet
london's lost rivers
inside the gherkin
seven sisters
iceland

just surfed in?
here's where to find...
diamond geezers
flash mob #1  #2  #3  #4
ben schott's miscellany
london underground
watch with mother
cigarette warnings
digital time delay
wheelie suitcases
war of the worlds
transit of venus
top of the pops
old buckenham
ladybird books
acorn antiques
digital watches
outer hebrides
olympics 2012
school dinners
pet shop boys
west wycombe
bletchley park
george orwell
big breakfast
clapton pond
san francisco
thunderbirds
routemaster
children's tv
east enders
trunk roads
amsterdam
little britain
credit cards
jury service
big brother
jubilee line
number 1s
titan arum
typewriters
doctor who
coronation
comments
blue peter
matchgirls
hurricanes
buzzwords
brookside
monopoly
peter pan
starbucks
feng shui
leap year
manbags
bbc three
vision on
piccadilly
meridian
concorde
wembley
islington
ID cards
bedtime
freeview
beckton
blogads
eclipses
letraset
arsenal
sitcoms
gherkin
calories
everest
muffins
sudoku
camilla
london
ceefax
robbie
becks
dome
BBC2
paris
lotto
118
itv