Between finishing my first degree and starting my Masters degree I worked in a call centre for a while. It turned out that a degree in Human Biology wasn't the passport to becoming the next Crick, or indeed Watson, that I had believed...
I worked as a "customer service representative" for BT Cellnet, the mobile phone company that would later go on to become O2. Working in a call centre was a lousy job (calm down, I know there are worse jobs), but on the plus side we could get great deals on mobile phones - this was back when they were still mostly confined to business and luxury use.
Now, I barely make half a dozen phone calls a month, less if I can help it, so a mobile phone was really the last thing I needed. Then again, I do love a gadget :)
Let's take a trip down memory lane and have a look at a few of the phones I've owned over the intervening years:
My early mobiles were all Nokias running various incarnations of their proprietary operating system. The handsets improved over the years, but they were certainly "dumb" devices compared to today's modern smartphones.
When I upgraded to the SPV C500 (an Orange re-brand of the HTC Typhoon) a new world of mobile computing opened up to me. The C500 was the first handset I owned that ran a Microsoft Windows operating system (Windows Mobile 2003 SE to be precise), which meant seamless integration with Microsoft Outlook on the desktop, mobile editing of Microsoft Word documents, and of course, Solitaire ;o)
I was totally blown away.
This was back in 2004. Over the next 6 years I owned two more Windows Mobile handsets - Orange's SPV C600 and SPV E650 respectively. These were great phones, and certainly an improvement over their predecessors, but I never felt the "wow" factor I had when I booted up that C500 for the first time.
So I found myself in 2010, itching for a new gadget - itching for a new mobile phone. The E650 was doing a fine job, it had been my faithful companion for over 2 years, but I wanted that "wow" feeling again. I took a look at the WinMo phones out there and it was such a sorry sight (the only exception being the HD2, but the wow factor there was being provided by HTC, not Microsoft). The Palm Pre was a bit niche for me (despite its heritage), and expensive. I even toyed with the idea of getting an iPhone (shock horror!), but soon came to my senses. And Nokia's best smartphones seemed overpriced for my tastes.
So where did that leave me? The only obvious choice: Android. I had no loyalty to WinMo - I felt totally let down for having supported Microsoft's mobile platform for so long. It was great back in 2004, but 6 years of development should have given us so much more than Windows Mobile 6.5. If anything I felt myself drawn to HTC - so I said goodbye to Redmond and embraced the Mountain View Chocolate Factory
, and the HTC Hero
It's barely been a week, but so far I love the Hero. It's not perfect - I'm still missing my physical keyboard for one thing, but I've got the "wow" feeling again, and for a gadget geek there's nothing better :)