I have just received the news that my old friend Sony Ericsson T630 has died. He would have been 8 this December.
When new, he was all white and ‘Apple-y’. He matched my iPod, and had a much nicer user-interface than the slow, buggy Motorola E365 that he replaced. He had bluetooth and a camera, but I didn’t care. Calls, messages and battery life were what I needed and he delivered. He wasn’t just a pretty face though: many times he bit concrete, hard. Sometimes a missed pocket, sometimes falling out of a suit while running and being kicked 20ft, sometimes being thrown drunkenly to show how amazingly death-proof he was. He always tumbled with a smile, or waited for the battery to be put back in if the trauma really knocked the stuffing out of him. Dare I say it, he was both tougher and more rounded as a phone than a Nokia 3210.
Over time, the camera clogged with grit, rendering the low resolution even lower; the joystick and buttons got frustratingly sticky (but he liked a hard liquor as much as the next guy, and 90% alcohol often loosened him up again); and the charger connection became ever more unreliable. He was getting too old for regular service, and was semi-retired to the reserves. By chance, he got called out of the drawer for what seemed like an ordinary operation: a young woman’s smart phone was in for warranty repair and he had to provide cover for a week or two maintaining basic communication. No problem we thought.
Typically, the company quoted all sorts of delays and T630 was on the front line longer and longer. He probably wasn’t familiar with the extreme use of a sociable owner. There was even a car crash. Eventually, something just gave out. In many ways I’m glad: he went out doing what he did best and didn’t lie neglected for years in a drawer. He had a long life, travelled the world connecting to foreign networks and explored remote places with no signal or extortionate call fees. He brought people together.
2004-2012: they don’t make em like they used to!