Thursday, March 16, 2006

Phone Friends: A Meandering Post


I'm searching for a successor to my little red cell phone. I've had this Nokia model for five years, since just before the first Charlie's Angels movie came out and all the Angels had the same phone. I used to love it that people would say I looked just like glamorous Lucy Liu, when I pulled the phone out of the pocket of my black leather coat to take a call. Many calls, replacement batteries, and a movie sequel later, I'm wondering what's new in the world of personal phones.

The Motorola Razr is darn sharp. I must admit that I'm a sucker for form factor, so it's my favorite in spite of not being a big flip phone fan. The Slvr had promise until I saw it in person. It may be thin, but the footprint makes it seem really bulky. I haven't seen the Pebl yet, but it mostly makes me think the Motorola marketing department must be located in the Czech Republic, where they are thrifty with their vowels.
Why not a flip phone? When I get a call, it takes too long to get the phone out of a protective case and then get the phone opened. I don't like to carry the phone naked – I'd be certain to drop it on a hard surface at the worst possible time. However, if I got one of those clever phone straps, I could loop it over my wrist, and a flip phone might be ok. Then the only issue would be that the Razr comes in magenta, but not red.

More about phone straps: SwingDaddy has been forwarding Peter Payne's weekly updates from JBox, a company that sells "wacky things" from Japan. Along with product news, Peter writes thoughtful musings on Japanese culture.

A while back, he talked about cell phone charms, "which are an updated version of the art form known as netsuke, popular since the Edo Period." A lot of Japanese have cords or straps which attach to their cell phones to make them easier to carry and display decorations.

It didn't take Google long to find StrapYa, A Japanese Phone Accessory Superstore. The site noisy to the eyes, but they do have a remarkable selection. The photo at the top of the post shows the phone charm collection of "Jam-Bun and Friends." Yes, you can have a plush cell phone companion in the shape of a snack.

So, from a consumer electronics quest, I ended up looking at cute toys. I suppose that's not so surprising.

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On an unrelated note, I did indeed go back to the store and return the Tab Energy. The cashier and the man in line behind me heartily agreed that it was the right thing to do. "It's this bad, fruity thing, nothing like real Tab," he sighed.

1 comment:

fourthbreakfast said...

I checked out the Japanese Phone Accessory Superstore. As usual with most things Japanese, I was intrigued and alarmed. The CatFish (Cat swallowed by Fish) in 4 varieties definitely fit that category.