IT Support &
Business Software

Life without a smartphone


smartphoneRecently, I had the misfortune of my smartphone leaving my back pocket unexpectedly. Previously when this has happened, the phone case has done its job and taken the brunt of the impact. This time however, on retrieving the phone from being face down, I discovered a scattering of spider web type cracks on the front screen.

While the phone was usable, the touch screen was on borrowed time. It would undoubtedly have lost its waterproof abilities, so time to get it repaired and see how good the phone insurance is.

The claims process meant that I would be without my smartphone for a week. Not a problem I thought, and dug out the Nokia E51. I can survive with just making calls and texts for a week……

Going back to basics

The Nokia had been sat in a box not used for 7 years at a guess. While many of us have had a phone like this, it was an eye opener to see how things have changed with a practical example.

On the positive side, in comparison to a modern day smartphone, the Nokia was very small, light and the battery life was averaging 3 days on standby. On the negative side, messaging and of course NO APPS!

I received mixed comments when using the phone. Those in ear shot hearing the classic Nokia ring tone saying “Cool” or “Retro, I like it.” But then comments of “it looks like a phone you might get attached to the front of a children’s magazine” or “Dora the Explorer phone”. This gave me a good indication of what the younger generation thought, who have probably never seen such device.

Using the Messaging on the phone was quite a painful experience. Firstly, it was evident from how many texts were being sent back then as to how much focus was put into the steps required to send a message. To recap……….

  • Step 1: Options
  • Step 2: Messaging
  • Step 3: Options
  • Step 4: Compose Message
  • Step 5: Type the message on Phone Keypad

I also forgot just how long it takes to scroll through a number keypad – up to 3 times to get the desired character. And finally, Step 6: Send!

The Nokia then waits (possibly for a drum roll) before 3 seconds later presenting “Message Sent”.

What was notable in that week is how I have come to rely upon my smartphone. From health benefits such as counting steps and measuring heart rates, to taking high quality photos and HD videos. Navigational systems for the car and when walking in busy towns and cities, as well as a host of apps!  Apps for business and productivity, weather, CCTV, banking, news, shopping, films, TV, radio and controlling IOT devices.

Final Thoughts

In summary, the reverse of what I thought would happen happened in that week. In short, a simple phone did not make life simpler. So much of what we do now is geared towards using technology, saving time and gaining better efficiency.  From checking emails when out and about, to paying for goods, or finding an address. And let’s not forget the torch which is useful in the winter.

The smartphone market is here to stay for the foreseeable future. There are exciting developments cited around improved batteries, foldable and stretchable displays, as well as wireless charging from when over several feet away from a charger. In addition, something that is potentially useful for me given my recent predicament – a phone without any external connectors for USB and alike. The result; a stronger phone!

Author: Richard Shinn, Director at PCR 

Richard joined PCR over 20 years ago and oversees the network applications and IT support teams within the business. He is responsible for account management, technical sales and service development.


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