Friday 29 June 2012

Smart Phone Experience

I have been hemming and hawing about getting one of those “smart” phones for a few months now. I really, really, really want one. The problem is that I really, really, really don’t need one. You see, I have three people that call me on a regular basis, and by regular I mean about once a week, and it is pretty hard to justify the expense of a smart phone for maybe 12 calls a month. There is no way I should get a new phone.
So, I ordered a phone about eight days ago. Here is how I justify the purchase to myself. I bought it from a company called Chinavaison which is located in…well, you guessed it…China. These are the same people that make all of the other smart phones we use (well, you use) and aside from the name they do the same things. They have Android operating systems and you can get all of those wonderful apps that I have been drooling over. The phones come unlocked and with two sim card slots. That means that I can use it on my Rogers phone plan and if I ever need a business phone, I can just put the sim card into this one and have two numbers. I will agree that it is pretty stupid for me to get one.
Chinavaison sells to wholesalers and lucky for me, individuals. The phones are priced at about half of what we pay in Canada. This particular phone was on sale for about half of the wholesale price, so I figure I got a pretty good deal and didn’t have to sign up for a plan. My son did point out that I pay the same amount as if I had a plan, but that is just him being sensible. How did I ever raise a sensible child?

So, the phone was ordered and it was sent from China to Vancouver in less than a day. Less than a day! Then, Canadian customs got their hands on it. They actually weren’t too bad as there is some kind of deal where cell phones and other “needed” electronics from China are duty free. Yeah, no one got a pay off to pass that legislation. Customs had it for two days, and then passed it on to Canada Post. Did you know that it takes five days to get a small package from Vancouver to Calgary? I can almost see that, except that it only takes half a day to get from China to Canada. I am just happy that I got it.
I charged it up and couldn’t figure out how to turn it on. The instruction booklet wasn’t much help. “Find joy and glory from Google weather time.” What???? I guess if I were writing an instruction book in Chinese, it wouldn’t make a lot of sense either. The problem that I am running into is that they assume a certain level of technological competence which I seem to lack. I managed to turn it on and after a few failed attempts dialled a number. Sure it was my home phone number which isn’t too big a stretch, but I talked to myself. I’m not sure whether it was the connection or perhaps I just didn’t have a lot to say to myself, but I didn’t talk too long. I called from the home phone to the cell, but I still didn’t have a lot to say.

I wanted to call someone else, but I am limited to my three regulars, and one is in Phoenix, one was at work and the other one would want to actually talk. What I wanted to do was say “Hi, how do I sound? Am I clear? Does this sound different than normal?” Considering the fact that it has been a week since I talked to him and he is getting older so he barely remembers to put on clothes, there wasn’t much chance he would be helpful. I will probably have to wait to talk to someone when I lose it or it gets stolen. That should be a fun conversation. “Hi…ahhh…this is my phone, thanks for finding it.” Then the guy will say “I didn’t find it, you left it on the table at Tim’s and I took it…sucker!”
I am already enjoying the whole smart phone experience.

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