Old Tech Ain’t Always Bad Tech

LG220CI consider myself to be slightly behind the bleeding edge of tech innovation. I’m not one of these guys who will jump on some new gadget the day it comes out, but I know about it and I’ll probably have my hands on it before too long. Being 50+ in age, I’ve seen my fair share of new gadgets. I remember well how amazing it was to have a fax machine and sit around staring at it waiting for orders to come in. And I fully realize that the smartphone I carry has more technology in it than Apollo 11 carried, and has had for several years.

That’s why I am slightly surprised how much I’ve enjoyed my new 5-year old clamshell flip phone.

“Le me splain. No. There is too much. Le me sum up.” My contract with AT&T has passed the two year mark, so I am free to either upgrade and get stuck for another couple of years, or go elsewhere. As I was considering my options, Google lowered their prices on the Nexus 4 by $100. That made the Nexus basically the same price as a new phone with new-contract pricing. I jumped.

I love my Nexus 4, but that’s another blog entry. As Inigo Montoya said, “there is too much.” I began to research options other than AT&T. They’ve been good to me and I’ve been with them almost a decade now. Still, they are pretty pricey in the grand scheme of things. After some research, I settled on Straight Talk as the best option for me, but I did not want to just jump and port my number into their system without some further testing.

Which led me to my clamshell. Straight Talk’s lowest level of service is called “All You Need” or something similarly silly. It includes 1000 minutes, 1000 texts and a pitiful 30MB of web access for only $30. That’s the equivalent of one meal at Montelongo’s for my family. I figured it’s worth a test.

I did not want to buy a new phone just to try their service. As I looked through their offerings, I ran across a refurbished LG 220C. It was free with the $30 one-month plan. Why not? I can try out a 2nd line for a month just to see if Shallowater and Straight Talk are a good fit.

It arrived fairly quickly and I initialized it after the requisite 5-hour top-off. Once it was charged and in my hands, it was like I had stepped back into 2006. I know, that’s not really that long ago. In the tech world, six or seven years is an eternity. I actually had to press buttons to dial the phone. There was something delightfully tactile about that action.

I was talking on the phone in the car and experienced the forgotten sensation of needing to press the top of the flip phone tight to my ear because it just wasn’t loud enough. My car noise was overpowering the little ear speaker and I couldn’t turn it up loud enough. Wow, memories.

But the faux coup d’état was at the end. Instead of hitting the big red hang up button… wait for it… I flipped the clam shell down to hang up! It was Star Trek all over again. Kirk, out.

Am I going to use this phone full time? Dream on. But it has been fun to experience the past again, and it wasn’t so bad. The internet access is laughable, but as a plain old communication device, beam me up, Scotty! And now I have a good back up device for when my son breaks his hi-tech phone again.

Do you remember your old flip phone? What was it? Do you still use it (as does my mother-in-law)? Tell me about it in the comments.


  1. I never like the flip phone, it’s is the first one to break, they are noisy, it also seems to be a bit snobbish to me as all my friends use it like it makes them geniuses… It is like cigarettes, they create the illusion of status, like they are making you look good with every flip, but it’s not really classy, not in my opinion.
    I have always used a Samsung, a phone tablet, it’s simple and elegant, quick and functional…it lives in my back pocket, that modest. @_@.

  2. Ronda Hewgley says

    My Dear Gary, I’m quite a bit older than you, but I will admit that as of right now I’m still using an old flip phone!! Now on the other side of the coin, I’m appalled when I go out to eat at a restaurant and see couples sitting at their tables and both of them are too busy with their phones and you see no conversation between them. I think that’s extremely sad to see.

    • Yes, I agree. Sometimes I think the new tech is the bane of society. But then I get too busy checking my email to think about it.

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