I'm a firm believer in splurging on great products and I truly believe that, for the most part, you get what you pay for. There are plenty of articles out there about what you should never skimp on and I don't think that technology is something to be skimped on.
This is the Motorola SLVR L7, circa 2005.
How I came to own one is a little bit of an interesting story. I had originally gotten the ROKR, which is the first ever phone to have iTunes on it. MP3's were the hottest new technology thing at the time and this is right around when the iPod was a huge status symbol rather than something just as routine as your socks. So, at the time this was the most technologically advanced phone on the market.
My parents couldn't see why I didn't just want to get the free phone offered with the new plan but I insisted. The ROKR was the one I wanted. Just one month later, the SLVR came out. It was thinner than the RAZR and had all the same capabilities as the ROKR. It was basically a ROKR-RAZR brainchild, and it came in a sleek shade of black. I was not happy.
But then my ROKR had a ringtone issue. One particular ringtone would never actually make any sound. It played just fine from "My Sounds" but never actually rang. I called customer service and they agreed to send me a replacement. Only, the ROKR was out of stock. So they sent me a SLVR instead. I was happy.
Fast forward 5 years and I'm still using the SLVR.
My only real complaint about it is that the center button of the navigation pad has broken off. (It really just means I have to move my thumb over 2 cm to hit "confirm" rather than pushing the center button.)
As you can see, it's still in great shape. Keys are never sticky and the usability is as good as ever. It has an impressive speaker for such a tiny phone and I can still occasionally go for 3-4 days without charging it.
Most impressive of all is that I've been using it nonstop for the last five years. Other people have gone through free phones like crazy but I haven't needed an upgrade yet. In fact, I could probably go on using this one for another 5 years if smart phones weren't completely taking over the cell phone market.
The real reason I'm bragging about the SLVR and how enduring it's been is because I'm thinking about a new phone. I don't want to leave AT&T, both because the customer service is great and because it will kill our minutes if Clement and I were on different carriers. So this essentially boils my choices down to the iPhone or the Nexus One. (Previously, the Blackberry Pearl was also on this list but touch screen is clearly the way of the future so I dropped the option.)
The iPhone has been recently rated by users as the number 1 smart phone according to a survey by JD Power, hurting only in the category of battery life. This survey, however, hasn't covered the highly anticipated Nexus One, which has been opened up to AT&T as of March 16, 2010.
Even in my quest to invest in a great piece of technology, with my first-hand experience in understanding that you get what you pay for, should I spring for the $200 iPhone or can I really justify a $530 phone? iPhone or Nexus One -- will it take a 5-year beating the way that my last investment did? Which one will I be bragging about in 5 years and happy I had made an invested choice in?
Technophiles want to weigh in?