Technology

The rise of the cellphone

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When I was a kid we still had a “sentrale”. You phoned this central point and asked to be connected to a number if it wasn’t a local extension. Maybe this technology was around a little longer where we were than in the cities, I don’t know.

We had a black phone and our number was 303 – serious. There was nothing more satisfying than turning the dial and letting it click back to the beginning. We also had a (long range) radio unit that would let you talk to the neighbours for safety reasons. There were no voicemail services so if you weren’t next to the phone, you missed the call and just never knew about it.

Technology has forever changed the world we live in. We’re online, in one way or another, all day long. Our phones and computers have become reflections of our personalities, our interests, and our identities. They hold much that is important to us.

James Comey

When I was in high school that is when the first cell phones landed in South Africa. They were bricks. If you had enough of them you would probably be able to build a pretty decent house. Suddenly my parents could phone us wherever we were. There was no tracking apps back then, but still, they could check in on you.

I was 18 when I got my own cell phone. It was a blue and had huge buttons and a tiny monochrome screen with no camera. It was cutting edge.

My favourite phone of all time is the pink MotoRZR I had. That metal flip phone was the best thing since sliced bread with a camera and could even go on the internet! Then there was Blackberry with its free BBM – it was the beginning of live phone chats.

Now I’m on my “how many’th” iPhone. Cameras matter more than calling capabilities – and who still call anyways?

Some brands have disappeared off the market, some are barely hangining in, others are making strides and then there are the newbies on the block.

  • iPhone and Samsung has more new launches than I ever thought possible;
  • Nokia even brought a nostalgia version back of the their most popular phone plus they have partnered with Google to run Android;
  • Blackberry reinvented themselves and now also runs Android. I still think the QWERTY keyboard was the best thing ever implemented by them (other than BBM);
  • Huawei seems unstoppable with more affordable phones that still gives superior quality cameras;
  • LG is still making phones and they even had a run at a foldable phone;
  • Alcatel is still also making durable phones as always;
  • Surprises are CAT and Land Rover Explore (listed on the Vodacom website);
  • Honor is a new brand that launched this year. Their current phone has a Front Camera (24MP F/2.0 Aperture) and Rear Camera (13MP + 2MP, F/1.8 + F/2.4 Aperture. To me this looks like a great selfie taker;

Let me know what your favourite phone ever was.

I am a Johannesburg based freelance writer, social media manager - and of course share bits from my life with you on this blog. We have 2 kids through surrogacy and 3 black cats.

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