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To Android, with love: My journey to Android from Nokia via BlackBerry and iPhone

Jaideep Karnik

Updated: December 22, 2015, 6:34 PM IST
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To Android, with love: My journey to Android from Nokia via BlackBerry and iPhone
Jaideep Karnik shares his phone changing experiences since the Nokia 3310.
Had been intending to pen this for long but never really got around writing. But thanks to Sundar Pichai and his visit to India and the associated buzz around Android that woke up the lazy writer inside me. So here it goes...

I have always believed in long term relationships, be it with people or with objects. It was difficult for me to make my first switch from Nokia to Blackberry, and then it from Blackberry to iPhone. Now finally to Android! Thankfully my human relationships have been more durable. Amen! (more on that later).

The first Nokia phone I used was the iconic Nokia 3310. Though I had used a high-end Nokia (with a slider) at that time, but then it wasn't exactly mine. The 3310 was my first personal mobile possession and any mention of that still evokes a feeling of nostalgia in me. What a beauty it was! Simple, elegant, and had all the functions that you can do on a mobile phone (at that time). Yes, I also played a lot of Snake on that. Having three letters on the same key was what we from that generation were used to. We, who took three taps to type a letter, are the ones who adapted late to physical QWERTY keyboards and the touch keyboards that followed later. How fast you learn the placement of those letters and how quickly you could type with that was a matter of skill and pride.

Nokia 3310

While it feels nice to reminisce about the early days of the mobile phone, its fast paced evolution is what really amazes you. However, the basics of mobile telephony (calling and texting) are still around. From those early days to WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter is a long, fast and fantastic journey. But then, first love is first love!

I moved from monochrome to a fancier colour screen, but it was still a Nokia. This time the Nokia 3205. Again what a beauty. At that time the fancy N-series phones were out of my reach, so I was seeking a combination of economy and elegance. The 3205 was the right match. My first phone with a camera that also boasted of transparent front and back covers. You could either flaunt the innards of your phone or encase it with the colourful skins that came along. Furthermore you could customise the phone's back and front with 'cut-outcovers' and the cutter that came along make it easy to create them. I did cut some very nice front and backs for my 3205. I also had got one painted for me by Devkrishna Lambole, a very talented and renowned painter who used to work at Naidunia, the newspaper I was working with. He had painted the Vivekananda Rock at Kanyakumari on which I pasted a small image of Swami Vivekananda. It was a much prized possession and stayed with the 3205 till I lost the phone.

The Nokia 3205 - the first phone with which I took photos. It had a small 2 megapixel camera (front cameras were still a little distance away). And by the time I lost the phone, I had already mastered the art of typing on those alphanumeric keypads.

Nokia 3205

I stayed a Nokia loyalist for the next couple of upgrades and then I found myself forced into the world of BlackBerry. It was a business need but I had been attempting to avoid it for long. My first BlackBerry was the BlackBerry Curve CDMA with a trackball. I still feel very jittery remembering the number of times I lost that trackball while trying to open and fix the phone. Finding the trackball was a nightmare. But I still loved that phone. Soon I moved to the Curve 8520. That sure was another beauty.

BlackBerry Curve 8520

Even after using the iPhone and other touch keyboards, I can still vouch for that BlackBerry QWERTY keyboard. That was the the best and fastest I ever used. That phone was witness to all the long-long emails, articles and reports that I filed. That was the phone that made me realise that one could also work efficiently even without a laptop. So the love for Blackberry continued while the lust for the touchphone started to ignite.

But even in the touch world, I remained committed to BlackBerry and made my touch phone debut with the Blackberry Z3.

BlackBerry Z3

It was nice, handy and included a number of welcome additional features but it still made me miss that physical keyboard. From Nokia to Blackberry, I was able to do all that I wanted without even thinking about the operating system. The OS on the phone was insignificant to me as I was able to do all that I wanted to.

Meanwhile the world of Android had grown huge. Almost everyone around me was on Android and even my family was full of Android users. But I preferred to stay with BlackBerry. It was to do with the familiarity with the BlackBerry system and my worries about security on Android. But with time the distance between BlackBerry and the competing ecosystems grew wider. Many of the apps that had become a necessity on the modern digital world weren't there on BlackBerry. Had BlackBerry been fast-footed, many like me would have never moved away.

With a heavy heart, I made the switch. But not to Android but iOS on the iPhone 6.

iOS was a good experience but still soon turned out to be a heartbreak. I never knew that storage would come at such a premium. If I can get similar (or sometimes even better) features at Rs 15K (or less) and the storage options can extend to as high has 128 GB (or even beyond), why would I want to have an iPhone?

Apple iPhone 6

Yes, I know many iPhone fans would have lot of arguments against what I just said, but I strongly feel that in the post Steve Jobs era, the iPhone no longer remains that fascinating piece of technology. Also that basic features features such as the FM radio, that we all love so much to listen to in India, are still missing.

So finally to Android it is. And the phone is the Lenovo Vibe S1. Not because of the Ranbir Kapoor ads, but this was what I zeroed in on matching my need of features with the price tag. I will share my experience with the S1 in a later blog post.

Lenovo Vibe S1

It is still early days in my Android experience but I am enjoying this courtship. Not sure if it stays this way or if the bond would grow stronger, but the early signs are positive.

I found Facebook to be better on iOS, while Twitter and a number of news apps appear more fulfilling on Android. But I would like to take a little longer to reach a conclusion. Would also want to know your feedback (And thanks again to Sundar Pichai!).
First Published: December 22, 2015, 3:44 PM IST

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