Mon, 26 May 2003

What if you're a cellular-phone abuser?

Do not put your cellular phone in your shirt pocket. First, it may interfere with your heartbeat. Second, when you bend down to pick up something on the floor, it may fall out and you'll have to take it to the repair shop.

Some people been known to drop their cellulars into the toilet. There may be no way to repair such ill-fated gadgets.

Like most other handheld gear, your cellular is not built for abuse. If you have a cracked casing or a broken screen cover, you may be able to have it replaced at a reasonable cost. But when the electronic circuitries are affected by an unchecked fall, you may never be able to restore it to its previous working condition.

Oftentimes, the repair shop may be able to fix one part of the electronics, but in doing so, they inadvertently damage some other part.

What to do if you are careless with sensitive electronic gadgetry such as cellular phones? First, choose those built for abuse. Major cellular phone makers such as Nokia and Ericsson do make sturdy phones.

The new Nokia 5100, for example, targets "active" users, says the company. It can be used in the rain and can be dropped on the floor without sustaining any damage.

Ericsson, on the other hand, makes a cellular phone that also functions as a walkie-talkie. It will most certainly not fit in your shirt pocket, but it will withstand a high degree of abuse.

Panasonic, which has been producing some of the most durable notebook computers in the industry, made the DuraMax EB-TX220, sold by AT&T.

All three -- the Nokia 5100, the Ericsson cellphone-cum-walkie-talkie and the Panasonic DuraMax -- come in a reinforced rubber casing to absorb the impact of a fall.

If you are a Motorola fan, you may find that the Motorola Harley Davidson V60i is more suited to your needs -- the American company has released this special-edition V60i to commemorate Harley Davidson's 100th anniversary. Available in either Chrome or Leather, it may not be as durable as the aforementioned models, but it should still be stronger than mainstream models.

What to do if you come to the realization that you are a clumsy person only after you have already bought a cellular phone, and that you tend to drop it each time you take it out? The simplest solution is to buy a high-quality case for your phone. This may make life a little more difficult, since you will need to take the phone out of the case before you can even push the Answer button.

But then again, the protection of a padded case will let your cellular phone survive your abuse, and you to save enough money to buy a truly durable model during your next cellular shopping trip.

-- Zatni Arbi