I feel somewhat odd writing about a product as old and unfashionable as this particular Panasonic phone. It’s colour is garish, it’s size makes using the keypad difficult, and like all current mobiles the screen based user interface sucks. Despite these shortcomings this is the first mobile phone I throw in my bag when traveling. The reasoning is pretty simple.
It’s cheap – I bought this at a small cellular stall inside a grocery store in Bangkok for about $30.00 US. If I lose it I’m not going to cry like I might if I had just bought a new Palm Treo 750.The stall owner couldn’t believe I was buying as the primary market for these type of phones then was high school students.
The garish colour makes it extremely easy to find inside a bag and it’s size makes slipping it into my front pocket comfortable. I can carry it in my pocket without the worry of it snapping in half or bending. It’s a tough little bugger.
It’s an unlocked triband gsm phone that allows me to pop in any local sim card to avoid roaming charges. Americans have it pretty tough with their closed cellular market and these kind of choices seem rare.
With loud ringtones, SMS, Vibration Alert, Digital Clock, Calculator,
Currency Converter, and Scheduler + To Do List it has all the features we really need when out and about. People in sales and senior management can afford to lose their Blackberry’s anyway.
This ohone is actually the mobile of choice for a number of my friends here who want something very small and whose companies don’t allow camera phones or any hard drive devices on company property due to IP theft concerns.
There is a minor resurgence in a return to reducing the feature set of new mobiles. Companies are starting to realize that most of are not going to be watching t.v., video conferencing, or playing networked games on our mobiles. Some of just use our phones to make simple calls and text messages – to communicate. When you are traveling or in need of a second mobile scour the web or ebay for deals on this phone. There is no need to go out and spend a fortune and you can travel with some piece of mind.
Panasonic [no longer listed on their site]. Google search for Panasonic EB-A101.