Your smartphone history and reasons you replaced your old phone


Samsung Epic 4G - not sure when exactly I got this because I did it in an actual Radioshack, probably the last time since or, now, ever. But it came out in late 2010 so probably mid 2011 at the latest. The Touch variant wasn’t around yet, and that debuted in late 2011. I would still be using this phone today if it were practical. It had a great, great slide out hardware keyboard with nice large (for phones) keys and was sufficiently hackable that the failure of Samsung to keep it updated for very long was no biggie. Despite the name, never really got 4G signal but then, it was Sprint’s stupid WiMax proprietary 4G that they tried to make the standard and then abandoned when it didn’t get traction. This was also the phone where they charged me $90/mo just because it was technically capable of high data use due to the 4G I wasn’t getting, which led to me dumping Sprint for Ting, who treat me far better.

Samsung Galaxy S4 - used in 2015. I held out as long as I possibly could praying for sanity to be restored and hardware keyboards to re-emerge on flagship phones but it did not, and still has not. Unfortunately, there came a time when the 4G just couldn’t cope with current software anymore, so I bumped up to the S4. There was newer at the time (I think maybe the S6 was just out?) but I opted to pay a couple hundred for an older used phone instead of 600+ for a top of the line new phone. There just isn’t $400 worth of difference, and Ting doesn’t subsidize phones, so. I fucking loathed the software keyboard immediately, but it is otherwise a pretty nice phone. Hacked this one too. And as a result, never got 4G to work. You win some, you lose some.

Samsung Galaxy S7 - purchased used a couple months ago. I got fed up with the S4 getting increasingly squirrelly and weird (probably due to having hacked it, honestly) and wanted a new shiny, plus I picked up a cheap Samsung bluetooth headset which, while it had Samsung Galaxy-specific features…those features started with the S6. So that was also a factor. I considered just going all the way and getting the S8 but I hate the edgeless screen design of the S7 Edge onwards. This is a very nice phone in a lot of ways, the specific features on the headset turn out to be a big improvement in vocal quality and reliability, and it turns out that there is a Samsung proprietary phone payment system that has a big edge in usability over Apple/Google Pay in that it uses magnets in Galaxy phones past a certain model (including the S7) to interface with magnetic credit card readers, not just ones set up to use near field connection. It’s not perfect and it can be hard to convince people to let you try, but it works surprisingly well. Also liking the fingerprint sensor and finally, I actually get 4G. Of course that’s increased my data usage and thus my bill (since it’s a pay-for-usage system rather than charging twice as much for “unlimited” access I wasn’t using), but oh well. Still hate the software keyboard. And now they’ve made it impossible to replace the battery, which I am not thrilled about, not least because it’s unable to cope with moderate usage during a single workday.


It’s true.
I had a 3G back in 2007, then moved to a 4, then 5S and now I’m using a 6 Plus.

My 6 Plus is 3 years and more.
The 5S which is probably 5 years old by now, is being used by my sister. She’s still pretty happy with it running iOS 10.




First B&W phone: Nokia 5990
First colour phone: Sony-Ericsson T68i

[ so many non smart phones ]
[ so many PalmOs-based PDAs, no Windows CE though always wanted a Dell Axim ]

For iPhones:
iPhone 3G 8GB
iPhone 3GS 16GB
iPhone 4 16GB
iPhone 4S 16GB
iPhone 4S 64GB
iPhone 5 64GB
iPhone 5S 32GB
iPhone 6 64GB
iPhone 6 Plus 64GB
iPhone 6S Plus 128GB
iPhone 7 Plus 128GB
iPhone 8 Plus 64GB

For Android:
LG Optimus One
Nexus S
LG Nexus 4
LG Nexus 5
Moto G
OnePlus One
Moto E
Redmi Note 2
Huawei Nexus 6P
OnePlus 3 64GB
OnePlus 5 128GB
Google Pixel 2 64GB

For Windows Phone:
Nokia Lumia 710
Nokia Lumia 520
HTC Windows Phone 8X
Nokia Lumia 830


First smartphone: Spring PPC-6700 Pocket PC phone. This is circa 2005/2006. Thing was like a small brick, but it had a slide-out keyboard and a stylus. It’s hard to overstate how this was an incredible device at the time. Finally, someone had fused a pseudo PC with a phone. I was floored.

Second smartphone: Helio Ocean dual-slider handset. Yeah, I was on Helio for a short while. This was summer 2007.

Third smartphone: OG iPhone. This is autumn 2007.

Fourth smartphone: iPhone 3G. Got it on release date in July 2008. Sent the OG iPhone to my brother.

Fifth smartphone: iPhone 4. Got it on release date, summer 2010. 3G got handed down to family.

Sixth smartphone: iPhone 5. Got it on release date 2012. iPhone 4 got handed down to family.

Seventh smartphone: iPhone 6. Shortly after release in 2014.

Eighth smartphone: iPhone 6S. Memorial Day of 2016 I fell into a lake, which killed my iPhone 6. With the iPhone 7 release date months away, I literally marched into the nearest AT&T Store (still damp, and my shoes making squishy noises) and walked out with a iPhone 6S. That screwed up my upgrade schedule. I’m still on the 6S today, and I’m in no hurry to upgrade.


The real question – who here had a pager?

/raises hand


Sky Pager, looks like a phaser, that’s the attire of a Northwest player.


OG Blackberry pager. One of my favorite devices of all time. Someone ran an ICQ gateway for that thing. It was the first time I experienced 24/7 chat connectivity, and I was hooked.


You win.


I always wanted a Helio Ocean. How did you like it?


First smartphone was a Cingular 8125 right at release in 2006. Next phone was an iPhone 3G, which I handed down to my wife when the 3GS came out. Next phone after that was an iPhone 5, followed by an iPhone 6+. Currently using a 6S+, handed the 6+ down to my wife. May get an iPhone X next year.


iPhone 3GS - replaced after 3 years because I was missing calls due to the lag between swipe and answering!
iPhone 5S - replaced after 2 years because the battery was down to 5 hours on a full charge, the lightning connector was unreliable, and I’d had enough of trying to make it work with my PC laptop.
Samsung S6 - still have it (2 years), will probably get a replacement battery fitted in the next 6 months and keep it going for another year at least.


Hmm, let’s see.

  • Samsung Blackjack, 2007, Windows mobile and physical keyboard all the way baby!
  • iPhone 3gs, 2009 (first non-suck iPhone)
  • iPhone 4, 2010 (retina!!)
  • iPhone 5, 2012 (supar tall version)
  • Nexus 5, 2014 (I wanted to see how much suck there was on the other side, and there was a lot. Fuck you Qualcomm, burn in hell!)

At this point I realized we’re all screwed, the future of computers is the one you have in your hand and in your pocket and on your person 24/7. Smartphones are the new laptops. So from 2014 onward I went all in on smartphones all the time, upgrading every release for the improved cameras and dramatically improved speed. Well, on the Apple side, at least there’s dramatically improved speed every year, on the Android side NOT SO MUCH. Because, duh, Qualcomm. 🤮

  • iPhone 6, iPhone 6s, iPhone 7, iPhone 8, iPhone X

I might hang on to the X for a while, I am having a hard time seeing how much further even Apple can go at this point?

  • more speed seems pointless because Apple is literally years ahead of Qualcomm already. It is obscenely fast.

  • how much better can the mobile phone cameras physically get at this point? Unless we start making more huge-r camera bulges?

  • the device is now blissfully (near) full screen and OLED god mode

I feel like the X is peak smartphone, because I have no clue where we go from here.


whoops. forgot to include a china phone: redmi note 2.

work is getting me an iphone 8 plus. this is the end of the evolution of the iphone except for the x.


Hmm, think I remembered them all. Dates are mostly release dates, some I may not have owned until the previous year.

1999 Nokia 8210 - snake!
2002 Nokia 6610 - snake…in colour!
2004 Blackberry 7100V - work phone, fond memories, really
2005 Sony Ericcson K750
2008 HTC Touch Pro - rubbish rubbish rubbish
2009 iPhone 3GS
2011 Galaxy Nexus - fucking love this thing, still have it, still rocks
2013 Samsung Galaxy Note 3 - cracked screen in the end
2016 Nexus 5X - I will no longer spend 1k on smartphones


Every early 90s gangsta rapper.


The Ocean was a very nice handset, and if I texted more I would have probably loved it. (It’s no coincidence I ended up selling it to a teenager).

It was the very first phone that I had which had GPS, and it floored me that I could see where I was exactly on the map.

I wouldn’t say app support was an issue, because the OG iPhone couldn’t run apps at that point.

If they had come out a year or two earlier, Helio might have built some momentum, but they got crushed once Apple dropped the price on the iPhone, and then the 3G introduced the App Store.


Yeah, that was one of the reasons I kinda wanted it. I also loved the design. When Apple announced the App Store, and Pandora announced an iPhone app…well…that made my choice much clearer at the time.


Yeah, they were probably doomed no matter what. A lot bigger players than Helio were wiped out by the iPhone.


Yeah, now physical keyboards are just “adorable” and “quaint.”