A mobile affair | VailDaily.com

A mobile affair

Laura A. Ball

Any last words? But it was too late.Kaput. Kapoowy. Dead.The emotion was bittersweet when my cell phone gasped for one last breath Friday morning. The red light flashed in a pattern with little logic, flickering a few last times until the fire was out – this time for good. For the last three plus years, my mobile phone with its little black face and buttons that lit up whenever we made contact has been much more than a device for communicating with those outside of ear’s reach. It has been a companion, an instant but temporary relief for loneliness and a symbol of safety. But perhaps, above all, an accessory, which is what made saying goodbye rather sweet.Three years is a long time to have the same cell phone, because let’s face it, the life of a cell isn’t exactly on par with human years. And at this point, it was no longer the latest and greatest either and it had its physical imperfections. I believe in using things until they are no longer usable, but it’s fun to have the latest technology at your fingertips. I’d been eyeing up the more modern machinery for awhile now. The next issue I faced was what phone to choose. I knew nothing in the Nokia range was for me. I like technology. Usually a fan of Sony, the newest Ericsson in the bunch, complete with iTunes capabilities and swivel entry, seemed a bit awkward and the buttons looked as if they might break easily. Everyone and their brother has the Motorola RAZR, the hottest phone to hit the market since the V60. Usually I like having something a little bit different, but it is sleek and small – and it flips (so I’m not making unwarranted, inappropriate calls at random).I eventually come to a crossroads: The RAZR or the Motorola Slvr, the newest high-tech, high-function phone – as thin as a stick, the phone holds 100 songs. It has a speaker to boot and it’s actually a pretty good sound. On the flip side, the phone does not flip. Rebates and all, the Slvr is around $120 more. It does have music, but I already have an iPod. The ability to leave the phone on and turn off the signal is a cool feature, so when the flight attendant comes over and “sweetly “asks you to turn off your music-playing phone, you can “sweetly” reply that it’s in Airplane Mode. Just as the decision became apparent, the sales associate informs me that in the very near future, date tba, Motorola will release the RAZR with iTunes. When she tells me it starts at $299, I am suddenly not interested.Choosing a cell phone is like trying on shoes. You have to make sure it fits. I didn’t even know my own preferences until I held the two at each ear. The SLVR is a little longer but not enough to extend from my ear to my mouth. I didn’t like this. The RAZR seemed to fit perfectly on the other hand. I liked the way it felt and I liked the way it looked.As much as I try to deny it, when it comes to electronics it is largely a matter of style, and I suspect will only get worse as technology improves at a rate faster than my auto-dial. D-day comes, and I go with the RAZR. If I have buyer’s remorse in the next 30 days, the clerk tells me, I can bring my phone back. Good to know. But I believe I am happy with my decision. It’s fancy and it will do the job.As I lay my old phone to rest, I remember the photos it holds: the summit of Mount of the Holy Cross, my first fourteener; a birthday party; the mystic sunrise amid the Manhattan skyline. I recall conversations I’ve had with loved ones and the time I used it as a flashlight camping. I can’t help but wonder what memories my new phone has in store as I admire its sleek black shell and slide it comfortably into the back pocket of my jeans. Staff Writer Laura A. Ball can be reached 748-2939 or laball@vaildaily.com.Vail, Colorado

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