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March 21, 2008

Some years ago when I bought my second cell phone, it was in such a big hurry. My old bulky Ericsson was going bonkers all of a sudden. I was to coordinate quite a huge event with people from the Big City the very next day, I must have a new one real quick. There was not many to choose from on display so I just inquired about the latest model and was pointed to a rather unattractive unit, a Nokia 2100. I wanted a sleek one, not this, preferably black or silver gray. But this was 2003 in this rather remote city, in a time of great necessity. Forget the looks, I advised myself, just go for the latest. The sales lady was not recommending it, advising I take the older and cheaper model— which almost everyone else owned; hah, I wanted top of the line. I was to know hours later why she wasn’t pitching for it, and more the next days.

But what do you know, five years since, I still own it. Well, it has to do with my nature: loyalty to a fault to things and persons. Plus I am not a gadget kind of guy. Connectivity via sound and text was all I needed. In this part of the world, you don’t really need more.

Presently I want a camera. Photography was once a hobby. But the one I want, it is still a few thousand more expensive than that I want to spare for a leisure pursuit that brings no penny. I could wait awhile; the price is gonna go down in months. Meanwhile, I could do some shooting with a phone camera. So when I could, for the last five weeks now, I was window-shopping on the four available stores hereabouts. One store has quite an inventory. I was amazed: such a profusion of eye-catching models under so many brand names? This wasn’t the definition of plenty five years ago as far as cellphones were concerned. Hours I would next spend on the Internet looking for advice about the best buy, surprising me instead with new levels of tentativeness I never knew I could reach, that gets even worse as I go. You lock in on one and you read a review recommending another. Then another dumps it. So the field expands instead of narrows down, expands then narrows down, and so on and so forth. This is madness.

As I make this post, I haven’t bought one yet. Have narrowed my choices down to ten Motorola and Sony-Ericsson but I think it will take time still to find what I want with the budget I have earmarked for the thing. I now realize that this is one instance when you would rather be choosing from among a fewer selections. I could have bought one weeks ago as fast as I did in 2003.

An advice I have read somewhere say if you are waiting for the best, you won’t have it. Everyday, something better– and cheaper– is coming out of the woodwork. Your best choice now would be inferior in no time.

Meantime, as I stare at my old phone, the damn thing seems to glow with glee. Yesterday, I bought it a new skin.

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