A few days ago I lost my smartphone on a flight from Nairobi to Accra, not something I do very often. Actually it was the first time I’ve lost a phone, usually any loss is due to me dropping them or worse still, drowning them in salt water.
To cut a long story short, I left the phone on the flight when disembarking and by the time I realised (after clearing immigration) it was already too late. Neither the Kenya Airways crew or ground staff could locate the phone after I alerted them; my guess is that my phone is now moonlighting as someone else’s phone, either in Accra or Freetown — the planes final destination.
My efforts with the airport staff were quite fruitless. At least I was comforted by one senior staff member who gave me a straight answer “you have next to zero chance of getting it back”.
The loss was a tragedy; I loved the HTC HD2 and it was perfect for Africa because it didn’t need the Internet to perform any advanced features. Naturally all information on the phone was encrypted so I’m not worried about things falling into the wrong hands. But I did need a replacement quickly.
I didn’t just want a replacement, I wanted another HD2, but Africa being Africa I couldn’t locate anyone that stocked it. Secondly, I didn’t have enough spare cash to get what I wanted. Out of desperation I jumped into a taxi and instructed him to drive me to the closest and cheapest phone shop.
As per usual, the assistant tried to push the most expensive phone but my eyes were on the bottom shelf, the 20 and 30 dollar phones. I didn’t have a choice and picked the second cheapest on display. I asked the assistant to list all the features and to my surprise it was a dual SIM phone — perfect for the self-respecting traveller.
The decision was made, I tried to bargain it down further but $23 was as low as they would go. It wasn’t until I got back home that I really fell in love with the phone. The dual SIM feature was great, I really need it — I hate carrying two phones — but it was more the additional bits that impressed me.
I never thought I would say this, although I miss having access to all my contacts and ability to synchronize my address book with Outlook, the simplicity of this phone is making me rethink a return to battery-hungry touch screens and single SIM support.