My phone contract’s up for renewal and I’ve hit a bit of a problem – there’s nothing I want. No, that’s not true, there is something I want but it’s not available in the UK and it’s beginning to look like it may never be, despite being all kinds of fucking awesome.
You see, the problem is I want a new phone to be different. I want it to do something new. Preferably something no one else’s phone (or at least, not everyone’s phone) can do, but I’ll settle for a gadget which is new to me. And there isn’t anything, not really. Most smartphones seem to be pretty much the same and have been for at least three years: GPS, turn-by-turn sat-nav, voice commands, minimum of 5mp camera (although the average seems to be 8mp now, with some hitting 12mp), email, video calls (which no one uses), radio, mp3 player, video player – they’re pretty much all the same.
My current phone, the N96, has a digital TV tuner in – which made it stand out when I got it a few years back; but since no one transmits fucking anything whatsoever on that particular digital format, it’s completely fucking useless. Nearly two years now and I’ve never, ever watched anything on it. Same thing with the BBC iPlayer program – it works, I’ve just never got round to watching anything on it.
I’ve been idly looking at specs for various phones for a year or so now and nothing was standing out. I’m not sure what I was looking for, some kind of laser which can write on the moon or something like that, I guess …
And then I saw this little puppy:
The Samsung Galaxy Beam. You know what DLP stands for? Actually, I’m not 100% sure; but it’s something like DIGITAL (something beginning with L) PROJECTOR.
A fucking projector built into a phone! A projector! An actual projector which will project stuff onto other stuff!
Sadly, not the moon, but come on! A projector in a phone!
This baby will project anything on the screen, videos, photos … um … well, I suppose that’s it. It will even project whatever the camera is looking at in real time.
Up to 50 inches!
That’s bigger than my TV!
I have to have this phone, even though I have ABSOLUTELY NO FUCKING USE FOR IT AT ALL!
I don’t need a portable digital projector, but goddamn do I want one. I have two plans for it:
1) Make up some simple slides, black text on white, then hold the phone in my hand with my arms crossed so it’s hidden under my armpit. Then, whilst talking to people, project stuff onto the wall behind me. So, for example, when I say “I like your shoes!” It will flash up behind me: ‘HE’S LYING’. Or when I’m people come round to try and sell me God, it can say ‘JESUS HATES YOU’. The possibilities are literally endless … although those were the only two I could think of.
The only other plan I had was: 2) take a photo of my balls and project it onto people’s faces. There is no reason for this beyond making me giggle.
I’m sure this sort of thing is exactly what the designers had in mind when they created this awesome (if chunky) bit of kit.
The major flaw in my testicle-projecting plans is this: the phone is only available in Singapore and currently there are no plans to ship it worldwide. I tried emailing Samsung to find out when it’s coming to the UK, but the reply appeared to have been translated through several languages and made little sense – especially the bit about the dog and the escapulating hairs. To add to the misery, it looks like they’ve stopped selling it in Singapore anyway.
So I’m stuck in limbo.
There isn’t any other phone I want, but if forced I would pick something and move sideways. Thing is, what happens if the Beam is released the day after I give in and settle for second best? What then? I may have to wait 18 months for it and I can’t wait that long. I can’t, I tell you! My balls need faces to be shown on!
I could just wait, but I’m not a patient guy and what happens if (as I fear) the Beam won’t be released in the UK? How long do I keep waiting for something which isn’t going to happen? Like puberty or the ability to write?
It’s maddening, I tell you. Maddening.
In the meantime, whilst trying to find the answers to this conundrum, I’ve opted for buying new front and back covers for my N96 so at least 18 months of toddler abuse no longer show and the phone is all shiny again.
Shortly afterwards, I was on a bus and this guy leant over to look at my lovely, shiny, if somewhat old, phone and frowned. He turned his head this way and that, scowled, peered, peeked and stared … until he asked me what phone it was. I told him, the N96 – because that’s what it is and I don’t like to lie to strangers unless there’s a chance they’ll give me some money. He immediately tutted and said:
“It’s amazing how low Nokia have sunk isn’t it? I can’t believe they’ve copied the design of the iPhone 4.”
At this point, he produced an iPhone 4 and brandished it at me to prove his point.
“You do know this phone is two years old, don’t you?”
“What? Oh, well that explains why it’s so useless.”
“Right … why’s that?”
“Well, it can’t do all the things an iPhone can do.”
“Like access the Internet and things like that.”
“All phones can access the Internet.” (I know, I know, there are still some dirt cheap handsets which can’t, but I’m not telling him that.)
“No they can’t, not ALL of the Internet.”
“No, that’s true, the iPhone can’t access the bits with Flash in it.” (I have no idea if this is still true.)
“Yeah, but you can’t get apps for your phone.”
“Yes you can.” (They’re mostly shit, but you can get them – I didn’t say that bit.)
“Yeah, but you can’t–”
“I’ll stop you there. If you’re going to say FaceTime, don’t. Bringing up multi-tasking would be a mistake and so would mentioning games, the camera, GPS, geo-tagging or sat-nav.”
During the sulky pause, I took a nice long look at his phone.
“Tell you what though, you’re right, they do have a similar design.”
“Don’t be ridiculous,” he snapped “they don’t look anything like each other.”
And instantly I was back to wishing I had a projector phone, because a dickhead like that desperately needs my balls on his face.