View Full Version : OT - Cellphone Handset Longevity - quick survey

26-05-2004, 05:32 PM
Hi people
Just doing some research, can you please respond with make of cellphone (ie Nokia, Ericsson, Motorola), model if you know, how long you had it before it died, and if you did something to make it die.

Nokia, 6310i, 14 months, not a damn thing (not that I am bitter about it)

Motorola, brick, 12 years, hammered in one too many 4 inch nails

You get the idea. I am trying to establish whether a pattern is emerging, as I suspect they are dying faster than they used to.
I look forward to your objective responses.

26-05-2004, 06:12 PM
i had one of those generic nokia 5210i 's from the time they came out here to about mid last year, and it ws still going strong, only hassle was the thingy that held the battery in got loose, but a single bit of bluetack fixed that, it would still be going if it hadn't been stolen on school ski trip, damn theiving southerners :p (no offence to anyone living in the south island but both times ive been down i have had something stolen)

26-05-2004, 06:12 PM
My phones get a hard life.

1999 - 2000 : Motorola. Well constructed, and nothing broke on it, but I got rid of it because of problems with dropped calls.

2000 - 2001 : Alcatel. Only dropped it two or three times, but this caused the antenna shaft to crack, and this crack eventually extended down the entire chassis.

2001 - 2002 : Nokia. Didn't feel like a very solid phone, but nothing broke. I only replaced it because I needed to upgrade.

2002 - 2004 : Sony Ericsson. I am thrilled with the construction quality of this handset considering the punishment it has taken. The battery door is made of aluminium and I have managed to bend it out of shape but, had it been made of plastic, it would have been blown apart. Likewise, the face of the handset appears to be made of polycarbonate because it has chipped rather than cracked under heavy impact.

~~~~~ s y ~~~~~
26-05-2004, 06:20 PM
Had a Sagem and Motorola. Sagem (RE815 I think) about was the very first model in NZ, wasn't used much though. Bad reception. Motorola was since 2000ish I think. T2288. Still being used by my mother. Very solid build.

hence... Motorola now again, T720, flip phone, just new since Jan. very solid, no marking so far. I upgrade the phones before they get a single scratch :D Yes... I'm a teen if thats what you want to ask :p

26-05-2004, 06:33 PM
Does it count if they're already semi-dead when you get them? :D

I had an Ericsson T28sc in 2002, and it suffered from a problem of sometimes not being able to find a network within two months of acquiring it. I had contacts cleaned and software upgraded before it eventually got to be so problematic that it was traded in for a T28 World under some sort of warranty.

However, the same problem emerged in that phone - straight away. So under the new warranty, I got a replacement for that as well, but the same problem came up after a week.

It eventuated that the whole T28 line suffered from this problem, and there was nothing I could do about it. The T28 was such a nice phone, too :'(

All said though, I've now been using a Nokia for nearly a year with no problems.

26-05-2004, 06:35 PM
Erickson - 1997-1997 (Display chipset problems)
Erickson (warranty replacement for above) - 1997-1998 (Destroyed)
Another Erickson - 1998-1999 (Display chipset problems)
Another Erickson (warranty replacement for above) - 1999-2000 (Destroyed)
Alcatel One Touch View 2000-2000 (Smashed display)
Alcatel 301 - 2000-2002 (Still in service and working well)
Nokia 8210 - 2002-2003 (Battery & antenna problems, destroyed)
Sharp GX10i - 2003-Current (Works well, no problems, best phone Iíve owned yet, no intentions to replace yet).

26-05-2004, 06:37 PM
My wife's Ericsson A1228di phone lasted two years. Well, it appears that the battery did, anyway.

Left discharged for about a week, it now is dead. Won't accept any charge or power from the charger. We have tried reviving the battery enough to let power through so it will charge by heating it, swearing at it and threatening it, but so far nothing has worked :(

Billy T
26-05-2004, 07:18 PM
Motorola brick.

I'm embarrassed to say how old it is, but provided you wind the spring up really tight it goes for hours. Gone through four or five batteries over the years though.


Billy 8-{)

Steve Askew
26-05-2004, 07:23 PM
Alcatel 311 keypad wore out after 9 months & i only send about 3 texts per week :-(
Kids in the street tell me that worn keypads are common on alacatel's


~~~~~ s y ~~~~~
26-05-2004, 08:00 PM
> Had a Sagem and Motorola. Sagem (RE815 I think) about

Its RC815

26-05-2004, 08:49 PM
I have had a few phones over the years.......

1.) ericson, 1 year, droped too much

2.) ericson, 1 year, droped too much

3.) acatel club, 3 years and still going

4.) acatel 311, 18 months, keyboad died with no help from me

5.) sony ericsson (POS) , 1 year and still going.

26-05-2004, 09:05 PM
Ericsson 788 (or something like that) - Still worked fine when I got rid of it, although the battery clip had broken (that's part of the battery, not the phone). Had it for about a year maybe ?:| I upgraded.

Ericsson T28s - Still goes great, but the battery expanded heaps that it no longer fit in the back of the phone (and broke the battery clip off - this one was on the phone). Needs a new battery now (and some repairs to the clip)(new batteries are like $100+), but the phone works fine. Had it for 4 years. Upgraded.

Sony Ericsson T68i (notice a pattern?) - had it for a few weeks, works great!

In short:

Ericsson 788 - 1 year, still worked fine apart from broken battery clip.
Ericsson T28s - 4 years, still works fine apart from broken battery.
Sony Ericsson T68i - brand new, goes fine.


26-05-2004, 09:08 PM
> It eventuated that the whole T28 line suffered from
> this problem, and there was nothing I could do about
> it. The T28 was such a nice phone, too :'(

I had (well still have) a T28, and never had this problem - had it for just under 4 years now. Phone still works great, it'd be good if I could find a decent battery for it (after the last one decided to expand to almost double its tiny width).


26-05-2004, 09:12 PM
Have two Alcatels. The second which superseded the first but is still in tandem is the "One Touch DB" - not to be confused with another DB !!

The latter is just starting to give problems after a couple of years. I put together a text message and just twice when I go to send it goes a bit loopy and sends a phone number instead, the text message gets lost. All in all they have definitely been worth the expenditure. Even though we are oldies my wife and I often text each other and sometimes the kids overseas.

When we were in UK last year however there was a free deal with Vodaphone to charge your phone. They had no charging sets for Alcatel however. If you are going overseas and reliant I would get something more universal - such as Nokia.

But then I am cautious !! --- Live a little ]:)

Misty :|

Murray P
26-05-2004, 09:40 PM
# 1: About 1988, Sony (I think) portable ph the sort that you felt like you could call up the artillery or an air strike with. Separate handset with cord, flip up aerial and full size keys. Had a carry handle and shoulder strap but, you wouldn't take it too far. Its two advantages over the Motorola bricks was that it could still send and receive when everyone elses ph's were shot and the battery lasted twice as long, oh and the ringer could be heard for miles if you turned the volume up. Traded it in on my next ph.

# 2: 1990. A big old Nokia, whatever, about 1/2 the size of a Motorola brick. Just died one day for some reason. Had dropped it a couple of times and the face plate used to mist up because of the cracks but maybe the 2 times I took it for a ride on the roof of the car accelerated it's demise.

# 3: 1993. Nokia 252. Survived up until 2003 when my wife took it for a swim in the tide. It was a pretty sick puppy by that stage anyway and I hadn't personally used it since the end of 99. Had a few spills and thrills including the car roof trick. Also dropped off a three storey building but the scaffolding slowed it's decent if not it's velocity to any great extent. Keys were pretty shot at the end of it.

# 4, 5 & 6: 2000. Nokia 5120's. Kindly supplied by a benevolent boss (trying the saleried lifestyle for a chage). These ones coulnd't hack the pace. I might have dropped them once or twice but mainly they just got run into the ground with use.

# 7: 2001. Nokia 5510. Much the same as the previous turkeys.

# 8: 2002. Kyocera (the model before the 2235). Welcome to 027. Developed a split in the face plate somehow, the first week I had it?? got that replaced but it started showing tell tale signs of giving up towards the end of the year, erratic key function, etc.

#9: 2002. Kyocera 2235. Those nice Telecom folk replaced the old one with the latest model when the old one finally expired from old age.

#10: 2003. Kyocers 2235. Back in the ranks of the self employed. Did a deal with those nice folk again and decided on the 2235 because the previous one I had used was still going strong.

Cheers Murray P

26-05-2004, 10:48 PM
I have had a Nokia 5110 since march 2001 and its still going strong.
In my job as a hose doctor it gets used a lot at around 500 minutes dialed out and 700 minutes received a month. It has fallen from my top pocket to the ground whilst climbing along digger booms many times. When this happens the battery flies off, the sim card falls out in the mud put it together sweet. Because it rings sometimes when my hands are oily it looks a mess, the numbers have worn off the keys as well.
The battery wont die maybe because between jobs it sits in CARK91 kit.
I really dont think I will ever change it other than buying another second hand that has had an easier non hose doctor life.
I dont need a dumb wap phone or a camera to take pictures of chicks in the gym or swimming pool etc.
I love my 5110 lol.


26-05-2004, 10:52 PM
1st Phone) Motoraolla t2288, solid realiable phone, got to the stage where battery needed charging about every 4 hours (year=whenever they first came out cheap in nz?)

2nd) Another Motorola (forget the model num) also pretty solid. Sold it to change to Telecom ($10 txt).

3rd) (current) Sony erricson T206, no problems so far.

26-05-2004, 11:11 PM
Here's one with a nail through it - this is what happens to cell phones that go off in my polytech classes!!


26-05-2004, 11:16 PM
Good on you.


27-05-2004, 08:14 AM
Now, the big question. Do you think cellphones are tough enough? You can't help but drop the sucker now and again. Usually from three feet in the air or lower (upper thigh level). Shouldn't they be able to survive that?
We seem to consider cellphones an "investment" but if they lasting little longer than their warranty period with regular and normal use, are they actually fit for purpose? Isn't it time they were considered "disposable"?

27-05-2004, 10:14 AM
1999-2000 I had one of those alcatels, u know, the one with handsfree...there were 4 colours for those, Black, Blue, orange and lime....Anyway, got rid of it because everytime someone texted you, it could only display the number, not the name.

2000-2002 Nokia 5110. Good phone. Survived many accidents, the aerial went bust, after falling aerial-first onto concrete *shudders*, but it still worked fine.

2002-2003 Nokia 3310. Bought this phone cheaply in Sydney, coz the 5110 was a bit too big. This was first phone that i had problems with, in terms of the screen freezing etc.

2003-present Nokia 3530. This one has survived many accidents. I've dropped it many times, like trying to put it into my pocket but it falls to the ground. Nothing comes apart so I assume it's built strongly. Has a few chips here and there, but that's easily solved by changing the face place.

Greg S
27-05-2004, 11:10 AM
Got a newish Nokia which has a standby of about 10 days. But my old Ericsson A1018s had an original standby of 3 days, and after 2 years it wouldn't last 30 minutes. Bought it about 4 years ago

Miami Steve
27-05-2004, 11:43 AM
I believe that modern phones should be able to survive a lot more than they apparently can. They are mobile phones. That means that people might want to take them outside. They might want to go trekking in the hills with them (if they can get any decent coverage :D).

If you are hinting at the story on Fair Go regarding impact damage, then I think that lady has got every right to take action. Accepted these phones are "delicate" electronic equipment, but they shouldn't need to be kept in a cotton-wool-lined lead case.

As for your original question..

I had a Nokia 6210 - great phone, no problems, been handed down to kids for emergency use.

I now use a Sony T68i, not quite as easy to use as the Nokia, but good screen. Ironically, it has been dropped more times than I can remember, with no detrimental effect. Guess that proves that the phones can be capable of surviving impact damage.


27-05-2004, 11:54 AM
Good one Robo,
have had a nokia 6120i work phone for the last 4 years, dropped it a few times but no problems as yet, BUT...purchased a Sagem from Farmers last year to keep in the car, had it for 6 months with a TOTAL call log of 7 (seven) mins and it just dropped calls, would not charge either, after much quoting the consumers act etc they replaced it with Alcatel, that lasted for 3 weeks with a total of 15 mins, it would not switch off so was sent back for repair and I was told that it had moisture damage and was not covered by the warranty, I explained that it had not been out of the car and could it be humidity, they said yes but it's still not covered. When told that they did not warn us not to use it on a humid day and we will see them in the disputes trib.. they refunded the money, can't be hassled with another one. 2 Phones 22 mins talk time not good enough, Oh forgot to say it drained $84 from the card first. Pibs

27-05-2004, 12:22 PM
Phillips Fizz = 3.5 years still going
Nokia 5110 = 4 years still going. Upgrade because it dropped a lot of connections.
Nokia 3530 still going
All phones have been dropped several times.

27-05-2004, 12:46 PM
Meh....Reading this thread just made me realise i haven't seen my mobile phone for a couple of days....

Best i start to panic.

27-05-2004, 01:07 PM
Late 80's, a Nokia "bag phone". Ultra reliable and good performer but large and heavy. Never died though, became redundand due to size.

Nokia 6120. Never died. Traded in.

Nokia 5110. OK, traded in still working fine.

Nokia 7710. Disaster. Kept failing in the area of the slide/microphone, serviced 3 times, eventually suffered a terminal accident when it was run over. Not missed. This was a $900 POS. (but as it was a freebee from Vodaphone at least the price was right)

Nokia 6210. Great phone, but first one died in a week, firmware lockup. Replacement still going strong 3 years + on. Probably one of the best phones made I believe.

Nokia 3650. Performance is OK, new so time will tell. Does not feel as solid as the 6210

27-05-2004, 02:14 PM
re dropping cellphones from a height...I had two users who both killed their Nokia 3586s from a height of only 1 foot....mind you, they both dropped them into water (a week apart).
It was not after (on both occasions) I had handled the phones that each user decided to mention that they had dropped their phones in the toilet.
And yes, don't ask me how they get that close to the toilet before dropping them. No, they aren't PXT phones, so no porn thing going on there.
(yes, this is true. I'm sure weirder things have been done with CPs).

Neil McC
27-05-2004, 02:40 PM
Isn't it time they were considered "disposable"?
Yes,I think so,robo.Had a couple of Motorollas---flip lids---,then 2 or 3 Nokias since I started in business 10 years ago.Swapped to Vodaphone so I wasn't tied into a 3 year contract. Have just bought a Sony Ericsson Z600.Nice clear sound and decent keys that hide.Not worried about a camera etc,just a good phone.And I try not to drop them anywhere!Some near misses,like coming off the belt in a ceiling,then wondering where the phone had got to.

27-05-2004, 05:35 PM
Gosh I hope this isn't going in the next PC World magazine. I absolutely hate the pages and pages of monotonous camera, PDA and phone articles.

27-05-2004, 05:37 PM
> it'd be good if I could find a decent battery for it

It's not up to me to sell it, but I've still got a battery in my old T28. The phone's been sitting on my shelves for a year now, hasn't been touched (mainly because I don't want the date and time to be reset like it is if I remove the sim card from my current phone - I'm quite lazy), but you never know, it might still work!

Just don't get your hopes up. At all.

27-05-2004, 11:17 PM
> for purpose? Isn't it time they were considered
> "disposable"?

Depends which phones you're talking about... Maybe the cheaper $100-$200 phones. Anything more than that and I'd have to say no. That's too much money for me to spend on something disposable. If things go as they should, my new phone should last at least as long as the last one... and considering I have a 3 year warranty on this one, maybe it'll last longer :D


Billy T
28-05-2004, 04:23 PM
There are several recurrent themes here:

New phones are not as robust as older models.

Battery longevity (not charge) is too short

Premature failures are more common than expected

Excessive mobile phone use causes dropsy


Billy 8-{) :|

29-05-2004, 02:30 PM
I think the length of time the battery on my Nokia 3530 lasts quite long. I usually leave it on all the time, and it will last about a week before it reminds me that it's running low, and needs to be charged.