Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Sony Ericsson Satio - Third time's a charm

My very first smartphone. The Sony Ericsson Satio. I only got it for my 15th birthday because I complained and complained, and complained even more that my brother was allowed to have this expensive device while I wasn't. I've never gotten anything this expensive for my birthday so I had to cash in, but I figured it was well worth it. My previous phone back then was a Sony Ericsson K800i and I had just gotten slightly interested in photography with it. The step up from a 3 megapixel camera phone to a 12 megapixel one felt huge, and so I had to get myself this phone. I already tried to use the K800i that I had as a smartphone, which was pretty difficult considering the size and the fact that it lacks Wi-Fi, GPS etcetera. I did however, watch an entire episode of The Simpsons on it, specifically converted for the device as it barely had any codec support. I tried gaming on it as well, but my K800i only had one 3D game which lagged like crazy. Because of all this I don't consider the K800i a smartphone which made its successor, the Sony Ericsson Satio, my first true smartphone.

The Sony Ericsson Satio, this particular one being the third Satio I've bought in my life.
[copyright by le me]

When I first got my hands on the Satio, I was stunned by the camera performance. It truly was no match for the K800i, which was a great camera phone in its own time. And because I now had such a powerful camera with me all the time, I felt like I had to get into photography more. I have to admit, I'd been learning very slowly on my own. I barely did any research about photography, I solely learned through experience. Which is why I couldn't get the most out of this camera (but I didn't know an' frankly, didn't care at the time - I enjoyed shooting cliché pictures of crappy flowers without interesting composition anyway). Back in the day, smartphones were still relatively uncommon and I felt great showing off my true smartphone to others (to nuisance of most, if not all). I watched countless movies on the tiny 3.5" display and listened to music through headphones for its proprietary accessory port (as it was still in the time where Sony (Ericsson) used proprietary ports, cables and memory sticks (remember the Memory Stick Duo? I feel sorry if you do) and so this phone had no 3.5mm jack nor any kind of USB port).

One day however, a catastrophe had taken place. Let me let you know beforehand that I've always been extremely careful with my devices. I rarely drop electronics and even without cases my phones looked better than most people's phones that do have cases. The only time I seriously used a sort of case, better known as a pouch, was with this Satio as it was the most expensive device I had owned - my parents had always been doubtful of letting a 15 year-old run around with this much money converted into a piece of technology. So that one day I was delivering flyers like I always did once every week. The sun was also setting as it often does, creating only an average looking sunset. As a photographer, no matter how noobish one, you always want to snap pictures of anything that might possibly be remotely interesting. When I cycled over a bridge, I could see this only average looking sunset pretty well, so that had to be the spot to best take a picture of it. While leaning on my bike with tons of flyers in the back, I tried to grab my phone pouch out of my pocket. After carefully grabbing the pouch I got it in my hands. But as I tried to push the phone out of the pouch from the bottom, the phone fell out. I had used this pouch for quite some months. I remember having bought the pouch on holiday during the summer break, and the sun setting while I was delivering flyers means it had to be mid winter. And all this time, I had never dropped my phone out of this pouch.

This is the spot where I used to take photos of average sunsets.
I don't have the exact date of when I dropped my phone, but I believe
this photograph was taken in memory of my fallen Satio (pretty literally, hehe).

I didn't understand what was going on. Or rather, I didn't want to believe it. Remember that I was standing on a bridge. As the phone fell out of the pouch, I recall seeing it fall very slowly onto the bridge, hoping to bounce back and stay on the bridge. I could've used my foot to try to kick it back mid-air, but my quick thinking led me to believe chances of the phone falling in the water would increase if I tried kicking it back to me. And so I slowly watched it fall and bounce on the bridge and, you guessed it, bounce away from me into the water. Never had I felt this helpless. Never had I experienced this kind of slow-motion vision. I looked around. Was there anything to help me grab the phone out of the water? I was standing in the middle of the bridge with the banks too far from the disaster area to grab it from the sides. I had no idea what to do. I cycled home as quickly as I could, asking my brothers who were the only ones at home what to do. Apparently, I had to leave my bike and jump in the water according to my family. I seriously didn't consider that option because it sounded mad. And to be honest, if this ever happens again I don't think I would actually jump in the water to save a phone. Most phones will probably be dead anyway.

After the drop, I decided to get myself a new second-hand Satio. My older brother told me not to and once I got it, it honestly didn't feel right either. This Satio was in a worse condition and I couldn't love this Satio as much as I loved the first one. My first ever smartphone, in perfect condition for almost a year. Until the accident. After a month or two I heard about a new camera phone by Nokia, with HD video capabilities which I had always longed for. The Nokia N8 flagship phone, being equally expensive as the Satio at its release, made my wallet shrink a bazillion times. Still not waterproof, though.
But once you go flag[ship], you never go back!

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