A Hole in the Mobile Phone Market

HTC Wildfire S

HTC Wildfire S

This is my mobile phone, or cellphone if you will. It’s a HTC Wildfire S running cyanogenmod 9. Sure it was never an expensive phone but I didn’t get it because it was cheap, I got it because it was small.

I am notoriously hard on kit. Something like a mobile phone just gets shoved in my pocket and ends up doing whatever I do. Scaling roofs to find mobile phone signal is perfectly normal in my world, as is climbing into the loft, crawling into tight gaps and running out in a howling gale to rope the remains of the fence to something a little more stable.

Amongst my friends, many of whom have the same attitude to life as me, there is a catalog of broken phone screens. My little Wildfire S has lasted a few years now without any serious damage.

It is however getting a little long in  the tooth. It never had even remotely enough memory to start with and fiddling it to make it think that a portion of the SD Card is actually internal memory isn’t the most reliable. It’s also suffering a bit with a lot of modern apps which are a getting a bit slow.

So I’m in the market for a replacement – I figured this should be easy as there are a lot of new “mini” phones on the market. Only they’re not, the new “mini” phones are only mini compared to their tablet-size counterparts.

The look of horrible confusion on the face of a mobile phone stores salesperson is one I’ve got well used to, “sorry, I’ll just repeat that. I’m looking for a small, tough smartphone. Not a 6 inch mini-tablet that will break as soon as I attempt to climb a ladder with it in my pocket.”

I’m never far from a PC, a laptop or a tablet. I don’t need a mobile mini-tablet, what I need is a smart-phone, something that fits in my pocket and allows me to check social media and run a few tracking and navigation apps and maybe listen to Buddy Guy.

Surely this isn’t too much to ask?