Last week I bought a new cell phone. Not a huge deal, since something like 180 billion cell phones are sold each day. My old phone was actually in fine shape, for the most part. But after almost three years, it took as long as 30 seconds before an out-going call would connect with the network. I spent a ton of time last week scrolling through Verizon’s site, looking at the phones that are available, the discounts I qualify for, and then reading reviews of the phones on about a dozen different sites. Oddly enough, it is hard arriving at consensus on a phone. The phones editors like, users tend to hate, and vice versa.

I kept getting lured in by the fancy phones that, after discounting, checked-in somewhere in the $50-75 range. All those sweet Motorola phones, especially. I’d look at the features list and realize I didn’t need about 2/3 of what those phones offer: I don’t text, don’t surf on a phone, and I’ve got an iPod therefore am fundamentally opposed to music on my phone. But they look so damn sexy! If I whipped one of those bad boys out at a meeting, I’d surely get all kinds of respect, right? (Forgetting the fact I have no meetings to go to in the near future.)

In the end, I picked an $80 Nokia phone that was discounted all the way down to $0 plus a car charger for only $10, $20 off the regular price. First off, it got great reviews on every site. Second, I’m a big fan of the small flip-phones. I tend to park my phone in my pocket and those models work best for that. I had images of a nice, shiny Motorola getting all scratched up in about a week of use. Plus, I like the ability to spin flip-phones on the table. It actually came down to finding a phone that had good sound quality, since I will probably be doing some work on it, that also allowed me to keep using the earpiece I have. All those higher end phones that rock Bluetooth (seriously, I love technology and all, but Bluetooth earpieces are the worst thing ever) lack a jack for my old-school .25mm mini plug earpiece.

All my work paid off when I made my first call on the new phone. The line was ringing before I could even get the phone to my ear. A far cry from the old phone. It might not be sexy, but it works.