Looking back to the technology of the 1980s and early 1990s, it strikes me that technology geeks should have a stereotype image that is much more muscular and ripped than the slightly more sugar and fat damaged look that is more commonly associated.
Why? I hear you ask. Well take a look at this picture. The 80's laptop and brick phone. They both weigh an absolute ton. Yes, mobile computing and telephony was possible all those years ago, but you had to have a lot of money to buy it and also a lot of strength to physcially carry it!
It's fun to look back and laugh at 80s style, especially the yuppie image of the day. Sharp suit, slick haircut and a massive phone to shout into whilst buying and selling shares and downing a glass of crystal.
These days it would be seen as a bit odd not to own a mobile phone, but those 80s phones cost as much as a small car. For many of us, they were the stuff of dreams. Do they remain dreams for us now? Probably not, but if you're in that small niche who still yearn for a huge brick phone to shout into, I've got a lovely surprise for you. That phone in the photo is brand new and available for about £30.
Yes, Binatone in their infinite wisdom have seen fit to release the Binatone Brick and I'm thinking from the packaging that they're probably in on the joke. So what's it like?
For a start, it doesn't weigh anything like the originals, which is definitely a good thing. The chunky plastic suggests it won't fall apart, but it is pretty much all plastic and therefore very light. The small low resolution colour screen suggests internals matching those phones you can pick up in supermarkets for a tenner and leave in the glove box for emergencies.
As an occasional phone, it actually makes some sense. With a SIM in, it makes calls and sends and receives texts quite happily and enjoys a battery-life that smartphones have since destroyed. Remember when you only had to charge up at weekends?
Of course, you may be reluctant to make this your main phone, but might fancy it as a fun, but comfortable talker alongside your smartphone. Well, Binatone has that covered, as the Brick sports bluetooth and will act as a 'headset' for your main device. I must say though that it doesn't do a brilliant job in this mode and a lot of the time, I felt like my conversation was being held underwater, such was the call quality.
Other than that, it's pure nostalgia all the way. Whilst it looks like a phone from the early ninties, it works like a phone from the early millenium. It has a basic music player (store your music on a memory card) and even a version of the classic Nokia game, Snake.
For the money, the Binatone Brick is a neat bit of fun that you might actually find yourself using as it's far more comfortable to hold for longer calls than a smartphone and when you're away, that epic battery life means you'll always be able to make that call or send that text. Oh and if you're ever invited to a themed 80s party, you only need this and some brylcreem to go as a yuppie git :)