361 Degrees Podcast - "Ewan wants a better phone than you"

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In the third episode of season three of the 361 Degrees podcast, Rafe, Ben and Ewan M talk about smartphone fashion, specifically ways for you to distinguish yourself amongst your peers as someone different, someone knowledgeable, someone with style. It's a great podcast and is embedded below, along with some of my own thoughts - is it possible to stand out by going retro rather than high end?

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361 Degrees is a podcast all about mobile technology. From consumer to enterprise and from fun to industry analysis, we investigate and discuss mobile technology and the mobile industry.

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Steve Litchfield comments:

A really interesting and unusual podcast, guys, if a little elitist! One thing that struck me throughout was that you don't have to go high end and ultra-expensive in order to stand out, you simply have to be different.

With that in mind, I chuckled at the end when Ben said that the most kudos and interest he'd got from a device was when he pulled out his three year old Nokia E63, running Symbian - partly because of the case colour (a deep red) and partly because in these days of touchscreen slab dominance, anything with a qwerty keyboard has a slight air of 'going down the path less travelled'!

It got me thinking (with, in some cases, tongue firmly in cheek) of which other 'retro' smartphones you could lay on the table beside you at a meeting and gain instant respect and interest. Devices which don't cost an awful lot and yet which (I think) would say a lot more about you than a blinged out iPhone.

My top 5 suggestions:

  1. A black Nokia E6 (the most serious suggestion in this list!) - still looks sooo classy, nearly all 'death star' black metal, with a form factor that surprises many these days and with a guarantee that never, ever will it be this phone that gives a 'battery low' beep in the middle of the meeting!
  2. A Sony Ericsson P900 - although less elegant than the P800 from an engineering standpoint, the P900 reeked of top quality engineering. Admittedly it's chunky by 2012 standards, but I bet you still get some 'oohs' and 'aahs' when you open the flip and start tapping away on the big touchscreen.
  3. A O2 XDA Orbit II - yep, Windows Mobile, now so far retro that it's surely going to be back in fashion. I never owned one of these, but am struck by the styling. Worth a punt in the board meeting, anyway?

  4. A Psion Series 5mx - or, specifically the phosphorescent green prototypes (Proteas) which are now incredibly hard to find. With this lime green artefact sitting next to you and occasionally opening it to reveal a better keyboard than all your colleague's laptops, I guarantee you'll disrupt everyone's concentration! 
    Protea!(image from Pulster)
  5. A Nokia 7710 - is it a tablet? Is it a phone? Yes, people were asking that many years before the Samsung Galaxy Note. If you go down this route, make sure you install the appropriate firmware to let you make a phone call, ostentatiously, in portrait mode, at some point during the meeting....

What do you think? What better respect-grabbers can you think of in a big meeting in 2012?

Source / Credit: 361 Degrees