/ Technology

An ode to my brick of a mobile phone

Nokia mobile phone in bin

It’s finally time to say goodbye to my brick of a mobile phone. Although you lasted a good eight years, it’s sadly time for you to be replaced by one that is younger, shinier, slimmer and more capable than you.

It was but only seven years ago when we were introduced to one another. You were handed to me by a uni housemate who had left you battered and unloved. But for me, Nokia 3510i, you were the best I’d ever had.

And that little ‘i’ at the end of your numerical name was ever so important – it signified that you were, in fact, ahead of your time. When you first came into this cruel world not only were you one of the first mobiles to sport a colour display, you brought mobile internet to the masses.

A phone I could rely on

Sure, you had been around a bit before you met me, but there were so many reasons to love you. With your chunky buttons you’d let me text faster than any of your modern grandsons.

Your hard exterior could ward off injuries when you were cruelly dropped onto tiles, concrete, or frozen lakes. Just watch an iPhone fall to the ground and you’ll find them shattered into a hundred pieces. But you? You just brushed off your bruises and began the day anew. Even being plunged into a puddle wouldn’t concern you – that was nothing a little time by the fire and a loving caress of a flannel wouldn’t fix.

Others may have laughed at you in the last couple of years, but it was only their jealousy that came shining through. Where they saw chunkiness, I saw sturdiness. Where they saw unwieldy buttons, I saw ease of use. Where they said you were well worn, I said you were well-loved.

And what made us laugh most of all? Battery life. Your robust lithium-ion cell would last 12.5 days, enough to prompt a huge cackle when compared to the smartphones of today.

It’s time to move on

So why am I discarding you now? ‘What did I ever do to you?’ I hear you cry. Well I’ve tried to hide the truth for some time, but you’re continually failing on me. At best your bulkiness doesn’t fit in the pocket of my jeans. At worst your buttons fail and I’m left in the rain on a London street, alone, drunk, with no way to call for help.

Not only that, but your battery fails every time I receive a call. And if I am lucky enough to get one, you’re so blocked up that I can’t hear a word that’s said on the other side of the line.

No, as much as I regret this, it’s time to say goodbye. It’s time to throw you in the bin or respectfully recycle your shattered shell. You’re not worth a penny to anyone anymore, but you’ll always be in my heart. Farewell sweet Nokia 3510i.

the misty says:
13 December 2010


klint says:
14 December 2010

We are constantly being told to recycle our old phones, instead of leaving them to gather dust in a drawer. Actually, I always use my phones right up until they stop working. And when they do, I don’t want to recycle them because I’ve stored personal information in their built-in memories which I cannot access, but which an engineer at a recycling centre can download, which is worrying. So, I just leave them to gather dust. If I wait enough decades, the personal information on them will no longer be worth anything to anybody.

“You’re not worth a penny to anyone anymore”
I have no problems selling the Nokia 3510i or other models of a similar age in the charity shop where I “work”.
Maybe swap the battery, reset and clear everything and throw in a charger and thats several more £ income and a happy customer.
Reuse is the ultimate way of recycling.

Scruff7 says:
15 December 2010

It brings a tear to my eye to know exactly how you feel. Being a tech junky and love new shiney things, but that attachment to the ‘old’ tech that served so well stops me from moving them on! I have boxes of old phones knocking around.

I still have my first ever mobile (an Ericsson GA 628) somewhere, probably disguised as a coffee table or structural support for an unstable ceiling… Awesome phone. Built to survive; I painted it, bashed it around and modified it to my hearts content. It even got run over by a car once and bounced down a hilly Sydenham road when I was drunkenly trying to call a cab. I found it and still managed to call a cab from it moments later. Can my X10 mini-pro achieve that accolade? Nope, but it does have more than one line of text.

RIP Nokia 3510i.

Sorry Patrick, but the 3510i uses a lithium ion battery, not nickel-metal hydride. You are absolutely right about the excellent battery life.

Sadly, my 3510i failed after a few years of light use, but one I bought as a gift did better.

I don’t want to have anything to do with smartphones until they last at least a week between charges AND the battery can be exchanged (Apple please take note).

A lot of older people are happy with phones that they have had for years and I occasionally see university students with old phones instead of the usual iPhones etc. Some young people like old technology and I recently found a student using an LED Commodore calculator dating from the mid 70s.

James says:
23 April 2020

I’ve been using old phones for years- I started with the 5110 and 3310 from 1998 and 2000, then bought a 3510i because of how well this article is written. Now i’ve just bought a C3-01 from 2011 for under twenty quid. Long may it last.