Our 28th year of publishing

Published November 16, 2021

Time has come to tackle the task of changing cellphones


By John Toth / The Bulletin

I’ve been needing a newer cell phone for a while. The granddaddy of cellphones has seen better days, and some of its functions had been acting up. It was time for a change.

I try to postpone changing phones as long as possible, partly because the new ones cost money, but mostly because I hate changing all the stuff I have in the old phone into the new phone.

When my old phone's on/off button acted up and then went out completely, I looked on Google how to fix it and ordered a kit from Amazon. A few days later I put on my phone tech cap and installed the new button. It still works great, but other problems have popped up.

The camera’s flash quit working. I didn’t use it all that much anyway, I reasoned. The camera works just fine without a flash.

The volume button went out. Solution: change the volume with the app. It was a little troublesome, but it worked fine. No need for a newer phone. Then the volume button started working again after I dropped the phone - even better.

It was running out of memory. A new, bigger memory card took care of that. The Android phone was a workhorse still. I saw no need to go through the arduous process of changing to a new one.

But you know your phone is old when you can’t remember in which year you bought it.

Meanwhile, my kids were buying up the newest iPhones and making fun of my antique. But it worked just like theirs, and it cost only $89.95 on eBay back in the day.

That’s right. No monthly payments, no contract, just cash on the barrelhead via a credit card.

The children were not subjected to simpler times when we made phone calls from a house or payphone. Or when we pulled out a very expensive, company-issued Motorola brick phone and talked very fast because it was $1 per minute, and we didn’t want our supervisor to go absolutely nuts when he saw the itemized bill.

Those were the days when phones were just phones.

When I was a teenager, I was lucky enough to have my own phone in my room, although it was connected to the same line as the living room phone. But at least I could lie in bed rather than on the living room couch and talk to my friends.

Those were hard times. If we wanted to play games, we had to go to the arcade in the mall. Or go into the street and play some hockey or baseball. Now there is an app for all of that.

Enough of the way it used to be. It was time to get a new phone. I started searching for a deal.

Bingo. I found a recent-model phone for $139.95 that is compatible with my carrier, certified to be in top shape and "reconditioned." Amazon even offered a 90-day warranty, no questions asked - just send it back for a refund or exchange.

It arrived a few days early. But I was dreading the switchover, so I left it on my desk overnight. Oh, the agony. I should have kept the old one. It was still good enough.

There was no turning back. I embarked on the feared task, installed the sim and memory cards and turned on this shiny new baby.

My fears were unwarranted. The phone asked for my Google password, reached into my Google Drive and set itself up in a few minutes. All the programs were there, just like on the old phone.

Now, what’s this button for? I’ll just push it. Oh, oh…


(John looks forward to hearing from you on this subject. Send comments to john.bulletin@gmail.com. You can even send an old-fashioned letter to: The Bulletin, P.O. Box 2426, Angleton, TX. 77516.)