At the other end of the cellphone spectrum

These two are far, far away from the big multi-touch screens so adored by the digerati jet-set, who are crapping their pants hourly in a very odorous way:

Nokia 1100
Image taken from the Nokia official product page

Motorola C200
Image taken from the Motorola official product page

Even though they’re not made anymore, lots of people here in Mexico swear by them. I personally know they’re able to resist most daily carnage. When the shell becomes too scratched, it’s simple to change it over to a new one. The only instances I’ve seen them fail is when the user actually wants their destruction, but against that there isn’t much an industrial designer can do.

Even if they’re GSM locked in to their providers, it’s actually cheaper to buy a new one with another provider than to unlock your existing one. Since they’re usually sold with pre-paid minutes, you don’t risk the iPocalypse or forced to activate the device somewhere.

Also to be considered is their use while traveling. Leave your expensive phone at home, get one of these — or its variants — when arriving at your destination. You’ll avoid roaming charges and other hi-tech hijinks — you know the ones I’m talking about — and you’ll have a local number people can reach you at without paying long distance. This specially works great if you go back and forth between locations. Plus if you lose it or it gets stolen you won’t hurt for it. It might be worth it to have one of these unlocked if you do travel a lot though.

So here’s to them and their successors.