|Not quite there....|
Cell phones are the devil, but where cycling is concerned, they can be useful tools, or heck, even a life saver. I can totally see where a cell phone is a good back up for a cyclist, and why loved ones want us cyclists to carry one. I even understand that cell phones can become cycling computers. Tools to navigate by even. Yeah...aps and all that.
But cell phones weren't made for cycling. In fact, they aren't made for much of anything practical. Those tiny buttons, the user interfaces, and they don't always work as advertised. Cycling, (at least the kind that I do), is really hard on cell phones. Dust, dirt, bouncing around, and just the rough and tumble of daily commuting is not what most cell phones, "dumb" or "smart", were designed for. What were they designed for? Silk purses? You'd think so by the prices on some of them!
What Would You Do? So I have been thinking. Yeah......the iPhone is cool, but it is fragile, and you have to get a case, and a holder, and ........No! It is wrong if you have to "band aid" the thing to work for cycling. It isn't a cycling cell phone. It just isn't. Other cell phones don't measure up either. So.....what is a cyclists cell phone?
Solutions: I am dreaming, and this will probably go nowhere fast, but I wanted to explore what it might be that would make a good cell phone for active cyclists that could go mountain biking, bike-packing, touring, or just do the daily commute grind without being babied and put in a zip-loc bag.
Here's my bucket list, feel free to comment on this, or add your own submissions. Again, I have zero hope this will change anything, but it might be a fun exercise in brain storming. Here goes....
- Buttons: My ideal cell phone would have one single button on the outer case (weather-proof, of course), that you would push to answer a call. Hold it down a few seconds to power up-off. Every other button would be inside the flip case. This eliminates potential damage, noises from supposed "locked keypads", and eliminates false calls, or other unwanted digital mayhem.
- Case: As I stated above, the case would have one button, a grill for the mouthpiece/microphone, and a grill for the earpiece. It would otherwise be smooth, with no sharp edges, perhaps be covered in a grippy, durable coating, and be able to withstand being run over by a Peterbuilt. It would flip open to reveal a keypad. (See next)
- Inner Keypad: This would be revealed by flipping open the case and would be made up of buttons you could operate without removing your cycling gloves. (Full fingered cycling gloves people!) I am not sold on having to have a "qwerty" keypad, but if it could be done, and I can operate it with my full fingered gloves, so be it. A very small display for alphanumeric symbols only would be the only visual display.
I don't want a "smart phone" that is a jack of all trades- master of none. I don't want a smart phone that eats up my battery trying to run radios to hook up to cell towers, GPS satellites, and WiFi. I don't want some namby-pamby glass covered exercise in modern art that falls apart on a granite rock. I want a freakin' rock solid, reliable phone that does phone and texting really well and has a battery that lasts two weeks on a charge.
Do that and I'll sign a contract for life. Thanks. Now it's your turn.....