Jun 25, 2011

Smartphone Lust

Yes.  Hand me your iPhone and walk away.

I've been lusting after a smartphone for a little less than a year now.  I know I'm behind as far as wanting/having/loving one goes, but the bug just didn't bite me until recently.  I thought they were too expensive, excessive, unnecessary, too much.  And I see how very awesome they are.  How very, very awesome.  And I want.

The phone I've had for the past year is the Samsung Convoy.  I feel like this guy when I pull it out of my purse:

So I've been researching, price comparing, provider comparing, comparing, comparing, comparing.  At first, I just wanted a phone that had a QWERTY keyboard.  That was about my only criteria.  Then I really wanted a touch screen.  Like, drooling wanting.  Next, I was determined to get an environmentally-friendly phone that had lower radiation than most others and was made of recycled materials and is more easily recycleable.  Oh, and one that isn't made with PVC or BFR.  Aaaand, there's about 2.1 of those.  I might be exaggerating (a little), but that's how it feels.

I found GoodGuide,  a pretty helpful site as a starting point.  GoodGuide rates cell phones (among other products) on how environmentally friendly they are, how much radiation they emit, and also (enter my latest new-cell-phone criteria) on how socially responsible they are.  I would really like to know that I'm purchasing a product from a company that treats their employees well, or at least, better than other manufacturers.  This, by the way, leaves Blackberry smartphones and LG phones waaaay out of the running.

It seems like Nokia phones are the front runners as far as environmental friendliness and social responsibility.  So I went to some major cell phone sites to find out who carries them.  Actually, all of the major cell phone providers I could think of, and this is what I came up with:

T-Mobile - 2 phones (Nokia 5230 Nuron and the Nokia X2, which I can't even find on GoodGuide.  I tried researching it, but I can't find anything about whether or not if it's environmentally friendly.  I suppose the fact that every other Nokia phone seems to be eco-friendly should be evidence enough...)
AT&T - 1 phone (Nokia 6350, not a smartphone, by the way.  Iiiit's a flip phone, which is what I have now)
Cricket - 0
Verizon - 0
Sprint - 0
Virgin Mobile - 0
Credo Mobile - 0
Boost Mobile - 0

So, those are awesome numbers.  I think I'll make a virtual omelet out of all those goose eggs.

I find it pretty disheartening that even the phones that got the highest ratings still got some low numbers in the sub-categories.  But hey, at least Nokia seems to be trying a bit more than the other companies.  Also disheartening is the fact that every time I think I've found another high-rated phone, it turns out they have high high high radiation emitted or something equally as worrisome.  And maybe I am being too picky?  But I want the best of the best as far as eco-friendliness and social responsibility goes.  Is that too much to ask?  Is a phone that won't tug at my conscience and has (hopefully) a lower chance of compromising my health in the future too much to ask?

I googled 'fair trade cell phones' and found that, well, there are none.  Jawsome.  I did find this site though:  FairPhone.  When they make it happen, I will buy one.  Also, this site is pretty sweet: MakeITFair

I did read on one site (I can't seem to find it now) that the greenest cell phone is "the one you already have."  Oh, how bitter is this sad, over-priced plan, flip-phone truth.

At this point, this one's lookin pretty good ------>

If you find something more, something that might give me faith in the cell phone industry, please, for the love of sweet baby jeebus, let me know.

No comments: