Resuscitating my ten-year-old Sony phone
Earlier today I was looking for the battery charger for an older Nikon camera, and instead I found the charger for the Sony CMD-Z7 mobile phone I purchased in 2002. I’ve changed a few phones over the years, but I’ve always been fond of this little buddy. I remember how blown away I was when its predecessor (the CMD-Z5) was announced two years before, how much I loved the design of this particular Sony product line, and how much I wanted to get one. I ended up buying a discounted CMD-Z7, which I liked because the antenna was now internal, but it also felt somewhat less robust than the Z5 in my hand.
Well, I was wrong. Despite feeling lightly built and plasticky, the CMD-Z7 has proven more than once to be a tough one. In the first four years of daily use it suffered at least three bad falls, but every time I just picked up the pieces (usually the flip, the battery cover, the battery itself), put everything back into place, and the phone got back to business as usual.
From circa 2006 on, it became my second phone, so I used it less and less frequently. What has always amazed me about it has to be its ‘will to live’, so to speak. Despite having a tiny, 680 mAh lithium polymer battery, it has always given a great perfomance, and the last time I had it with me a few days (around 2009), it still lasted more than one day and a half on a single charge.
When I decided to recharge the CMD-Z7 today, I wasn’t even hoping it would wake up. The phone had been lying in a drawer since 2011, untouched, with the battery obviously drained. Imagine my surprise when, after 45 minutes of apparent death, the phone lit up. After about two hours the battery was fully charged, and apart from a test call and some tinkering with the settings, it’s been on standby for nine hours or so — the battery icon is still on ‘full charge’.
Sure, one thing that helps battery life is that this phone isn’t exactly feature-rich by today’s standards (check its tech specs here for a laugh), but I remember having actually connected to a few web sites in the past (WAP-friendly, of course) and having checked emails on this phone.
Just to have an idea of the size — from left to right: Sony CMD-Z7, Palm Pre 2, iPhone 3G
I think I’ll keep it charged every now and then, just for fun. If I ever decide to make some kind of experiment on iPhone withdrawal, you’ll definitely see me around with this little guy. I still like its design compared to many other ugly mobile phones of its era…