Penguin look alike

The first time I saw the Nokia 6600 on CNN back in 2003, it was hailed as the most advanced mobile phone in the world. I remember the TV ads showing all the fancy applications that the phone had (forgetting that a good number of those applications are virtually useless in Africa!)

I fell in love with the 6600. To me, the 6600 was heaven! (Those days I had a 3310 aka Kenya uniform so you can understand the exitoz!) I told myself that one day I MUST get myself one (once the price came down to my range of affordability…. 50k plus when it first came out was too steep!)

Fast forward to December 23rd 2005, the price had come down to about 20k, and I decided to get it for Christmas. It’s be my 5th Nokia. My first phone was an Ericsson 2628, followed by a Nokia 8210, then a 3310, a 3510, another 3310, then the 6600.

The transaction itself was rather swift (we were on our way to shaggz and impatient family members were waiting in the car) I walked into the shop and said:

“Gimme a Nokia 6600, white and black”

“Sir, would you like to try the Motorola V3 Razr ?”

“No thanks. Motorolas are crap.”

“Sir, for just four thousand bob more you can get the Nokia…”

“No thanks, niko na exact.”

“For the same price you can get this latest Siemens….”

“Wee…mi nina haraka. Just gimme the 6600”

“Would you like a Safaricom line or a Celtel line?”

“I already have both, just get me the phone yawa!”

“Ok I’ll just give you a Safaricom line since…..”

“WOMAN!!!” *Waving fist!*

A minute later I exited the shop with the box in my hands, and a smile of satisfaction and contentment on my lips.

I don’t know why shop attendants always try to forcefully interest you in one thing when you’ve already made up your mind to buy something else. I know that most cellphone buyers first do reconnaissance visits to different shops, comparing prices and enquiring about warranties and the like. I’d done all that the previous week, (mpaka bargaining) and this shop had the lowest price for the 6600, and they offered a one year warranty.

Plus I’m a dude, we ALWAYS know what we want, and we go and get just that. Don’t try to change a man’s mind once he’s decided to get something. You’ll just be wasting your time.

Imagine my disappointment when I opened the box only to find that the 6600 comes without a bluetooth headset (an extra +/- 6000 bob), a (measly) 32MB memory card, no MP3 player AND NO BLOODY RADIO!!!

So what was all the fuss about the Nokia 6600? Most advanced mobile phone in the world? Useless!

The Nokia 6600 has served me well though over the last one year, five months and two weeks and a day. I’ve taken thousands of photos with its 0.3 megapixel camera, battled with CommWarrior virus, Beta tested tens of different free applications from and, discovered the addictive nature of mobile internet via Opera Mini, chatted my thumbs sore (and cheated in a couple of exams as well) via Mxit, Morange, Reporo, Quick IM among others, switched off a projector in a packed pub during the Champions League Final via remote control, discovered loopholes in the mobile phone network to send hundreds of free international text messages to my ex…


…kwanza the things I did for that woman….I had a folder where I saved each and every single text that she ever sent me, right from the very first one, the days of “what exactly is your agenda with me? Am I just another of your hit and run victims?” to when the romance started, the flirting, the domez, the kiss and make ups, the angry texts from her shocked mother to whom I’d accidentally replied a steamy text (or 5), right up to the break-up. She always said that I was too attached to my phone, which was (IS) true. I mean, this is an ex-most advanced mobile phone in the world!! It’s like having a former Ms Universe (with an adequate sianda of course!) in your bed! Ama?

Anyway, the 6600 can hold up to 999 messages. The idea was to save all her texts, and when the memory was filled up, I’d give her the phone on our anniversary, as a gift that chronicles every step of our relationship. Sadly I didn’t get to 999, I only got to 652 texts. Shortly after we broke up, I read all the texts one by one (took more than an hour and a half) shed a tear or two (or six) selected ALL and clicked on delete.

The phone actually asked me TWICE


and when I clicked YES, it went like


Sadly, I was.

And after it was done deleting, it coughed, the screen went blank and it died. And my heart followed suit.

Yup. my penguin and I have been through a lot together. Sadly, the time is soon coming where we will have to part ways. You see, I know this phone inside out. I know all its shortcomings and they’re becoming more and more irritating by the day since all I think about is getting a phone that can fully satisfy all my needs.

What I like about the 6600:

1. It is a very durable phone, built tough, like a 3310. You can throw it down the stairs and it’ll still survive! (it has actually happened a couple of times, and I have a pal who threw his against the wall in a fit of rage. It died after he slammed it into the wall…the second time)

2. Internet capability is quite good, but can be better

3. Since it’s a Nokia Smartphone, one can open and work on several applications simultaneously.

4. Large screen that reduces the need to keep scrolling down when reading a long email or blog post.


5. It has an in-built manual (help files) that makes troubleshooting quite easy.

6. A wide range of free applications can work on it.

7. Very customizable i.e. themes and wallpapers, profiles.

What I don’t like about the 6600:

  1. It looks like a penguin!




Remember this fella?

Boyflani , word on the street has it that you are a fully paid up life member of the Pingu fan club. Dio ama raa?? (that’s a first round TKO, keti unywe maji baridi)

2. NO RADIO (internet radio streaming possible, but at a *hefty* price)

3. NO MP3 player (free MP3 player application downloads available on the internet)

4. Very small internal dictionary, I think you can only put in like 15 words!

5. 0.3 megapixel camera!! With a pathetique night mode.

6. Camcorder only records for 9 seconds (what the hell were they thinking? What on earth can one possibly record in 9 seconds??

7. Very small internal memory (6MB) which causes phone to hang frequently bila notice while using the internet. {Nokia – (Dis)connecting people?} The other day the bloody thing just went off and when it came back on, it had formatted the memory card! Luckily I had backed everything up onto my PC

8. Crap battery life. Didn’t the fellows at Nokia think that some people would want to use the internet for 20 hours nonstop? I think I need a uranium powered battery!

9. Calendar doesn’t auto update, which I think is the stupidest thing about the phone.

10. No MP3 ringtones.

11. 32 MB memory card.

12. No Data Cable, so moving one MP3 file from my PC via Bluetooth takes a little over 11 minutes!!

So my next phone should address these problems, but most importantly:

1. It MUST be a Nokia Smartphone. (Multi-tasking is very important once you’re used to it) Nothing else.

2. Bluetooth headset must come as standard equipment.

3. Internal memory should be over 32MB , with external memory of over 128MB as standard

4. Should have data cable compatibility

5. Should have 3G/EDGE/WiFi compatibility

5. Should have MP3 and Radio as standard. (Marcus and Chris should be listened to daily!! Those guys rock!!)

6. Should not be a flip phone.

6. Should have a 2.0 Megapixel (or above) camera with camcorder that can record for more then 9 seconds.

7. Price: should not cost more than 25k shillings.

There are too many new Nokia models in the market these days and it’s hard to keep abreast with all of them. I think these guys should have a checklist on the Nokia website where one can simply click on all the features that he needs, then all the phones that come closest should be listed. It just makes things easier.

PS: Nokia only. I’m not interested in any other make.

What’s on my playlist?

Lifted – Lighthouse Family