The Motorola RAZR succeeds the LG VX8350
The Motorola RAZR succeeds the LG VX8350

Alas, my latest LG VX 8350 has been laid to rest. It was the sixth one I’d owned, all identical, all but the first bought through ebay after the model was discontinued by Verizon years ago. It was just the right size and shape for me and just the right feature set, so I kept coming back for more, even though every one ever manufactured left the factory with a defective right hinge.

A “flaw in the mold,” as it was explained, made the hinge a ticking time bomb. Fine at first, it eventually would form a crack. The crack would cause a tell-tale clicking sound as the phone was opened and closed, and the clicking sound would get progressively louder until the hinge failed. Sometimes it took a month, other times almost a year, but the outcome was inevitable.

The main reason that I stuck with the 8350 for so long, though, was that it was hackable. Using a shareware program called Bitpim, I could access its ringtones, wallpaper and iTAP dictionary, which meant that I could use my own ringtones instead of renting them from Verizon and I could design wallpaper for the phone that didn’t rely on its one-megapixel camera for raw material.

(Shut up, okay? Guys like to customize things.)

But after six phones and I don’t know how much money, my brand loyalty was exhausted. I now own a Motorola RAZR. Old stock, never-used and around $400 retail when issued. Buy-it-now price on ebay: $40.

It’s an excellent phone, but thus far, the RAZR has spurned Bitpim’s advances. Sadness. I’ll just have to keep plugging away until I get inside it or I break it and have to replace it. That’s something I definitely know how to do.