Making a decision about a technology purchase is typically a hand-wringing and crowd-sourced public experience. Should you go with an easy choice, the standard-bearer? Or should you be an early adopter and tweet the hell out of your choices, then choose from the one that gets the most likes or retweets? Take, for example, mobile phones. Whether you are considering a Nokia 9000, or one of the older stand-bys, it can be a confusing experience, even if you crowd-source your agony.
Fortunately, with the Motorola DynaTAC 8000s, you get the best of both—solid reliability along with sleek design and functionality. Whether you are an ubercool Brooklynite who happens to practice law or a leisure-suited lawyer in Ohio, the DynaTAC 8000s has what you need.
The 8000s is not cheap. But, remember, this is not the 8000X (pictured at right), the seminal mobile phone introduced by Motorola two years earlier. The 8000s is Motorola’s second flagship model, and it shows. With one less button and now under two pounds, it’s highly portable and—better yet—now coming in at just under $2,000 with a Bell Labs monthly contract of $129 per month (minutes extra). Sure, you could get an IBM Simon smartphone for much less, but why?
The DynaTac 8000s, like its predecessor, uses the Advanced Mobile Phone System (AMPS), a sure winner in wireless transmissions, as it has the word “advanced” in the title. Plus, it sheds all of the so-called modern but unnecessary whistles and bells of more advanced systems, like D-AMPS, B-Netz, or High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (believe me, these are just Germanic code words for “luxuriously expensive”). If you don’t need encrypted transmissions or if you don’t worry too much about eavesdropping or cell-phone cloning, the DynaTac fits the bill.
Apart from the network, the phone itself performs flawlessly. A really firm push of the buttons will dial outgoing calls, and the red “Send” button is a great touch, making it easy to find. Similarly, a firm push of the “End” button will hang up the phone. Other available button functions include “Rcl,” “Vol,” “Clr,” and “Pwr.” And the LED readout is top notch—just like your calculator, you can spell “hello” upside down by punching in 43110. Who needs an app when you can do that?
Weighing in at nearly two pounds and just about 10 inches high, the 8000s is decently portable, particularly if you use our recommended Clydesdale Hauler Cart to lug your legal stuff between the house, office, and car. Think of it this way: it fits nicely between the margins of a sheet of standard paper and it weighs far less than an Amiga desktop. If I were to spell portability in a technologically advanced design, it would start with the number 8000.
With built-in AMPS and a full-charge of the detachable battery pack, you can get up to 30 minutes talk time and 10 hours of standby, as in “clip it to your belt and forget about it.” Even after nine hours, it can dial one of the up to 30 stored numbers. With all of that, no wonder DynaTac stands for Dynamic Adaptive Total Area Coverage. Score all around.