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My encounter with the 'Buddha phone'

If you can put up with its hideous keypad design and tacky 24k-gold plating, you can put up with anything.


When we saw pictures of the "Buddha phone," we didn't actually think we'd see it for real. So when one of my colleagues said he saw one at Sim Lim Square (the gadget bazaar of Singapore), I knew I had to see it with my own eyes.

Unlike the laughable Lillian Too Lucky Dragon handset, the Buddha phone drew a much more subdued reaction. Maybe because the shopowner got a little suspicious of my close scrutiny and fusillade of questions. I swear he had me in the corner of his eye even while attending to other customers.

Your friendly shopowner did reveal that there are only 999 of the Shenzhen-manufactured Buddha phones worldwide, an auspicious number given that 9 stands for longevity. When I inquired about the price, I was quoted S$380 (about $282)--already a discount from the original S$400-plus.

Given my experience dealing with such retailers, I could probably drive it down a couple more tens if I really wanted it. But since I made my intention clear that I wasn't in a buying way, the now-not-so-friendly chap was unwilling to show me the packaging that came with the phone. No photos either.

He did, however, allow me to handle the handset for a bit. The snappy response of the buttons was surprisingly pretty decent. There are two jade-like pieces on the face of the handset: One is used as the directional control, the second at the bottom of the numeric keypad to activate the Bluetooth connection. Elsewhere, the mini-USB port is found along the top edge of the phone and the microSD expansion card slot on the side.

In the hand, though, the Buddha phone felt more like a toy showpiece than an actual handset. For this scribe, the experience was anything but divine. Seriously, if you can put up with its hideous keypad design and tacky 24k-gold plating, you can put up with anything.

Thanks, but no thanks. We'll stick with the Dragon phone because this poor journo would rather get lucky than achieve enlightenment.

(Source: Crave Asia)