You know how much cellphones suck? A lot. They are mostly built in sweatshops, which are then shipped over here, and sold in stores. These machines might seem like they are from the future, but really, they are made by the dinosaurs of the past. The companies that make cellphones make them to last only so long, unlike their brick cousins from the late 90’s.
When the iPhone first came out, many people immediately jumped to “Oh! It’s like Star Trek” and what they were picturing wasn’t the communicator but the data pads they used on the The Next Generation. We already had the communicators by way of flip-phone cellphones, so this seemed like the next logical step, right? It was going to be better, right?
Ehhhh, smart phones have given us a new economy by way of Apps, but other than that it’s been a slow decline. Here’s why the original Star Trek and TNG communicators are better than your cellphone.
They just work
You see, the Star Trek communicator just worked. You pulled it out, flipped it open, and you can get a hold of anyone within range. Call done in 2 moves.
You take your cellphone out (or mini computer, I mean it’s more like that than a phone), you unlock the screen, go to the address book, press call, wait, and someone picks up. Call done in 5 moves.
They are durable
ST and TNG communicators could be dropped, hammered, thrown, and still work. Of course, they are military grade, but still this durability is what our old cellphones used to be able to endure. Sure, it may not have worked as well, but it still worked.
Now take your smartphone, and drop it. Did your butthole clench just a bit at the mere thought of that happening? The fact that I have to buy a hyperbaric chamber for my cellphone to survive a simple mishap is ridiculous. I know people who throw the line “Hey, just don’t drop it” at me. Yeah, and you could not accidentally drip mustard on yourself. This why it is called an ‘accident’, and the people who build the damn things should try to keep that in mind.
They make clear calls
I know this is a TV show. I know it is a fantasy and do not need to be committed to a psyche ward, but this is more about our phones current call quality: it sucks. You have a very advanced machine in your hands. You have what sci-fi nerds have been dreaming about since they were five, in the palm of your hand, and when you make a call it still sounds like you’re talking through a tin-can.
The fact that smartphones are now $600 and the call quality is still the same as it was in 1998 is fucking mind-boggling.
Lastly, they are not phones
The communicator on Star Trek and TNG are not phones. They never were phones. They are radios on super crack. This is why they are better than your phone, because radios are just better than that thing in your pocket.
Why is this the case?
I could go more in-depth on it, which I will in my next blog post, but it boils down to this: Radios can work in just about any environment, they have a clearer voice quality, and lastly they are free to use.
The one thing that the Star Trek communicator and your smartphone have in common is the fact your movements can be tracked on either device.