So you're undoubtedly saying to yourself; never mind all your international tomfoolery and musings about mortality, X. What kind of phone you packing these days?
Well, I'm glad you asked.
Believe it or not, I didn't get a smart phone until 2013!
Before that I was sticking with the good old reliable Nokia hockey pucks. Man, I loved those things - you could hurl them across the room and smash them into bits, and usually you could then just snap them back together like a Lego and they worked just fine.
I think between 2002 and 2009, back in Russia, I owned about nine or ten of them. They usually got lost or stolen during drinking binges. But they were the most affordable phone you could get - between $50 and $100 and that time. (Although I usually bought them "second-hand" at the outdoor market.)
But around 2009 I noticed the quality of the cheap Nokias was falling -- I had one just die on me, without even dropping it in a toilet or accidentally kicking it down a staircase.
Then the second one I bought died also, seemingly of heat prostration, on a beach in Dubai in 2013. Its little screen turned black, all the liquid crystals seemed to burst.
So I decided to go ahead and get a smart phone.
I'd already owned an Apple Ipod Touch (which died after a year in the Kingdom) and an iPhone 3, a hand-me-down from my mom, that only worked in America. I wasn't impressed with Apple's complicated iTunes bullshit or it's reliability.
The first smartphone I purchased was a Samsung Galaxy Ace, which also died almost immediately. It was under warranty so they repaired it, and it ended up going to my girlfriend's mom.
In the interim, the second phone I purchased was a Lenovo A850 with a 5.5 inch screen, and this I fell in love with. Great camera, fast and responsive, dual SIM, reasonable amount of memory, and a screen great for reading e-books (which is the main thing I used it for.) And I got it on sale for about $110.
This I left in a taxi cab in Riyadh about a month later.
So I replaced it with it's smaller cousin, the A560, and this I love also, if perhaps not as much as the larger one.
It meets all my requirements -- it works pretty well (even in America and a half-dozen other countries I've tried to use it in), it costs less than $100, and it's pretty tough. It's survived several nasty spills out of pocket while bike riding, for example, without even a cracked screen.
Several reviews on Amazon complain about the Chinese operating system, but I easily switched mine to English language and it runs Android and Google stuff with no problem.
It is starting to get a bit laggy though, as regards the apps and internet, so I probably need to upgrade soon. I think this is the longest I've ever owned a phone, actually, so I can retire it with honor, letting it rest in peace, and get the larger one, which I see is currently available on Amazon for $85.
(Edit, July 21st: These are not affiliate links. There are no affiliate links on this blog.)