New phone or bag: it's a tough decision

I'm pondering taking the plunge and buying a new cellphone, but I'm almost scared to start shopping around.

Don't get me wrong, I do like tinkering around with gadgets but I'm still not a huge fan of cellphones. Why are we so obsessed with always being online and available?

Sometimes it's nice to be somewhere with dodgy reception so you can simply turn the thing off, sit back, relax, listen to the sheep and admire the view.

And isn't it the height of rudeness when you are out with friends who are constantly fiddling with their phone, updating their Facebook status or texting.

So, back to the pondering. I currently own a two-and-a-bit-year-old, fairly entry-level wee smart-ish phone - an Acer beTouch something-or-other that looks a lot like a Blackberry, takes surprisingly good photos, shoots video that is OK enough for use on the web and works pretty well in general.

However, I do like the idea of a full-size touch screen, probably because it feels comfortable for someone who already uses an iPod Touch and an iPad.

I don't upgrade my phones often - the one before this was nearly five years old when I finally retired it - so I do tend to get my money's worth out of them.

However, I still can't bring myself to spend $1000 on a phone. I've looked at the specs for an iPhone 5 and it looks good. A Samsung Galaxy S III looks even better.

But damn, it's a lot of money. I could buy a nice handbag for that sort of cash. Well, a nice wallet from this season's Louis Vuitton range maybe. And it would still be functioning as intended years down the track.

I have a Fendi bag that is more than a quarter of a century old and still ticking along.

Maybe that's the solution: forget the phone, I'll buy a handbag instead.