Do I really need a Smartphone?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities

Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby protagonist » Wed Jun 26, 2013 1:40 pm

Browser wrote:
If you want to test your data speeds, you can download a free app called "Speedtest". My download/upload speeds on whatever ST uses (3G? 4G?) in my home measured, surprisingly, equivalent to, or even a little faster than, my Verizon Wifi speeds (over 6 Mbps down, about 1.3 Mbps up). But I could barely get any coverage where I went to vote yesterday- about 50 Kbps down- effectively useless. I have no idea how often that happens.

Well, I just did that. There is an app called Speedtest and another one called Speedtest.net. I used both and they disagree somewhat. When connected via a home WiFi cable internet I got around 5-6 Mbps down and 1.5 Mbps up also. But when connected via AirVoice data my download was a whopping 9 Kbps and upload around 15 Kbps. The connection speed that is displayed on the phone is HSPA with 5 bars, which is as good as it gets with this service, based on my experience so far. Here's what Wikipedia has to say about HSPA+ connection speeds:
HSPA+ provides an evolution of High Speed Packet Access and provides data rates up to 168 Megabits per second (Mbit/s) to the mobile device (downlink) and 22 Mbit/s from the mobile device (uplink).

I'd say that speedtest.net (and speedtest too) are showing speeds considerably short of this. I don't understand these results. The speeds shown are so slow they would be useless. What gives here?


I think HPSA+ might be what Straight Talk is using as well, though it shows up as 4g on my phone. I don't know. They only offered 3g when I started the service and I haven't kept up. I do remember, I think, reading that the Nexus 4 is only capable of 3g, but the difference shouldn't be so great.

I would recommend repeating the speed test in various locations. It could be that you just get bad signal where you live. I don't quite understand why location should make that much of a difference, but I got 6.30 Mbps in my living room, just under 3 Mbps on a downtown street corner, and an awful ~50Kbps in the polling place. It could also be time-dependent rather than so location-dependent, but others on this site have had much more experience with it than I and could probably answer those questions.

50 Kbps is painful enough to make it not worth paying for, I found out about the 50Kbps because when I voted, there was a third party candidate running (for Hillary's old senate seat) on the "Twelve Visions Party" ticket and it sounded bizarre and scary enough that I immediately turned to Wikipedia to find out who these people were. I gave up after waiting almost 5 minutes for Wikipedia to load. Definitely not worth the effort.

If those are speeds you get consistently, I'd definitely give Air Voice a call and find out what gives.

I've only been working with this for two days so my experience is limited.
protagonist
 
Posts: 1964
Joined: 26 Dec 2010

Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby protagonist » Wed Jun 26, 2013 1:49 pm

Browser wrote:By way of further information, the data setup on the phone allows you to select GSM only or WCDMA preferred/GSM. I played around with this and found that GSM only is slower than the WCDMA/GSM setting. This appears to be the reason why:
WCDMA vs GSM
WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiplexing Access) and GSM are two technologies that are used in mobile telecommunications. The difference between these two is that GSM is a 2G technology and WCDMA is a part of the newer 3G group of technologies.

http://www.differencebetween.net/technology/difference-between-wcdma-and-gsm/



This can't be true. Verizon and Sprint and perhaps a few others are CDMA carriers. AT+T, T-Mobile, and I think the majority of other domestic carriers, as well as essentially all carriers in Europe and South America and who knows where else, use GSM. GSM is certainly capable of state-of-the art data transfer.
protagonist
 
Posts: 1964
Joined: 26 Dec 2010

Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby Browser » Wed Jun 26, 2013 1:49 pm

50 Kbps is painful enough to make it not worth paying for, I found out about the 50Kbps because when I voted, there was a third party candidate running (for Hillary's old senate seat) on the "Twelve Visions Party" ticket and it sounded bizarre and scary enough that I immediately turned to Wikipedia to find out who these people were. I gave up after waiting almost 5 minutes for Wikipedia to load. Definitely not worth the effort.

If those are speeds you get consistently, I'd definitely give Air Voice a call and find out what gives.

I'm only getting a reading of about 18 kbps download on speedtest. However, the actual speed seems OK when I'm browsing the internet and using other data apps with the phone. My understanding is that 3G runs at 300 kbps but maybe I"m wrong about that. 18 kbps would be near paralysis. So, I don't get it. Also there is a huge difference between the measured upload and download speeds, with 2.3 mbps for upload, which is crazy too. Usually I thought upload speeds are much slower than download speeds.
If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine. – Jim Barksdale
Browser
 
Posts: 2227
Joined: 5 Sep 2012

Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby Browser » Wed Jun 26, 2013 1:56 pm

This can't be true. Verizon and Sprint and perhaps a few others are CDMA carriers. AT+T, T-Mobile, and I think the majority of other domestic carriers, as well as essentially all carriers in Europe and South America and who knows where else, use GSM. GSM is certainly capable of state-of-the art data transfer.

There is a "Network Mode" setting on the phone for WCDMA only, GSM only, or WCDMA (preferred)/GSM. When I set this at GSM only, the data connection symbol on the home screen status bar of the phone indicates E (Edge) and it is slow as molasses. When I select WCDMA/GSM, then I usually get the H connection symbol on the phone and internet connection is much faster. Sometimes, depending on location, I'll get an E connection symbol, so I'm assuming that's when a slower speed tower is only available in that area and it downshifts.

P.S. I just set the Network Mode to GSM and ran speedtest. It indicated 12.5 Kbps download speed and 468 Kbps upload speed. When set at WCDMA, the download speed was 17 Kbps and upload was 2.3 Mbps, much faster on upload especially.
If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine. – Jim Barksdale
Browser
 
Posts: 2227
Joined: 5 Sep 2012

Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby protagonist » Wed Jun 26, 2013 2:06 pm

Browser wrote:I'm only getting a reading of about 18 kbps download on speedtest. However, the actual speed seems OK when I'm browsing the internet and using other data apps with the phone.


Well then, perhaps you are getting erroneous readings and your data speeds are way higher than you think. Just an idea, because when I was getting 50 Kbps it was too painful to use. Remember the dial up 56 Kbps modems of yesteryear? Those were 3 times faster than what you are getting. May I suggest uninstalling and reinstalling Speedtest, or trying an alternative app?

Browser wrote: My understanding is that 3G runs at 300 kbps but maybe I"m wrong about that.


I think so. Nexus 4 only operates on 3G, not 4g, and the data speeds some of these people are getting are incredible: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthr ... &t=1997015

Addendum....I think download speeds are generally much faster than upload speeds. I just noticed you quoted an up speed much faster than down, so I would be suspicious of the veracity of the test....especially since you are happy with the performance.
Last edited by protagonist on Wed Jun 26, 2013 2:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
protagonist
 
Posts: 1964
Joined: 26 Dec 2010

Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby ogd » Wed Jun 26, 2013 2:18 pm

Browser wrote:P.S. I just set the Network Mode to GSM and ran speedtest. It indicated 12.5 Kbps download speed and 468 Kbps upload speed. When set at WCDMA, the download speed was 17 Kbps and upload was 2.3 Mbps, much faster on upload especially.

At this point, you should just call customer service and ask them what's going on. It's possible that your connection is being throttled, e.g. T-mobile on a $50 plan will give you the first 500 MB at 4G speeds, anything after that is 2G speeds which are of course terrible.

Ironically, speed tests can use quite a bit of data. It might be informative for you to take a look at "Data usage" in your system settings to see what's been using your quota.
User avatar
ogd
 
Posts: 1575
Joined: 15 Jun 2012

Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby Browser » Wed Jun 26, 2013 4:06 pm

For some reason these speed test results just don't make any sense. No way could the download be so slow and upload is way higher than it is on home wireless cable. Dord anyone have an explanation?@
If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine. – Jim Barksdale
Browser
 
Posts: 2227
Joined: 5 Sep 2012

Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby ogd » Wed Jun 26, 2013 4:12 pm

They throttle the download only? Talk to them.
User avatar
ogd
 
Posts: 1575
Joined: 15 Jun 2012

Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby Browser » Wed Jun 26, 2013 5:37 pm

I don't think they are throttling. I pay for 500 mb and I've only used 100 or so this month. I think it has something to do with now the AirVoice network works. They are buying time on AT&T towers but I don't think you are getting the connection speeds that those towers are able to provide to AT&T subscribers. I don't know how that all works but I think the technology screws up the results of speed tests. I did a little research and you're supposed to get something like 200 kbps from Edge (2G+), and 384 kbps from 3G and more from HSPA (3G+). My phone status bar indicates I'm usually connected at HSPA speeds. But my speedtest download speeds are so low, there's some reason the apps aren't working correctly with AirVoice. Actually, most of the time the Speedtest.net app isn't able to run the speedtest and displays a "network connection problem" message. So something is weird about the AirVoice network connection. For all I know, it is done deliberately so you can't figure out your actual data transmission speed. The Apps work OK when I switch the phone to home cable WiFi, as the speed readings are reasonable (5-6 Mbps down, 1 Mbps up).
If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine. – Jim Barksdale
Browser
 
Posts: 2227
Joined: 5 Sep 2012

Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby ogd » Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:05 pm

Still worth asking them...

There are more speed tests here: http://www.dslreports.com/stest , from the browser.

Or do your own by downloading a large image and eyeballing. This one is 1 MB: http://cdn.theatlantic.com/static/infoc ... 122818.jpg . This has the advantage of being a realistic use case.
User avatar
ogd
 
Posts: 1575
Joined: 15 Jun 2012

Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby patrick » Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:24 pm

Browser wrote:
If you want to test your data speeds, you can download a free app called "Speedtest". My download/upload speeds on whatever ST uses (3G? 4G?) in my home measured, surprisingly, equivalent to, or even a little faster than, my Verizon Wifi speeds (over 6 Mbps down, about 1.3 Mbps up). But I could barely get any coverage where I went to vote yesterday- about 50 Kbps down- effectively useless. I have no idea how often that happens.

Well, I just did that. There is an app called Speedtest and another one called Speedtest.net. I used both and they disagree somewhat. When connected via a home WiFi cable internet I got around 5-6 Mbps down and 1.5 Mbps up also. But when connected via AirVoice data my download was a whopping 9 Kbps and upload around 15 Kbps. The connection speed that is displayed on the phone is HSPA with 5 bars, which is as good as it gets with this service, based on my experience so far. Here's what Wikipedia has to say about HSPA+ connection speeds:
HSPA+ provides an evolution of High Speed Packet Access and provides data rates up to 168 Megabits per second (Mbit/s) to the mobile device (downlink) and 22 Mbit/s from the mobile device (uplink).

I'd say that speedtest.net (and speedtest too) are showing speeds considerably short of this. I don't understand these results. The speeds shown are so slow they would be useless. What gives here?


As with other wireless connections speeds, the quoted rates are for the ideal case. Real world results are almost always much lower. Note also that 168 megabits requires multiple antennas and can't happen with older versions of HSPA. For instance, I use T-Mobile HSPA+ which is supposedly up to 42 megabits, but the best I've seen is less than 10. Of course 9kbps / 15kbps so something unusual may indeed be happening here -- but even when you fix the problem you shouldn't expect to get 100 megabits.
patrick
 
Posts: 698
Joined: 4 Sep 2009

Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby patrick » Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:32 pm

protagonist wrote:This can't be true. Verizon and Sprint and perhaps a few others are CDMA carriers. AT+T, T-Mobile, and I think the majority of other domestic carriers, as well as essentially all carriers in Europe and South America and who knows where else, use GSM. GSM is certainly capable of state-of-the art data transfer.


"CDMA" can mean a couple of different things. Plain "CDMA" normally refers to a 2G standard, while W-CDMA (UMTS) is a 3G standard.

A "CDMA carrier" doesn't use only plain CDMA and a "GSM carrier" doesn't use only plain GSM. AT&T can deliver modern data speeds because it offers also LTE (a more modern protocol). T-Mobile can deliver modern data speeds because it offers HSPA+ (another more modern protocol) and is also starting to add LTE
patrick
 
Posts: 698
Joined: 4 Sep 2009

Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby Browser » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:00 pm

patrick wrote:
protagonist wrote:This can't be true. Verizon and Sprint and perhaps a few others are CDMA carriers. AT+T, T-Mobile, and I think the majority of other domestic carriers, as well as essentially all carriers in Europe and South America and who knows where else, use GSM. GSM is certainly capable of state-of-the art data transfer.


"CDMA" can mean a couple of different things. Plain "CDMA" normally refers to a 2G standard, while W-CDMA (UMTS) is a 3G standard.

A "CDMA carrier" doesn't use only plain CDMA and a "GSM carrier" doesn't use only plain GSM. AT&T can deliver modern data speeds because it offers also LTE (a more modern protocol). T-Mobile can deliver modern data speeds because it offers HSPA+ (another more modern protocol) and is also starting to add LTE

Good explanation. I believe that AT&T can also offer HSPA, since that's what I'm getting via AirVoice Wireless, which uses AT&T. One of the apps that I've been trying out even identifies AirVoice Wireless as an HSPA network, at least in my present location. I just can't figure out why the speedtest apps are only reporting download speeds in the 7-9 kbps range. Should be at least 300+. Uplink speeds are reported as approx 900-1100 kbps, which is more like what I would expect. Don't know what's going on.
If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine. – Jim Barksdale
Browser
 
Posts: 2227
Joined: 5 Sep 2012

Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby protagonist » Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:51 am

Browser wrote: Don't know what's going on.


Fact: Your speed test is coming up 12-18Kbps but you are happy with your download speeds. That doesn't make sense.
Fact: Your download speed<<<<upload speed. That doesn't make sense.

The most plausible explanation is that you are getting decent service, but for some inexplicable reason you are getting erroneous readings.

My feeling....if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I would only call Air Voice if your service is subjectively unsatisfying. Otherwise forget the numbers and live with it. Or, alternatively, if you are unhappy, find another carrier. That's the great thing about MVNO.
protagonist
 
Posts: 1964
Joined: 26 Dec 2010

Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby VictoriaF » Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:13 pm

In an attempt to hold on to my Bronze Medal, let me offer some useless insights.

AT&T is probably not happy with losing its business to MVNOs. I am familiar with a similar situation in the 1990s when Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (ILECs, i.e., Baby Bells like Verizon, Bell South, etc.) had to provide access opportunities to Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (CLECs, previously unknown entrepreneurs). ILECs had to enable CLECs' operations in response to anti-competition regulations, but they did it grudgingly and sometimes obstructively. I wonder if a similar dynamic exists between cellular carriers (AT&T, Verizon, etc.) and MVNOs.

If carriers wanted to demonstrate to the customers that they offer a higher quality service than the MVNOs using their networks, they could do it in several ways. For example, they could apply different handover algorithms. When a cellphone is within the range of a cell tower, it receives service through that tower. This is not interesting. What's interesting is when a cellphone moves from the coverage provided by one tower to the coverage provided by another tower, and even more so when it's moving along the "border" between two towers' coverage areas. It's not a sharp border but an area of the coverage overlap where signal from each tower is possibly weak. Various algorithms are used to decide which tower (or both) talks to the cellphone. This is a type of a situation where using an MVNO may be disadvantageous.

Victoria
Last edited by VictoriaF on Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)
User avatar
VictoriaF
 
Posts: 10929
Joined: 27 Feb 2007
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby Browser » Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:22 pm

The most plausible explanation is that you are getting decent service, but for some inexplicable reason you are getting erroneous readings.

Yeah I'm sure that's the case, but I'd like to know the technical reason why the speed readings are off. Several apps all give similar results.
If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine. – Jim Barksdale
Browser
 
Posts: 2227
Joined: 5 Sep 2012

Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby Toons » Thu Jun 27, 2013 12:31 pm

Android phone ,straight talk,verizon carrier has been superb for me so far :happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee
User avatar
Toons
 
Posts: 3601
Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Location: Hills of Tennessee

Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby protagonist » Fri Jun 28, 2013 4:00 pm

My initial take on iPhone vs Android (4.1.1), as a long-time iOS user that switched to android (Galaxy S3) about a week ago:

Music playback, video playback, screen quality, camera quality, apps availability etc: Who cares? Both competitive and both very good. Comparison is splitting hairs. iPhone supposedly has an app advantage but in my experience I think that has narrowed to the point of being insignificant, with individual exceptions.


IPHONE ADVANTAGES:
- much more idiot-proof. This is not an insult. This is a huge advantage.
- more robust and stable.
- much less time wasted learning system and tweaking things. It just works.

Android/S3 ADVANTAGES:
_MUCH more flexiblility and (related) ability to customize. So far I have not yet found rooting necessary, which is great, because rooting/jailbreaking voids warranty.
- expandable memory, so no need for Cloud for, I would think, most users. This is a big deal if you want to have offline access to your media, such as driving, traveling, etc. Or if you are paying for a limited data plan, as most people are. I added 64 additional Mb to my 16 Mb phone with a $50 SD card.
- inexpensive and replaceable batteries
- standardized, commonly used, interchangeable connectors - mini-USB to USB
- better interfacing with Windows file system and ability to manage files
- Cheap ($2) connector will accept any external storage device (eg hard drive or thumb drive)
- instant mobile hotspot
- supposedly easier to unlock because of iPhone proprietary issues ( so I have been told- it took me less than 3 minutes to unlock my s3 myself once I found out how to do it).

Summary after initial experience with Android/S3: For those who want something that will just work and do a good job without wasting your time, get an iPhone. For those who are geekier and willing to pay the price of time of learning and tweaking the system and put up with occasional bugs , android is better. Arguing over which is intrinsically better is silly, unless you are selling articles- depends on the user.
protagonist
 
Posts: 1964
Joined: 26 Dec 2010

Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby Browser » Fri Jun 28, 2013 6:40 pm

Prot - tell me something about the iPhone. I've wanted to duplicate the ease with which I can receive and place cell calls while driving - not that I do it very often, but occasionally. This is quite easy with my old flip phone. Answering only requires me to flip it open with one hand. Calling only requires me to flip it open, press one speed dial key, and press Talk all with one hand.

Answering with my Android smartphone isn't as convenient. I have to press the On button to wake up the screen, swipe with my thumb to unlock the screen, but then I can only answer by sliding the answer icon and that requires two hands, leaving only my third hand to hold the steering wheel. I've set up calling so that I can use Voice Dialing: I have to press the On button, swipe the screen with my thumb, tap the Voice Dial icon with my thumb, speak the callee's name, then tap the "call so-and-so" confirmation dialogue box that pops up with my thumb to make the call. Neither the receive or place call operations are as easy as with my flip phone. I'm wondering if the iPhone is any better in this regard or pretty much the same. Maybe there's a better way to do this on either. Any thoughts?
If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine. – Jim Barksdale
Browser
 
Posts: 2227
Joined: 5 Sep 2012

Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby protagonist » Fri Jun 28, 2013 7:14 pm

Browser wrote:Prot - tell me something about the iPhone. I've wanted to duplicate the ease with which I can receive and place cell calls while driving - not that I do it very often, but occasionally. This is quite easy with my old flip phone. Answering only requires me to flip it open with one hand. Calling only requires me to flip it open, press one speed dial key, and press Talk all with one hand.

Answering with my Android smartphone isn't as convenient. I have to press the On button to wake up the screen, swipe with my thumb to unlock the screen, but then I can only answer by sliding the answer icon and that requires two hands, leaving only my third hand to hold the steering wheel. I've set up calling so that I can use Voice Dialing: I have to press the On button, swipe the screen with my thumb, tap the Voice Dial icon with my thumb, speak the callee's name, then tap the "call so-and-so" confirmation dialogue box that pops up with my thumb to make the call. Neither the receive or place call operations are as easy as with my flip phone. I'm wondering if the iPhone is any better in this regard or pretty much the same. Maybe there's a better way to do this on either. Any thoughts?


Pretty similar I think. I downloaded something for the galaxy called "car widgets" that limits your options while driving and puts ones you might commonly use (phone, contacts, maps, navigation, fav. playlist, etc) in large format on your phone screen, and another called "car mode" that automatically puts you in speaker phone mode when you receive or make a call (that one seems like it would be useful). I haven't tried either . I imagine bluetooth would help as well but I don't use it. I tried a bluetooth headset a few years ago and found it too annoying to use. There are probably other apps out there that would make the experience less perilous....I haven't really done the research....

I read somewhere that speaking on a cell phone while driving (in terms of morbidity/mortality) is the equivalent of drinking 3 beers. Don't ask me for a reference.
protagonist
 
Posts: 1964
Joined: 26 Dec 2010

Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby Browser » Fri Jun 28, 2013 7:28 pm

I read somewhere that speaking on a cell phone while driving (in terms of morbidity/mortality) is the equivalent of drinking 3 beers. Don't ask me for a reference.

That's OK, since I drink while I'm driving anyway... :sharebeer Thanks for the mention of those auto widgets, I'll look them up.
If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine. – Jim Barksdale
Browser
 
Posts: 2227
Joined: 5 Sep 2012

Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby protagonist » Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:57 pm

Browser wrote:
I read somewhere that speaking on a cell phone while driving (in terms of morbidity/mortality) is the equivalent of drinking 3 beers. Don't ask me for a reference.

That's OK, since I drink while I'm driving anyway... :sharebeer Thanks for the mention of those auto widgets, I'll look them up.


Too much information??? (laughing...)

By the way, this from Wikipedia: "A report from the University of Colorado, Montana State University, and the University of Oregon found that on average, states that have legalized Medical cannabis had a decrease in traffic-related fatalities by 8-11%.[60] The researchers hypothesized "it’s just safer to drive under the influence of marijuana than it is drunk....Drunk drivers take more risk, they tend to go faster. They don’t realize how impaired they are. People who are under the influence of marijuana drive slower, they don’t take as many risks”. Another consideration, they added, was the fact that users of marijuana tend not to go out as much.[61]"https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Effects_of_cannabis#Effects_on_driving

I love the last sentence.
protagonist
 
Posts: 1964
Joined: 26 Dec 2010

Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby VictoriaF » Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:55 pm

protagonist wrote:Another consideration, they added, was the fact that users of marijuana tend not to go out as much.

They weed them out,

Victoria
Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)
User avatar
VictoriaF
 
Posts: 10929
Joined: 27 Feb 2007
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby Robin » Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:16 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
protagonist wrote:Another consideration, they added, was the fact that users of marijuana tend not to go out as much.

They weed them out,

Victoria

It is hard to drive with a half-dozen Twinkies in one hand and a one pound bag of M&Ms in the other.
Robin
 
Posts: 201
Joined: 3 Apr 2007

Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby jupiter_man » Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:41 pm

Get a smartphone.
Don't get a Data Plan if you don't use apps when mobile. Use WiFi at home or other free WiFi Hotspots to download apps. Since contracts are for 2 yrs, you can always add a data plan if you find that your needs have changed.
User avatar
jupiter_man
 
Posts: 51
Joined: 3 May 2013

Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby Browser » Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:24 am

Wondering if I should port my existing cell number to AirVoice Wireless with new smartphone or port it to Google Voice and use it as a GV number instead. Want to make sure I don't overlook some important factor and would value input. Thanks.
If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine. – Jim Barksdale
Browser
 
Posts: 2227
Joined: 5 Sep 2012

Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby protagonist » Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:51 am

I use Google Voice for outgoing calls from my computer, or to call overseas on my computer or phone (since rates are so cheap). It is on whatever number GV gave me. You don't have to port your number to do that- you just need a gmail account. I have no experience with porting to GV. My guess would be, based on what I have read in this thread (or was it the Nexus 4 vs 5 thread?), that there would be little advantage to using GV as your main carrier and having your calls forwarded, and I recall reading about compexities (delayed ring, etc), so I wouldn't do it- unless there is some distinct advantage that you know about and that I am missing. It seems like you just have to deal with two huge companies instead of one.

I was away for 5 months last winter and thought I would lose my Straight Talk number when I came back. They claim to cancel your number after 30 days of dormancy. But they didn't. I would guess that from my experience, it is just a scare tactic, to get people to maintain service. But perhaps it was an oversight. I don't know. Anyway, losing a number doesn't seem so bad.

If you do it, please let me know how it works out.

By the way, browser, have you worked out your internet speed issues with Air Voice?
protagonist
 
Posts: 1964
Joined: 26 Dec 2010

Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby Browser » Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:22 pm

Browser wrote:I've always had a basic cellphone to make phone calls. I've also got a laptop and a Verizon wireless broadband hotspot. Thinking about a new phone and was looking at some Smartphones at BestBuy. Most of things look like small tablet computers. I'm wondering if I really need a Smartphone. What do people do with these things that they can't live without? You can do all the internet stuff you need on a laptop or a tablet. Aren't smartphones just a toy for people who don't need them for their work?

Well the path has been walked, the race has been run, and the deed has been done. From the start of this thread - when I didn't have a smartphone and doubted the value of having one - today I ported my old Sprint dumbphone number to my new smartphone. I guess I've been converted into one of the infidels and needed to fess up. The apps that primarily did it to me were nav, google maps, voice search and voice phone dialing, and various stuff like that. I had gotten the smartphone with AirVoice service and have been using it a month or so while still holding onto my Sprint dumb phone and voice plan. But today I've now burned the bridge. What finally did it was wanting to visit a location. I was able to find it with google maps, then I was able to look up the phone number of the contact person I needed to make an appointment with there, click on the number to make the phone call, and set up the appointment, and then navigate to the unfamiliar location. All done with the smartphone. I had the "aha" moment when I realized this was really making my life easier, so when I got home I ordered up the phone number port from the Sprint dumb phone and that has been completed. I guess the answer to the thread title is "Yes". Arrrrrggggghhhhhhh!!
If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine. – Jim Barksdale
Browser
 
Posts: 2227
Joined: 5 Sep 2012

Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby ogd » Wed Jul 03, 2013 8:32 pm

Welcome Browser! Glad to have you on board.

I believe the word you were looking for in the previous post is "synergy". It's something isn't it?
User avatar
ogd
 
Posts: 1575
Joined: 15 Jun 2012

Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby burt » Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:30 pm

Regarding Smart Phones in the work place. Ok I'm older, but when I see someone locked into their smart phone in the elevator, hallway, parking garage, break area, lobby,....
I'm not thinking good things. I'm hoping for an acknowledgement. Something like "hello", "good morning"," how are you ?", eye contact, maybe even a smile. So until I leave the workplace, they will be affected.

burt
User avatar
burt
 
Posts: 211
Joined: 17 Feb 2008

Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby protagonist » Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:51 am

burt wrote:Regarding Smart Phones in the work place. Ok I'm older, but when I see someone locked into their smart phone in the elevator, hallway, parking garage, break area, lobby,....
I'm not thinking good things. I'm hoping for an acknowledgement. Something like "hello", "good morning"," how are you ?", eye contact, maybe even a smile. So until I leave the workplace, they will be affected.

burt


Honestly, I don't give it much thought. Unless somebody is being disruptively antisocial, I don't tend to scrutinize their behavior. I have bigger fish to fry.
protagonist
 
Posts: 1964
Joined: 26 Dec 2010

Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby ieee488 » Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:35 pm

protagonist wrote:
burt wrote:Regarding Smart Phones in the work place. Ok I'm older, but when I see someone locked into their smart phone in the elevator, hallway, parking garage, break area, lobby,....
I'm not thinking good things. I'm hoping for an acknowledgement. Something like "hello", "good morning"," how are you ?", eye contact, maybe even a smile. So until I leave the workplace, they will be affected.

burt


Honestly, I don't give it much thought. Unless somebody is being disruptively antisocial, I don't tend to scrutinize their behavior. I have bigger fish to fry.


Scrutinize may not be the word. I *instantly* notice the very antisocial behavior of someone locked into his/her smartphone to the exclusion of everything and everybody else.
It is very common these days. To me, it is that person's way of saying stay the heck away from me, because I don't want anything to do with you not even exchange a "hi".
ieee488
 
Posts: 1329
Joined: 10 Dec 2009

Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby Epsilon Delta » Fri Jul 05, 2013 5:30 pm

ieee488 wrote:It is very common these days. To me, it is that person's way of saying stay the heck away from me, because I don't want anything to do with you not even exchange a "hi".


I grew up in a big city, where it's the people who try to say "hi" to each of the 10,000+ people they see every day who are considered antisocial.
User avatar
Epsilon Delta
 
Posts: 3069
Joined: 28 Apr 2011

Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby Browser » Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:07 pm

Dr. Oz suggests that smartphone users get in the habit of holding the phone more horizontally, so they aren't hunched over head-down all the time. Not only does it look rude, but it's really bad for your posture over time and makes you look aged, since we geezers tend to look that way anyhow. I'll try to remember to do that.
If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine. – Jim Barksdale
Browser
 
Posts: 2227
Joined: 5 Sep 2012

Previous

Return to Personal Consumer Issues

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], FRANK2009, NaOH, stevewolfe and 62 guests