Do I really need a Smartphone?

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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby matjen » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:07 pm

linguini wrote:
leonard wrote:No. You don't need one.

I have not met a single person that uses a smartphone for work - that actually seemed to get better results because of the smart phone.


I'm not sure where you work, but almost everyone I work with has a smartphone, so if your workplace is anything like mine, I'm not even sure how you're finding enough equivalent workers to compare based on their cell phone use.

From personal experience, my smartphone is totally useless for doing work, but it allows me to provide rapid support for emergency issues in live services while I'm commuting, running errands, etc. and can't be at my desk or at home because it lets me have access to email, web browsing, messaging, documents, calendar, etc. As a general rule, having a smartphone makes you more accessible, but it doesn't make you more productive. So, for those types of work where being accessible is important, then having a smartphone is often beneficial, but it doesn't magically help you get your work done or produce higher quality work.

For personal use - they have a few uses - but are simply not worth the extra $40 or $50+ bucks for expensive data plans.


First of all, if you are going to pay for a cell phone contract anyway, buying a data plan is usually an extra twenty or thirty dollars, not forty or fifty. It's pretty easy to justify the cost of a cell phone contract (useful in emergencies, replaces a land line, convenient when traveling, resolve a lot of stressful scenarios that used to happen a lot when people couldn't contact each other while outside their homes). And, really, it's not that difficult to justify spending $20-$30 a month on data if you're going to use it. We're really talking about the cost difference of bringing lunch from home instead of buying a sandwich two days a week. To a lot of people, that is absolutely worth being able to access email, messaging, navigation, web browsing, games, videos, music, books, audiobooks, weather, check depositing, calendar and documents from anywhere on one device for a month. To a lot of other people (presumably including yourself), it isn't.


+1000

It seems to me the people saying you don't "need' a smartphone are expressing an opinion with little substantive argument to back that opinion up and seem to mostly have never had one. Those who say it is an excellent tool/device have often provided many examples of how a typical smartphone is used and all the roles it can play. But how about some facts. Here is a quick google link to smartphone growth. Why do you suppose smartphones are growing so rapidly in the marketplace and during generally VERY bad times? Here is a hint...it isn't because they are a waste of money. Ultimately this is your decision on where/if you want to spend say $30 a month more. But trust me, the world is moving to a smartphone model and there is really no argument about that.

https://www.google.com/search?q=growth+ ... 80&bih=935
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby sscritic » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:27 pm

JMacDonald wrote:I use an iPod Touch as my smart phone.

It's not quite a smart phone, but I have one too that I use for things that don't need a connection, like a Chinese-English dictionary, music, photos, and contacts. I also have a prepaid dumb phone for telephone calls. When I need the internet, I can always go to a nearby Starbucks or McDonald's. Where I used to work, there was wireless internet everywhere.

The cost: two devices rather than one and not complete internet access. I am still waiting for Disneyland to get with the times. The dollar cost runs about $5 a month as I don't really use my cell phone that much. Also, I don't have to worry if my provider allows me to talk and search at the same time; I am using two devices on two different networks, but I do tend to get a crick in my neck from clamping down on the phone with my head against my shoulder while simultaneously using my two hands for the internet.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby rpike » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:35 pm

Browser wrote:I guess I got the GPS navigation charge from info on Sprint. It says they charge an extra $9.99/mo. for GPS navigation on basic phones. Does this mean that GPS navigation is integrated into Smartphones for no extra charge? I know that the screens are larger on some Smartphones, which would make it easier to use them for auto navigation. But the downside is that you have to tote around one of these things in your pocket (ladies could use their purse). Not much smaller than a mini-tablet IMO. If I ever get a Smartphone I don't think I want anything that large and inconvenient. The size of the iPhone is about right for me and that's too small to function visually for auto Nav, IMO.


As for GPS on smartphones, there are basically 3 levels of GPS:
  • current GPS coordinates using built-in functionality (no data plan/WiFi required)
  • display of various maps and/or current location on a map. Depending on the map application you either need a data plan/WiFi to load map info on demand or data plan/WiFi to pre-load maps
  • The above plus navigation including directions list, route mapping, traffic conditions, and/or visual/audio turn-by-turn directions
I have a car dock for my Motorola smart phone which runs the Android OS and include Google Maps and Navigation application. When I dock my phone it charges the phone and automatically the activates the GPS locator. If I request directions, it displays turn-by-turn directions on the screen and also gives verbal directions.

When I went on an overseas trip from work, they would not pay for mobile data access for the week (but more than that amount for Internet access at the hotel!), so I installed another application called MapDroyd that did off-line maps and pre-loaded the OSM maps for that country using WiFi. This app did not do directions, but could at least show me where I was on a map or let me call up a map of the area to plan a route myself. There are other applications now that will do directions using the same OSM map data. My daughter has a hand-me-down Android smartphone on an inexpensive prepaid plan ($80 per year plus $12 per month for more texts than she uses) with the data access blocked, but she could still do maps this way.

My other family members have early generation, Motorola Q smartphones (no touch screens) on similar prepaid plans (minus the texting add-on) which unfortunately do not have WiFi, so are pretty much useless w/o a data plan except for calling, texting, picture taking, use as alarm clock, or a limited selection of games to pass the time. If they at least had WiFi, where available they could also send/receive emails and sync calendars w/o the expense of a data plan for full mobile access. For me, being able to access/update my calendar (or my family member's calendars) either from my phone or my PC and set up reminders on my phone is an important feature as is being able to access my same contact list from either my phone or my PC.

I read a book about China, where factory workers keep their contacts only in their phones and when lost or stolen have no way to reconnect with people they know. I have had one phone stolen and upgraded others, but the only things I lost were some high scores in a few games.

Another Rick
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby leonard » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:39 pm

linguini wrote:
leonard wrote:No. You don't need one.

I have not met a single person that uses a smartphone for work - that actually seemed to get better results because of the smart phone.


I'm not sure where you work, but almost everyone I work with has a smartphone, so if your workplace is anything like mine, I'm not even sure how you're finding enough equivalent workers to compare based on their cell phone use.

From personal experience, my smartphone is totally useless for doing work, but it allows me to provide rapid support for emergency issues in live services while I'm commuting, running errands, etc. and can't be at my desk or at home because it lets me have access to email, web browsing, messaging, documents, calendar, etc. As a general rule, having a smartphone makes you more accessible, but it doesn't make you more productive. So, for those types of work where being accessible is important, then having a smartphone is often beneficial, but it doesn't magically help you get your work done or produce higher quality work.

For personal use - they have a few uses - but are simply not worth the extra $40 or $50+ bucks for expensive data plans.


First of all, if you are going to pay for a cell phone contract anyway, buying a data plan is usually an extra twenty or thirty dollars, not forty or fifty. It's pretty easy to justify the cost of a cell phone contract (useful in emergencies, replaces a land line, convenient when traveling, resolve a lot of stressful scenarios that used to happen a lot when people couldn't contact each other while outside their homes). And, really, it's not that difficult to justify spending $20-$30 a month on data if you're going to use it. We're really talking about the cost difference of bringing lunch from home instead of buying a sandwich two days a week. To a lot of people, that is absolutely worth being able to access email, messaging, navigation, web browsing, games, videos, music, books, audiobooks, weather, check depositing, calendar and documents from anywhere on one device for a month. To a lot of other people (presumably including yourself), it isn't.


At work - I don't have one and I get way more done per unit of time than coworkers and customers with which I work. In general, they are distracted by them.

Also, the only reason I need to be available at all times is because others fail to plan. I don't feel it is my duty to be on call 24/7 because others can't get it together enough to plan.

And, for personal use, $20, $30, $40 or whatever price - simply isn't worth it. There are a few reference uses for smartphones - like map and directions - but - I know where I am going before leaving the house. Again, it's just an expensive distraction not worth the money.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby leonard » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:42 pm

matjen wrote:
linguini wrote:
leonard wrote:No. You don't need one.

I have not met a single person that uses a smartphone for work - that actually seemed to get better results because of the smart phone.


I'm not sure where you work, but almost everyone I work with has a smartphone, so if your workplace is anything like mine, I'm not even sure how you're finding enough equivalent workers to compare based on their cell phone use.

From personal experience, my smartphone is totally useless for doing work, but it allows me to provide rapid support for emergency issues in live services while I'm commuting, running errands, etc. and can't be at my desk or at home because it lets me have access to email, web browsing, messaging, documents, calendar, etc. As a general rule, having a smartphone makes you more accessible, but it doesn't make you more productive. So, for those types of work where being accessible is important, then having a smartphone is often beneficial, but it doesn't magically help you get your work done or produce higher quality work.

For personal use - they have a few uses - but are simply not worth the extra $40 or $50+ bucks for expensive data plans.


First of all, if you are going to pay for a cell phone contract anyway, buying a data plan is usually an extra twenty or thirty dollars, not forty or fifty. It's pretty easy to justify the cost of a cell phone contract (useful in emergencies, replaces a land line, convenient when traveling, resolve a lot of stressful scenarios that used to happen a lot when people couldn't contact each other while outside their homes). And, really, it's not that difficult to justify spending $20-$30 a month on data if you're going to use it. We're really talking about the cost difference of bringing lunch from home instead of buying a sandwich two days a week. To a lot of people, that is absolutely worth being able to access email, messaging, navigation, web browsing, games, videos, music, books, audiobooks, weather, check depositing, calendar and documents from anywhere on one device for a month. To a lot of other people (presumably including yourself), it isn't.


+1000

It seems to me the people saying you don't "need' a smartphone are expressing an opinion with little substantive argument to back that opinion up and seem to mostly have never had one. Those who say it is an excellent tool/device have often provided many examples of how a typical smartphone is used and all the roles it can play. But how about some facts. Here is a quick google link to smartphone growth. Why do you suppose smartphones are growing so rapidly in the marketplace and during generally VERY bad times? Here is a hint...it isn't because they are a waste of money. Ultimately this is your decision on where/if you want to spend say $30 a month more. But trust me, the world is moving to a smartphone model and there is really no argument about that.

https://www.google.com/search?q=growth+ ... 80&bih=935


So, popularity is the definition of usefulness? I forgot that everyone was solving advanced problems in theoretical physics on their smartphones...and not just playing angry birds.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby JMacDonald » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:01 pm

Browser wrote:
JMacDonald wrote:
rjsob58 wrote:You can buy one and just use for above with out getting a phone plan..(use just wifi).

I use an iPod Touch as my smart phone. It does everything an iPhone does only in wifi. http://www.apple.com/ipod-touch/
No monthly fees.

Can you explain this for those of us who don't understand? How can this work for no monthly fees?

The iPod Touch works on wifi. I do not have a need to be connected all the time. When I am away from home and want to use my iPod, I just find a place that has wifi and get connected that way. Go to an Apple store in your part of the world and play with one. For phone calls, I use an AT&T Go Phone at a cost of 10 cents a minute. So my costs after paying for the two devices is about $8 a month for the Go Phone. I figure that is a lot better than the cost of a connected smart phone.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby ieee488 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:07 pm

matjen wrote:
linguini wrote:
leonard wrote:No. You don't need one.

I have not met a single person that uses a smartphone for work - that actually seemed to get better results because of the smart phone.


I'm not sure where you work, but almost everyone I work with has a smartphone, so if your workplace is anything like mine, I'm not even sure how you're finding enough equivalent workers to compare based on their cell phone use.

From personal experience, my smartphone is totally useless for doing work, but it allows me to provide rapid support for emergency issues in live services while I'm commuting, running errands, etc. and can't be at my desk or at home because it lets me have access to email, web browsing, messaging, documents, calendar, etc. As a general rule, having a smartphone makes you more accessible, but it doesn't make you more productive. So, for those types of work where being accessible is important, then having a smartphone is often beneficial, but it doesn't magically help you get your work done or produce higher quality work.

For personal use - they have a few uses - but are simply not worth the extra $40 or $50+ bucks for expensive data plans.


First of all, if you are going to pay for a cell phone contract anyway, buying a data plan is usually an extra twenty or thirty dollars, not forty or fifty. It's pretty easy to justify the cost of a cell phone contract (useful in emergencies, replaces a land line, convenient when traveling, resolve a lot of stressful scenarios that used to happen a lot when people couldn't contact each other while outside their homes). And, really, it's not that difficult to justify spending $20-$30 a month on data if you're going to use it. We're really talking about the cost difference of bringing lunch from home instead of buying a sandwich two days a week. To a lot of people, that is absolutely worth being able to access email, messaging, navigation, web browsing, games, videos, music, books, audiobooks, weather, check depositing, calendar and documents from anywhere on one device for a month. To a lot of other people (presumably including yourself), it isn't.


+1000

It seems to me the people saying you don't "need' a smartphone are expressing an opinion with little substantive argument to back that opinion up and seem to mostly have never had one. Those who say it is an excellent tool/device have often provided many examples of how a typical smartphone is used and all the roles it can play. But how about some facts. Here is a quick google link to smartphone growth. Why do you suppose smartphones are growing so rapidly in the marketplace and during generally VERY bad times? Here is a hint...it isn't because they are a waste of money. Ultimately this is your decision on where/if you want to spend say $30 a month more. But trust me, the world is moving to a smartphone model and there is really no argument about that.

https://www.google.com/search?q=growth+ ... 80&bih=935


So, the fact that the average person who is generally fairly clueless with their finances has a smartphone makes getting one a good investment?

I know I am generalizing but the fact that "everybody" does it does not make it "right" or "good" or whatever.

Paying $40/month + $50/month for the 1GB of data = $90/month with Verizon sound like a good use of money to you?
That's how much it is in NJ.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby matjen » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:33 pm

Leonard wrote: "So, popularity is the definition of usefulness? I forgot that everyone was solving advanced problems in theoretical physics on their smartphones...and not just playing angry birds."

and

ieee488 wrote:

So, the fact that the average person who is generally fairly clueless with their finances has a smartphone makes getting one a good investment?

I know I am generalizing but the fact that "everybody" does it does not make it "right" or "good" or whatever.

Paying $40/month + $50/month for the 1GB of data = $90/month with Verizon sound like a good use of money to you?
That's how much it is in NJ.[/quote]

Yes, you are generalizing. The point I am making is that the smartphone concept has been incredibly successful and an industry changer over the past 4-5 years. It has occurred during a massive worldwide recession/depression. People are worried about their jobs, their mortgages, food on the table but this extra expense has been absorbed. I think that is a reflection of usefulness. A high correlation. It is more than Angry Birds. Others have listed several very useful features. More features and uses are discovered monthly. Jesus, there are doctors on the west coast that can perform many very expensive tests using these things. This is called progress: http://www.scripps.org/news_items/4357- ... ng-devices

To be more blunt, I would guess that everyone who says they are useful and worth the expense have had basic cell phones for several years and then smart phones for a few years. We know both. What are your qualifications? What is your experience? I don't know a single person who went from having one to going back.

Does paying for an automatic transmission sound like a good use of money, or air conditioning when a fan is good 90% of the time? We could play this game forever.

Lastly, if Verizon is too expensive then go to Straightalk or T-Mobile. T-Mobile has $30 plan and a $50 plan.

https://www.straighttalk.com/wps/portal ... IBtE!/?s=y
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby ieee488 » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:48 pm

matjen wrote:To be more blunt, I would guess that everyone who says they are useful and worth the expense have had basic cell phones for several years and then smart phones for a few years. We know both. What are your qualifications? What is your experience? I don't know a single person who went from having one to going back.

Does paying for an automatic transmission sound like a good use of money, or air conditioning when a fan is good 90% of the time? We could play this game forever.

Lastly, if Verizon is too expensive then go to Straightalk or T-Mobile. T-Mobile has $30 plan and a $50 plan.


My qualifications????
Really? That is rather obnoxious.

I do have a smartphone. I am on on the T-mobile $30 plan.

And as I wrote before if I wasn't job hunting, I probably would not have this "smartphone".
My employer restricts access to personal email sites such as Outlook.com and Gmail.com and etc etc.

And you want to know what i do with my smartphone all day at work - checking Facebook and Instagram and CNN and whatever because I am so bored with nothing to do.
Now that is a ringing endorsement of smartphones!

You think smarthpones are the end all and be all. That is fine.
But there is no need to put on that air of superiority when people question the "value' of one.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby stoptothink » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:04 pm

matjen wrote:To be more blunt, I would guess that everyone who says they are useful and worth the expense have had basic cell phones for several years and then smart phones for a few years. We know both. What are your qualifications? What is your experience? I don't know a single person who went from having one to going back.


Two people in this thread have stated that they had a smartphone and went back, me being one. Had one for 4.5yrs at my previous employer, when my current employer brought it up I told the VP I felt it was a waste of resources. I am the only one on the board in my organization that does not have a company-paid for smartphone and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that 90% of their use in my organization is to play games during boring meetings or trainings. We all sit at a computer or in meetings almost all day everyday, rarely travel and are not on-call, I don't see what function they could possibly serve other than to differentiate the management staff from the rest of the employees. My GF on the other hand, who travels almost year round for work, could not function without hers.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby Browser » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:04 pm

JMacDonald wrote:
Browser wrote:
JMacDonald wrote:
rjsob58 wrote:You can buy one and just use for above with out getting a phone plan..(use just wifi).

I use an iPod Touch as my smart phone. It does everything an iPhone does only in wifi. http://www.apple.com/ipod-touch/
No monthly fees.

Can you explain this for those of us who don't understand? How can this work for no monthly fees?

The iPod Touch works on wifi. I do not have a need to be connected all the time. When I am away from home and want to use my iPod, I just find a place that has wifi and get connected that way. Go to an Apple store in your part of the world and play with one. For phone calls, I use an AT&T Go Phone at a cost of 10 cents a minute. So my costs after paying for the two devices is about $8 a month for the Go Phone. I figure that is a lot better than the cost of a connected smart phone.

Is the iPod Touch 3G? 4G? Can I connect it to my Verizon mobile hotspot?
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby JMacDonald » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:10 pm

Browser wrote:
JMacDonald wrote:
Browser wrote:
JMacDonald wrote:
rjsob58 wrote:You can buy one and just use for above with out getting a phone plan..(use just wifi).

I use an iPod Touch as my smart phone. It does everything an iPhone does only in wifi. http://www.apple.com/ipod-touch/
No monthly fees.

Can you explain this for those of us who don't understand? How can this work for no monthly fees?

The iPod Touch works on wifi. I do not have a need to be connected all the time. When I am away from home and want to use my iPod, I just find a place that has wifi and get connected that way. Go to an Apple store in your part of the world and play with one. For phone calls, I use an AT&T Go Phone at a cost of 10 cents a minute. So my costs after paying for the two devices is about $8 a month for the Go Phone. I figure that is a lot better than the cost of a connected smart phone.

Is the iPod Touch 3G? 4G? Can I connect it to my Verizon mobile hotspot?

I am sorry I don't know the answers to your questions. Maybe someone else here knows the answers, or you can ask at an Apple store.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby matjen » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:35 pm

ieee488 wrote:But there is no need to put on that air of superiority when people question the "value' of one.


Sorry if I offended you ieee488 but at the risk of doing it again, there is also no need of listing the price of one of the most expensive smartphone plans when arguing the incredibly subjective concept of "value" while you apparently know full well that you can get one for a third of the price via a major provider. As you stated yourself... "I am on on the T-mobile $30 plan."

Seems rather disingenuous to me.

The trend moving forward will be month-to-month plans where people aren't locked into networks and aren't buying as many subsidized phones.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby Browser » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:36 pm

From what I can tell, the iPod Touch looks like a small sized iPad with wifi capability. It has a 4-inch screen. Costs about $75 less than an iPad Mini. Why not just use an iPad Mini?
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby chaz » Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:42 pm

I do fine with a dumb phone and an iPad.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby SHL » Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:01 pm

Not sure if I'm smart enough to use a smartphone. Besides, I don't need another BMB (Big Monthly Bill). :mrgreen:
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby Austintatious » Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:53 pm

My wife and I have the most basic and least expensive cell phones we could find. OTOH, our daughter uses a smart phone in her business. It helps in countless ways, including getting her fees paid in real time. She uses a little attachment (Square) that allows her to swipe a client's credit card, and get paid on the spot. The value of that one function cannot be overestimated. I balked at it for a long time, but I've finally conceded that it's a necessity.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby matjen » Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:33 pm

Browser wrote:Is the iPod Touch 3G? 4G? Can I connect it to my Verizon mobile hotspot?


Browser you are confusing two different types of internet access. 3G and 4G are connection speeds related to cell phone networks. An iPod Touch is like an iPhone but without the phone/cellular network capability. So it connects (just like a laptop) to a local wi-fi hotspot. For instance at a Starbucks or McDonalds. I see no reason why it wouldn't be able to connect to a Verizon hotspot.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby matjen » Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:38 pm

stoptothink wrote:Two people in this thread have stated that they had a smartphone and went back, me being one. Had one for 4.5yrs at my previous employer...


Fair enough, but honestly I am talking about a modern smartphone which doesn't include a Blackberry. The big difference is the enormous range of apps. So the other person on the thread had a blackberry. I would guess you did too given what you wrote. There are always exceptions of course and I am sure there are those who don't like modern smartphones and find no value for their lifestyles. The market says otherwise though.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby stoptothink » Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:51 am

matjen wrote:
stoptothink wrote:Two people in this thread have stated that they had a smartphone and went back, me being one. Had one for 4.5yrs at my previous employer...


Fair enough, but honestly I am talking about a modern smartphone which doesn't include a Blackberry.


I left my last employer late last year, my last smartphone was an Iphone 4s...I'm going to venture that you'd consider that a modern smartphone. It provided zero utility to me that a normal phone could not. Told my new employer to save the $400 and $30/month and just give me a normal phone.

As I stated, it is an essential tool for my GF in performing her job, but for most people it is a toy.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby Browser » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:41 am

Looking at Smartphone pricing plans in the booklet I picked up at BestBuy. Looks like the cheapest deal with Verizon is $90/month (unlimited talk + 1 Gb data). A more reasonable 2 Gb of data bumps it to $100/mo. The cheapest deal with Sprint is $80/month (450 minutes talk + unlimited data). 900 minutes of talk kicks it to $100/mo. I can't figure out At&t, but it's in the same ballpark. BTW I really resent how these wireless carriers do their best to obfuscate the bottom line and screw you over. Now then, you can add the cost of the phone which is $200 for the latest and the greatest. So it looks like somewhere in the range of $1200/yr, which doesn't include all the fees and taxes. Assuming you really need a basic cellphone, it looks like that will run you about $40/mo. and the phones are free. I guess you can do better with some prepaid plans, but sorting through all of those is even worse than figuring out the subscriber plans. In any event, the Smartphone goodies are going to add at least $700+ to your cash outflow per year. If you upgrade every couple years, then you're adding another $100 or so per year to the tab. Is it worth it? Can you live without it?
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby kitteh » Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:59 am

leonard wrote:No. You don't need one.

I have not met a single person that uses a smartphone for work - that actually seemed to get better results because of the smart phone.

For personal use - they have a few uses - but are simply not worth the extra $40 or $50+ bucks for expensive data plans.


Exactly. I have my ancient Samsung phone in case I need to call AAA or for some other unexpected event. I have a very nice Rand McNally set of street and state maps that live in the car for when I drive to a neighboring state; these are far more useful than computer maps. Anything else I need to do computer wise, I can do nicely on my laptop at home. I do not need or want to be connected to the entire world every minute, as long as I have emergency access.

Plus, I save a bundle by not having a smart phone, just like I save a bundle and increase the quality of my life by not having a television.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby stemikger » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:12 am

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?


Not only don't you need one, but you are better off without one. I have a cell phone and use it for emergencies only. I think the world has gone mad since these phones have become the norm, even people my age (48) sit at a table across friends and every five seconds they are looking at their texts every 3 minutes. I don't get it and I guess I never will.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby bUU » Wed Apr 03, 2013 5:18 am

matjen wrote:Yes, you are generalizing. The point I am making is that the smartphone concept has been incredibly successful and an industry changer over the past 4-5 years. It has occurred during a massive worldwide recession/depression. People are worried about their jobs, their mortgages, food on the table but this extra expense has been absorbed. I think that is a reflection of usefulness. A high correlation. It is more than Angry Birds. Others have listed several very useful features. More features and uses are discovered monthly. Jesus, there are doctors on the west coast that can perform many very expensive tests using these things. This is called progress: http://www.scripps.org/news_items/4357- ... ng-devices

To be more blunt, I would guess that everyone who says they are useful and worth the expense have had basic cell phones for several years and then smart phones for a few years. We know both. What are your qualifications? What is your experience? I don't know a single person who went from having one to going back.

Good points. I think a lot of folks who don't wish to acknowledge the value of smartphones are speaking from a perspective where they don't want there to be a value of smartphones - especially here where it represents, from one angle, a new source of cost. When part of your financial philosophy is LBYM, any change in society that would generally increase cost will be viewed with antipathy.

And we need to be fair: I don't believe that, on average, smartphone represent a profit proposition, i.e., a revenue stream coming out of the smartphone, to balance up against that cost stream going into it. Much of the value of smartphones is in intangibles: convenience, for example. How do you measure in dollars the value of that? How do you measure, in dollars, the value of receiving that email about job you applied for - at 10am on your smartphone - and surreptitiously making arrangements for a lunch-hour interview, for that very day, through a return email you send from your smartphone, instead of that email sitting there until you get home and can check your personal email? How do you measure, in dollars, the value of opening an RDP session from your smartphone directly into your workstation at work from the table at the restaurant where you're having an anniversary dinner with your wife, instead of having to cut the dinner short, to go home, or worse, back to the office, so you can send a colleague a PowerPoint file that needs to be updated before a morning presentation? How do you measure in dollars the value of being able to view a secure webcam of your nursery at home, on your first day back to work after your child is born?

There, of course, are ways around everything a smartphone offers, but there is a value to convenience, immediacy, and mobility. Do you "need" a smartphone? Well I think the related thread started just after this one, about whether someone needs a bathroom in your home (or something like that) cut to the heart of the matter: We don't really "need" much: Food, clothing, shelter, etc. Everything else is a trade-off between survival and engaging the modern world.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby kitteh » Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:07 am

bUU wrote:I think a lot of folks who don't wish to acknowledge the value of smartphones are speaking from a perspective where they don't want there to be a value of smartphones - ... How do you measure, in dollars, the value of receiving that email about job you applied for - at 10am on your smartphone - and surreptitiously making arrangements for a lunch-hour interview, for that very day, through a return email you send from your smartphone, instead of that email sitting there until you get home and can check your personal email? How do you measure, in dollars, the value of opening an RDP session from your smartphone directly into your workstation at work from the table at the restaurant where you're having an anniversary dinner with your wife, instead of having to cut the dinner short, to go home, or worse, back to the office, so you can send a colleague a PowerPoint file that needs to be updated before a morning presentation? How do you measure in dollars the value of being able to view a secure webcam of your nursery at home, on your first day back to work after your child is born?

There, of course, are ways around everything a smartphone offers, but there is a value to convenience, immediacy, and mobility. Do you "need" a smartphone? Well I think the related thread started just after this one, about whether someone needs a bathroom in your home (or something like that) cut to the heart of the matter: We don't really "need" much: Food, clothing, shelter, etc. Everything else is a trade-off between survival and engaging the modern world.


Somehow, without a smartphone, I managed to obtain jobs for decades until I hit the magic 55 useless border. I personally would not be happy if a spouse took work phone calls during an anniversary dinner - unless you're a CEO, people are entitled to SOME personal time. Unless your baby is home alone, you can talk to the caregiver periodically or open a window on your laptop from time to time,

Somehow I do not equate having a smartphone with having a bathroom.

And not everyone who says No to smartphones is someone "who don't wish to acknowledge the value of smartphones." Some of us know they are, in fact, often a source of degradation of the quality of life. A lot of electronic nowadays could queue up for a leading role in The Invasion of The Body Snatchers.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby bUU » Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:43 am

kitteh wrote:Somehow, without a smartphone, I managed to obtain jobs for decades until I hit the magic 55 useless border.

The question isn't whether you can "obtain jobs" or not, but rather there are advantages of smartphones within the context of the job search. Also: The question isn't about what happened in decades past, but what is the reality today.

Even the conceptually minor advantage of starting a new job a couple of weeks earlier than otherwise (catching the hiring manager before s/he goes away on a two week vacation) pays for a smartphone for a year or three. It actually doesn't take much for there to be enough value from a smartphone to warrant its cost. But even that's missing the point, since money isn't everything.

kitteh wrote:I personally would not be happy if a spouse took work phone calls during an anniversary dinner - unless you're a CEO, people are entitled to SOME personal time.

When you work for a small company, with staff so thin that individuals are truly non-interchangeable, you balance your obligations to family and work. That actually highlights two of the best advantages a smartphone affords you... First: You can ignore telephone calls and just casually look at emails without sending return receipts, effectively taking no action on requests that other people think are important but you do not. Second: The ability to conduct such work remotely helps management approve those two hour blocks you take to handle personal matters that you need to handle during business hours. Knowing that they're able to get your attention for the 15 minutes you're waiting for your appointment to start, and that if they need you to you can help out a little when you're done with your appointment, instead of waiting the extra twenty minutes for you to get back to the office, is an advantage. And if you think that such little advantages aren't significant, then you don't know everyone else's business, because for many of us, waiting twenty extra minutes for something can mean something big, especially during business hours.

kitteh wrote:Unless your baby is home alone, you can talk to the caregiver periodically or open a window on your laptop from time to time,

You obviously don't work for a company that is serious about protecting its network. Personal use of company resources is a violation of the rules in many companies. We are in the process of being acquired by a larger company and that was one of the first things we were told: Stop using the company network to check personal email, to check the news on CNN, or for Skype chats with family members. Note that their interest wasn't our use of our time, but rather our use of the company's resources.

kitteh wrote:Somehow I do not equate having a smartphone with having a bathroom.

Neither do I but the ridicule that other thread implicitly directed at this thread struck a note of truth, i.e., denying that there is value is as ridiculous as claiming that one cannot live without it. (And to be fair: You can live without a bathroom. It's called the woods.)

kitteh wrote:And not everyone who says No to smartphones is someone "who don't wish to acknowledge the value of smartphones."

Perhaps but I wasn't talking about those folks you're referring to. I think you read what I wrote too fast or too casually, if you think that is what I wrote.

kitteh wrote:Some of us know they are, in fact, often a source of degradation of the quality of life.

There is nothing damaging to quality of life about a smartphone that is not inherent in having a cellphone or a reflection of personal inadequacies that would find some other outlet.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby lwfitzge » Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:52 am

I think is a funny debate that will become moot once the value/cost equation is right for everyone (or most people), or the old technology disappears entirely... why do I need color TV when I got this nice Black and white one, I don't need a TV...I've happy and successful w my nice radio... THese debates are normal for any new innovation and its life cycle... it's a textbook bell shape curve of first adopters, early majorities, late majorities and the last 20% or so are laggards. I swear my Mom who is 80 is the last person on Earth to use the internet regularly and only started this year (I started at Yale in 1994/5), she lives on SS and think paying $40/month for internet service is silly and she does not NEED it...btw.. she does not have or NEED a smartphone either :wink: While I can not live without my smartphone, I don't NEED it like some other things... food, housing etc.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby VictoriaF » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:11 am

The value of a new technology depends on several factors as follows:
1. Life-cycle cost including the purchase price and use price, particularly, the cost of connectivity.
2. Effort required to figure out new technology and incorporate it into one's life.
3. The need for new technology, which is seldom motivated internally. Usually the drivers are external, such as communicating with friends, family, employers, travel and entertainment organizations, etc.; obsolescence of old technologies; availability of highly desirable new services and applications.
4. The resulting disruption of one's life. This is what happens after the initial effort (item-2) is generally complete and a technology becomes a part of one's normal operation.

For most people item-1 is pretty much the same, whereas items 2 through 4 vary widely. One has to decide for oneself. For example, for me having a TV is rated low on items 1 through 3, but item 4 makes it appropriate for me to live without a TV. The Internet access, on the other hand, has such a high value of item-3 that other items are irrelevant.

I don't have a smartphone yet, because item-2 far exceeds the available time and capacity I have at this time. Once I complete several high-priority projects, I will start converting to a smartphone and on-the-move communications.

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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby matjen » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:18 am

Browser wrote:Looking at Smartphone pricing plans in the booklet I picked up at BestBuy. Looks like the cheapest deal with Verizon is $90/month (unlimited talk + 1 Gb data). A more reasonable 2 Gb of data bumps it to $100/mo. The cheapest deal with Sprint is $80/month (450 minutes talk + unlimited data). 900 minutes of talk kicks it to $100/mo. I can't figure out At&t, but it's in the same ballpark. BTW I really resent how these wireless carriers do their best to obfuscate the bottom line and screw you over. Now then, you can add the cost of the phone which is $200 for the latest and the greatest. So it looks like somewhere in the range of $1200/yr, which doesn't include all the fees and taxes. Assuming you really need a basic cellphone, it looks like that will run you about $40/mo. and the phones are free. I guess you can do better with some prepaid plans, but sorting through all of those is even worse than figuring out the subscriber plans. In any event, the Smartphone goodies are going to add at least $700+ to your cash outflow per year. If you upgrade every couple years, then you're adding another $100 or so per year to the tab. Is it worth it? Can you live without it?


Browser as I have mentioned and others have mentioned and as you even mention but then seem to write off for some reason, there are plenty of month-to-month plans out there which are very simple. You get a phone and give them a credit card. They charge you roughly $45 a month let's say for the features most people want. This stuff is being sold by Wal-Mart. It is not early adopter it is mainstream blue collar America at this point.

http://androidandme.com/2012/10/carrier ... e-nexus-4/

Figure on a cheap smartphone going for as little as $50-$80 in this situation via Wal-Mart. I would suggest biting the bullet and getting one of the best phones available via Google directly for $300. The Nexus 4. You will have it for 3-4 years minimum and be happy. https://play.google.com/store/devices/d ... &gclsrc=ds

Only you can decide if it is worth it. We can argue it forever.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby ieee488 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:37 am

matjen wrote:
ieee488 wrote:But there is no need to put on that air of superiority when people question the "value' of one.


Sorry if I offended you ieee488 but at the risk of doing it again, there is also no need of listing the price of one of the most expensive smartphone plans when arguing the incredibly subjective concept of "value" while you apparently know full well that you can get one for a third of the price via a major provider. As you stated yourself... "I am on on the T-mobile $30 plan."

Seems rather disingenuous to me.

The trend moving forward will be month-to-month plans where people aren't locked into networks and aren't buying as many subsidized phones.


For me, I still do not see the value of the $30 if I wasn't job hunting. Does that make it any clearer?
$30 is still $30. You may poo-poo spending that kind of money, but I don't. And this is a forum about money, isn't it?

I am not being disingenuous, because my casual survey of my co-workers indicate that all of them are paying a lot more than $30 and some of it isn't even for "web" service. They didn't even know that the $30 Walmart/T-mobile plan existed. And even after I tell them about it, all showed no inclination to switch. The Boglehead world isn't the "real" world.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby ieee488 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:57 am

Browser wrote:Is it worth it? Can you live without it?

That's a question only you can answer. And the only way you will know is if you spend the money to find out.
You can always sell the phone on eBay.

Browser wrote:BTW I really resent how these wireless carriers do their best to obfuscate the bottom line and screw you over.


Pre-paid cost is much easier to determine. You pay sales tax on the phone you purchase and on the minutes you buy. That is it. There are no other "hidden" taxes and charges.

Basic cell phone is $20 + $100 = $120 for the first year with T-mobile pre-paid. Of course, you will need to have a good T-mobile signal where you will be needing the phone the most. I have great signal at work and so-so at home.

$30 T-mobile Montly 4G plan = 100 minutes of talk and unlimited text and web - still available at Walmart
Right now, Walmart has Samsung Galaxy S II for $350 with $50 card.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby matjen » Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:15 am

ieee488 wrote:For me, I still do not see the value of the $30 if I wasn't job hunting. Does that make it any clearer?
$30 is still $30. You may poo-poo spending that kind of money, but I don't. And this is a forum about money, isn't it?.


ieee488, you are pretending the delta between a regular cell phone plan and a smartphone plan is $30 which it isn't. Moreover, what your co-workers do is sort of an irrelevant straw man. The transition is happening now where people are starting to awaken to month-to-month and the plans are coming down in price.

Let's stick to T-Mobile since you are on it and it is one of the Big 4 carriers. Do you know what the minimum cost of a regular cell phone plan is there? One without any type of smartphone capabilities? I honestly didn't so I spent 10 minutes on their site trying to figure it out. Then I actually called them because I was expecting to see something like $15 for just minutes. Perhaps you can find someone else to give you different information but what the site says and what the person said were the same. $50 a month for a regular plan there and about $30 for month-to-month. Perhaps there is something cheaper on T-Mobile but it certainly isn't easily found. 90% of their site is about smartphones and smartphone plans because that is the market and will be moving forward.

See any regular cell phones there? If you squint and really search you can find a few. I literally think they only have ONE old school phone out of like 100 options. There may be a few hybrid-type phones. Hard to say. http://www.t-mobile.com/cell-phones

I will stipulate that you can go somewhere else and find the most basic cell phone plan for less but it certainly isn't free. So the in your case the delta would be the difference between $30/mo and whatever that plan is.

So I can argue you actually SAVE money with your plan on T-Mobile :-) Would you rather have a flip phone that does nothing but call and text painfully or a smartphone for the same price? It is a site about money after all.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby kitteh » Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:40 am

matjen wrote: $50 a month for a regular plan there and about $30 for month-to-month. Perhaps there is something cheaper on T-Mobile but it certainly isn't easily found. 90% of their site is about smartphones and smartphone plans because that is the market and will be moving forward.

See any regular cell phones there? If you squint and really search you can find a few. I literally think they only have ONE old school phone out of like 100 options. There may be a few hybrid-type phones. Hard to say. http://www.t-mobile.com/cell-phones

I will stipulate that you can go somewhere else and find the most basic cell phone plan for less but it certainly isn't free. So the in your case the delta would be the difference between $30/mo and whatever that plan is.

So I can argue you actually SAVE money with your plan on T-Mobile :-) Would you rather have a flip phone that does nothing but call and text painfully or a smartphone for the same price? It is a site about money after all.


I pay about $30 a month to Verizon Wireless. I have no interest in texting. I am perfectly happy with a phone that "just" makes and receives phone calls compared to paying hundreds of dollars more a year for stuff that I don't want.

Also, by using the cell phone only for "emergencies," I am one less driver on the road using a smartphone when I should be paying attention to my driving.

Someone previously was talking about doing without a television. Try it some time. Now that I've done away with mine, I occasionally get exposed to television in some public place, and can't believe the mindless dreck people are wasting their lives watching. There's, imho, something about video electronics that is addictive to the point that it impairs judgment and sucks people in.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby winglessangel31 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:54 am

A very important question that isn't really discussed is what will others expect of you? Things like what industry are you in and how old are you are important. If your industry requires very little technology and is relatively no-stress and low-pressure, then of course nobody will really expect you to have a smartphone (for work). The more wired the company in which you work is, the more expected to be wired in you are.

Everything that follows is in a general sense for someone in a medium to high tech industry:
The younger you are, the more wired you are expected to be. You'd ideally have a smartphone that will help you know everything you need to know on-the-fly. You're expected to be able to look things up as necessary. You're expected to know how to work a smartphone. You're expected to keep your appointments, possibly by having your smartphone beep you about an upcoming appointment, and if you will have to run late use your smartphone to update someone. You're expected to have your smartphone as an emergency GPS.

I've seen lots of people with smartphones. To risk generalizing, the less tech-centric one's company/industry, the more likely the smartphone is a toy or an unnecessary expenditure. Also, the older one is, the less likely one is to know more about the capabilities of the smartphone, the more likely one is to use only a small sliver of the smartphone, the less useful a smartphone is for one.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby winglessangel31 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:02 am

kitteh wrote:
matjen wrote: $50 a month for a regular plan there and about $30 for month-to-month. Perhaps there is something cheaper on T-Mobile but it certainly isn't easily found. 90% of their site is about smartphones and smartphone plans because that is the market and will be moving forward.

See any regular cell phones there? If you squint and really search you can find a few. I literally think they only have ONE old school phone out of like 100 options. There may be a few hybrid-type phones. Hard to say. http://www.t-mobile.com/cell-phones

I will stipulate that you can go somewhere else and find the most basic cell phone plan for less but it certainly isn't free. So the in your case the delta would be the difference between $30/mo and whatever that plan is.

So I can argue you actually SAVE money with your plan on T-Mobile :-) Would you rather have a flip phone that does nothing but call and text painfully or a smartphone for the same price? It is a site about money after all.


I pay about $30 a month to Verizon Wireless. I have no interest in texting. I am perfectly happy with a phone that "just" makes and receives phone calls compared to paying hundreds of dollars more a year for stuff that I don't want.

Also, by using the cell phone only for "emergencies," I am one less driver on the road using a smartphone when I should be paying attention to my driving.

Someone previously was talking about doing without a television. Try it some time. Now that I've done away with mine, I occasionally get exposed to television in some public place, and can't believe the mindless dreck people are wasting their lives watching. There's, imho, something about video electronics that is addictive to the point that it impairs judgment and sucks people in.

Like my post above, my word to you is "good for you" and "that's because your friends are probably different from mine, your life is probably different from mine, and your industry is probably different from mine." I don't want to pay for things I don't want either. But I have a use for texting. I'm not addicted to it, but I use it and find it an important mode of communication. I have a use for email/calendar support on my phone. I don't think I'm addicted to it, but I use it and find it very, very important.

Another way to be a driver on the road paying attention to driving instead of a smartphone is to pay attention to driving instead of a smartphone while driving. Like me.

I have done without television, but I don't think that television impairs judgment. I think that it's a very easy way for someone to obtain entertainment, and for a quick fix for boredom one might have a great temptation to veg in front of a television. Electronics have made entertainment easy. Someone who already has poor judgment might tend to live life (you know, what hours are remaining after work and sleep) feeding off the easy entertainment. The only reason why video electronics would ever suck people in is because said person began with a weak will / sense of priorities.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby bUU » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:30 am

winglessangel31 wrote:A very important question that isn't really discussed is what will others expect of you?

Yes definitely: Someone submitting a resume without an email address, these days, will find their application summarily dismissed. Whether it was just a careless omission, a resistance to interacting online, or the fact that the application doesn't have a personal email account and doesn't care to establish one, it still is a disqualifying factor as far as I'm concerned, if I were ever to get allocated a new THCT to hire a new employee.

winglessangel31 wrote:The younger you are, the more wired you are expected to be.

In my spouse's experience, no accommodations are made for an older person with regard to electronic connectedness.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby rocket » Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:57 am

Smartphones are for people who feel the need to be up-to-date and progressive. It is useful for shopping so you can call your wife and ask questions like "Should I buy yellow pencils or multicolored pencils?" or "Should I get sharp or mild cheddar cheese?". People who are boring can talk on the phone rather than talk to the person there with. Smartphone users can brag about having a better cellphone than someone else. Smartphone users can be very up-to-date on their spam mail. Smartphone can be used as a alarm clock. You can get these benefits for around $100 per month. Smartphones cause people to think in 3 to 4 word sentences.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby donaldfair71 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:43 am

I do not have a smartphone. Never did.

This whole comical debate comes down to this:

On the 1st of each month that you pay for having a smartphone (including the amount of purchase for the phone itself), lay down the amount you will pay for the smartphone on the table. Could be 30, 40, 50 bucks. If having that cash in your pocket seems more desirable than having the smartphone in your pocket, it's dumb to own one. If having the phone and all it offers is more desirable, it's dumb not to own one.

There is no cut and dried answer whether it's a need or not. For me, it isn't worth it because I have 2 computers and a tablet at home. I have a work computer. I like to be unavailable at times (when I'm driving, when I'm at the store, etc.).
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby winglessangel31 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:50 am

donaldfair71 wrote:I do not have a smartphone. Never did.

This whole comical debate comes down to this:

On the 1st of each month that you pay for having a smartphone (including the amount of purchase for the phone itself), lay down the amount you will pay for the smartphone on the table. Could be 30, 40, 50 bucks. If having that cash in your pocket seems more desirable than having the smartphone in your pocket, it's dumb to own one. If having the phone and all it offers is more desirable, it's dumb not to own one.

There is no cut and dried answer whether it's a need or not. For me, it isn't worth it because I have 2 computers and a tablet at home. I have a work computer. I like to be unavailable at times (when I'm driving, when I'm at the store, etc.).

True. Also insert lament about how phone plans are crazy expensive in the US compared to other countries.

I can see why you'd like to be unavailable at those times. :) For me, I want to be available while driving (when I get a car, it will have Bluetooth audio streaming and phone connection - I'd play music from my phone, use its GPS, and call people to tell them I'm coming home soon / going to the store / will be late...) and when I'm at the store (call people to ask if they need anything, check my Skydrive dynamically-updated shopping list to see if anything is missing / was just added, check Amazon or some other website for prices if I really don't like the numbers I see at the store...) :)
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby Browser » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:00 pm

No-one has answered my question about where you carry these near tablet-sized smartphones such as the Nexus, Samsung Galaxy, etc. Can you even get them in your pocket and sit down without damaging your kidneys?
If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine. – Jim Barksdale
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby englishgirl » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:01 pm

The best way to get hold of me is to text or message. For a good percentage of the day, I am in private appointments with people. I will not answer or even look at my phone during those appointments. Texting is quicker for me than to have to play a voicemail when I am available, and then call someone back and leave them a voicemail. Is a smart phone a need for me? I used to be able to text on my dumb phone, but I do so much more with my phone that essentially I consider it a need* at this point, especially for calendar access.

Here's what I use my phone for on a regular basis:
Free texting with other iPhone users
Free facebook messaging with people who don't have texting plans
Instant calendar access to the three calendars I keep (2 jobs and a personal calendar), with alerts when I have something I need to do.
alarm clock/timer
weather
news headlines
Facebook and Linked In
turn-by-turn navigation and maps
Skype/Google voice for cheap international calls
banking app for depositing checks and looking at my balance
reminders/to do list
notepad for shopping lists
camera
Starbucks electronic payment
Wikipedia/dictionary
Google drive for shared documents - syncs with my iPad and computer, and with my business partner
Evernote for note-taking (handy for lectures/seminars) - syncs with my iPad and computer
Spanish learning app
my horoscope (yeah, I know, but I like to look at it)
Google search on the go
meditation timer
app to log in to the exercise studio if I want to reserve a spot in an exercise class
time logging app for work projects that I do out of the office

Do I feel the need to be up-to-date and progressive? I suppose I do. But I also feel the need not to spend money on and cart around extra "stuff" like a diary, camera, GPS system, etc. I don't see the need to criticize others' choices though. If you don't need one, great for you. But don't be rude.

Browser: as far as carrying phones goes, some of us have handbags!



*need: very useful for my daily life. If there was an apocalypse and I had to survive somehow, I can live without it.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby The Wizard » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:08 pm

donaldfair71 wrote:On the 1st of each month that you pay for having a smartphone (including the amount of purchase for the phone itself), lay down the amount you will pay for the smartphone on the table. Could be 30, 40, 50 bucks. If having that cash in your pocket seems more desirable than having the smartphone in your pocket, it's dumb to own one. If having the phone and all it offers is more desirable, it's dumb not to own one....

I agree that folk experiencing Financial Stress should think seriously about saving money in this area.
For other folks, having a smartphone for 40 years will mean the difference between leaving an estate of $1,800,000 (with smartphone) and $1,820,000 (without smartphone).
There are Bigger Fish to fry for many of us...
Last edited by The Wizard on Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby JMacDonald » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:10 pm

kitteh wrote:I pay about $30 a month to Verizon Wireless. I have no interest in texting. I am perfectly happy with a phone that "just" makes and receives phone calls compared to paying hundreds of dollars more a year for stuff that I don't want.

If you had the AT&T GoPhone plan for 10 cents a minute, you would have bought 3600 minutes. If you do not talk that much in a year, then you can save quite a bit of money by using the 10 cents a minute plan. I have the plan and bought 1000 minutes for a year for $100. Here is a link to the GoPhone Plans: http://www.att.com/shop/wireless/plans/ ... plans.html
Best Wishes, | Joe
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby Browser » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:14 pm

donaldfair71 wrote:I do not have a smartphone. Never did.

This whole comical debate comes down to this:

On the 1st of each month that you pay for having a smartphone (including the amount of purchase for the phone itself), lay down the amount you will pay for the smartphone on the table. Could be 30, 40, 50 bucks. If having that cash in your pocket seems more desirable than having the smartphone in your pocket, it's dumb to own one. If having the phone and all it offers is more desirable, it's dumb not to own one.

There is no cut and dried answer whether it's a need or not. For me, it isn't worth it because I have 2 computers and a tablet at home. I have a work computer. I like to be unavailable at times (when I'm driving, when I'm at the store, etc.).

Yeh, I think we are inoculated from the real effect of a lot of our expenses. We sign up and the money invisibly comes out of our credit card or bank account via autopay. It's not the same as actually digging into the wallet and extracting the cash month-after-month. Cable TV, Smartphones, Computer internet, XM Radio, etc. etc. -- pretty soon it adds up to real money. If I'm shelling out $100 for Verizon's 2Gb Smartphone plan every month, that's the equivalent of the interest I'd earn these days on about $240,000 in a savings account with 0.5% APR. But, oh gee, maybe you can get a 2% return -- in which case it's only the equivalent of the pre-tax return on $60,000.
If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine. – Jim Barksdale
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby The Wizard » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:16 pm

Browser wrote:No-one has answered my question about where you carry these near tablet-sized smartphones such as the Nexus, Samsung Galaxy, etc. Can you even get them in your pocket and sit down without damaging your kidneys?

Good question.
Munchkin Man had a thread on this whole issue a month ago.
My smartphone needs to fit in my LF pocket when I'm out walking around.
When time comes to upgrade, I will do a fit-test at my local store if needed.
This really isn't so hard to figure out...
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby matjen » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:36 pm

The Wizard wrote:
Browser wrote:No-one has answered my question about where you carry these near tablet-sized smartphones such as the Nexus, Samsung Galaxy, etc. Can you even get them in your pocket and sit down without damaging your kidneys?

Good question.
Munchkin Man had a thread on this whole issue a month ago.
My smartphone needs to fit in my LF pocket when I'm out walking around.
When time comes to upgrade, I will do a fit-test at my local store if needed.
This really isn't so hard to figure out...


I agree that size is getting a bit absurd. I am 6 feet tall with normal to larger sized hands for my height and I wouldn't want anything larger than the Nexus 4 in my hand or my front pocket. Although they are being criticized a bit for being undersized, I actually think Apple has the size just about right.

I predict that soon there will be a market for higher end yet smaller smartphones. Just as there are near-luxury small cars like the Audi A3 or Range Rover Evoque.
A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby KyleAAA » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:45 pm

I had a smart phone back when Blackberries were first out and I went back for several years. I didn't miss it.
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby jb1934 » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:59 pm

Interesting topic and responses.
Interesting read.
http://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/addi ... what-to-do
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby floydtime » Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:16 pm

Do I really need a Smartphone?

Of course not. But I often see people who have one, that need to not have one.

In my opinion, it isn't as much a cost consideration as it is a lifestyle consideration.
"Do not value money for any more nor any less than its worth; it is a good servant but a bad master" - Alexandre Dumas
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Re: Do I really need a Smartphone?

Postby telemark » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:40 pm

donaldfair71 wrote:I like to be unavailable at times (when I'm driving, when I'm at the store, etc.).


Agreed. When I'm driving I need to be focused on what's going on around me. That's need, not as in something that would be nice to have, or something that would be convenient, but need as in, you know, actual necessity.
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