Why I Don’t Need a SmartPhone

My son keeps trying to convince me that I need to upgrade my little slide phone to something more sophisticated like a SmartPhone.  I usually hear this suggestion when I call him for help with directions in finding a store or if I’m in an unfamiliar part of the big city.

He needs a SmartPhone because his job requires him to be able to check his email and to be able to log into their server around the clock. But son, Mom doesn’t need that capability.

I’m doing just great with my little ol’ Samsung slide phone.  It’s still in great shape, and I’ve had it over two years now.  My previous phones were all doing poorly after two years, so I was glad to be able to get them upgraded, but this one I think I’ll stick with it for awhile.

I was reluctant to get a cell phone in the first place, but when we moved 50 miles away from my job I felt like it was necessary, especially since I would be driving through areas that were fairly desolate.  If I had car trouble, I’d want to be able to make that call to Triple A and get some help on the way. Especially during the hot summers.

The times that I have been unable to get hold of my son, I’ve broken down and called information to get the phone number for the store, and if I don’t know the address, just one of the stores. Then the store I call usually can tell me where the other stores are located.  That works well.  I also carry a Yellow Pages in my car, and have used that a number of times. I also used to carry a map of the city, but I haven’t had that in my car lately. I know what you’re thinking, if I had a SmartPhone, it might even have GPS capabilities.

Agh.  GPS.  Don’t get me started. I don’t like those things. Not only are they difficult to understand, but what happened to finding where you’re going on a map?  I am okay using Google Maps or Mapquest, but I don’t drive in unfamiliar areas enough to use a GPS.

And to tell you the truth, when we went to Washington DC last year, our GPS got us lost repeatedly for the directions were very confusing!

But back to the SmartPhone… I really don’t think I would get my money’s worth from one. I am already addicted to the Internet way too much, I don’t think I need to have a 24/7 connection.

What do you think about SmartPhones? Does your job require you to have one?  Or do you like being “connected” all the time?  :-)

 

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26 comments to Why I Don’t Need a SmartPhone

  • I also don’t have a smart phone. I don’t see the need to spend that kind of money upfront and then every month. I do have a GPS, which has been really useful for me.

    Some coworkers get Blackberries through work so they can be in contact all the time. But I’m not that hard to find, so I don’t need a Blackberry :)

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  • My wife really wanted one, as she doesn’t use a computer most of the time, but still wanted to be connected. Since we’re on a family plan, it was no difference in cost for me to get one as well. I find it pretty useful. I’m definitely on the computer less, I can do comparison price shopping while at a store, and I can listen to streaming music at work without tying up company bandwidth. It’s not a must have, but I definitely enjoy it.

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  • I have one for work reasons and would not have gotten it if it hadn’t been a business expense. To be honest, I could easily live without it (the Droid X) and often wish I had just gotten a regular phone. I just don’t use most of the functionality and find it very difficult to use the dialpad, especially when I can’t dedicate my full attention(like in a car).

    Of course, I can be a bit of a hermit and sometimes I wish I didn’t have a phone at all :).

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  • I’ve had a smartphone for a few years now and don’t really utilize it to it’s fullest – making it a bit of a money waster. However, since I’ve now had it about 3 years I don’t want to purchase something new just yet. I’m going to wait and really think about my next phone – I’m horrible at answering it, barely check my email on it, and just recently figured out how to text with it. Come to think of it, I probably don’t really need a cell phone. It’s just a way for me to call Mr. LH and tell him I’m on my way home, etc.

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  • My wife and I do not have a smart phone and that is okay! My son and daughter have smart phones, it may be generational. They need the accessibility.

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  • I JUST got a smartphone (like, today), but I joined a family plan with several friends to cut down on the cost. Plus I was able to get a discount on the service from my husband’s work. In the end, aside from the initial cost of the phone (went with a mid-range Android model), the monthly payments are significantly less than, say, a single plan on an iPhone.

    And I like being connected all the time. :)

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  • I’ve worked in IT for 14 years, and my phone is also a Samsung Slider (got an A777 about 6 months ago to replace the previous, nearly identical model).

    Why no smart phone for a tech geek? Battery life. I’m on call 24/7 for my job, and I can stretch my Samsung’s battery to 5+ days. My wife has to charge her iPhone’s battery at least once a great. That’s OK if your cell phone is an entertainment device, but not great if you MUST be able to receive calls.

    I do, however, make good use of my phone’s text messaging allotment. I use 4Info.com to get sports updates – including a text message every time Troy Tulowitzki of the Rockies gets a hit :)

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  • You have a slide phone? I still have a brick! Serves me fine though and no reason to upgrade to a slide!!! :-)

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  • I LOVE my iPhone, specifically for its smartphone-ness, since I hardly ever call anyone. It’s not required for my job, but is required for my business. I definitely enjoy being able to be connected all the time. When we went on our trip recently, my phone only worked as a phone and that really bothered me. However, like you, I use maps to get places, not GPS.

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  • I am a stay at home mom…I don’t need a smart phone. My laptop in the kitchen and the phone in the kitchen solve all my needs.

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  • I love my smartphone. Being able to watch movies whenever I want is awesome. Surfing the internet, keeping connected with my friends on FB.
    But I feel really disconnected when I don’t have it, it’s dead, or my kids have commandered it. Times like those I wish I weren’t so addicted to it!

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  • The more I see of them, the more I want one. If I could afford the connection charges, I’d have one right now. But LOL! I can’t even afford a regular boring cell phone, much less a smart phone.

    Maybe when the monthly charges come down to something comparable to what a land line costs…?

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Funny about Money, haha, you and me both! I think my post was more of an effort to identify to myself exactly why I do NOT need to succumb! But with all the positive comments about SmartPhones to my post, I find myself leaning in that direction. LOL! My son also keeps tempting me. I am eligible for an upgrade phone, which would only cost $50 and I could get the limited data plan for only $15/month. But I’m not going to do it! LOL! (But my birthday is coming, my birthday is coming) LOL

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  • I think that when it really comes down to it, most people don’t actually need a smartphone. I think that lots of people feel like they “have to be tuned in” at all hours of the day to their job. But, if they look at their job description, I think this is a self inflicted obligation, and not one from the company.

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  • I didn’t need a smartphone, but I wanted one. It’s not to be tied in to my job, but to be able to have on-demand access to the web, my email, and of course to play games on as well. During my vacation, I used it to read articles while bored in the airport and also to catch up on a bit of reading while relaxing on the balcony. I brought it instead of a laptop first because I didn’t want to be tempted into spending too much time “connected”, and there’s a lot of things you can do on a laptop that you can’t on a smartphone so that helped, and also because a laptop is just so bulky. I’m glad I had the phone and not a laptop during those waits in the airport.

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Invest It Wisely, I can see how that would be convenient. I don’t travel a lot but when we went to Washington DC last year I had my laptop with me and it was quite bulky.

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  • OG

    I understand the convenience factor, but I guess I’m not important enough socio-economically to where I need to be tethered to a smartphone. I am by no means a Luddite, but I have better things to do with my hard-earned money than throw it down on the latest Droid or iPhone. I used to own a semi-smart phone (Samsung Rogue), and I was required to have a data plan that I MAYBE used twice in two years. I liked the QWERTY keyboard, but I only taled & texted on it.

    I now have a LG Accolade VX5600 “feature phone,” and it is very liberating to be back in a basic phone.

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  • Kara

    If you have a texting plan, you can do both of those things you mentioned just by texting Google (466453) it spells out G-O-O-G-L-E on your number pad. Great for finding numbers and directions and lots of other stuff, and doesn’t cost a thing other than a text! I do have a smartphone and I LOVE it, but there are many things you can do on a regular phone that you just might not realize.

    http://www.google.com/mobile/sms/

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Kara, oh my goodness!!!! No way!!! Seriously?! I wasn’t sure what you were saying so I asked my much more than me tech savvy son, AJ and he showed me. This is fantastic! Thank you so much for this information! Now I truly do not need a smartphone! :-)

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  • Kess

    I found this blog post because I was wondering if anyone else is frustrated with smart phones like I am. I have used iPhones and Androids and the whole lot, but for some reason, I cant stand them. My Samsung Captivate was my first smart phone (the low radiation attracted me) that I got last november, and all the hassles and distractions of it just get in the way. These phones are great, but they kinda suck at being a phone. You can’t quickly make a call like you can on a “dumb” phone, and when you wanna send a text, you have to stare at the fidgity touch screen to try and type without messing up (which sucks when you are walking on the sidewalk btw.) What if Im in an emergency and I need to dial 911? On a smartphone I have to unlock the screen, press the phone icon, dial the number, look at the screen to find the send key, and then make the call. On my sony, I open it and dial 911 and press send. The dumb phones are just so much better at being a phone.

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    Invest It Wisely Reply:

    To be fair, if you need to dial 9/11, you don’t need to unlock the screen. Every phone I’ve ever seen lets you do an emergency phone call right then and there.

    But, otherwise, I get what you’re saying. In some ways the dumb phones are actually better when it comes to these sort of things. I still love my smart phone, though. ;)

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    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    @Invest It Wisely, just out of curiosity what kind of smart phone do you have? On my son’s phone he has some crazy thing configured where there are nine dots and he has to swype in a long combination of numbers. Otherwise you cannot use the phone. On my husband’s phone, you have to take the little jigsaw piece and move it into the puzzle or you can’t use it. On my phone I have to press a button at the top to wake it up, then swype the image of the phone in the ring down into the ring at the bottom which unlocks the phone. It is quite a few steps further than the “dumb” phones. Maybe our phones are all set up with a protective feature so that you don’t have yours set up for? Because honestly there is no way to use these phones without jumping through hoops. We all have Androids, btw.

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    Invest It Wisely Reply:

    @Mrs. Accountability,

    I personally use a Nexus S. These phones don’t have all the extra carrier BS added in, though one downside is that the antenna is not very good in 3g mode. Otherwise it’s not too expensive and one of the best Android phones you can get. I’ve heard good reviews for its successor, the Nexus Prime as well.

    As for the security stuff, I actually preferred Nokia for this. You could configure the screen time out and lock separately! I am also annoyed at having to enter a code each time, but I need to keep the security code on due to Microsoft Exchange and I don’t want the battery to run down so I keep the screen timeout to 1 minute.

    If you don’t need to use Microsoft Exchange for work email, you can usually disable these security features.

    Invest It Wisely Reply:

    @Mrs. Accountability,

    Sorry the successor is the “Galaxy Nexus” (not to be confused with “Samsung Galaxy” or “Samsung Galaxy S II”. A colleague has the S II though and it’s a pretty powerful phone, though expensive!)

  • silvrdawn

    My husband sent me the link for this site. I’m doing an English paper contrasting smartphones and basic phones. All of your comments have been very helpful. I’m definitly a smartphone proponant. I have one and I LOVE it. I have many devices all in one. It’s pretty cost effective when you look at how many devices it takes the place of. A lot of the recent phones have very high resolution cameras which allows you to cut out a digital camera. You can use them as a music player, which cuts that out. Those are only a few.

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  • [...] Why I Don’t Need a SmartPhone (Out of Debt Again) [...]

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