Pros and cons of using a smartphone when a basic flip phone will work.

Professor

Pros and cons of using a smartphone when a basic flip phone will work.

[ Edited ]

The question of why one would use a smartphone when a flip phone will work, is in the back of some people's mind. With that being said, I would like to open up a discussion thread just for the purpose of discussing pros and cons of smartphones vs basic phones.

 

The advantages of smartphones are:

  1. In high demand - this eventually will drive down the per unit cost of manufacturing, leading to lower prices. For example compare the retail price of 3G Pantech Breeze II with 3G LG Thrive Gophone, a smartphone.
  2. Can run Apps - many apps don't require data connection. For example, My Tracks (Google), calculators and most games.
  3. Have a unique form factor - the touch screen.
  4. Have 3G (eventually 4G) radios with automatic switching from 3G to 2G. Some can be manually switched to 2G for improved voice calling & texting.
  5. Many have Wifi calling for when you are inside a building and you are nowhere near a window, especially inside steel reinforced high rises.
  6. It seems that with a 3G capable GoPhone, there's a larger coverage in the US than with a 2G GoPhone.

The disadvantages are:

  1. Complexity and steep learning curve - some people may want just a basic flip phone.
  2. There's not yet a heavy duty smartphone. This may change in the future.
  3. Apps can drain battery fast.

What are your thoughts?

 

 

 

 

 

Message 1 of 45 (11,452 Views)
Professor

Re: Pros and cons of using a smartphone when a basic flip phone will work.


Razr8 wrote:

Geez hme83, I can see why your a Professor, enlightening as alwaysSmiley Wink. But from I gather I think what likewireless meant was is that if your going to use a phone just as a phone then a smartphone might be overkill. But I guess it also comes down to personal choice and whatever works for you.


Razr8:
Sounds humorous.

Message 16 of 45 (10,646 Views)
Professor

Re: Pros and cons of using a smartphone when a basic flip phone will work.


jii wrote:

Wild Banchi wrote
"which some people do not want nor need a smartphone"

The 14 year old girls at your local high school come to mind. Cracked me up when I was last at the local store on a saturday afternoon and saw that the entire joint was filled with high school kids asking Mommy and Daddy to buy them that shiny $400+ phone because all their friends have one.

 

My kid? He's getting a pager. If that.



That may work where public phone booths are still around. In my area, the good ole public phone booths are gone forever, except outside some grocery stores. Ah those are the good ole daysSmiley Wink I stopped using a cell phone for a couple of years until one day I discovered that all phone booths were removed from local shopping malls.

Message 17 of 45 (10,643 Views)
Master

Re: Pros and cons of using a smartphone when a basic flip phone will work.


ilikewireless wrote:

hme83,

 

I was under the impression that a potential problem area with e-mail on feature phones is viewing of attachment. I would like to know more about what file types are supported on your feature phones: pdf, and MS Office files in particular. I know that Android devices on FroYo or higher, can handle them all. It may be that a feature phone is an option for those who want e-mail with attachments.

 

 


lol.  I'm not really the best person to be able to provide any details; both of my SE's are at&t branded so the generic SE e-mail client was removed by at&t.  They are just "fun" phones - not what I use on a day to day basis, so it's never been important enough to me to debrand them.

 

I don't expect that something like MS Office files would be handled by a non-smartphone's e-mail client (but I really don't know).  If you need to use your phone for that type of thing, my guess is you are better off with a smartphone.  Sorry - my comments/thinking were oriented toward those who use their phones primarily for communication outside of "professional" productivity needs. Smiley Happy  My Nokia E70 handles both pdf and MS Office files, but I've only used them just to try them out.  I certainly wouldn't want to work on or review an Excel file from it.  lol.

                                                                                                                         =^..^=
There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.

     - Doug Larson

Message 18 of 45 (10,624 Views)
Professor

Re: Pros and cons of using a smartphone when a basic flip phone will work.

[ Edited ]

hme83 wrote:

ilikewireless wrote:

hme83,

 

I was under the impression that a potential problem area with e-mail on feature phones is viewing of attachment. I would like to know more about what file types are supported on your feature phones: pdf, and MS Office files in particular. I know that Android devices on FroYo or higher, can handle them all. It may be that a feature phone is an option for those who want e-mail with attachments.

 

 


lol.  I'm not really the best person to be able to provide any details; both of my SE's are at&t branded so the generic SE e-mail client was removed by at&t.  They are just "fun" phones - not what I use on a day to day basis, so it's never been important enough to me to debrand them.

 

I don't expect that something like MS Office files would be handled by a non-smartphone's e-mail client (but I really don't know).  If you need to use your phone for that type of thing, my guess is you are better off with a smartphone.  Sorry - my comments/thinking were oriented toward those who use their phones primarily for communication outside of "professional" productivity needs. Smiley Happy  My Nokia E70 handles both pdf and MS Office files, but I've only used them just to try them out.  I certainly wouldn't want to work on or review an Excel file from it.  lol.



I am basically getting to know more about cell phones after years of neglect in this area. I used to look the other way and pretended smartphones didn't exist, though I feel very much at home with computers.

 

With my Android tablet, I can read e-mails and MS Office file attachments, pdf, and other file formats I care about. So that would also apply to Android phones, as you mentioned already.

 

With smartphones, some things are compromised even though the functionality of whatever smartphones are trying to impersonate dedicated devices is on board. For example, while a smartphone software can provide Sports GPS function, it is a compromise for a wrist attached Sports GPS. Another compromise that is obvious is that smartphones have large batteries, making them bulky to carry in one's pockets. Yet another example is the use of smartphones as car navigation GPS. In this area, a car GPS like Tom Tom  and Garmin are better adapted for use in a car, due to for example, a placement issue that can affect reception of GPS signals. Other compromises are screen readability and the loudness of spoken directions.

 

However, it's not too bad if one accepts compromises in exchange for incidental use like you mentioned - most users would not have a car GPS with them at all times. So your use of the GPS in a phone is well worth it.

 

In summary, a smartphone is like a phone trying to be a jack of all trades. In some cases, carriers seem to have forgotten the most important function of a phone - being able to place/receive a call, due to networks being overloaded to the point of degrading the performance of the most important function - placing and receiving calls.

 

 

Message 19 of 45 (10,612 Views)
Master

Re: Pros and cons of using a smartphone when a basic flip phone will work.


ilikewireless wrote:
I am basically getting to know more about cell phones after years of neglect in this area. I used to look the other way and pretended smartphones didn't exist, though I feel very much at home with computers.

 

With my Android tablet, I can read e-mails and MS Office file attachments, pdf, and other file formats I care about. So that would also apply to Android phones, as you mentioned already.

 

With smartphones, some things are compromised even though the functionality of whatever smartphones are trying to impersonate dedicated devices is on board. For example, while a smartphone software can provide Sports GPS function, it is a compromise for a wrist attached Sports GPS. Another compromise that is obvious is that smartphones have large batteries, making them bulky to carry in one's pockets. Yet another example is the use of smartphones as car navigation GPS. In this area, a car GPS like Tom Tom  and Garmin are better adapted for use in a car, due to for example, a placement issue that can affect reception of GPS signals. Other compromises are screen readability and the loudness of spoken directions.

 

However, it's not too bad if one accepts compromises in exchange for incidental use like you mentioned - most users would not have a car GPS with them at all times. So your use of the GPS in a phone is well worth it.

 

In summary, a smartphone is like a phone trying to be a jack of all trades. In some cases, carriers seem to have forgotten the most important function of a phone - being able to place/receive a call, due to networks being overloaded to the point of degrading the performance of the most important function - placing and receiving calls.

 

 


Agreed - the converged devices are never going to be as competent as an individual device that is oriented toward specific functionality is. Smiley Happy  But like you said, if you can accept their inherent limitations they can definitely provide the basic functionality in a more portable package.

 

I purchased my W518a for it's GPS functionality primarily to use while day hiking, etc., so the fact that it is combined with a phone is of benefit - just in case there is an emergency of some type.  The W580i, I purchased primarily for it's pedometer/fitness function - the fact that it is also my MP3 player and provides phone functionality (if needed for emergencies) is beneficial.

 

I have an 8" netbook for browsing and/or doing "light" work that is a breeze for traveling, so I don't need a phone that is able to do those things in what I find to be a very uncomfortable format to use for anything other than just for quick "look-ups".  But I don't use my cell phone for work, so I don't need the syncing ability for contacts/calendar information - as my personal life isn't that complex either.  lol.

                                                                                                                         =^..^=
There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.

     - Doug Larson

Message 20 of 45 (10,602 Views)
Guru

Re: Pros and cons of using a smartphone when a basic flip phone will work.

Ilikewireless, I'm on board with your summary about a phone is meant to be just that, a phone. Strong signal and call quality is one of the reasons I chose my phone, although some of the other things it does is still pretty cool. Whenever anyone has shown me their smartphone I think to myself that's nice and all but it's more than I need.Tthat being said I was in an AT&T store the other day and the Atrix 4G is looking mighty tempting Smiley Very Happy

Message 21 of 45 (10,637 Views)
Guru

Re: Pros and cons of using a smartphone when a basic flip phone will work.

Hme83, you mentioned you use your W518a for day hiking, is that the phone that is postpaid? I ask because of the more complete coverage postpaid offers. When she was 6 years old my daughter and I use to do a little day hiking, it was fun. Smiley Wink

Message 22 of 45 (10,637 Views)
Master

Re: Pros and cons of using a smartphone when a basic flip phone will work.


Razr8 wrote:

Hme83, you mentioned you use your W518a for day hiking, is that the phone that is postpaid? I ask because of the more complete coverage postpaid offers. When she was 6 years old my daughter and I use to do a little day hiking, it was fun. Smiley Wink


I switch my SIMs between the W518a and the Nokia E70 routinely. Smiley Happy  Just depending on what my needs are at the time. 

 

I use the W518a for it's GPS (primarily) and that does require it having the post paid SIM in it, as to my knowledge Navigator isn't available for the prepaid plans; plus as you suggest, with prepaid service in my area the coverage really isn't there when you get very far from the major metropolitan areas and interstates.

 

The Nokia has a physical keyboard, and my primary use of my phone is not as a phone.  (lol.  I rarely make a call.)  It's to stay in touch with friends via e-mail.

                                                                                                                         =^..^=
There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.

     - Doug Larson

Message 23 of 45 (10,629 Views)
Guru

Re: Pros and cons of using a smartphone when a basic flip phone will work.

I see, thanks for responding. BTW, I think Tom Cruise used a Nokia phone similar to yours in the movie Collateral. Also, although I am on a prepaid plan Navigator is available to me if I paid the monthly $10 or the daily $3 fee.

Message 24 of 45 (10,623 Views)
Professor

Re: Pros and cons of using a smartphone when a basic flip phone will work.

[ Edited ]

I read on a T-Mobile forum that a guy used GPS on a Nokia 5230 without a cellular connection. With that, he needed to download the latest map, pre-save the map, and use the saved map for navigation. One can download maps on a PC then transfer them to a Nokia smartphone, or simply use WiFi to download to a higher Nokia series (no wifi on 5230). The catch is Nokia Ovi Map subscription (Euro 9.99/yr) - not bad compared to AT&T Navigator. I think the AT&T subscription includes busy traffic routing feature. The GPS operation modes are, from the GPS section of the Nokia manual:

 

Integrated GPS — Use the integrated GPS receiver of your device.

 

Assisted GPS — Use Assisted GPS (A-GPS) to receive assistance data from an

assistance data server.

 

Bluetooth GPS — Use a compatible external GPS receiver with Bluetooth

connectivity.

 

Network based — Use information from the cellular network (network service).

Message 25 of 45 (10,618 Views)
Master

Re: Pros and cons of using a smartphone when a basic flip phone will work.


Razr8 wrote:

I see, thanks for responding. BTW, I think Tom Cruise used a Nokia phone similar to yours in the movie Collateral. Also, although I am on a prepaid plan Navigator is available to me if I paid the monthly $10 or the daily $3 fee.


Thanks for letting me know - I didn't realize it was available with prepaid service, although the lack of consistent prepaid coverage here would still not make it very useful for my needs.  And I'm effectively paying only $5/month for it on my post paid plan as I have the $20/month unlimited data and Navigator package.  (I have no need for unlimited messaging so unlimited data alone costs me $15/month.)

 

                                                                                                                         =^..^=
There must be a happy medium somewhere between being totally informed and blissfully unaware.

     - Doug Larson

Message 26 of 45 (10,566 Views)
Guru

Re: Pros and cons of using a smartphone when a basic flip phone will work.

I think we are making Ilikewireless' point, that those of us with non smartphones are getting by just fine.

Message 27 of 45 (10,562 Views)
Professor

Re: Pros and cons of using a smartphone when a basic flip phone will work.

[ Edited ]

Razr8 wrote:

I think we are making Ilikewireless' point, that those of us with non smartphones are getting by just fine.



Yep. I'm getting by just fine with a simple flip phone Smiley Happyand a Wifi only tablet.

 

An alternative is to use a no data plan prepaid smartphone with Wifi. A voice plan (not a mistyping) is required as spelled out in the TOS. I think the TOS is such that it does not allow one to use a smartphone solely as a mini-tablet. However, with a voice plan, one can use a prepaid smartphone as a mini-tablet.

 

I have compared a Samsung Galaxy Tab with a Samsung S smartphone, an Android smartphone, and I can tell that a smartphone is functionally quite the same in many areas or better, with the obvious difference in screen size. The 3G radio gives a smartphone an edge when it comes to A-GPS Navigation with Google Map display.

 

With a Samsung WiFi only tablet, maps are not displayed unless you preload the map first before you start a journey and keep the tablet ON at all times to preserve the map display. It seems that Nokia gets around the A-GPS issue by providing a native Integrated GPS, with capability to save a map (Android FroYo version does not save map on microSD drive). I hope future versions of Android tablets would include a native GPS so that one can use GPS where there's no cell radio and no WiFi coverage.

 

Message 28 of 45 (10,550 Views)
Guru

Re: Pros and cons of using a smartphone when a basic flip phone will work.

Considering some of the points you made about comparing tablets and smartphones if the right smartphone came along would you make the switch?

Message 29 of 45 (10,530 Views)
Professor

Re: Pros and cons of using a smartphone when a basic flip phone will work.

[ Edited ]

Razr8 wrote:

Considering some of the points you made about comparing tablets and smartphones if the right smartphone came along would you make the switch?



Yes. I will make the switch if it's an Android smartphone with a built-in self-sufficient GPS like Nokia smartphones. On the other hand, an iPod touch with a Tom Tom GPS add-on that snaps together would probably do the trick except that I could not use Google's My Track as far as I know. Apple wants everything to themselves. So I'm back to looking for Android smartphones only.

 

One day there could be an Android with initial setup function to allow one to pick and choose features. Many Linux OS distributions include an initial installation setup that allows users to choose what they want to use. But then I keep my fingers crossed because it makes smartphones 10 times more complex, though more customised.

 

I have researched this to death. :LOL:

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