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Do You Really Need a Smart Phone?

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the all-depends-on-the-context dept.

The Almighty Buck 851

Roblimo writes "My phone is as stupid as a phone can be, but you can drop it or get it wet and it will still work. My cellular cost per month is about $4, on average. I've had a cellular phone longer than most people, and I assure you that a smart phone would not improve my life one bit. You, too, might find that you are just as happy with a stupid phone as with a smart one. If nothing else, you'll save money by dumbing down your phone." I stuck with a dumb phone for a long time, but I admit to loving the versatility of my Android phone, for all its imperfections.

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851 comments

Another way to save money (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38462192)

You can not own a television [theonion.com] .

Shocked. (5, Insightful)

AuralityKev (1356747) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462196)

Man who does not need bells and whistles says bells and whistles not needed. Story at 11.

Re:Shocked. (5, Insightful)

PT_1 (2425848) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462292)

Agreed. For many people, perhaps a dumbed-down phone would save them money. However, for me, for example, the amount of time I save in being able to access email, corporate systems etc., whilst on the move means that the cost and added complexity of a smartphone is more than worth the it.

Re:Shocked. (5, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462670)


Bingo.

To add, I rarely use the actual phone part of my iPhone and my Android set has a data-only plan for VoIP. It's more accurate to say I have a portable computer which has a seldom used telephone app.

Re:Shocked. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38462378)

On the eleven o'clock news tonight, a certain kind of soft drink has been found to be lethal. We won't tell you which one until after sports and the weather.

Re:Shocked. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38462412)

That pretty much sums it up.

"I don’t need a GPS, since I don’t get lost, and I really don’t want to read Web pages or watch movies on a phone."
Well I can say that I'm 20 years old, I would get lost without a GPS, and I always have time to catch up on news or memes or TV shows on my phone.

Re:Shocked. (5, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462508)

Man who does not need bells and whistles says bells and whistles not needed. Story at 11.

Some of us not wanting the bells and whistles aren't doing it out of lack of desire for the bells and whistles, but because the costs of plans are, to our way of thinking, a sudden and large monthly expense.

I've been observing people who make a fraction of the pay I do and they go about with these things, sucking $80/mo on up. Good for them. They don't have all the expenses or it's simply their choice to hand over that kind of money each month. Very few of these people have any genuine need for these things, i.e. not an EMT or Doctor, it's their little luxury.

I was an early adopter of mobile phones, having one back in the 1980's (where a mobile phone had range, though wasn't tiny. After a few phones and plans I grew to despise the 2 year leech-like plans and gave up mobile phones. After a cycling injury I decided to get one again, pay as you go, no contract. It works and keeps me in touch when I want to be. Other times it's turned off to save battery. Maybe some day I'll get a smart one, but for now I'm content and watching things develop in technology and businesses.

Re:Shocked. (4, Insightful)

Idbar (1034346) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462602)

I'm wondering if there would be a similar story some 20+ years ago:
Do you really need a cellphone? And all the advantages of the POTS and wired phone lines. As someone said... 640k ought to be enough for anyone. No idea why people keep upgrading their stuff.

Re:Shocked. (2)

JBMcB (73720) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462662)

I'm willing to spend a few dollars a month for the convenience of a cell phone for as little as I use it. I'm not willing to spend $80 a month on something I use, maybe, half an hour a week.

Re:Shocked. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38462674)

Dumb geek filth fails at reading. Story right now and every single second on Slashdot.

He merely suggested that some who have smart phones might be better off without one even if it's just saving some money.

You should sue your elementary school for failing you.

Re:Shocked. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38462718)

But now I can tell my 26-year old interviewers that Roblimo from Slashdot manages with only a POCP, so that's not enough proof that I'm a dinosaur.

BTW I will be getting my own office, right? Being able to close the door will come in handy when I crank up the volume on my Emerson, Lake, and Palmer CD's.

My Android phone is not a very good phone (1, Interesting)

HBI (604924) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462236)

It's a HTC Desire Z, and while it works just as well as others' Android phones, the touchscreen is overly touchy, the volume isn't all it could be for the weight of the thing, and it requires a case. You couldn't possibly just stick this in a pocket or bag and expect it to survive.

It's nice to get my mail on, I guess, but absent that, I would be totally down on it.

What would I like? How about a Nokia dove bar with bluetooth support and 3g? Nice tactile buttons and you could just throw it places without worrying too much about it.

Re:My Android phone is not a very good phone (2)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462704)

http://www.mobile-phones-uk.org.uk/nokia-c2-01.htm [mobile-phones-uk.org.uk]

There you go (not a recommendation necessarily, just the first thing the search engine produced). If you want something like you described, why don't you buy it? What made you go for the touchscreen Android smartphone if what you wanted was something else?

As someone else said earlier in the thread- man who doesn't want bells and whistles complaining about the cost of bells and whistles. I like the extra things my Android phone does- but if I didn't, I wouldn't have spent the money on it.

TP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38462244)

Well I don't need toilet paper either

Re:TP (1)

jdastrup (1075795) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462534)

Yes, you do.

Slashdot... (5, Funny)

tacarat (696339) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462246)

News for luddites?

Re:Slashdot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38462604)

Slashdot: News for Gray-Bearded Luddites

Why, back in my day, we didn't even have feature phone. Heck, we used rocks and liked it. Of course, they didn't always get good reception, but if I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time, then we could receive the aether waves. But, they didn't have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones...

Re:Slashdot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38462606)

Luddites? Sorry, but simply having every piece of new tech only for the sake of it does not make you a nerd.

Being able to make informed decisions about which new tech to adopt is more of a qualification.

I don't have smart phone yet. Mainly because the data plans are extortionate, severe privacy problems and AFAIK the options, if I'm looking for a phone that gives root out the box and lets me install any os I choose, are extremely limited.

Walled repository choices, locked down hardware and high cost? I think many nerds will say no.

Re:Slashdot... (3, Insightful)

durrr (1316311) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462666)

I wouldn't call myself a luddite but converting to smartphones weren't all the sucess and hype that some made it out to be. It's may do a lot of things with technically good performance but it's not the smooth versatile multitasking of a computer, everything is single-tracked. It doesn't produce beatuiful pictures, just technically good. Changing music is somewhat sluggish. Productive work is not possible. Games are simple at best and calling and text is well, calling and text.
The overall experience was pretty much meh.

I've often thought of doing without (0)

Garybaldy (1233166) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462252)

Just would not work well working on the road a lot. Could go old school and just keep a paper calendar for scheduling. Not sure how i would handle all the work i get via email.

Pointless (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38462254)

This is the most pointless post ever to appear on the /. front page.

Avoided for this reason (5, Insightful)

rbowen (112459) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462268)

I avoided getting a smart phone for a long time, even though I'm surrounded by people with smart phones, because I knew that as soon as I had one it would become indispensable, just like my Visor did, and my Palm, and my iPod, and ... so on.

Now, I have an iPhone, and it's indispensable. Sure, I could manage without it, but I use it all day, every day, and I feel I would be lost without it. And while I know that's an illusion, I also know how my brain works. ... which is why I don't have an iPad yet ...

Re:Avoided for this reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38462448)

I have a Blackberry that I got about 2 years ago after my dumb phone accidentally got left in a snow pile and died. The fact that it got lost and I didn't realize it for over a week shows how much I used it. I now use the Blackberry all the time but rarely for calls. I use it for email, as a music player, remote internet access, forum browser via Tapatalk, and as my alarm clock.

Re:Avoided for this reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38462478)

My smartphone is a iPad replacment... thank you Android, go to hell Apple...

Re:Avoided for this reason (1)

gknoy (899301) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462544)

To be fair, the phone replaces (mostly) your iPod, and perhaps the fact that you find Visor/Palm/Smartphone indispensible is that they are very good tools for whatever it is that you do. Multi-meters are complex things that not everyone needs, but they are certainly the Right Tool for some tasks.

I haven't gotten a smartphone because I'm unwilling to pay the seemingly-exhorbitant price for a plan. I'm tethered to a PC all day anyway, except when I'm driving, and the only person that texts me is my wife, so I don't need a smartphone at home. ;) I have an inkling of how it could be Nice to Have (maps, GPS, find-a-restaurant-near-me, music player, etc), but since I generally don't use any of those _currently_ I tend to see them as nice toys, rather than a slick consolidation of my existing toys.

I'd love to have a wifi-only "smartphone" -- VoIP and texting, an app store, etc... down side is, I'd need a separate phone in the car or something, but it could be a dumb phone w/ bluetooth input.

Re:Avoided for this reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38462624)

The main thing that was of benefit to me was having Google Maps and Yelp available as I was walking around the city. That was while I was living in major urban areas, though, and they were both unfamiliar and welcoming to stream-of-consciousness type of pedestrian life -- e.g., dates would start at a particular place but after that we'd figure things out on-the-fly. Now I live in a smaller city where everyone goes by car, and thus things are either completely planned out beforehand or consist of the same few spots. So I just canceled my smart phone. The music, video, and game playing are still useful but if I ever upgrade (and don't move back to a major city) I'd go with an iPod Touch rather than a smart phone.

No Smart or Dumb Phone (3, Insightful)

Scarletdown (886459) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462276)

This may be a sample size of only one, but I can definitely state that not only do I not need or have a smart phone, I also do not need or have a dumb cell phone.

My landline gets little enough use as it is, and when I need to call outside of my local area, I have more minutes on this prepaid phonecard I keep around than I will ever use.

Re:No Smart or Dumb Phone (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38462362)

Cool story bro.

Re:No Smart or Dumb Phone (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38462476)

aw come on he is lonely obviously... None of his friends or family calls him... So he posts it on the internet! Now those guys *care*.

Re:No Smart or Dumb Phone (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38462430)

Not to mention you might not get good reception, down there in the basement.

For some, yes (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462296)

For others, no.

Re:For some, yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38462652)

For others, no.

We need a new mod option for 'that comment says everything that needs saying, article should now be closed'. Possibly fewer wirds, to fit in with the other mod options though.

Re:For some, yes (5, Funny)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462658)

Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others!

Back to the cave! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38462306)

And if you follow through with your argument you could be as happy living in a cave hunting and fishing. And that might even be true - but for most of us technological advancement is the way to go. Whether it is good in the long term or not, especially with respect to destroying planet Earth, is another question.

I also had a dumb phone for a long time after smart phones made it big, but I just like having access to maps or looking up something you forgot to look up before you left your computer. Then again I'm from Austria, where a 1GB data plan (with 1000 minutes and 1000 texts included) costs around 10 Euros.

I dont have a phone (4, Insightful)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462308)

My N900 portable computer have phone functionality.

Re:I dont have a phone (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38462420)

Hey, MINE TOO! And it sucks at both.

Rob's been reading my posts... (3, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462312)

I like the idea of a smart phone, but I have a greater like for 5 to 10 dollars a month for my mobile expenses. At some point I'll get a smart-ish phone, but only when I get the service I want at a nominal fee without some damn 2 year contract.

Re:Rob's been reading my posts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38462414)

You could try finding gainful employment instead.

Re:without some damn 2 year contract (3, Informative)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462460)

I have an iPhone - wait for it - without a contract. It's on AT&T's GoPhone style pay as you go service.

So once you get past the initial hardware, which then comes down to a typical hardware decision, I get all the fun of a smartphone in places with wifi (work and McDonalds!) but all the low expenses of a prepaid-as-you-go plan.

$100 in phone service lasts me about 4 months.

Re:without some damn 2 year contract (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462590)

I have an iPhone - wait for it - without a contract. It's on AT&T's GoPhone style pay as you go service.

So once you get past the initial hardware, which then comes down to a typical hardware decision, I get all the fun of a smartphone in places with wifi (work and McDonalds!) but all the low expenses of a prepaid-as-you-go plan.

$100 in phone service lasts me about 4 months.

That's the direction I've been figuring I'd go. T-mobile allows you to have a smart phone and buy a week or month of connectivity as you go, sans contract. It looks attractive.

I don't even need a mobile phone (2)

Sentry23 (447266) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462316)

But I still want (and have) a smart phone.
Necessity is not the driver of the smart phone market.

my iphone saved me money (4, Interesting)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462318)

forgot the details but having email on the go allowed me to get some deals before others. like buying a condo/coop in NYC and getting a lot of the bidding done over email on the go

overall i don't use it that much but i'm part of a family plan, it's only $30 a month and the device is free after i sell my old iphone/smartphone after 18-24 months

Me too. (4, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462322)

I agree. I have a dumb 2G phone, and a subnotebook if I want to look at the Web or do email. I'm not interested in trying to do input on a dinky screen. If I want to watch a movie, I have a 42" screen at home for that.

Amusingly, the phone I have has a web browser, but if I try to use it for anything, either Sprint's 2G network times out or the browser crashes.

Nope (3, Interesting)

Veggiesama (1203068) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462324)

Lying in bed and reading web pages without a bulky laptop (or pants, for that matter) is too good to give up.

Seriously ditching my phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38462328)

I'm a programmer and spend a majority of my day sitting at a computer, with internet access. My phone covers the gaps... like when driving between places with internet service. I'm spending $800 a year to bar-check arguments on wikipedia.

I am giving real consideration to dropping my smartphone for a pay as you go phone for car issues emergencies etc and enjoying the simplier life.

I don't think I've ever realized any value checking into four square, tweeting, facebooking, or reading my email in the few hour interludes between regular internet access points.

Hurrrr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38462332)

Need? No. Want? Yes.

Next.

No, I don't. (1)

Cantide (743407) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462334)

I just want one. It's a nice quality of life increase to be able to do Computer Things with something I have in my pocket. That's it.

i want to go back... but can't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38462336)

Anymore... there is WAY to much personal info floating around... i really really would love to go back to a dumbphone... or maybe back to a regular blackberry from iphone... phone/txt/email.... thats it... i don't play games and do funny things with my phone, i'm in front of computer all day anyway. And with the $800 i save a year... i can go down to miami music fest drop some E and go nuts!!!

Necessities often create themselves (5, Insightful)

allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462342)

As with most things, you only need a smartphone once you have it.

Many smartphone alternatives (5, Informative)

Mean Variance (913229) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462344)

There are many alternatives besides the premium plans and phones (iPhone, high end Android).

T-Mobile via WalMart: Android phone for less than $200. 100 mins talk, unlimited data and text for $30/mo.

Pageplus: Bring your own CDMA phone. My kid has a Palm Pixi. If you don't abuse data or use wifi for data, it's cheap.

iPod Touch: That's the way I went. I have a cheap prepaid phone that costs less than $10/mo for my light usage of calls and texts. My iPod is in a wifi zone much of the time where I can leverage apps including free texting.

I'm on the waiting list for Republic Wireless who is trying an iteresting business model for $20/mo. The phone has to have a home zone of wifi. When wifi is available, it uses it. Otherwise data will be used. The phone is a basic Android.

It just takes a little effort and research.

I'm amazed at what people will pay for iPhone plans. Some use the value, but I know plenty who still just use it to call and text mostly paying almost $100/mo.

Re:Many smartphone alternatives (1)

gknoy (899301) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462594)

I wish I had mod points for you; thanks for the informative post!

Smartphones save money (1)

iONiUM (530420) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462346)

With a smartphone and a data plan you can quickly determine whether or not the store you are at has the best deal for an item, and if it doesn't, where you could get a better deal. And, it's not always something you can plan ahead for (i.e. you need to look it up while you're out, or it would cost more to go home and look it up in gas/travel than just doing it right there).

So I don't know, I find it saves me money quite a lot.

Opposite (5, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462350)

I'm not actually sure if I actually need a phone at all. I spend several orders of magnitude more time on my phone doing other stuff (email, listening to podcasts, general web browsing, GPS navigation, etc) then I do actually using it as a phone.

As such, I'd lose the "phone" long before I lost the "smart".

2G motorola (1)

SuperTechnoNerd (964528) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462356)

I have a old 2G motorola phone I have had for years, that has been to hell and back. dropped, left in the car to freeze, its got scratches all over it and the keys are worn. The only way you'll take it from me is if you pry it out of my hands after i'm dead. Honestly it serves its purpose well, I can text and talk, it's cheap and I find I have no need for a smartphone. (No bells and whistles for me)
Yet.

Can I bum and app? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38462358)

I still have a dumb phone. If I ever need any of the bells and whistles I just ask a friend or stranger. Most people are usually happy to whip out their shiny new phone to help you out.

Nail polish (1)

sanchom (1681398) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462366)

I agree. Most pople have been convinced they need smart phones not from well reasoned needs and priorities, but from external marketing and the desire to keep up with the joneses.

There's a tumbler highlighting this: http://wearentreallythe99percent.tumblr.com/ [tumblr.com] . It's a bunch of people saying they can't afford stuff, but the pictures are taken with high end smart phones.

Yes, you can love your smart phone. I like mine. But I'll never say I need it, and it will be one of the first things to go if I'm in a bind for money.

Re:Nail polish (2)

sanchom (1681398) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462390)

Oops! Nail polish was supposed to reference the fact that nail polish sales go up when the economy tanks because people are looking for cheaper ways to brighten up their lives.

He never talks on the phone, either (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38462368)

He says at the bottom of the article that he pays 10 cents / minute at Boost Mobile, and his average costs is $4/month. Meaning he only uses the phone 24 minutes a month. That's, like, not at all. He's wildly out of the mainstream.

no need for a cell phone (5, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462372)

I don't feel any need to own a cell phone, smart or dumb. I have a landline at home. I have a landline at work. I don't need to talk to people on the phone when I'm in my car (and I don't want to endanger myself or others by doing it when I'm driving). I don't need to talk to people on the phone when I'm walking down the street, or shopping, or hiking or riding my bike.

Re:no need for a cell phone (2)

kw008 (1614279) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462616)

I can second not needing any cell phone. I had one for a while and the main usage was tether/ball & chain/leash. (What time are you coming home? Can you pick up some from the store?) But, living & working in Silicon Valley, you should see some of the funny looks I get when I say I don't have a cell. It causes most people to go a bit blank and not say anything for several seconds. Great fun.

Dumb phone with tethering? (1)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462374)

I'd probably be interested in a dumb phone that could do reliable bluetooth tethering with an iPad or Macbook via Virgin Mobile. My Optimus V does that, and for the time being there's been no blockages on my tethered access. Unlimited 3G (so far) for $25/mo.

Need, No. Want? Yes. (4, Insightful)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462376)

I'm one for distinguishing between 'needs' and 'wants'. The thing to realize is that if you can afford it, fulfilling your 'wants' is a valid exercise, it's what drives like 90% of our economy today.

I had a simple cell phone for years - now I more want a Pad type device that can also act as a phone via bluetooth. Is it a need? Heck, I technically don't need a cell phone in the first place, though a basic plan today is cheaper than the landlines, especially when you figure all my family are long distance at the moment.

Totally agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38462384)

I am totally with you on this! I am using my dumb phone (Sony Ericsson) since past 8 years and averaging about $8 per month. Since I am software developer I am in front of the big screen all the time and don't need smartphone (and the expense). But if you are a road warrior or need to do lot of private stuff while at work, then smartphone make lot of sense. So take you pick! But for most populace it's just another toy to pass their idle life ;-)

Come again? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38462386)

My smart phone cost 50 EUR (no lock, no contract) plus 10 EUR for the SD card and my monthly cost is whatever I use the phone for (pay as you go, 9ct per minute or SMS). I can get 200MB 3G data for 10 EUR, but I don't need it, so I don't pay for that.

Where is this $4/mo plan? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38462398)

Seriously? where can one get a plan that cheap? probably not in the USA.

Hmmm (2)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462416)

I want to say as a programmer, yes.

However, most of the smart-phones currently being offered are kind of frightful for programming purposes. See, it's the whole tethering aspect which appeals to me, and it's the one thing that I seem to have to most difficulty getting my smart-phone to actually do.

Which brings me to my current project -> getting my Motorola phone to talk to my PC. I'm working on getting the cloak, sacrificial alter, and goat necessary to make this work, only it's on back order because of the holidays.

need vs want (2)

pulse2600 (625694) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462418)

Most people don't NEED a smartphone. However they WANT a smartphone. Most people also don't know the difference between the two. When enough people have them, the carriers will convince/dictate to you that you NEED a smartphone too. When plain old device service (PODS) is discontinued by the carriers, you will not have a choice but to have a smartphone.


BTW, I claim patent, copyright, and trademark on that acronym. I will sue everyone and Steve Jobs' corpse for 1 Billion dollars if you do not pay my license fee for using that acronym. Even if you are quoting me, you violate the EULA for my acronym.

Re:need vs want (1)

pulse2600 (625694) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462502)

PS I also own the rights to the acronym Plain Old Only a Phone Service (POOPS). So don't even try it...

Opposite (1)

jbov (2202938) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462702)

I'm the opposite. I loathe smart phones. I always have a notebook and Internet access.

However, it isn't long before someone complains that they can't post to their blog, or upload photos to their forum, or remove items from their cart, etc... from their "smart phone". Now I need them just to see how web apps function on them. I long for the days when my only worry was IE compatibility.

Stupid Phone (2)

nufrosty (1569835) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462426)

I had a fairly stupid phone for a long time. Up until about 3 months ago. I would plan ahead using google maps or use my GPS when travelling. However, that doesn't help much when you are walking around a new city. Now that I have a semi-smart phone (BB), planning ahead becomes less necessary and there isn't much risk of having to ask people in a bad (or perhaps bad) neighborhood for directions.

To each their own. You can certainly live without, but it seems like a philosophical stance against technology. Seems like the OP doesn't travel much.

$4/month? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38462434)

I call bullshit. $4 per month for anything more than an unused Tracphone is BS>

Stupid claim (4, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462454)

"I assure you a smart phone would not improve my life one bit".

Sorry, but that statement is frankly idiotic. You have NEVER needed a map? Yeah right.

There are a thousand other little ways in which a smartphone improves your life, that's just the most obvious...

Also, most smart phones can be dropped or even accidentally put in water with the same survival rate as your dumb phone.

I can totally understand someone simply not wanting much of a monthly bill, but lets not get absurd about there being no tradeoff for going dumb.

Semi loving my Dumb Phone (1)

SINternet (1194899) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462456)

I could argue that I have Internet at work and home to whats the point but also how my life was much QUIETER and simpler when I didn't have a phone. Seriously thinking of pitching it altogether. I had a Motorola Droid (original) for a little more than a year and then SMASHED the damn thing and rolled back to a standard phone. I have not regretted the move back. SIN

Water? Pshaw. (5, Informative)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462458)

My phone is as stupid as a phone can be, but you can drop it or get it wet and it will still work.

My two-year-old dropped my iPhone 3gs in the dog's water bowl. From the time I heard the *ploink*, realized what I had heard, and ran to the kitchen and pulled out the phone out, it was completely submerged in disgusting dog water for at least 15-20 seconds.

The touch screen was so wet that I couldn't swipe to unlock in order to power down. The phone was on at least another 1-2 minutes. I finally turned it off (obviously can't pull the battery with an iPhone) and let it dry out for a couple days. On day 2, I put it in a ziploc baggie with some silica gel packets. During the drying process it would occasionally--randomly!--turn itself on with no interaction from me.

After 2 days of drying, it was good as new. Fully functional, no visible damage, screen fine, touch response fine, etc.

I was very impressed.

Value of a Smart Phone (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38462464)

Out with friends, "Who was that actress who was in that 80s movie about the girl who dresses as a guy?"

"Joyce Hyser in 'Just One of the Guys'"

Thank you Google. Phone has paid for itself.

Get a smart phone already (1)

Tikkun (992269) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462468)

Seriously. It will change your life. So many crappy things in life are made simple and easy by owning one. It's worth the $80-$100 a month you pay for service.

What a worthless fucking post. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38462482)

Seriously. Is this what we're reduced to now? Nobody gives a shit if you don't want a phone with more features. Now fuck off.

Nobody calls roblimo... (0)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462486)

$4.00 a month is a complete lie unless he get's no phone calls at all. the CHEAPEST prepaid plan is $10.00 a month for minutes that slowly deteriorate or requires a "reup" to keep the number active. and this is for such a miniscule number of minutes it's ridiculous.

I burn through at least 300 minutes a day on the cellphone with tech support or customer support. Plus the smartphone does far more as well as let's me process credit card payments from the customer, pull up documents, etc... I can invoice a client and send them the invoice right from my phone while I stand there, or send them a PAID invoice if they run their credit card. All with that little device in my pocket.

I'm guessing that RobLimo is living off of the Slashdot riches because he can't be working with a $4.00 a month cellphone bill.

Re:Nobody calls roblimo... (1)

jdastrup (1075795) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462688)

Virgin Mobile has a plan for $20 every three months. Hard to find on their website, but it's there. More than $4 (was he talking $USD?), but less than $10.

Money saver (1)

Clsid (564627) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462490)

Sure you can save money by using a dumb phone, but I work in construction and I always find an use to having a camera with me, sending those pictures by e-mail, as well as being able to check e-mail, checking construction materials specifications on-site, having Excel budget sheets with me, payroll info. Let's not forget how effective SMS/Blackberry Messenger/WhatsApp can be for an organization to pass information along very quick, or in a bank where they don't allow people to talk over a cellphone.

In short, I'm a sucker for smartphones since they have really made my job way more efficient, and I like the feeling of having all my information whenever I want to. Oh, and for me, the phone replaced the laptop for movie watching on long trips.

Things I don't need: continued (5, Insightful)

spacepimp (664856) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462496)

A car. I could quit my job, or bike to work and arrive a sweaty mess, or move to a city, or take mass transit for an hour vs 25 minutes of commute. A radio. Music is a luxury nothing more. A home phone. People can write letters like we used to did in my days as a kid. A TV. News is only entertainment and the entertainment isn't even entertaining. Electric lights. Candles work, and who needs to be up after dark falls? Plumbing. There's an outhouse down the block. None of these are necessities, unless you want to have a career. Personally my Job mandates I have a smartphone. (IT). So I need one, as without one, I wouldn't be able to afford food, shelter and clothing right now. Past that there is no place for a Smart Phone on Maslow's hierarchy of needs unless it helps to achieve one or more of them. A cell phone is not very useful when what you need is clean drinking water, but then again not much is.

Do you really need a Freudian slip ? (5, Funny)

billcopc (196330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462518)

Replace "phone" with "vagina" in the summary, and bask in my glorious wisdom.

Hey, I don't need expensive hoppy microbrews in my beer fridge, but that doesn't mean I'm going to replace my premium beer with cheap megaswill. If luddites are happy being luddites, good for THEM. Also, get the fuck off my internets.

How do you spend $4 a month? (2)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462526)

How do you spend only $4 a month?

For that price, I might actually get a cell phone.

About those Android phone imperfections... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38462532)

Does it make you feel needed?
Can you say Tamagotchi?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamagotchi

The secret is you can never go back... (3, Interesting)

joshamania (32599) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462536)

I did the dumb phone thing for quite a while a couple of years back. I'm not a huge phone talker and i'd use a couple hundred minutes a month. I bought a tracphone for $20 and loaded minutes on it at the rate of about $20-30 a month. If I lost the phone...who cares?

But when I got my current phone...Verizon/Incredible...can't go back. $120 a month easy...I'm getting murdered on that...my biggest single monthly expense. I'll still pay. I'm a sucker, but it just keeps doing way cool shit. This morning I used google navigate to get to a service call at a client i'd never visited. When I pulled into their parking lot, I look down at my phone and there's a picture of g street view of exactly what I'm looking at out the windshield of my car. It was kinda surreal. And worth every penny.

PDA first, phone second (1)

csnydermvpsoft (596111) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462540)

I've gotten used to carrying a PDA - starting with various Palms (V, Z72, TX, and others I'm forgetting), then a Nokia N800, and finally an Android phone. I don't need a good cell phone - I have a much more ergonomic phone at my desk and a decent landline (VOIP wholesale, very cheap) at home, so I really only need a cell phone for emergencies and occasional use. For me, having a smartphone allows me to carry one less device in my pocket.

The main problem is the cell plan. I'm on an IBM employee plan with AT&T, which gives my wife and I a good discount. Even so, it's too expensive for the amount of use we have - and we don't have data or texting. When our current contract with AT&T is up, I'm looking forward to switching to a carrier - such as Ting or Republic Wireless - that's better suited for our usage patterns. We'll be able to get voice, data and texting for less money than we're spending for voice alone right now.

the "need" comes with the usage (1)

NoZart (961808) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462542)

i opposed smartphones for a long time. I got my first one last year. After choking it with silly apps in the first few weeks, some applications condensed out of it which i do not want to live without anymore. I now have a fake tilt shift cam, a nice reminder system, a remote for my HTPC, a mobile music player and a webbrowser on the go in one device....

Smartphones vs. featurephones are about the same as color TV vs. monochrome TV: sure you don't need it, but after a while you do not want the "old" tech anymore.:

I'm downgrading. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38462558)

I've owned and used Iphone, Android and WebOS smartphones, and use them heavily, lately an Android HTC Incredible. I'm thinking about chucking the whole bag and going back to voice + SMS. My wife has just done this, in part because her Palm Pixi was unusably buggy hardware at 1.7 years age.

The alternative option: Nokia 1616. In the US, it's $20 and can be operated with unlimited SMS and no contract for $15/month on T mobile. This is an annual Total Cost of Ownership of 10% of a smartphone if you finish the contract and some 5% if terminate early.

I look at it this way: while software is moving towards many pieces loosely joined as the paridigm for success, we're going the opposite route for hardware. The Phone as the mainframe of personal gadgetry. Screw that.

So what do I give up? Not much. I'll keep the smartphones as wifi devices, and I'll likely keep my 4G wifi hotspot, which means I'm not actually losing anything. However, I'm at radically lower costs, and I'm not beholden to a $1000 device that can't get wet, dropped, or crushed. If my phone gets trashed, I can be up and running the same day for $20 dollars. I also lower my surveillance and data retention profile, which is something I value. Less carrier malware or keyloggers for me, thanks.

Best compromise: (3, Interesting)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462572)

A simple android phone without a data plan is a very nice compromise.

At home using WiFi it synchs with gmail contacts and calender. Thus even on the road all the contact info is available. Reminders and alarm clocks with multiple alarms work. Cheap 5$ apps like Co-Pilot gives you some GPS functionality, directions etc. (Co-Pilot takes a while to get find the satellite and calculate current position, after that it is not too bad). Some simple games, good storage for lots of music and photos etc.

But the best feature is the Wi-fi calling. Most cell companies charge you air-time minutes even if you use the Wi-Fi calling. But that is home base minutes. Not roaming, not interntional. So if you are on a cruise ship or a foreign country with cyber cafe, you can save a bundle on international calls. Cruise ships typically charge 50$ for internet vs $3.95 a minute for cell phone call. International roaming is outrageous. Most foreign cyber cafes give you internet access at about 1$ per hour.

camera, putty, mp3 player (1)

Ceriel Nosforit (682174) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462576)

I need a camera and an MP3 player and I need putty so that I can idle on IRC anywhere, any time. My phone happens to do all of those things, meaning I only need my keys and my wallet in addition when I go anywhere. Anywhere, except space and deep underground since it also has GPS. I can for example listen to internet radio in the wilderness of Lapland if I just climb a mountain with a view.

I think the issue here is whether or not you know how to utilize your smart-phone effectively. Obviously if you're in the Lapland wilderness you should should be listening to the profound silence and not the latest Minecraft webcast.
You can use your smart-phone for reading bar codes and all those fancy web things. When HTML5 and geo-awareness finds its killer app, it'll be like you have a new telepathic sense of your surroundings.

see more the phone (0)

infashion2011 (2332952) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462582)

see more the phone,find the discount http://infashion2011.com/ [infashion2011.com]

Dumbphone (1)

Muramas95 (2459776) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462586)

I call them Dumb-phones

Smart Phone: Brain Devourer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38462608)

My fear is that when Skynet takes over, smart phones will consume the brains of their operators.

Need? Yup. (3, Interesting)

miltonw (892065) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462626)

Major freeway tie-up when I needed to catch a plane. Smartphone got me there.
Big problem at work and not near home or work. Smartphone to VPN, ssh and solve it quickly.
200 passwords to keep track of. Smartphone does it.

Dumbphone wouldn't work for any of that.

No, but... (1)

oldmac31310 (1845668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462632)

I'd like to have one but can't afford one! Perhaps Roblimo could be so kinds as to buy me one. No?

Re:No, but... (1)

oldmac31310 (1845668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462654)

Gah! I meant 'kind'.

Some need a phone, some a PDA, some (me) both (4, Insightful)

bradgoodman (964302) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462644)

I've been using PDAs probably longer than I've been carrying around a mobile phone. For me, my phone is a PDA first, and a phone second. (Far second). I'd even catagorize it as a "communications device" far above a "telephone" - after all, I use email, web, SMS and even Facebook more than I use the voice-telephone.

So if you want to argue that "people don't need smartphones" - I find it kind of nonsensical. If I had to give-up one major feature of my "smartphone", it would probably be the "telephone" piece. If I were to rate in order of importance what I use my iPhone for, I'd have to say:

- Calendar (Shared and synced)

- Notes (Everything from gift ideas, to what kind of light bulbs I have in my house. Some of my notes I've been maintaining and using for YEARS).

- Email

- SMS

- GPS

- Camera

- Games & Entertainment (Yeah - hate to say it - but I kill a LOT of spare time with my iPhone!)

- Facebook

- Mobile Web (Hate to admit it, but the "experience" is still lousy on a small screen)

- Misc. productivity apps

Oh yea...and..

- Telephone

Not necessarily (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462696)

I have an iPhone 4 because my work provides it. I'm on call, and I can usually handle tricky situations remotely, even if I'm not someplace that has a computer I can use. Before I got placed on call, I used a Tracfone. We had one for me, my wife, and our two kids. We had a family plan that only cost us $30 a month, and if the kids wanted more talk time, they could pay $10 to get 100 minutes, but that was their responsibility, so I never had to face overage charges.

Wish this comparison would stop (1)

Demoknight (66150) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462700)

They are advanced multipurpose computers with 4" touchscreens.

"phones" pshhh

Sometimes it saves money and frustration (5, Interesting)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | more than 2 years ago | (#38462706)

I had a choice: Buy a $200 bagpipe tuner (the cheap chromatic tuners are all equal tempered, and thus don't work for just-tempered instruments like the great highland bagpipe), and a ~$100 GPS and a $100 ipod and a $20 metronome... or buy one android phone, install gStrings, mobile metronome and PowerAmp (under $10 total) and get more total functionality for the same overall price. That's ignoring the phone aspect, obviously. And the camera. And the e-mail. And the text messaging with a full dvorak keyboard. And the mobile web browser...
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