The Smartphone Debate

With our return the the US quickly approaching on the horizon and it means I’m looking into everything we need to do including planning our route back to Indiana so we can see friends and family, reserve a moving truck, and new phones for us — it  JP’s current US phone has a cracked screen making it a touch difficult to use.  This means that we’ve begun to talk and deliberate about IF we want to “join the 21st century” and get on the smartphone bandwagon.  There are of course pros and cons — pros include all the apps! (specifically German radio and dictionary access), cons include that whole technology addiction and the whole being constantly connected thing.  That said, I have a feeling we’re going to be upgrading in one way or another… maybe.

The debate got a little bit harder when (on my birthday no less!) Amazon announced their brand new fire phone, because it looks freaking cool so it’s piqued my interest in potentially upgrading (though I’d want to see reviews from people who have used the phone first).  The downside of the phone is that to buy it off contract it is SO expensive.  So I’ve been researching the heck out of other more affordable options.  Though there is a part of me that totally wants to splurge on a fire or iPhone…

When I asked JP what kind of phone he would be interested in phone-wise, and his only requirement is that he wants a full physical keyboard.  He’d be ok with something like our current phones, where you have the touch screen but it flips out to a keyboard.  He’s been pretty non-committal about whether he actually wants the whole smartphone, but then he’ll come out of the blue and say he’d love to be able to stream German radio or have his email.  So I’m thinking a blackberry?

For me I’m thinking about going more in the route of the kind of smartphone that everyone envisions, BUT I really am not a fan of how freaking HUGE some of them are — I want to carry a phone, not a freaking tablet, though I may not win that wone…  Right off the bat when I was chatting with a friend they said that I should get an iPhone for size, BUT, like I mentioned above, I’m not a huge fan of the cost to buy the phone itself.  Also I’m not sure that iOS is the right operating system for me.  I’ve played with iPhones (and iPads) in the past, but wasn’t necessarily wowed by it.  Which means that I’ve been looking at android and windows phones — two operating systems I have NO experience with (which means that I will probably be taking myself to Saturn or Media Markt soon to play with some phones).  I’m leaning more towards android due to it being more streamlined with Google, and being a gmail and drive user this seems like it’s important.  Though in many ways, mostly because I have no real frame o reference, the research on what TO buy is more frustrating than buying a new computer!

All of that said, I’m still at odds about upgrading phone-wise.  I worry about becoming overly-dependent on the phone.  I worry about the possibility of overdoing the social networking.  I worry about a lot of things. Though, I supposed I could just adhere to what my mom always said about the computer growing up: Yes it has games, but this is a TOOL not a TOY, and you should treat it as such.

In the time between, I do have a question for my readers:

If you have a smartphone what do YOU personally like about your model, operating system, etc?  I really am curious!

 

 

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4 comments

  1. As far as phone recommendations go,

    Motorola Moto G

    It’s cheap, got good reviews, and American if that matters in the purchasing criteria etc. Seamless use between Google Services on the computer and the Smartphone. Google Maps and Google Now are amazing must use Google Services .

    Got good reviews for example

    http://www.techradar.com/reviews/phones/mobile-phones/moto-g-1199218/review

    Yes an iPhone looks lovely etc, but yes its expensive and will be upgraded in the next 6 months.

    Amazon Fire phone, new untested, and you are wired into Amazon world, permanently and only for early adopters

    As far as physical keyboards are concerned they are becoming rarer and rarer, however there are keyboard apps that can adapt the keysize etc.

    One other thing, never ever use Media Markt Saturn etc. Overpriced and poor service. Yes you can play with the phones there but thats all you really should do there. Use an online price comparison such as idealo.de

  2. That Firephone is pretttyyyyy.

    I have the Samsung S5. It’s big, but after a while you get used to it. I was an avid Blackberry user, switched to Android, then Apple, and now I’m back to Android. As someone who works on the go, and needs to have a good enough camera to put photos in print in the paper, this phone is amazing. I love that I don’t have to pay for Office, because it means I can actually draft and prepare articles on the go, with the proper formatting instead of having to write it out in an email and hoping I can get to a computer to do the formatting.

    The camera is incredible. As a photographer, I’ve never been more impressed with the camera. The next closest I would say would be the HTC One (M8), but the problem is that it has a fairly low MP count when it’s time to actually utilize on the computer or in print.

    I had my iPhone for three years, and while I absolutely loved everything about it, it definitely was not meeting my needs as a work phone. I’m a HUGE Apple fan, but the iPhone has sadly fallen behind on the market when it comes to it’s capabilities. It used to lead the market, but their OS and features have not been updated enough to compete.

    I also would highly advise not to go the route of the Blackberry. Their phones have fallen way behind in capabilities, and anyone I know who still has one is either fed up with it, or is about to switch. The problem being that their phones started epically failing a few years back and they invested more into making it ‘pretty’ than actually ensuring that what it could do was keeping up with the needs of the corporate world (which they had the lead in for a long time). Being a Canadian company that is not too far away from where I live, I can tell you there have been a lot of problems with them sustaining themselves, and the company has had to lay off a lot of employees in a desperate attempt to fuel funds into people who can design and create a better product. So far, they still have not been successful. Talking with many cell phone company reps, I’ve heard a lot of them say that most people who have bought the Blackberry’s either return them or try to sell them to get out of the contract because they’re just not good phones.

    It’s sad really, considering it was great having a Canadian company at the forefront of one of the largest technological fields in the world, both for pride and for economical reasons, but it’s been going downhill at a slow, but assuredly steady rate.

  3. I haven’t been happy with a phone since my teeny blue samsung flip phone was stolen my sophomore year of college! I only got a smartphone (samsung galaxy s2 or s3, idk) in Jan 2013 and I HATE it. Granted, I would love it if it worked properly- I’ve had issues with crashing, not receiving texts, and just random weird stuff that happens to no one else but me (ie if I’m trying to type a text message when a call comes in, my phone restarts). I can’t afford to outright buy anything and T-Mobile apparently outsources contract writing to Satan so I’m hoping I can convince my mom to buy one for me when I go visit her later this summer :/


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