what makes a smart phone worth the money?

I currently have a crap cell phone and no contract so I’m free to pick what I want next. it’s confusing, but I think if all I want to do is talk & text, a pre-paid phone is the way to go. I can choose from Net10, Tracfone, or Straight Talk.

goodness knows, talk and text is all I NEED. But…what do you do with your smart phone that makes it worth the extra money?

a smart phone looks like FUN but …well, I’m looking for reasons I might need one. :slight_smile:

hope I posted in the right place; I took a shot.

We don’t have a laptop in our family, just a desktop and when the kids are on it, I can use my phone to surf the web, check email, etc. When our computer was in the shop, we could still do “Internet-y” things on our smartphones, so we hardly noticed our computer was not available.

I use it for just about everything. I surf the net on it, talk, text, email, use my Kindle app to read books, watch movies,play chess, listen to music, listen to radio stations on I Heart Radio and iRadioNow, everything…
Not to mention the translator that can translate from English to a few dozen other languages, a turn-by-turn navigation system that you can hook up via an auxiliary cable to your car’s stereo, a flashlight, a calculator, a camera, a video camera, a compass and level…
And I can use it as a storage device to store my photos and manuscripts and documents.

It doesn’t seem like that big a deal, but you can very quickly get used to being able to check your email and surf the web from anywhere. It comes in surprisingly useful. And then you don’t ever want to give up that capability.

I hardly ever talk on the phone. The other day someone borrowed my phone and I didn’t even remember how to manually dial a number!

However, my phone is my calendar, my address book, my to do list, my alarm clock, my notepad, my GPS, my mp3 player, and entertainment when I am waiting for the dang train when they are single-tracking through the Hayward Yard. Also I can use it to settle bets with my boss at lunch. We’ve Got the Beat, Bangles or Go-Go’s?

Also, I can read/send email when I go on vacation.

I have a netbook and mifi so if I ever travel I assume that would be enough - having the internet available to me when I’m not at home is just not something I’m used to.

but I can see how it would be hard to give up once I was.

I was like you for a long time. I didn’t NEED a smartphone, and they were expensive, so- no smartphone. Then I got one, and I would be so sad if it was gone. Fair warning; they are hard to go back from.

I use mine to surf the web generally when I wait in line or something, to check craigslist, check and send email, camera and photo viewer, keep lists. I have measurements of everything in my house so I know when I’m out shopping if something will fit in a space (I’m redecorating). It’s my alarm clock, and a great GPS. I play games on it. It’s my calendar. It’s my address book. I look up facts and answer my kids questions while we’re out*. I no longer worry about losing an ebay auction because I’m away from my computer. I can watch movies and tv shows. It replaced my ipod. And of course, it makes calls and sends and receives texts!

*DO NOT underestimate how awesome it is to have wikipedia at your fingertip at all times.

If you’re like me you’ll often find yourself in a situation where you’re out and you wonder something and desperately need to find out the answer. Or you might have a full four minutes of waiting to see a doctor or catch a bus or something. You’ll want to fill that Angry Birds.

I can believe it; my new iPad grew on me much the same way, and I can only use it with wi-fi!

Personally, my main/only barrier is how little I use the phone in general, and the hefty monthly price tag that comes with being able to use the 3G/4G networks. If it weren’t for those, I can see myself buckling under easily.



It’s easy to get really used to have the internet wherever you are, and being able to just sort of summon knowledge from thin air at any given time.

I text some, do email, read boards (like this one), check IMDB, weather, dictionary, read the New York Times, check stock prices. I use a GPS traffic app to tell me about road hazards and accidents and estimate how long it will take me to get somewhere. I LOVE being able to look anything up at the drop of a hat.

I don’t do any games, music, videos, or really have any other apps (some of them seriously suck memory).

Still, I consider my smart phone WELL worth the monthly cost. (The phone itself was free because I’ve been a Sprint customer for something like 12 years.)

Mine is as good as gold for 2 reasons:

  1. GPS
  2. Tethering. My phone can become a portable wifi or USB-pluggable internet connection ANYWHERE I have 3g/4g data service. It’s gotten me internet for the past 3 days when, otherwise, I wouldn’t have had it (because my LL is a slacker who doesn’t always pay bills on time). It would get me internet if I happened to have a laptop and needed to check something online in my car, for which a smartphone isn’t suitable (anything involving a lot of typing or the need for a larger screen on the road, for instance). It wouldn’t work anywhere I didn’t have data coverage, but I never travel anywhere that doesn’t get data coverage. So that’s a non-factor for me.

There are many smart phone apps that really do make things easier. Some of the things I use frequently:

–online banking. I can transfer money to my kids’ bank accounts from my phone. (and pay my bills even when I’m not near a computer)

–information. I can easily update sport scores, or stock prices (if I cared).

–Travel. There’s the GPS based apps. There’s an App (Uber) that will call a town car for me in several major cities. I also get ferry schedules, and check in for my flights (paperless boarding passes). Find nearby restaurants. Find nearby charging stations for my Volt.

–Fun. I like to see my kids’ photos on instragram. Sometimes play Words with Frineds.

I actually find it a very useful gadget.

What everybody else said.

I just got mine a week ago, before that I had 3G on my phone, but that’s slow and the display sucked.

I have really enjoyed mine. It’s nice to have GPS at my disposal, I’m looking at some cool apps that I want to try when I have time. I have several things on Craigslist right now, so I can work out sales for those when I’m away from a computer.

And they’re not necessarily expensive…mine was only $50 after the rebate; it might not even be the cheapest one available.

I resisted until March of this year.

I use it quite a bit. I use the alarm clock as a timer when I’m cooking. I listen to music, take pictures, talk and text, of course. The navigation is helpful. It’s great for finding a place to eat when I’m out and about. I would not like to be without it now.

Ok, there is ONE thing that I was totally looking forward to when I finally got a smart phone:

Zombies, run!

Haven’t had a chance to try it but some time this week… :smiley:

Oh! And, this doesn’t have to be expensive. I have an unlimited data plan through T-mobile’s 4g pay-as-you-go plan for $30 a month, no contract. You just have to buy the phone upfront (which only cost me $70 for a good mid-range used smartphone on eBay). That $30 a month pays for unlimited texts, 100 talk minutes, and 5 gigabytes of data per month at 4g speeds (although my phone is only capable of 3g, it would get up to 4g if it could). After the 5 gigs mark, they slow the connection down–not sure how far, I’ve never surpassed that mark… although I’m close to 5gigs now, since I watched a lot of youtube videos this weekend (I mean a *real *lot). And I played WoW for a while. But my month will roll over on Wednesday, so it’s no problem.

Anyway. Tethering is awesome, and on this plan with this phone, it does NOT cost me extra. Lots of carriers charge for tethering, but not this plan.

I like the sound of wikipedia “out of thin air” - but a lot of the things mentioned don’t apply to me since I live in a very tiny town, in the middle of Not Much.

this means very little choice for service: Verizon (which usually works) and Viaero (which often doesn’t)

so, it pretty much has to be Verizon. and they are Not Cheap.

Thanks to my smartphone, I got an email about a rather large Xbox live purchase that someone had made using my account. I was able to then phone my bank and Xbox live to lock things down. All this from a local microbrew festival which was great since I really needed a drink or several after finding out my account had been hacked.

Plus the handy bill paying apps and various notepad and cookbook apps that I use for recipes, grocery lists, and odd notions. I’ve got a large amount of audiobooks and kindle books. Listened to as much of the NHL playoffs as was possible on the radio app. Not much for the games, but I can’t deny that it is fun to play scrabble with my best friend from high school who lives in North Carolina.

They certainly aren’t essential, but they are slick and oh so convenient.

Forgot to mention: I do take pictures and videos (especially of my new kitten :slight_smile: ), which I then text or email to my kitten-loving friends. I also carry a regular camera in my purse, but having the camera in hand is very convenient, and I use it a lot.