If you’re a tech/gadget lover, you probably have already picked a smartphone by now. However, being a tech lover, I don’t have a smartphone. Why? Let’s see my reasons:
1. Data plan – Any smartphone you buy in the US from a carrier pretty much must have a data plan attached. I won’t buy an unlocked phone because they cost so much more (even though carriers inflate your smartphone plan to subsidize phone cost), so it’s not like I’ll be getting away with it on WiFi. Plus I have high-speed Internet at home (Comcast) or can access a public WiFi point on my Zune HD for simple browsing and some apps. Though it’d be useful to have dependable Internet connection when I’m out and about, I’m content with typing a memo to remind to look up something later.
2. Smartphone market is still young – Though the smartphone market has grown quickly, and probably won’t stop anytime soon, I want the basic technology to become more standard and better. Right now, as far as a smartphone OS goes, I’m pretty much loving Windows Phone. WebOS is a very close second, and I’m not that fond of Android and iOS outside apps. They’re still growing up, and I’m very curious to see if Windows Phone will get more users on board, and how it might evolve with the next release of Windows after Windows 7.
Hardware wise, there’s many choices. Motorola is only Android, so no. HTC has become primarily Android, and the basic phone is really good, but the camera and sometimes the screen often sucks. Samsung hardware is nice, but they’ve been known to hold back on firmware updates. Apple’s phone is all right, but I’m not a fan of the way the company works and markets, so I don’t think I’ll be a user anytime soon. LG just usually has the worst designs. Blackberries are gimped outside the keyboard and trackball. Now Nokia’s hardware is definitely something I might like, based on their recent N9 phone running Meego. It’s an engineering delight, and seems like awesome quality based on the specs and website’s video. Meego seems all right, but I’m not a code tweaker, so I’d prefer Windows Phone. I want the N9 hardware with Windows Phone. See why I’m waiting?
Stuff like NFC chips, front-facing cameras, waterproof exterior, quality camera lens (it’s not just the megapixels!), and other stuff still isn’t standard in many phones.
3. ‘Dumbphones’ work all right for me – Though a dumbphone may seem cheap, and thus less durable, they can rough it pretty well in my experience. I hear of iPhones or Droids falling and getting cracked screens (because they use glass), but most dumbphones are made of cheap plastic. I guess that kinda helps durability wise. I like durable.
The touchscreen ones mostly use resistive, which aren’t truly finger-friendly, but it’s ok. Camera quality definitely isn’t good, which is why I have my own Canon point-and-shoot. Built-in software is mostly meh of course. Definitely no hopes of great apps, games, or really great utility software. PC syncing software is a mess to deal with, and the Samsung one I use just didn’t work. So I mostly just use my phone straight up for calls and texts. And writing down memos when I’m out. Not so much alarm or calendar features.
4. Risk of getting stolen – Smartphones are what thieves want most. Sure, thieves would probably snatch a dumbphone too, but they’d probably aim around for anyone with a smartphone. It’s like that when you have any nice things on you, but like I said, a smartphone isn’t for everybody so why bother carrying one?
Not to mention there’s less important data on a dumbphone too. Yeah, many smartphones have security solutions and abilities to find it if lost/stolen, back-up data, etc. But most dumbphones barely have any important data to begin with, so it’s not too much of a loss. For us GSM people, yes, it might mean losing text messages you loved, any memos, and crappy phone pics, but I guess I’ll get over it.
That’s pretty much it. A smartphone would be nice to have, and could be very useful for unique utility-apps, but I’ve survived pretty well without them. My decision is based on price, needs, and uncertainty in smartphone choices as of now. Maybe, in a year I might have one, but I’m very content with my Samsung Highlight (on T-Mobile USA).