Why a smartphone?

I’ve been thinking, recently.

I wouldn’t have replaced my last smartphone, if it wasn’t for a long commute and Audible.

I currently have a fairly good phone, but I talk maybe 5 minutes a month on it. I never send or receive SMS. Data is used, mainly, for downloading new audio books on the move.

In essence, I just need an MP3 player that can play Audible books and podcasts. I could, theoretically, download these at home, before I go to work.

The phone sits on the table at home, until I leave. I then connect the headphones, listen to books/podcasts on the way to work / walking the dog etc. and then, at work, it sits on a corner of my desk, until I go back home.

That would save me 30€ a month on my contract (10GB data, unlimited calls and SMS). An MP3 player would also be a lot cheaper to replace than a smartphone.

Possibly the only thing I would miss is the odd message (Signal) from my other half, when she wants to pick me up from the office or I need to pick something up on the way home…

Conversation 9 comments

  • Jeffery Commaroto

    18 April, 2018 - 8:14 am

    <p>Sounds like you have your answer. Just kill your plan and use the phone as an audio device or sell the phone and grab an iPod Touch or something.</p>

  • Paul Thurrott

    Premium Member
    18 April, 2018 - 8:29 am

    <p>The thing I appreciate here is that you're not openly wondering why anyone would pay for a smartphone. You're wondering, given your personal usage, why you are. </p>

  • offTheRecord

    18 April, 2018 - 9:14 am

    <p>Sort of sounds like monthly cost is an issue. Grab a prepaid AldiTalk SIM (any of the other comparable re-sellers would probably do, also; I just have experience with AldiTalk — which, incidentally, now uses the largest network in Germany after the Telefonica/ePlus merger). The cheapest Internet-Flatrate S plan is only €3.99/month and now comes with 500 MB of high-speed data (technically, it's unlimited, but it's at EDGE speeds after 500 MB, which is still good enough for Google Maps, email, texting and music streaming while out and about). Even though it's the "Internet" plan, you can still make pay-as-you-go phone calls and SMS — which I very rarely do anymore. And now it's good throughout the EU, too — an added bonus.</p><p><br></p><p>I love having a smartphone (currently a cheap, but surprisingly capable, Moto G5 I bought after my Nexus 5X died the Bootloop death) because it gives me all sorts of useful functionality (even if I don't use everything regularly, it's nice having it there when I need it). But like you, I don't use my phone for data-intensive things when I'm away from WiFi and I almost never make phone calls (and lately, I've started using messaging apps (WhatsApp, Skype, etc.) to make voice calls on the rare occasion when I need to since the people I usually would need to talk to also have these apps). The data-intensive downloads (podcasts, mostly) are set to download automatically only over WiFi. I very rarely exceeded my monthly data allotment when it was 150 MB and now it's recently been bumped up to 500 MB for the same price (and you can reset the high-speed data volume if you need to for only €3.00 — which, amazingly, even applies to the 5.5 GB XL plan that costs €14.99; reset it for only €3.00). </p><p><br></p><p>I've never really considered having anything other than a prepaid SIM and would be extremely hard-pressed to justify having a high-priced monthly contract, but I definitely would miss not having a smartphone. </p>

  • arunphilip

    18 April, 2018 - 11:17 am

    <p>Another way to look at it while making your decision is not just what you <em>actually </em>use it for, but what you <em>might </em>use it for. </p><p><br></p><p>Do you anticipate that having a smart phone might help in emergencies? e.g. Navigation if lost while walking, or being able to be contacted by your kid's school in emergencies, or by your <span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); background-color: transparent;">parents/</span>significant other, or you live in an area where tornado/flood warnings matter, etc. </p><p><br></p><p>If your answer to those contingent scenarios are also a "no", then going the route of no smartphone sounds appropriate. </p><p><br></p><p>You also seem to be thinking of removing a smartphone from your life outright. Why not swap it out with a feature phone? They're cheap, still keep you in touch via call/SMS, and have batteries that last longer on standby than a smartphone. You can also use a feature phone as an MP3 player (though I'm not sure of Audible support/podcasts). </p>

  • ErichK

    Premium Member
    18 April, 2018 - 1:15 pm

    <p>I never owned a smart phone until relatively recently because I basically didn't think I needed one. I had a flip/feature phone because mainly I was just concerned about have something to use in an emergency, and the (very) occasional text. Now I have an LG Android Tracfone that only cost me $60, but ironically enough, I like it a lot. For me personally, it's fine. I like the extra capabilities that a smart phone has, even if it's way below a flagship. I guess the point is, it's the cost that has a lot to do with it. I can't say I blame you for not wanting it to eat away at your budget when you hardly talk on it.</p>

  • jimchamplin

    Premium Member
    18 April, 2018 - 3:28 pm

    <p>Personally, I do the majority of my computing on mobile stuff now. I use my iPhone and iPad mini for quite a bit of communication, light writing (with a bluetooth keyboard), and litening to music. I still prefer the PC for longer writing and browsing sessions, and of course for devleopment.</p>

  • Oasis

    Premium Member
    18 April, 2018 - 5:58 pm

    <p> Tracfones are a great option for anyone who doesn't need/want a Smart Phone. I have a hand me down Smart Phone which I haven't figured out what to do with yet(music player) and have used a Tracfone for many years and get more bogus calls than</p><p>anything else but i have it is I am out and about and need to call someone, well if i remember to gather it up on the way out.</p>

  • F4IL

    18 April, 2018 - 7:20 pm

    <p>You can easily terminate your plan and keep using the smartphone as a pocketPC. Since the device is fairly decent, you can keep using it for years to come.</p>

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    04 May, 2018 - 5:42 am

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