Forum Index » Philosophy & Technique » Minimal Cellphone (the anti-smartphone)


Display Avatars Sort By:
Kenneth Cowan
(zeros) - F

Locale: California
Minimal Cellphone (the anti-smartphone) on 05/05/2011 13:42:59 MDT Print View

My 84 year old dad tells me he wants an Iphone. Since I'm the account admin for our family Verizon plan, I look into it. He's due for an upgrade + $50 credit, so it will cost $150 up front, plus an extra $30/month for the data plan.

Wow! $510 for the first year, $360 for the second. This, on top of his $60/month ($720/year) regular voice plan.

Is there really anything that a "smartphone" does that will make my life that much better? Email can wait til I get to a computer, and in a pinch I can use the crappy web browser on my flip phone. Screw GPS/googlemaps, I'd rather spend a little extra time asking a HUMAN where the best food is when I'm out of town.

And lastly-- for anyone looking for a great minimal cellphone, Verizon offers the Samsung Gusto for cheap. You can even get a pre-paid plan with one. It weighs 3.29oz, has a web browser, speaks the name of the caller in a computer voice, and has unbelievable battery life.

End rant. Have a lovely day folks!


EDIT: The Samsung Gusto's SAR rating is on the low end of the spectrum at .72 watts per kilogram.

Edited by zeros on 05/05/2011 23:02:45 MDT.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Minimal Cellphone (the anti-smartphone) on 05/05/2011 13:47:13 MDT Print View

"Is there really anything that a "smartphone" does that will make my life that much better?"

From the rest of your ran...er note, I take it this was a rhetorical question? ;-)

Kenneth Cowan
(zeros) - F

Locale: California
Re: Re: Minimal Cellphone (the anti-smartphone) on 05/05/2011 14:13:26 MDT Print View

Yes Douglas, I guess it was rhetorical, but do you have any must-have features in mind? Of course, the trail GPS apps would be convenient, but I'd personally rather orient myself with map and compass.

I really am drawn to the iphone but I just cant justify the cost quite yet.

Also, can we assume that the higher bandwidth our 3g-4g-soon to be 10g phones are pulling, the more radiation risk we're enduring?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Minimal Cellphone (the anti-smartphone) on 05/05/2011 14:25:12 MDT Print View

"Also, can we assume that the higher bandwidth our 3g-4g-soon to be 10g phones are pulling, the more radiation risk we're enduring?"

No.

--B.G.--

Kenneth Cowan
(zeros) - F

Locale: California
SAR ratings on 05/05/2011 14:44:06 MDT Print View

Steve Jobs: No interest Reply to Tawkon SAR Meter App
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1369796/Steve-Jobs-personally-rejects-cellphone-radiation-level-app-emailing-makers-interest.html

&

CNET: iPhone 4's SAR higher than iPhone 3GS

I'm not retreating into a bunker any time soon, but these topics seem to be of some concern these days. Any further tech insights on SAR levels would be enlightening.

Edited by zeros on 05/05/2011 14:48:57 MDT.

Dan Durston
(dandydan)

Locale: Cascadia
Voice Plan? on 05/05/2011 21:52:34 MDT Print View

Why is his regular voice plan $60/mth? That's obscene...

Kenneth Cowan
(zeros) - F

Locale: California
Re: Voice Plan? on 05/05/2011 22:59:48 MDT Print View

We split 1400 minutes between 3 people, which works out to ~$60 each. My wife is about to join in and the 4-way split will be about $43/month. Is this really that bad of a deal? Dan, what provider are you with?

Michael Moore
(lilricky) - F
My 2 cents... on 05/06/2011 22:57:19 MDT Print View

$172 for 1400 minutes, means you're paying 12 cents a minute... ouch! Yep, much better plans are out there. My Sprint family plan is 1500 minutes split between 3 people for $75 a month. Might want to call when your contract is up and see if you can do the old "threaten to take your business elsewhere" routine to get that charge down.

Edited by lilricky on 05/06/2011 22:58:03 MDT.

M W
(rcmike) - MLife

Locale: California
Depends on your needs on 05/07/2011 00:45:09 MDT Print View

Is there really anything that a "smartphone" does that will make my life that much better?

In my case, yes, it gives me the freedom to be where I want to be and still take care of business and stay in touch. That doesn't mean that I am on the phone all the time. I actually only have a 700 minute per month plan that I share with my wife and two daughters. We use much more data than voice and can also take advantage of free mobile to mobile calling. When I am home, I don't need to sit in front of my desktop to send email and read BPL articles - I can do that on my phone or iPad. As a matter of fact, I spend far less time in front of my traditional desktop. I find that the smaller smartphone and tablet screens keep me focused since I can't have a bunch of windows open at one time.

Ali e
(barefootnavigator) - F

Locale: Outside
"Minimal Cellphone (the anti-smartphone)" on 05/07/2011 10:58:58 MDT Print View

I would say its a love hate thing. I hate having a cell phone. I use boost mobile month to month with a crackberry, it cost $60 per month plus $5 tax for unlimited everything. The only drawback is I had to pay for my phone, $180. thats $960 per year or $2.63 per day. So for less than the cost of a cup of coffee I am free to do as I please all day long, it has become a mobile office I spend all day every day playing outside or rebuilding my new boat, hiking biking or just sleeping in the park. My semi smart phone has freed me to no longer have to sit in my office waiting for the phone to ring. In less than a year I will be semi retired and so will my phone but for now its my freedom to actually live, feel the sun and enjoi each day to the fullest. Life is short, get out and stay out.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Minimal Cellphone (the anti-smartphone) on 05/07/2011 11:11:16 MDT Print View

Check out Virgin's rates

http://www.virginmobileusa.com/cell-phone-plans/beyond-talk-plans.jsp

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
Split the difference? on 05/07/2011 11:50:37 MDT Print View

You might consider getting the most high-end phone that works with Verizon's pre-paid daily plan. Unfortunately, that's not all that great --- as far as I can tell/guess, it seems like Verizon has decided not to allow higher end cell/smartphones to work on their pre-paid daily plan, perhaps with the idea that folks who want a higher feature phone will be willing to pony up the money for an expensive cell phone addiction/habit.

Still, you can get something with some functionality beyond barebones, and the verizon network works better than most in the backcountry.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Split the difference? on 05/07/2011 13:58:15 MDT Print View

The best thing any kind of phone can do is be turned off.

Corey Downing
(hardcorey) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
No link between cancer and cell phones on 05/07/2011 16:11:28 MDT Print View

The myth that cell phone radiation is creating tumors is very much false. http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/93/3/203.abstract?ijkey=fe4d6f43f440f51426ab0fba45f17afc8d353c06&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha

Smartphones are wonderful but you can still ignore them at will. I have a phone, calendar, email, internet, gps, reading, entertainment, etc. all in my pocket if I want it.

Chris Benson
(roguenode) - F

Locale: Boulder
why on 05/07/2011 16:27:05 MDT Print View

"I really am drawn to the iphone but I just cant justify the cost quite yet."

Since you haven't found a feature or app you really want, what draws you to it?

Christopher Heine
(heine19)

Locale: Colorado
iPhone on 05/07/2011 22:42:45 MDT Print View

I've never once in 4 years thought to myself "man I wish I would have bought something other than this iPhone".

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Re: iPhone on 05/09/2011 11:53:35 MDT Print View

I'm with Chris on this one, there hasn't been any single purchase in the last few years that I've felt was more worth the $.

you also don't have to pay $200+ for an iPhone anymore. Can you get him one of the previous gen. models for $49?

you also fault the iPhone for the $30/month data fee but then say "and in a pinch I can use the crappy web browser on my flip phone." Wouldn't you need data for that?

All I'm saying is that your cost analysis is worse than it really needs to be and you get a LOT more functionality from a smartphone for little to no extra cost.

Kenneth Cowan
(zeros) - F

Locale: California
RE: Chris Benson and Nathan on 05/10/2011 10:04:29 MDT Print View

Thanks for all your insight, folks.

Chris wrote:
"Since you haven't found a feature or app you really want, what draws you to it?"

I'm drawn to the iPhone over the Blackberry or Droids because of their intuitive menus and ease of use.

Nathan wrote:
"you also don't have to pay $200+ for an iPhone anymore. Can you get him one of the previous gen. models for $49?"

Nope, the only one that works on the Verizon network is the current model.

Nathan wrote:
"you also fault the iPhone for the $30/month data fee but then say "and in a pinch I can use the crappy web browser on my flip phone." Wouldn't you need data for that?"

No, i don't need a $30/mo unlimited data plan. The voice plan comes with unlimited texts and something like 20mb data to cover minimal internet browsing.

Edited by zeros on 05/10/2011 10:27:06 MDT.

Kenneth Cowan
(zeros) - F

Locale: California
Michael Whitman and Piper are spot on. on 05/10/2011 10:17:13 MDT Print View

"the freedom to be where I want to be and still take care of business and stay in touch"

"The best thing any kind of phone can do is be turned off."


My intention is to strike some a balance between Michael and Piper's sentiments. Call me Amish, but my intention is to avoid, at all costs, becoming one of these phone zombies we see every day, faces down at little screens, consumed in computer world. I don't see it being much different than the younger kids who walk around staring at a Playstation PSP. I'd personally prefer to bury my nose in a book (or kindle) than point it at a glowing screen of neverending distraction.

But of course, hike your own hike!

I'll probably just wait another year or two until data plans get more affordable.