Smart Phones - Are They Really A Smart Decision
By Samantha Goode
First, there was the standard land line phone system; then came the cell phone - a convenient little
portable item that everyone adopted a "must have" attitude toward. Progress didn't stop there,
however. Now, we have the Smart Phone - the answer to the on-the-go lifestyle that demands
immediate access to whatever electronic needs that we happen to have, in addition to the ability to
phone our family and friends for a chat whenever the whim presents itself.
To be sure, Smart Phones are capable of extraordinary electronic feats, but convenience - especially that
of the technological variety - always comes at a cost, and this one comes with quite a hefty one. The
bottom line is that, if you plan to buy a Smart Phone, then plan on paying a visit to the loan officer of
your local bank on the way to the store. These electronic marvels are designed to bring true computer
capability right to the palm of your hand, but most people will have to put some serious thought into
the type of financial commitment that they'll have to make in order to become the proud owner of a
brand new bouncing baby Smart Phone.
Pros and Cons of Owning a Smart Phone
Just like anything else, Smart Phones have their bright and dark sides and, depending upon how much
you're willing to compromise, they'll either be a great investment for you, or not at all worth the money
that you've invested.
For those who, until now, had been carrying around a mobile phone and PDA, this combines the two
into one unit, without losing any of the capability of either format.
This is definitely a multi-media friendly device, offering the opportunity to enjoy both audio and video
files - or both, if you prefer - without a lot of hoopla.
Cell phone software companies have taken quite kindly to the Smart Phone and are fully supportive of
it when it comes to developing software that's compatible with these units - especially those in the
game and entertainment industries.
If accessories are your thing, then you'll love the number of add-ons that you can purchase to go with
your new Smart Phone - including those which utilize Bluetooth technology.
Unless you have very good vision, you might have trouble reading the screen on the Smart Phone - it's
smaller and the resolution isn't as sharp as that of a Pocket PC.
Text messaging and other text-related capabilities are compromised as a result of the limited text-
entry that's intrinsic to these devices.
Unlike the Pocket PC, Smart Phones are missing some applications that are critical to some users.
Among these are Microsoft products, such as Pocket Excel and Pocket Word.
You may be told that you'll have nationwide coverage, but the reality is that coverage of that type
only includes larger cities with higher populations. As a result, there's quite a menu of non-service areas.
Smart Phone Features
Much like a mini-computer with telephone capability, these devices are often seen as handy little items
for meeting most or all of the needs of those who are on the run, but want to have access to their PC
and phone service, regardless of where they roam.
Cell phone service is certainly one of the major perks of the Smart Phone - complete with voice mail.
Just as in the case of mainstream cell phone varieties, specific service plans can be purchased for these,
depending upon your particular needs and preferences.
Internet connectivity is also an available Smart Phone feature, allowing you to retrieve wireless e-mail
messages and gain access to search engines and other online goodies. Just pop open your flip phone and
jump onto the web.
If you're interested in games, the Smart Phone offers those, as well. A variety of computerized games
can be played - either online or through special software - just as if you were using your home PC.
Office functions, such as certain Windows or other Microsoft programming, are also available,
allowing you to create and store files for future use.
If you're bored and have a bit of extra time on your hands, you can even gain access to online movies
through the video feature that the Smart Phone has to offer. Or, if you prefer, you can listen to your
favorite tunes as a result of the audio features.
Photography is also an option when you invest in a Smart Phone. Just as with the mainstream camera
phones, these devices offer instant pictures that can be viewed on-screen immediately after they're
snapped. These units, however, are more than just cell phone cameras, so if you're looking for
something more, think "Smart Phone".
Smart Phone Pricing
Although these have been compared to PDAs on a certain level, Smart Phones are definitely more
sophisticated - and more compact. As compensation for these conveniences, however, you must be
willing to pay a hefty price. Typically starting at about $600 and ranging into the thousands, Smart
Phones may be all the rage, but if you're planning to buy one simply for the novelty of it all, then you
should save your money and stick with something a bit less progressive.
Keep in mind that additional costs will be incurred in order to establish phone service and gain internet
connectivity. That equates to the price of the unit plus the additional charges for basic services and any
special features that you choose to opt for - all of which can add up to an exorbitant amount of money.
The best way to keep down your expenses is to take the time and effort to do some online research
before you make a commitment to buy a Smart Phone or specific service plan that you'll need in order
to fully utilize all of the features that it offers. By simply typing "smart phone comparison" into the
keyword area of any major search engine, you'll have cost and feature comparison information at your
fingertips, which will help you to determine which one is right for you - if, indeed, any of them are. Is
investing in a Smart Phone a wise decision? Only you can decide.
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