Smartphones Are They Really Necessary?

by Frugal Brian


It seems like everywhere you look today, people have smartphones. You can find people surfing the Internet, checking email, and sending text messages. Smartphones can be convenient to have, but can come with a hefty price tag. For the everyday person, are smartphones really worth the price?

A smartphone is basically a device that not only allows you to make phone calls, but has other features as well. According the Oxford American Dictionary, a “smartphone” is “a mobile phone that incorporates a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant).” These can vary depending on the brand of phone, but most offer e-mail, instant messaging, Internet capabilities and a personal organizer. Some smartphones can link to your computer, making it easy to upload info to and from your phone, while others allow you to create and edit Microsoft documents while on the go. Others have a built in GPS to help you navigate your way around.

There are also a number of applications that can be downloaded. These can range from personal to business oriented. Smartphones can be used to do your budget, make graphs, or to keep track of your calories. Most also have MP3 players and will allow you to download music as well. 

With all these features, it may seem like such a wonderful all-in-one device is worth it. But is it really worth it? Smartphones are not only more expensive than a regular cellular phone, but you have to pay monthly for a data plan as well. This usually amounts to $30, on average, per month. That’s $360 more per year to be able to get Internet on the go.

Now, I can see if you are a business professional, especially someone that travels a lot for work, how a smartphone can be beneficial to you. You can have your email, business contacts, business files and a contact phone all in the palm of your hand.

If you get lost easily and don’t have a GPS already in your car, a smartphone may be useful. Some smartphones do offer GPS navigation, as well as traffic reports and weather conditions. If you live in a city where it is can be difficult to get places, or you just drive a lot, you might benefit from a smartphone.

If you are one of those people that need to stay in constant contact with the world via Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, or even Instant Messaging, then a smartphone could be something useful to you as well. With a smartphone, you can logon to any of your social networking sites at any time, in any place.

But what if you’re not a business professional? What if you don’t need a GPS system in the palm of your hand? Or what if you don’t need to be connected to millions of people all the time? You could still get a smartphone if you would like. Think of the features that a smartphone offers, and see if it’s worth an extra $360 a year to you. Do you already have Internet at home? Are you satisfied surfing the web at home or at work, or do you need to have it 24-7? Do you need a phone that will count your calories and manage your datebook at the same time?

For many people, most of these features are overkill. Maybe they would use one or two, but it is definitely not necessary for most people to have all of these. As a result, people end up paying more than they really need to, for services they don’t really need or won’t ever use. So you can decide, is a smartphone really worth it?

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Rick at KlipNotes For You December 6, 2011 at 6:41 pm

You are right, not everyone needs a Smartphone. Maybe it is just a fashion statement having the newest and most expensive phone. However, some are great business and personal organizers. Nevertheless, for the average user, most phones are too complex and expensive. Curious, who was it that came up with name Smartphones? They are basically portable and powerful mini-computers, with hundreds of thousands of accessible applications. One of those application being a phone feature – not the other way around. With that said, I am not sure what else they could be called. Good article. Thanks.

Anna Morris April 25, 2012 at 10:43 pm

Very good article. I have been saying this for years. I had my flip phone from 02/2007 until last monday when it finally stopped working to make or receive calls. The whole family kept telling me I needed to get a smart phone and come into the 21st century. Well, I got a great deal at Verizon and got the Droid 4 which arrived yesterday. So far I have been on the phone with them for about 1 hour between last night and this morning. The only things it does is email, text messages, phone calls. I can’t download any kind of music, games, or anything and now Verizon dais it must be the phone and I can exchange it in the store. So getting this smart phone that everyone thought was so great really didnt turn out to be very good idea. I might point out I already got VZ navigator on my flip phone for free so I didnt have to pay for it before getting this smart phone. I think I am going to be exchanging it for a normal simple flip phone like my old one and continue to live in the 21st century without needing to be checking email or be on some social network 24 hours a day.

Melanie October 24, 2012 at 4:14 pm

I have not yet come into the modern world of smart phones. I had a flip phone, and then my last phone was a Samsung Flight II with a slide out keyboard. However, I went ahead and purchased the data plan for my last phone, as I kept accidentally getting on the internet which cost me. As a college student, I have come to see the benefit of having internet. I can often look up things I need to know while waiting in line to have the oil changed, or waiting in a doctor’s office. This saves me time on my assignments later. I am in a teaching program at college and virtually all of my classmates have smartphones. I have come to the conclusion that I really need one of these in the situation in which I find myself. I have a large family and I manage all their appointments, but often am driving while making an appointment and cannot type it in. If I had a smart phone, I could speak it into the phone while driving. Also, I will soon be student teaching and traveling to do so. I also find that my fellow students can get more help quickly to take care of research and assignments because of apps on their smartphones. I now have to wait until the spring in order to be eligible for an upgrade to get a smart phone for 99 cents.

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