Shopping for a “Smart” Phone

I don’t own a smart phone; and I do know
that is almost sacrilege. I have looked on in “semi” envy as my sisters discuss
their phones, play with their phones, send texts from their phones, take photos
with their phones and post them directly to Facebook. A “Siri”-like voice directs them as they
drive. They buy accessories for their phones. Everyone’s numbers are stored in
their phones and are called forth in a moment. The family toddlers can be
entertained with downloaded children’s songs and the sisters and the nieces play games like
Words with Friends and Candy Crush Saga.

Their phones are expensive and they
occasionally complain that their contracts are too long (2 years, I think) and,
in addition, they cannot trade-in their phones when they would like to. You can
sort of glimpse the state of their finances by which phone they own (except for
a few who may live beyond their means). The more flush family members and
several of my friends own iPhones, not all at the top of the line, but even so
these phones are considered very desirable. Several of my sisters, some of the
nieces, and some of my other friends own less expensive phones (Samsungs,
Androids for the most part). So I am thinking, finally, about getting a smart

I have proudly hyped the frugal advantages
of owning a “burner” phone (OK, I read too many thrillers). These are very
inexpensive, very low tech, pay-as-you-go phones. When friends or relations sit
around comparing the costs of their phone plans I annoyingly remind them that
my phone costs only $10 a month. However, they know I secretly covet their
phones and long to be initiated into the mysteries of “smartness”, and they
know they don’t covet my phone in the least. In fact my phone dies out
completely with astonishing regularity and must be replaced. The one I bought
this time locks itself and I have to hold the unlock key down aggressively for
quite a while before I can use it. Then, if I don’t hurry, it locks itself
again before I can complete the things I unlocked it in order to do. The techs
were unable to keep my previous number (which I had for 10 years) and so now I
get someone else’s phone messages. I still have not set up my voice mail
because I am not sure how to do it.

On the QT, this past weekend, I took an
hour or so to go play with the smart phones at one of the local Verizon stores.
I liked several of the phones I tried, but I don’t know if any seduced me
enough to pay those large monthly fees.

v  I
did learn that Androids have the best GPS capabilities.

v  I
learned that the Droid Maxx has the longest battery life (48 hours rather than
24) (299.)

v  I
learned that the Samsung Galaxy S4 had both a Qwerty keyboard and a standard
phone keypad (199)

v  I
found I liked the clarity and brightness of the screen on the HTC One (199)

v  I
really liked the (actual, not touch screen) Qwerty keyboard on the front of the
Blackberry 10. (199.)

v  Prices
range from free for the phones that are least desireable (of course) to phones
for 49.99. 199 and 299+. Of course you also have to pay for your calls (that’s
your plan)

v  I
did not even consider iPhones because they are too expensive, although their
allure is great.

v  All
of these phones had 4G LTE.

So for now my goal is to stick with my
current phone until it dies and to set up my voice mail. I will continue to
envy everyone’s “smart” phones, which are rapidly becoming too small for me to
see. This week Samsung announced that they will market a watch phone. I bet no
one over 40 will be buying that. What would happen to the American marketplace
if people decided not to want the next new “smart” phone? I shudder to think.
Every time a new building goes up lately it is either a drug store, or a phone
store (or a bank). Phones are keeping the American economy afloat, it seems. I
suppose I am not doing my part for the economy and that alone would justify the
purchase of a “smart” phone. I’m thinking about it.

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