Is My Cell Phone Smart Enough?

Recently, I reached the point that I knew I had to have a smart phone of some sort, ready or not. I’m trying to redesign and update my website and needed to decide if I should make the site itself a mobile-friendly one or if I should have a separate mobile version. I can’t really do either one without having a smart phone to test it on.

So, as a Mac-lover, I went first to my carrier for an iPhone. I had shopped online, comparing all the various plans from the three carriers that offer iPhones. I thought I understood what I was getting into. I mistakenly understood that “Family Plan” and shared minutes meant “shared on everything.” So, the pricing seemed high, but not unreachable. Then I found out how much it would cost for service to two phones. And other expenses I hadn’t factored in. Because the only thing shared is talk time.

After I picked myself up from the floor and prepared to leave — without any iPhones — the nice young salesman said, “Well, come back and see me when you’re ready to do this.” I replied, “I sure will. Along about the 12th of never.”

Are you kidding me? How do people afford the outrageous costs of these gadgets? Especially families who get them for their kids, too.

Oh well, don’t get me started on the problems I have with American value systems. This is about smart phones.

Anyway, I waited about a month to get over my outrage and looked into alternatives. I found a pretty good one. But it has some drawbacks to go with its positive attributes.

I bought an Android phone for the T-Mobile monthly, no-contract system. I was able to get it for a good price through, and have been pleased with its functioning so far. I figured that for my particular usage, it was best to have something I could try first and see if it worked all right.

I was heartened when reading the reviews of the phone. The first review was titled “Who needs an iPhone?” So, after reading that and the other glowing reviews, I gave it a try. As someone who has an iPad, I was pleased to find that I already know how to use an Android phone because its OS operates much like the iOS.

Of course, my issues with getting an iPhone were about the costs involved with the services (including the costs of insuring an expensive phone.) With the T-Mobile service, I get unlimited talk(!), messaging(!) and data(!) for $50 a month. I still think that’s awfully high. But, there’s no contract. The other services cost so much more and the two biggest have no options for unlimited data.

But wait! Before you jump up and run out to get on T-Mobile, investigate further. Look at their coverage areas compared to the others. They are much more limited. You’re probably o.k. within the confines of most cities, but traveling can be a problem. I’m keeping one of my AT&T regular cell phones so that I can be better assured of getting a connection when I need one. So far, I’ve gotten good service for both voice and data in in my area, but I don’t know how far outside the city that extends.

T-Mobile did make sure to warn me before I got their service that their coverage area is far less extensive than AT&T, Verizon or Sprint. But I’d already made the comparison. Do your research. My smart phone is working well for me. It may not serve your needs.

Meanwhile, my new smart phone is plenty smart. If you want one like it, you can get one at Samsung Exhibit II 4G Prepaid Android Phone (T-Mobile)