Sunday, March 21, 2010

Do I Really Need a New Phone?

by Leann

The contract on my cell phone service has been up for some time and I've done nothing. I've been doing nothing about a lot of things lately, but that's another blog. But if you love college hoops like I do, you might have noticed that every other commercial is for cell phones or cell phone service.

Do I want a phone that turns into a television? Will that be the next bad thing on the highway after texting while driving? I'm thinking yes. So that's easy. No phone that becomes a TV. And i-phones get very high ratings in the magazine that rates such things, and yet my son, my daughter and everyone I know who owns one, have had problems where they must contact Apple or their wireless server when it won't work. You cannot check batteries or anything else. Do I want that problem in my life? Um ...no.

Do I need a keyboard on my phone? An itsy-bitsy cute little keyboard so my phone can become an ultra-mini computer? I do have small fingers, so it might be good for me, but I'm tied to a keyboard much of the time as a writer. And would I be tempted to whip that thing out in the supermarket and start a new chapter of my work in progress? Oh, and then start cursing when itsy-bitsy keyboard doesn't seem so cute. That could draw stares--or a security guard. Ix-nay on the keyboard phone, then.

Video camera phone. I can already take 15 second videos with the phone I have now and I never use that feature. After all, if you have something that should be captured in a 15 second time span, chances are, at least for me, by the time I figure out how to access the video feature, those 15 seconds are ancient history. Okay, no need to ponder that option unless it's one touch, one hour video. (I'd still need several minutes to even find that one frickin' button.

Camera phone. My current cell phone does take awesome pictures and it's a 3.1 megapixel phone. Listen to me. Acting like I have a clue what a megapixel is. But now the new camera phones have FIVE megapixels and that is so tempting. But is 5 THAT much better than 3.1? I have absolutely no clue. This would require research. And is one of those things I don't care to do. But if I don't, the salesman at the cell phone store will have me buying 5 when 3.1 is probably enough.

Do you see how confused I am? Do I truly need a new phone just because there are so many more bells and whistles out there? The only reason I can think of is because my heroine has a new cell phone--one she can hardly figure out. Do I need to do the research? Will I become so far behind the latest wave of technology if I keep doing nothing about my ANCIENT three-year-old cell phone?

Help!

29 comments:

Andrea C. said...

My husband is a total tech-geek and this has been my experience with all technology (including cell phones): I never think I need it. I usually don't even want it. Then my husband gets it for me and I love it and don't want to be without it again. This is totally the case with my DVR (basically TIVO), wireless internet, and, recently, my cell phone. So, I think if you really don't want it stand your ground, because if you give in you may change your mind! :)

Mason Canyon said...

Sounds like we're in the same boat. My contract has been out for about two years and I keep thinking I need to update my phone. I don't need all the bells and whistles. However, I can't get a new battery for my phone and the charge on my old one won't hold up as long as it use to. My biggest problem is the size of the keys and the display. Old age works havoc on the eyes. Good luck. Looking forward to seeing your solution.

Vicki said...

I totally feel your pain! My husband likes to get new phones whenever the contracts expire, but I hate it. First, I hate change in general. It takes me long enough to get used to the new phone and I don't want to learn how to use another one. Secondly, I always go for the basic phone. Mine makes and receives calls and takes pics, but I don't need anything else. I don't even have it on during week days because I teach and I can't have it going off during class, so it's off until I leave school for the day. Think about how much you really use it now. Good luck with the search!

Dru said...

Manufacturers know how to get us. By the time we walk out the store with our newfangled cell phone, within 6 months the phone is obsolete.

The problem becomes when the cell phone needs repair and/or parts and it is no longer available.

I wanted a bare-bones phone too, but now that I can access my emails, Facebook, Twitter in addition to making and receiving calls and texts, I don't think I can live without it, that is if I remember to bring the cell phone when I leave the house.

signlady217 said...

Hey, don't ask my opinion. I don't own a cell phone. So far, I haven't really needed one, either. But if I get one, I do think it will end up being one of those "How did I ever live without it?" things.

Leann Sweeney said...

You all are helping me, believe it or not. The worst thing about my phone is that all the beautiful pictures I take that I can hardly see! Yes, old age is a major factor here. Sigh.

Mare F said...

I'm afraid I'll be of no help to you here. I have a 3 year old Trac Phone I took under duress that is virtually never charged. Good luck with your decision though....it sounds a bit of a nightmare.

CindyD said...

We have a cell phone mostly for emergencies. We asked Verizon for the senior citizen phone, and got one with larger buttons that doesn't have a camera and it suits us just fine.

Linda said...

I have a Trac Phone. It's cheap, easy to use. The only people who have the number is my husband and my mother. I have the year card, so I know that I don't need to do anything more to the phone (add minutes) until Dec 20 of 2010. At that time, I'll buy another year card. I like having it if there is an emergency, and the convenience of making calls from places other than just home. I find that my friends who now have I-Phones, can't stop looking at them, even when we are having lunch together. They get out the I-Phones and check e-mail, find pictures on it to show me, etc. It's like they can't get away from them even for just an hour while we are enjoying lunch. I find it very annoying.

Leann Sweeney said...

My phone needs are fairly simple--but the camera IS important. I drive into Houston once a week and come home late through one dicey neighborhood. I'm glad I have my phone with me. And I have used the roadside assistance three different times. Ran out of gas, locked keys in the car, that kind of STUPID stuff!! Maybe I just need to go to the store and see what features fit my needs. Sigh.

NoraA said...

I have the LG Voyager... as close to a "smart phone" as I could get w/o paying extra for internet service or texting. It was discontinued 6 months after I got it..

Now to get the upgrade/replacement for my phone they want me to pay $9.95 a month more for the services I don't use just to get a better camera and a flash. I intend to file a complaint with the BBB and NYC's complaint lines... If you don't need more features and you are happy with your current phone... Keep it.

Shel said...

I'm a gadget person. I love new phones. I love new tech. in general. So, I'm probably not going to help you much either. If you use your camera; and the pictures are too small for you to see properly, then go for one with both more megapixels (and thus higher resolution on the pictures), and a larger screen size. Now, the problem is going to become if you can get those features on a phone without all the other stuff you don't want added in!

Jeanne C. said...

I'm still using a pink razor from about 3 or 4 years ago. But my son recently got a Droid, and when I'm eligible for an upgrade, I am SO going to get myself one. I didn't think I would need something that techy, but the things that phone can do are amazing.

Heather Webber said...

My phone is so old, and I love it. I know how to use it, all the applications on it, and I would hate to have to change it! I would have to go kicking and screaming to get a new one.

Jan said...

We have to replace my husband's 5-year old phone, so I feel the pain. I have a Samsung Propel, takes decent photos and I can see them. I'm the tech geek in the house so I can't live without my qwerty keyboard for texting. Which I do. A lot. I'm worse than a teenager.

Mary Jane Maffini said...

When you factor in the pricing plans and all their variations, you need a PhD to make this decision. I'm thinking about going back to a tin can and a string!

Ingrid King said...

It took me a long time to give up my regular phone and get a smart phone (BlackBerry) - now I can't imagine how I ever functioned without it (and now I also know why they call them Crackberries....). I don't use half the features it comes with, I rarely text (I'm too slow at it!), but I love being able to check my e-mail when I'm away from the computer, and accessing the internet if I need to. It has actually made my life less stressful.



I looked at iPhones but hated the touch screen keyboard.

Kate Collins said...

I was having a terrible time texting on my teensy phone, so I checked Amazon and found a super deal on a Samsung Eternity (obsolete now, of course)going thru my current carrier -- you know, the one with hardly any color on the map? I love the Samsung, though. It has a virtual keyboard with larger letters, and when you turn it sideways, it turns too. Cool. Also takes amazing pics. I use my phone for 1. calls, 2. texts, 3 some pics. Anything else is unnecesary. My advice is to make a list of what you really need it for, then check the ratings and reviews on line and pick from there.

Lover of Books said...

See I want a Droid phone but no one offers them without the internet. I don't need it. A lot of places have wifi and I can access it that way. Why can't people be complient? I can buy the phone myself but I feel that's a pain. I won't use that part of the service since you can do wifi. Oh, well, if we get me a Droid phone, it'll be with a different company, I hope I can keep my number as well as no more internet at home. But that's a different story. :)

Kay Finch said...

My phone is even older - I think the answer is no, we don't have to do anything. My husband is on the road a LOT - he just ordered a new phone with the tiny keyboard and internet access. I expect him to be doing a lot of cursing but hopefully he will be far away when that happens.

misterreereeder said...

A cell phone or a multipurpose phone? Myself - I am just happy with my hand me down cell phone from my wife - she has the multipurpose one. I have her old one because I have gone through a couple of others myself - one went in the pool, the other ended up on the street - literally. Besides - my cell phone is used just for that - a cell phone - nothing more - nothing less!!!

Carol Brown said...

My cell phone is used for making and receiving necessary phone calls--double checking with my basically homebound mother about groceries needed, etc.--or to be within easy reach of my 89-year-old parents in case of an emergency. Period. I know it has a camera, but in the four years I've had it, that was used once--when I accidentally hit the camera button while putting the phone in my pocket. I blocked text messages from it after receiving obscene messages from numbers I've never seen before; and since my parents were the only people with my cell phone number, the sender didn't know me either. It does make me mad that electronics companies force people into making changes by conveniently--for them--making sure that replacement parts and repairs are not available as items become older.

Katie said...

I had to get a new cell phone this year, replacing the one I'd had for 3 years due to it dropping my calls every 30 seconds and not being able to get a new battery for it.

So I looked around, ended up with one of the slide phones. I text more than I used to, especially helpful now at work where I can't really take phone calls, but I can send a message really quick if its important.

I use my phone for 5 things: phone calls, texts, pictures, alarm clock, and stop watch (for running)

I will admit that I really do want to try out an iPhone sometime, there are a lot of cool things on it, but that would have to wait another 2 years when this contract is up. perhaps I'll change my mind by then.

jbstanley said...

I LOVE my iPhone! I am sorry to hear you've had family members who don't, but I've never had anything wrong with mine and couldn't live without my apps or the ease of use.

Consider reconsidering this excellent product!

(Jeez, you'd think I worked for Apple, huh?)

Riva said...

I had the same problem. Last time our contract was up I decided I just wanted a phone. I changed providers and went with Jitterbug. Now my phone is JUST a phone. No camera, no texting, no net access. And I use an old-fashioned phone for the ring tone. Sure makes things easier - and there's NO learning curve.

trek said...

Yes, probably you do, because a three year old battery is just aching to die at the most inopportune moment.

Jan said...

So, did you get the new phone yet?

Leann Sweeney said...

Jan you are too funny! My sister is visiting otherwise you are right. I will be getting a new phone. How did you know?? LOL.

Sammy said...

I also feel is time to buy a new cellphone, I still have a razor and I don't get to get my emails or facebook, or take pictures and share tehm right away. I mean, maybe it's time for a smart phone, right? I saw a couple of prepaid services that offer smart phone, cos let's face it, I don't want to end with a huge bill, I may get a Nokia, with Straight Talk, or something prepaid for sure.