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Smartphone's Still $uck

Charging Anxiety: Weak Battery Performance Standard
Smartphone's have become all the range of consumer electronics as of late. Lets take a look at why one might find these devices less compelling then their marketing experts would have us believe...

/16/2013 Latest Revision 

Most Smartphone's Still Suck

Fragile, Expensive, Costly to Operate, Constantly Outdated, Poor Battery Life, Mediocre Cameras, A spy satellite in your pocket, inconsistent software interfaces between models (android fragmentation/ windows 7 then 8, and iOS). With some of the latest models *Q2 2013 and later * some of these problems have been addressed, but many smartphones still give their end users a lot of headache. Wrap it in an Otterbox and that helps to address the fragility problem, pick and good one and that address the outdated quickly issue, pick one with really good battery life and that addresses the "hunting for a plug constantly issue" and most of the good ones now ship with decent cameras. If you do some research you will find that HTC makes one Good One, Samsung makes 2 good ones and Apple has One good one, most of the rest of the smartphones still suck. 

Use a Real GPS
Having a stand alone GPS is better than using a smartphone for GPS functionality for practical reasons that only become apparent if you use a GPS like a garmin and then use a smartphone as a GPS.

Photography is Changing, Sorta 

I try to roll with a real camera for photography (Pentax W90 for wet- Canon S95 for dry, and SX40 for super-zoom) to shoot pictures and video and these also have fantastic battery life. There are intrinsic physical problems with sensor size that will prevent all but the clunkiest of smartphones from ever taking great pictures in low light. The optics on a phone are also intrinsically limited by size and cost: something camera makers have more flexibility with, even in a diminutive form factor like the S95. Real cameras still triumph for real photography: that said having a phone with a good camera is changing the way I shoot, and being able to edit on the fly is really cool: photo apps turn the otherwise good camera setup in the Note II into something great, in some ways greater than any other camera I have ever owned and in other ways not nearly as cool as the S95 of SX40.

Thanks You Sissy

Ultimately I caved recently and got a smartphone, a galaxy note ii, and in general enjoy it. That being said my sister currently enables me to have one, because she put me on her family plan and has so far generously donated the operating costs, helping me to save money since I am currently in a financial pinch. I even hooked up adsense on my blog to try and help alleviate the financial pressure, even if by only a tiny amount. 

Years of Research and Waiting = Galaxy Note II

I kept my eye on this scene via and after 6 months of research and a few important phone calls I decided to get a Galaxy Note II. Ample battery life was a priority for me, and the Galaxy Note II delivers with a 3000mAh cell and amoled screen combo that gives  2.5 real world days of battery life. I have a thing for good battery life. RIM had the right idea way back when they launched the 950. It ran on a single AA battery for 3 weeks!


  1. As the ipod touch is decreasing its importance in Apple's marketshare, I think it makes more sense than ever to own one. Free wi-fi is everywhere these days if you live in the city. Why would you buy a €600 smartphone plus a data plan when you can get a prepaid dumbphone and an ipod touch for at least half the price? Though we have to admit the cameras in new smartphones, especially the iphone 4s, are getting pretty decent as point & shoot substitutes.

    1. Great point! I totally agree with everything you said.

      I role a Canon S95 with my old dumb phone and 4th gen iPod Touch and Garmin 255W for navi. Sure its 4 devices, but the battery life is epic this way and no monthly data ripoff~ or one fragile battery hog smartphone to do it all.... discrete upgrade paths also allows for sharing the $ across many CE businesses :P

  2. Hi,
    I was researching LTE and came across your site. The only thing about taking around 4 devices is the increased EMR exposure by doing so. I think the ipod touch might have a pretty high SAR rating like the iphone. You could buy an xZubi to stick on the back of each one though. I opted to try a smart phone today since it would only be $10 a month more and it was a $30 upgrade so we'll see how I like it with the whole battery issue. I enjoyed reading your perspective :)

    1. SAR is a measure of radiation exposure from holding a cellular phone next to your head when it is broadcasting data in real time through the microwave radio chip set / antenna.

      My GPS device is passive and does not emit anything, it only receives weak low power timing data signals from GPS satellites in space.

      The iPod Touch is WiFi only, and WiFi radios are 2000℅ less powerful than cell phone radiation. I also do not hold the iPod against my head, so sar rating does not apply because of the low energy and use case for WiFi.

      My digital camera does not have any radio chips, so it neither emits or received any signals other than light through the lens. No SAR issue with the camera.

      My primary opposition to smartphones is their terrible battery life, slow overpriced required in America Mobil data packages.

      I am glad you enjoyed my posting, but please learn about sar from an academic source : your comment about sar exposure has no basis in science , and is likely based on propaganda or misinformation created from fear uncertainty and doubt. SAR ratings are used to compare the amount of ionizing radiation exposure a cell phone user is exposed to when they hold the phone to their head or body while it is actively sending and receiving data through its powerful 1 watt radio chipset. Most WiFi is less than 0.050 watt of radio energy for comparison : cell phones have to be about to connect to towers up to 3km away while most WiFi signals are only able to travel about 50meters. I hope this information increases your understanding and the understanding of others who may be similarly confused about wireless radiation issues.

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  4. I respect your opinion regarding smart phones. All the problems you discussed are factual and most of them are experienced by many. I guess people should learn to balance between using a phone just for apps and browsing and actually using it for mobile purposes.

    Joanna Daniels


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