Poor battery life, frustrating interfaces and rising internet costs – smartphones are little more than an expensive gadget to weigh down your pocket. To me, this brave new world just isn’t that smart.
Ok, smartphones are undoubtedly the future. Technological convergence and human desire for shiny new things will see most of us firmly in the thrall of smartphones within the next few years.
But that doesn’t mean we should all be using them right now – the technology powering these budding new wonder-devices is still in its infancy.
iPhone wielding savants (like my colleague Ceri) may sing the praises of touch-screen smartphones, but I like buttons and tactile controls. Many of us simply find touch screens difficult and frustrating to use. And who wants to waste time swiping and swishing just to access the most essential part of any phone – the keypad?
Jack of all trades, master of none
Device convergence has been driving the mobile market for years. Why carry around a camera, MP3 player, phone, video player and laptop when all these can be combined within one compact piece of technological wizardry?
But the problem with multifunctionality is that the ‘functionality’ part often suffers. Sure, camera phones are great for capturing the unexpected. But if you want to take quality pictures you need a dedicated digital camera, with better resolution, plenty of storage and a battery life of more than a day.
Playing movies on your phone sounds great on paper but watching them on such a small screen is a pretty wretched experience. And many internet tasks which take mere seconds on a proper computer become clunky and time consuming on a smartphone.
Mobile internet costs destined to rise
Until WiMax comes along, the cost of using mobile internet is only going to rise. Networks are struggling to cope with the rapid growth of mobile internet use. O2, Vodafone and 3 have all recently ended their ‘unlimited’ data plans on new contracts and introduced monthly data caps.
Bad news if you want to watch data-zapping YouTube in the pub – good news if you think people who watch YouTube in the pub are idiots.
I could go on: the confusing array of operating systems, terrible battery life and durability are just a few more of my bugbears.
Of course, most problems will be remedied eventually. But if you’re thinking of buying a smartphone today, consider carefully all those features that are separate from text messages and calls and ask how much practical use you will get out of them. If all you really want to do is make calls and texts, maybe you should just get a phone.
What side of the smartphone debate are you on?
I agree with Ceri - smartphones rock (64%, 178 Votes)
I agree with Christopher - smartphones suck (36%, 99 Votes)
Total Voters: 277