Author Topic: Anyone miss their smartphone?  (Read 26679 times)

ministache

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Anyone miss their smartphone?
« on: September 10, 2014, 08:43:48 AM »
We are getting ready to break up with our overpriced ATT cell service. Ptel looks like our top choice for a pay-as-you-go provider. The savings should be substantial as we rarely use our phones for anything other than sending text messages. Ok, right now we use our monthly data plans, but we're 99% sure we spend enough time around wifi to not miss that feature. Especially with a baby due any day now, we don't want to be the parents too busy on iPhones to watch their child grow up.

All of that said, we both currently own iPhones and we are out of our contract. Debating going with a true dumbphone instead of just getting new SIM cards for our current iPhones. For those of you who gave up data plans, how tough was it? Do you regret carrying a phone that cannot access the web?

Thanks!

windypig

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2014, 09:02:23 AM »
In the US, given the price of Republic Wireless and Ting, et al. I see no financial reason not to have a smart phone. Is there a dumb phone deal out there that beats a used Moto G + $10/month service from RW?

justajane

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2014, 09:09:01 AM »
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Is there a dumb phone deal out there that beats a used Moto G + $10/month service from RW?

Only in the sense that my dumb phone cost $10 new. How much does a used smartphone cost?

Daley

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2014, 09:17:59 AM »
In the US, given the price of Republic Wireless and Ting, et al. I see no financial reason not to have a smart phone. Is there a dumb phone deal out there that beats a used Moto G + $10/month service from RW?

There is so much desperately wrong with this statement, I don't even know where to begin without sounding like a broken record that's been saying the same friggin' thing for two and a half years.

windypig

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2014, 09:19:35 AM »
Quote
Is there a dumb phone deal out there that beats a used Moto G + $10/month service from RW?

Only in the sense that my dumb phone cost $10 new. How much does a used smartphone cost?

More than $10 no doubt, what does your dumb phone plan run?

Based on ebay completed listing I would say a used moto g could be had for $110.

MountainFlower

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2014, 09:21:30 AM »
Because you are leaving AT&T, I would just switch to airvoice and use your current phone.  Start with the $10 month plan.  You can have data enabled on that plan, but I think you have to call them to do it.  It's charged by the kb on that plan, so it would only be if you REALLY needed something.  If that doesn't work for you, their $30/month plan has 500 mb data. 

I must warn you, on the $10 month plan, it tells you what your balance is either before or after every call.  Not a big deal, but tiresome.

Don't understand why people are suggesting new phones when they already own iphones.   

nordlead

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2014, 09:21:50 AM »
Quote
Is there a dumb phone deal out there that beats a used Moto G + $10/month service from RW?

Only in the sense that my dumb phone cost $10 new. How much does a used smartphone cost?

$50 or less (Nexus S 4G was my first smart phone for $45 including shipping), but you could be paying as little as $2/month for cell service (when needed) and mostly relying on Wifi.

Also, a smart phone can save you money in other ways (discounts in apps, not needing to buy a gps/maps, etc...).

BritishMustachian

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2014, 09:25:03 AM »
I'm a brand new Mustachian and I can tell you that the smartphone is the deal breaker for me.  I'll never give mine up.  I think it's a very Mustachian commodity considering you essentially have the entirety of humanity's knowledge in your pocket.

But I feel you can be Mustachian with your choice.  I got the iPhone 4 (my first ever smartphone) in 2010 and was nearly done with my contract (which would have reduced my monthly payment from £33 to £12), but I then discovered my service started an All You Can Eat data plan which was a godsend after suffering a terrible 500MB monthly allowance.  Trouble is, they wouldn't let me switch to it on my iPhone 4.  The only way to have that plan was to upgrade to the iPhone 5 and reset my contract all over again.

Now I'm coming up to upgrade eligibility again, I can soon get the brand new super duper mega-screen-sized iPhone 6 Plus that's soon to hit the shelves, thus resetting my contract.  However, being that the iPhone 5 does everything you could want in a smartphone along with having unlimited internet usage, and I'm under a year away from having my £35 monthly payment reduce to £15... I am sticking to my Mustachian guns and choosing to stick with this phone until it dies (presumably in 10 years with good care).

windypig

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2014, 09:27:40 AM »
Don't understand why people are suggesting new phones when they already own iphones.   

They could sell the iphones buy a different phone and have cash leftover + the iPhone limits them in the type of plans they can be on.

senecando

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2014, 09:29:44 AM »
It won't be that difficult and it's easy to go back. I went with iPod + Flip Phone for about a year. It was fine. In the end I prefer having a smartphone.

windypig

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2014, 09:32:21 AM »
Also those without smartphones, do you think you will buy some sort of MP3 playinig device, Camera, Alarm Clock, GPS or any number of standalone devices that a smartphone can take the place of?

My Smartphone allows me to participate in one of my favorite hobbies: Geocaching. That along is worth the Money I shell out to Republic Wireless.

Chranstronaut

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2014, 09:44:24 AM »
Sorry I can't answer OP's question, but I have something to share with likely readers of this thread.  I'm also facing the end of an AT&T iPhone contract.  I like making shitty spreadsheets, so I attached on I started to compare options compatible with my phone.  My motivation is to 1) find a better plan for me alone and 2) find a solution for my data-hungry sibling and my consuma sucka parents, possibly having all three on a share plan.

I ran a quick trade study on the second tab showing monthly price vs. data usage for several plans and number of phones.  I didn't end up getting Tmobilek, P'tel or Go Smart onto the charts, but you can add those if you want.  What's interesting is that there are dead zones for 2 and 3 phones where certain plans cost the same or more for less data.  Just an interesting thought.

My personal opinion is that some data is worth the price to me and I already paid for a good phone and don't want the world to manufacture another one for me until it's dead.  I am tracking my data usage very closely to see what my baseline amount is.  I recommend this for anyone waiting a few months for their contract to expire.  I use about half or a third of what I thought I did, so it changes my perspective of what plans fit me or are worth downsizing to.

Daley

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2014, 09:52:29 AM »
Wow... where are we again? Did this turn into the super happy funtime hedonic treadmill forums when I wasn't looking?

Someone is looking to strip down their mobile bill to the bare minimum, and people come out of the woodwork sticking up manufactured reasoning to justify spending more money and indulge in wasteful consumerism. BRAVO!



One one hand, I'm divided because from an e-waste and frugality standpoint, I want to encourage the whole use it up and wear it out idea... you bought the fool iPhones, so I want you to use them until they're dead. That said, I know how disruptive these little slabs have become to people's lives and heartily encourage this sort of deliberate stepping down and away due to the dependency-creating and distracting nature of these devices.

Ministache, although my own phone currently is smart enough to barely do email on demand and basic web surfing (hard to even find a feature phone that can't run Opera anymore), I barely use it at all. Don't miss it a lick. There is no lost opportunity cost, I'm more personally independent, situationally aware, and don't require the crutch of technology to help me live life. Smartphones are a manufactured dependence upon others to think for you, and you can see how deeply rooted this sort of dependence and laziness can get within others by just seeing the responses and justifications being posted.

People did it all the time no less than ten years ago. Rock on and embrace the change... you don't need to be constantly accessible or have so many "tools" that require a battery to operate. Technology and the always on mentality is quite literally a drug-induced dependency due to the dopamine and serotonin production it causes within the body. Slow down and enjoy life, it'll improve the quality of the time you have with yourselves, each other, and your family. Just try not to buy new on the featurephone replacements if you make the change. :)

Daley

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2014, 10:01:22 AM »
I ran a quick trade study on the second tab showing monthly price vs. data usage for several plans and number of phones.  I didn't end up getting Tmobilek, P'tel or Go Smart onto the charts, but you can add those if you want.  What's interesting is that there are dead zones for 2 and 3 phones where certain plans cost the same or more for less data.  Just an interesting thought.

I skimmed over the spreadsheet, and I think it might be worth your while to add Consumer Cellular and H2O Wireless to the listings for your own personal edification... possibly even Red Pocket and Cricket as well.

My personal opinion is that some data is worth the price to me and I already paid for a good phone and don't want the world to manufacture another one for me until it's dead.  I am tracking my data usage very closely to see what my baseline amount is.  I recommend this for anyone waiting a few months for their contract to expire.  I use about half or a third of what I thought I did, so it changes my perspective of what plans fit me or are worth downsizing to.

This statements made me happy when I read it. Thank you!

Chranstronaut

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2014, 10:21:03 AM »
I skimmed over the spreadsheet, and I think it might be worth your while to add Consumer Cellular and H2O Wireless to the listings for your own personal edification... possibly even Red Pocket and Cricket as well.

Thanks IP!  I really value your opinion.  I'd love to have a complete chart for data users, but it takes a fair amount of time for me to assemble.  I skipped over the honorable mentions of your MVNOs pretty much entirely, but I appreciate the targeted recommendation.  I'll put them through the gauntlet and see what happens.

Scandium

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #15 on: September 10, 2014, 10:34:41 AM »
Is it cheaper? Definitely. But since smartphones and plans are getting so cheap now it's almost down to the "cheap" level to ditch one at this point. Comparable to using the toilet paper on both sides.. This is IMO of course
Use moto G is $150, probably less soon. And price of last years models drop like rock. $30/month for 500MB, or less if you can manage minimal data.

Firstly I use my phone for work to deal with situations when I'm traveling or not in the office, which avoid a lot of stress. Maps is in valuable at this point. GPS units are junk and don't update. I can use google map to find that cheaper eatery, that dude on craiglist I'm looking for, the metro station etc. Just avoiding extra driving and "emergency eating" at the wrong place save money (yes I know I should be 100% prepared at all times.. Too bad). Looking up reviews in stores or finding better deals is another use. I work hard and the phone can save me time and frustration during my brief spare time and vacations, and that's worth it.

No, I don't think I come out ahead in dollar terms on the smartphone, but the benefits are worth the relatively low cost at this point. As long as you're not on some moronic $120/month latest-and-greatest phone plan nonsense.

Daley

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #16 on: September 10, 2014, 10:35:16 AM »
Thanks IP!  I really value your opinion.  I'd love to have a complete chart for data users, but it takes a fair amount of time for me to assemble.  I skipped over the honorable mentions of your MVNOs pretty much entirely, but I appreciate the targeted recommendation.  I'll put them through the gauntlet and see what happens.

Not a problem, always glad to be of service. Regarding why I namechecked Consumer Cellular, Cricket and H2O specifically for your situation, it's because CC has a similar shared usage bucket structure to Ting... only for GSM users. Cricket and H2O have multi-line discounts on their "unlimited" packages.

Sylly

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #17 on: September 10, 2014, 10:42:57 AM »
From the perspective of someone who only recently joined the dark side of smartphone with data plan ownership...

I don't think I will miss the data plan if I have to go back to no data plan.

However, I will miss the smartphone, because it doubles as my shopping list and alarm clock. For the longest time I was using an original iPhone with no data plan, and it had those capabilities. I've recently upgraded to a more recent Android, and I *still* primarily (other than as a phone) use it as a shopping list and alarm clock. Today, with data plan, the additional role is that of emergency GPS. I say emergency, because for directions, I still prefer how the stand-alone Garmin does it, so the phone also serves as GPS when I don't have the Garmin with me, or my old Garmin doesn't know of the thing I'm looking for.

So whether you'll miss your phone or not really depends on what else you use it for.

As for plans, for 4 phones (3 of which want data) I found that T-Mobile is one of the most competitive out there.

TheDude

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #18 on: September 10, 2014, 10:45:54 AM »
For me I think the data is worth it. We have the page plus $30 plan. It works well for us as we travel through Iowa several times a year (making verizon nice). In addition its nice to have the 3g when I want it. I dont ever run out of anything so its a little overkill but when i look at my usage no other plan would be as cheap since my min would go over. I just picked up a couple of moto Gs for us at taget for $60 and flashed them over to page plus with out much effort.

justajane

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2014, 10:53:30 AM »
Quote
Also those without smartphones, do you think you will buy some sort of MP3 playinig device, Camera, Alarm Clock, GPS or any number of standalone devices that a smartphone can take the place of?

I don't listen to music that often, and when I do it's Pandora at home, NPR in the car. My flip phone has a camera - it's not great, but we have a Canon digital camera that we would own whether or not we ever decided to have a smart phone. I've owned the same alarm clock since before smart phones existed, but at this point in my life, my alarm clock happens to be three young children. I don't need GPS in my life very often, and when I do, we refer to the internet before we leave.

I personally don't have a smartphone because of the cost but more than that, I do not want to be plugged in when I am out and about. My cell phone has a top up fee of $10 a month. Who even knows how many minutes I have built up over the years, considering I use about 10-20 minutes a month tops. It's an emergency phone that is never on.

For the record, I'm 37 years old and just don't feel the need for a smartphone. But I recognize that other people do and can have one for pretty cheap. I have my personal reasons for not wanting one but don't begrudge those who do.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #20 on: September 10, 2014, 10:58:38 AM »
I don't think I will miss the data plan if I have to go back to no data plan.

However, I will miss the smartphone...

For the record, there's no universal law that you must purchase a data plan if you use a smartphone. I bought a used Nexus 4, popped a T-Mobile Pay As You Go SIM card in there, and I now have a smartphone with no data plan. When I'm in range of a WiFi hot spot, I can do all of the web browsing, tweeting, Facebooking, email checking, etc. that I want. When I'm not, I can still send and receive phone calls and text messages, and I can also use any Android apps that don't depend on a data connection. I'm sure other providers besides T-Mobile offer a similar arrangement. Check I.P. Daley's wonderful super guide for more info.

This is the path I would generally recommend for the OP. You paid too much for iPhones in the first place, but that's in the past. Might as well use those phones until they break, and put a basic talk/text plan on them to save money on connection fees.

ministache

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #21 on: September 10, 2014, 10:59:25 AM »
Thanks to everyone for the replies. I appreciate the variety of perspectives. Wife and I have been tied to smartphones for work purposes for years. They have become the default source of entertainment because we are used to them being within arm's reach. Perhaps it makes the most sense to just use the phones we have and turn off cellular data.

usmarine1975

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2014, 11:01:15 AM »
In my life I remember the corded phones that you actually dialed meaning they had a dial and you had to spin the dial. Then came the push button phone's still on a cord.  Cordless phones came next.  And soon we had bag phones that you could use in your car.  My first cell phone was a flip phone provided by my employer that Stored 10 numbers and not a name attached just the number.  You had to know who each was for. 

Move up a couple years and I had an Iphone that I liked but hated having to have a data plan at a cost of $30.00/month when I had perfectly good wifi in my home.

I then heard about Net 10 and quickly made the switch saving some money.  Shortly after that I heard about Republic through MMM.  Yes I know many do not like Republic Wireless but for me it has been great.  My monthly phone bill is $34.00/month.  For 2 phones that qualify as smart phones.  My phone does not have the Data plan as I am around wifi a majority of the time and when I am not I can do without it.  My wife can not and she has the data plan with the old defy phone that is still working for her. 

For me I never wanted a roaming data plan.  The desire to have an Iphone and my wife buying it for me as a gift is the only reason I ended up with it.  I would have went without the Iphone until I could have it without a data plan.  I realize now that is possible. 

Some will say I only push Republic because I want a cut.  Not the case if I didn't get a referral reward I would still recommend them and I have.  I just figure since they are offering the reward might as well take it, it's like free money. 

Again to give you the basic answer  you will do just fine without Data.  It is not a necessity it really is only a couple years old anyway.  I remember when it didn't exist and I am not that old.

senecando

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #23 on: September 10, 2014, 11:02:19 AM »
Shit, did someone stub IPD's toe?

There is no lost opportunity cost, I'm more personally independent, situationally aware, and don't require the crutch of technology to help me live life.

Where technology is defined as all the gadgets you don't use, right? You are absolutely dependent on all sorts of technology, unless you don't count tractors and electrical wiring and compasses and the written word. Did your local parish really decide 2007 was the cutoff?
« Last Edit: September 10, 2014, 11:06:09 AM by senecando »

Daley

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #24 on: September 10, 2014, 11:07:55 AM »
Shit, did someone stub IPD's toe?

There is no lost opportunity cost, I'm more personally independent, situationally aware, and don't require the crutch of technology to help me live life.

Where technology is defined as all the gadgets you don't use, right? You are absolutely dependent on all sorts of technology, unless you don't count tractors and electrical wiring and compasses and the written word. Did your local parish really decide 2007 was the cutoff?

HA HA! It's funny because it's pulled out of context!

senecando

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #25 on: September 10, 2014, 11:22:22 AM »
<Originally wrote a post with my reasoning about the cellphones-are-just-more-technology debate. Deciding to peace out. >
« Last Edit: September 10, 2014, 11:32:02 AM by senecando »

AH013

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #26 on: September 10, 2014, 03:22:57 PM »
I +1 the notion that (at least in the US) a smartphone is really the only sensible alternative in today's day in age for someone who needs a mobile phone.  Nothing wrong with going without a data plan and using purely Wifi-only, but opting instead for a true dumbphone doesn't make sense to me.  When I look at prices for used unlocked or prepaid Android based phones, a decent little machine can be had for under $40, and I mean really under, as in sometimes as low as $10-$20 for a perfectly serviceable model running Android 2.3 or 4.0 OS.  Slap on a ultra-protective case to ensure it never breaks from physical damage and you're looking at $40-$50 total.  Hardware cost isn't really a justifiable answer anymore for opting for a dumbphone, as the price floor for dumbphones really doesn't get lower than $10.  There aren't many people in this country who can tell me with a straight face that the price difference between $50 and $10 for something they plan to use for 4-5+ years is truly going to make a difference between eating human food and eating cat food or a similar meaningful choice, and if they can I'd point them to LifeLine.  And plan prices are usually independent of what phone you use -- many providers sell you the SIM card you stick in your phone and care little if that goes into a 128GB iPhone 6 Plus or some budget no-name 2.3 Froyo Android or a dumb candybar phone.  People who hold out their dumbphone as proof they aren't a social cog strike me as people who want to be unique for little more than uniqueness sake.

A dumbphone allows you to talk, text, and maybe check email & surf the web in a very uneasy, time consuming manner (if your dumbphone even allows you to use Wifi and not just 2G cellular data),

A smartphone allows you to:
  • Talk & Text, both via cellular and if you're even remotely tech-aware via Wifi using Google, Skype, RingTo, or other services to have it be completely free
  • Email, including advanced things like being able to attach files
  • Surf
  • Video conference
  • GPS
  • View and work with word documents, spreadsheets, presentations, PDFs, etc.
  • Price compare / QR code search
  • Take & send photos, or create quick PDFs (for receipts, etc.)
  • Listen to music
  • Foreign Language Translator
  • Check & manage your calendar
  • Set an alarm, stopwatch, and timer
  • Mobile banking / Remote Deposit of checks
  • Replace store loyalty program cards / key fobs
  • Flashlight
  • Compass
  • Shopping list
  • Entertainment (youtube, movies, games, etc.)
  • A lot more stuff I haven't even mentioned (Bluetooth TV/HTPC remote, health tracker, calculator, etc.)

The best aspect is that a smartphone can do all of the above for FREE and in a generally user friendly manner.  Granted it needs an internet connection eventually for most of this stuff, but you can do a lot of stuff when you aren't near Wifi and cue it up to act when Wifi is available (i.e. download your emails in Wifi, respond to them when out of Wifi, have them actually send when you get back into Wifi).  Many of the above listed features either safe time, money, both, or provide some sort of convenience when used correctly and in moderation.

I'm not saying it's not worthwhile to learn how to operate in the world without a smartphone.  It's also worthwhile to learn how to start a fire from scratch, but it's also sensible when you need to light a candle for your normal course of practice to simply use a match rather than spend 10 minutes striking flints together.  And I'm not saying people don't abuse smartphones -- they do.  But nobody is forcing you to be available 24/7 to respond to emails, answer calls, reply to texts, etc. And if they are (as in an employer), the "I didn't reply to your urgent email because I don't get email on my frugal flip phone (big smile, pats self on back)" excuse really isn't going to yield any better of a response than any other response someone with a smartphone would give.  In my mind holding out a dumbphone as something that proves you aren't "beholden to the man" or "tied to the machine" or whatever indicates more than anything else that you're incapable of self-moderation, equivalent to saying you don't take prescription drugs after a major surgery because you know you'd eventually be hooked on pain killers.

None of the above is directed at anyone in particular, just an opinion on why nobody should be "giving up" their smartphones and switching back to a dumbphone or replacing a broken dumbphone with another dumbphone, when a viable option is just to forego a data plan on an existing/new smartphone.  All I'm saying is if the US government thinks that smartphones are such a basic necessity to the average citizen/resident/illegal alien that they'll give them away free, no strings attached, anyone on this board should realize there must be at least some justifiable value in them over dumbphones...

Bob W

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #27 on: September 10, 2014, 03:41:34 PM »
I went for like 5 months with no phone of any kind.  Not a cell,  not a land.   No cable, no internet except at the library.   Nope didn't miss having all the worlds information at my fingers and never got lost driving. 

Of course, I'm 54 and went an entire 52 years without a smartphone and 40 years without a cell phone.  It is really not a big deal at all. 

Check ting or republic. 

marty998

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #28 on: September 10, 2014, 03:44:29 PM »
yadda yadda yadda

Do you work in the marketing department of a comms company?

My dumbphone costs $2.50 a month. I don't need it to solve global poverty and bring about world peace. I just need it to text and make calls


I'm not saying it's not worthwhile to learn how to operate in the world without a smartphone.  It's also worthwhile to learn how to start a fire from scratch, but it's also sensible when you need to light a candle for your normal course of practice to simply use a match rather than spend 10 minutes striking flints together.  And I'm not saying people don't abuse smartphones -- they do.  But nobody is forcing you to be available 24/7 to respond to emails, answer calls, reply to texts, etc. And if they are (as in an employer), the "I didn't reply to your urgent email because I don't get email on my frugal flip phone (big smile, pats self on back)" excuse really isn't going to yield any better of a response than any other response someone with a smartphone would give.  In my mind holding out a dumbphone as something that proves you aren't "beholden to the man" or "tied to the machine" or whatever indicates more than anything else that you're incapable of self-moderation, equivalent to saying you don't take prescription drugs after a major surgery because you know you'd eventually be hooked on pain killers.

None of the above is directed at anyone in particular, just an opinion on why nobody should be "giving up" their smartphones and switching back to a dumbphone or replacing a broken dumbphone with another dumbphone, when a viable option is just to forego a data plan on an existing/new smartphone.  All I'm saying is if the US government thinks that smartphones are such a basic necessity to the average citizen/resident/illegal alien that they'll give them away free, no strings attached, anyone on this board should realize there must be at least some justifiable value in them over dumbphones...

Well yes I do detect just a smidgen of smugness in that post. How condescending is that!  If I want to be a luddite disconnected from the modern world you have no right to tell me that I'm the one with the problem, who is somehow defective...

Beric01

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #29 on: September 10, 2014, 04:03:37 PM »
I have a free smartphone as part of my employment (to be reachable in case of an emergency and of course to check emails outside of work, both of which I can generally avoid). :-)

Let me say, having an internet-connected unlimited data smartphone, where I can look up the answer to any random question I might have at any time, or where I can getting bicycle/mass transit directions from where I currently am to wherever I want to go, is very convenient. But is it necessary? No. I could just wait a few more minutes and delay gratification until I get home to look up that burning question. I could print out maps ahead of time, and plan routes on my PC.

As far as regular phone usage, I really don't talk with anyone I don't currently have on Skype, and I send less than 10 texts a week, which could easily be replaced with instant messages.

So I could go without a phone completely. Will be something I'll have to consider once I reach FI or if I move to a different company.

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #30 on: September 10, 2014, 04:16:35 PM »
You can still have a smartphone and be mustachian. I have the ZTE Awe from Virgin Mobile which I paid $30 for and I am on their $25/month plan (it is a grandfathered plan). I have looked at Republic Wireless and may consider it but for now am happy with Virgin Mobile.

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #31 on: September 10, 2014, 04:29:16 PM »
I have a dumb phone, and no plans to upgrade. Here's why:

1. Ethical concerns over the rare earth minerals (mining in the Congo, warlords, child labour, etc)
2. I think smartphones are really big and ugly.
3. They're also a lot more breakable...
4....and a target for thieves, particularly when travelling.
5. Right now, people don't have the expectation that I drop everything and respond to them right this second, especially if I'm out doing something. Don't really want to change that.
6. Smartphones and their associated phone plans are much more expensive in Canada.
7. I only need to be able to talk and receive texts, I have no desire for anything else
8. My boyfriend already has a really old iPod that uses wifi, yet is crappy enough not to attract thieves.

surfhb

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #32 on: September 10, 2014, 04:34:51 PM »
I'm selling my iPhone next month and going to $27 a month for unlimted everything on a dumbphone for several reasons.    One is the cost

Also please stop and notice next time how often people are glued to their smart phones in social settings.    I work for universal studios and often go up to the park for lunch.   To see entire families reading their phones when they just spent 100s of dollars to spend the day is upsetting.  I notice it a lot now

I'm guilty too.    I often look at my phone just out of habit.   It's human nature I think and social media feeds on this.    I think if people actually added up the time they spent looking at their phones they might be shocked.   
« Last Edit: September 10, 2014, 04:37:52 PM by surfhb »

flashpacker

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #33 on: September 10, 2014, 04:37:28 PM »
My spouse and I each have an unlocked iphone that we bought outright.  One of the phones has a straight talk SIM in it which costs $45 a month for unlimited talk and text, plus "unlimited" data, which I think in reality is more like 2.5GB. The other phone has an old SIM from overseas that needs $20 a year added to it to stay active.  While we're in the US, we're technically roaming on it. This means it's always available for emergency use, which thankfully has never been needed (the cellular data on the phone option is set to off).

We don't have a home phone.  This has been a good option for us. I still have my iphone 4 with IOS 6 on it, and it's still working great after 4 years.  Not updating to IOS 7 was the key here.

*We could get a cheaper no contract/month to month plan with another provider but because the phones were bought overseas, they wouldn't get 3G if we did that.

justajane

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #34 on: September 10, 2014, 05:56:59 PM »
Quote
In my mind holding out a dumbphone as something that proves you aren't "beholden to the man" or "tied to the machine" or whatever indicates more than anything else that you're incapable of self-moderation, equivalent to saying you don't take prescription drugs after a major surgery because you know you'd eventually be hooked on pain killers.

Good lord, AH013! Tell us what you really think!

I do wonder why you care so much that other people get a smartphone. Not all of life is about dollars and cents. I am fully cognizant that a smartphone can be had for relatively cheap. That doesn't change the fact that I don't want one.

I wonder how many people on this forum would argue so vociferously as you did that someone should have cable if the price point were as low as Netflix. The reality is that lots of people wouldn't want cable even if it were free - MMM among them. The reason is because it more than just the cost that turns people off. They find advertising insidious and the medium dulling. I don't happen to agree with them, but you get my drift.

I usually refrain from discussing the reasons why I don't want one, but since you went off like you do, I'll be honest. I am sick and tired of seeing people buried in their devices and oblivious to the world around them. Yes, you could say perhaps that I would or could be different, but wouldn't that be hubris? I am, after all, not that much more self-controlled than the average person.

This column by Donna Freeman expresses many of my reservations - http://donnafreedman.com/2013/10/05/living-in-the-quieter-spots-of-life/

I especially like this line: "This “can’t be disconnected” tendency is rubbing out the boundary between real and virtual life. Facebook, Twitter, blogs, smartphone videos – we don’t live our lives so much as perform them. Rather than make memories, we archive our daily existences for an imagined audience." You can perhaps argue that this problem Donna describes is a function of social media rather than technology, but I would argue that the latter makes the former possible.

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #35 on: September 10, 2014, 06:21:59 PM »
Some people can set their own boundaries with phones and some can't. Neither is better than the other.

Is it possible for one of you to have a dumb phone and one to have a smart phone? Kinds a best of both worlds with option to downgrade later?

justajane

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #36 on: September 10, 2014, 06:33:55 PM »
Quote
Neither is better than the other.

It depends on how you define "better". I think one approach is probably healthier than the other. I don't really have a dog in this fight, since I never use my cell phone in public and therefore have no idea where I would fall on the spectrum anyway. But I think it's rather silly to argue an equivalency when self-control is clearly preferable over a lack of it. But maybe I'm misunderstanding your point.

Back to the OP, I think many people have shown you on here how you can have a smartphone for very little money. If you miss it and had gotten rid of it solely for financial reasons, it makes sense to reinstate a cheaper alternative.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2014, 06:36:45 PM by justajane »

Beric01

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #37 on: September 10, 2014, 07:04:09 PM »
Quote
In my mind holding out a dumbphone as something that proves you aren't "beholden to the man" or "tied to the machine" or whatever indicates more than anything else that you're incapable of self-moderation, equivalent to saying you don't take prescription drugs after a major surgery because you know you'd eventually be hooked on pain killers.

Good lord, AH013! Tell us what you really think!

I do wonder why you care so much that other people get a smartphone. Not all of life is about dollars and cents. I am fully cognizant that a smartphone can be had for relatively cheap. That doesn't change the fact that I don't want one.

I wonder how many people on this forum would argue so vociferously as you did that someone should have cable if the price point were as low as Netflix. The reality is that lots of people wouldn't want cable even if it were free - MMM among them. The reason is because it more than just the cost that turns people off. They find advertising insidious and the medium dulling. I don't happen to agree with them, but you get my drift.

I usually refrain from discussing the reasons why I don't want one, but since you went off like you do, I'll be honest. I am sick and tired of seeing people buried in their devices and oblivious to the world around them. Yes, you could say perhaps that I would or could be different, but wouldn't that be hubris? I am, after all, not that much more self-controlled than the average person.

This column by Donna Freeman expresses many of my reservations - http://donnafreedman.com/2013/10/05/living-in-the-quieter-spots-of-life/

I especially like this line: "This “can’t be disconnected” tendency is rubbing out the boundary between real and virtual life. Facebook, Twitter, blogs, smartphone videos – we don’t live our lives so much as perform them. Rather than make memories, we archive our daily existences for an imagined audience." You can perhaps argue that this problem Donna describes is a function of social media rather than technology, but I would argue that the latter makes the former possible.

Wow, really good post.

I love technology as much as the next person, but you have to wonder what this constant connection is doing to us. It's like a drug, and can keep us from enjoying what else life has to offer.

Daley

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #38 on: September 10, 2014, 07:04:27 PM »
(A wall of awesome.)

Amen and amen.

As there's been such a vitriolic argument built on a foundation of first world conveniences for smartphones instead of the humble feature phone... let's defend the little things for the sake of intellectual honestly.

Reasons that don't qualify as neo-luddite hipster arguments for choosing a feature phone:
  • Less fragile.
  • Significantly longer battery life, which translates into less total electricity usage.
  • Fewer resources utilized in its manufacture.
  • Less waste in its disposal.
  • Less likely to be stolen.
  • Less likely to be used as a toy or distraction.
  • Cheaper to repair/replace.
  • Longer effective service life than a smartphone due to durability, lower complexity and fewer forced obsolescence features.
  • Greater privacy from advertisers as there's no apps or operating systems datamining you.
There is such a thing as the right tool for the job, but I've yet to see a single person give a defensible justification for using or keeping a smartphone under general principle for most people beyond work tool. It's all trivial conveniences laid upon the altars of greed, technolust, sloth and boredom. Feature phones are still plenty capable for most people who actually need mobile communications in the first place, but most people don't care about functionality so much as the nebulous "potential" and the self-important image that comes with owning one. I've said it for years, and I still stand by it: Sometimes, more technology isn't always better... and just because you can doesn't mean you should.

What irks me the most about this thread is the intended purpose of the OP being hijacked by people who can't actually answer the question posed, and instead opt to bludgeon anyone who doesn't see the value of their own excessive consumption and mobile technology usage as idiotic neo-luddites. It's just self control, so you should keep it around because it might be useful! What is so wrong about the idea of people deliberately scaling back and consuming less!? Is this not the entire purpose of this community as a whole? They're just tiny slabs of technology, and there are people turning somersaults to justify making a lifestyle choice out of owning and spending huge gobs of money on them because... because... MOAR IZ ALWASE BETTAR!

Tools should not define your life, YOU SHOULD.

If your existence is so thoroughly defined by the very presence of a tiny little multi-purpose computer that you write passionately defending their place in your life and society's, and why anyone who doesn't spend the money or the time to have one is a short-sighted idiot without any self-discipline... maybe, just maybe, the people you're bagging on aren't the ones with the real problem - even despite the awesome amount of self control you brag about having with your special snowflake of a smartphone.

Behold the true power of these small glowing rectangles over society, folks.

Daley

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #39 on: September 10, 2014, 07:14:36 PM »
I love technology as much as the next person, but you have to wonder what this constant connection is doing to us. It's like a drug, and can keep us from enjoying what else life has to offer.

It's only like a drug because it's not injecting the serotonin and dopamine into our veins directly... instead, it just stimulates the body to bathe our brains in it through experiences and feedback that increases production. It's real, and it's scientifically documented. There's a very real addiction going on here with a lot of people, and much like the alcoholic in SisterX's example in another thread, you can practically see the same addict's logic being applied.

All we can do is what we are doing, and hopefully some of these folks will eventually get it.

Argyle

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #40 on: September 10, 2014, 07:40:56 PM »
I think a smartphone is like a clown car.  Sure, like a car, it does all kinds of stuff that your bicycle/dumb phone doesn't do.  "But I can keep warm in the cold!  I can drive six kids around!  I can play surroundsound music!  I can put a ton of stuff in the trunk!"

But going for a dumbphone or a bike is not about suffering from the loss of all your fancy luxuries.  It's about saying goodbye to extravagant purchases because there are more important things than paying big bucks for a chunk of unnecessary metal.

I have a dumbphone that cost $9.99 and that costs around $10 a month.  I don't even know whether it gets on the internet because I never tried.  It lets you talk on the phone and it sends texts.  My son has exactly the same.  Yeah, a lot of his friends have their parents old iPhones with some expensive plan.  Even if we say those parents are pseudo-mustachians who've trimmed their smartphone costs to $50 per month, over five years they're paying 6000 freaking dollars for those two phones.  We're paying $1200.  Sure, some people think that extra $4800 is no big deal.  Those people are not called "mustachians."

As for alarm clocks, are you kidding me?  You need to pay $100+ a month so your phone can be an alarm clock?  You know they sell those for $8.99 at Target?  And get this, with the Target ones, you don't even have to remember to recharge them!  Isn't that amazing?

As for GPS, my goodness, the complainypants level here is high.  Can you believe it, I actually use paper maps.  Paper maps are the bicycles of mustachianism.  They also don't require an investment of $100+ per month.

windypig

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #41 on: September 10, 2014, 08:42:48 PM »
I think a smartphone is like a clown car.  Sure, like a car, it does all kinds of stuff that your bicycle/dumb phone doesn't do.  "But I can keep warm in the cold!  I can drive six kids around!  I can play surroundsound music!  I can put a ton of stuff in the trunk!"

But going for a dumbphone or a bike is not about suffering from the loss of all your fancy luxuries.  It's about saying goodbye to extravagant purchases because there are more important things than paying big bucks for a chunk of unnecessary metal.

I have a dumbphone that cost $9.99 and that costs around $10 a month.  I don't even know whether it gets on the internet because I never tried.  It lets you talk on the phone and it sends texts.  My son has exactly the same.  Yeah, a lot of his friends have their parents old iPhones with some expensive plan.  Even if we say those parents are pseudo-mustachians who've trimmed their smartphone costs to $50 per month, over five years they're paying 6000 freaking dollars for those two phones.  We're paying $1200.  Sure, some people think that extra $4800 is no big deal.  Those people are not called "mustachians."

As for alarm clocks, are you kidding me?  You need to pay $100+ a month so your phone can be an alarm clock?  You know they sell those for $8.99 at Target?  And get this, with the Target ones, you don't even have to remember to recharge them!  Isn't that amazing?

As for GPS, my goodness, the complainypants level here is high.  Can you believe it, I actually use paper maps.  Paper maps are the bicycles of mustachianism.  They also don't require an investment of $100+ per month.

Nobody here is arguing for a $100/mo plans - smart phones can be had for $10/mo plans possibly less. Its great that you get satisfaction from the simplicity of a dumbbphone and paper maps but others have different wants.  The financial difference between your phone system and mine is I paid $100 more for the device initially. So with your math I pay $1300 over five years vs your $1200. In addition to that, I refer enough people on my service that I effectively pay nothing, pushing my costs below yours.

Datastache

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #42 on: September 10, 2014, 10:18:20 PM »
I think this is a very interesting issue. Personally, I've never owned a smartphone - I'm still using my circa 2010 dumb phone, and if I had my way, that would be more than sufficient. Calling, texting, alarms, calendars, and calculators all in one small, durable device? That's plenty for me. I already have an old chunky GPS that I can use in emergencies - not that I drive much anyway - and I invested in a 160GB iPod Classic (RIP) a few years back to accommodate my sizable music collection for the long haul, since music is a priority for me. I fear that adding a smartphone into my life would simply serve to further addict me to the almighty internet. Lord knows I spend way too much time in front of screens already while I'm at home. At the very least, I like being able to be focused on the world around me while I'm physically out in it. I find it pretty repulsive to be completely surrounded by people with their noses buried in their phones, rather than experiencing everything around them. I'm worried I would turn into that.

On the other hand...

As a 20-something who's trying to make social and professional connections in a world whose desires and expectations are largely beyond my control, I'm finding it increasingly difficult to function without a smartphone. Not because of my wants, but because of everyone else's. The more smartphones saturate the market - and the longer they saturate it for - the more smartphones become a de facto expectation. This was not a problem four years ago, or at least not much of one. I don't know how much longer I can hold out.

So as far as the topic at hand goes, I'm not sure what to recommend. Living without a smartphone is easy. Living without a smartphone in a culture where people act on the assumption that you do have one...that's getting tougher and tougher every day, unfortunately.

mfanma

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #43 on: September 10, 2014, 10:43:06 PM »
Not sure if this would work for your needs, but I just kept my phone and switched to a 10 cents a minute Go Phone plan with AT&T when my contract ended (10cents per minute talk, 20 cents per text), pay as you go, minimum refill $25 every 90 days to keep balance rolling over.  I find wifi fine for my data needs (though I live somewhere where its very easy to find wifi close by regardless where I am). Numerous friends and family have dropped data so we tend to  DM, Skype, etc  - as a result nowadays I actually only use about $2 month of my Go Phone plan because I don't need cell much.  Some folks I know were able to get onto this plan too but others were told its not available for smartphones so availability of plan may be dependent on who you talk to at AT&T. 





DarinC

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #44 on: September 10, 2014, 10:49:08 PM »
I love technology as much as the next person, but you have to wonder what this constant connection is doing to us. It's like a drug, and can keep us from enjoying what else life has to offer.

It's only like a drug because it's not injecting the serotonin and dopamine into our veins directly... instead, it just stimulates the body to bathe our brains in it through experiences and feedback that increases production. It's real, and it's scientifically documented. There's a very real addiction going on here with a lot of people, and much like the alcoholic in SisterX's example in another thread, you can practically see the same addict's logic being applied.

All we can do is what we are doing, and hopefully some of these folks will eventually get it.

Gosh P, that sounds an awful lot like your 2+ posts per day on this forum. ;)

Hotstreak

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #45 on: September 10, 2014, 11:00:30 PM »
I used a pay as you go until 2011, then got an expensive smartphone/plan and still use the phone, on Ting.  I went from talk/text only, to full unlimited, to the menu options Ting has.

I haven't noticed much change since I went to Ting.  I make sure to download podcasts or videos only at home, limit picture messaging, and not browse much unless on Wifi.  I used to listen to music through Pandora at the gym, or in the car, but after a few months of not doing it I stopped missing it.

As far as the whole keep phone vs use a talk/text only, I hung on to the smart phone because it was already paid for, because I like taking pictures to remember things by, and in order to blend in socially. 

I have some friends who really like to show off tech, and they would hate it.  They are always loading a funny youtube video or song to share, or taking a bunch of photos and putting them online right away, or offering to plug their internet radio thing in to the car instead of us listening to the radio while we drive.  That's not a lot of folks, though.  I think for most people it wouldn't be that big of a deal, especially with free Wifi at every coffee shop, half the bars/restraunts around town... if you really want to download or send something just stand outside Starbucks for a few minutes and get it taken care of.

Daley

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #46 on: September 10, 2014, 11:17:00 PM »
So as far as the topic at hand goes, I'm not sure what to recommend. Living without a smartphone is easy. Living without a smartphone in a culture where people act on the assumption that you do have one...that's getting tougher and tougher every day, unfortunately.

Their problem, not yours. End of the day, you only have to answer to yourself and G-d. Remember where you are and the fact that you're already bucking the norm. Do what's right for you, not what a bunch of consumer whores want you to do.



Go Phone plan with AT&T
....
Some folks I know were able to get onto this plan too but others were told its not available for smartphones so availability of plan may be dependent on who you talk to at AT&T. 

There's cheaper per minute and month on the AT&T network than GoPhone with other MVNOs who don't care what sort of phone you stick the SIM card into, so long as it's carrier unlocked... just for the record.

As for yourself, if you're only using $2/month of service at AT&T's PAYG prices, have you considered just going cold turkey? Sounds like you don't actually need it at all.



Gosh P, that sounds an awful lot like your 2+ posts per day on this forum. ;)

I did say up front in this thread I'd sound like a broken record.

NEEDS, NOT WANTS! WHAT'S GOOD FOR YOUR BUDGET IS ALSO GOOD FOR YOUR COMMUNICATIONS BILLS! DARN KIDS GET OFF MY LAWN! ...etc.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2014, 11:19:00 PM by I.P. Daley »

JamesAt15

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #47 on: September 10, 2014, 11:39:31 PM »
Suddenly I really want to go over and park myself on IPD's lawn and play Angry Birds (or Minecraft PE, more likely) on my smartphone.  :)

Edit: "Hey mister...  what's your wifi password? I wanna watch some youtube videos!"
« Last Edit: September 11, 2014, 12:08:31 AM by JamesAt15 »

fantabulous

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #48 on: September 11, 2014, 12:32:18 AM »
I technically still have a data plan (Airvoice Wireless $10/month plan). While I did give in to the hedonistic adaptation treadmill of a smartphone (and even a later replacement/upgrade) like three years ago, I hardly use it. I have something like a $65 balance after something like 8 months of being on the plan. Stepping down from T-Mobile's already pretty affordable $30/month 5GB plan to Airvoice Wireless (the $10/month plan works out to something in the neighborhood of 200MB/month) has been awesome for me in terms of not fussing over my phone.

Whether the OP should actually ditch the smartphone depends on how attached to the hip they are to them, so to speak. That is, whether they need the clean break of a dumb phone. I myself am not always this badass about it, but a small anecdote about how much I use my phone. My parents and I were visiting my grandmother to celebrate my father's birthday, and some easily google-able question came up. My father got up and went to use my grandmother's computer to find the answer. My grandmother asked me if I forgot my phone, since I didn't whip it out and look up the answer right then and there. I said "yes, I have my phone, but I'm eating right now".

As others have suggested, a low/no data plan can also work. I bother with the smartphone for the occasional maps/camera usage. Not strictly necessary, but awfully nice given my poor sense of direction.

MayDay

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Re: Anyone miss their smartphone?
« Reply #49 on: September 11, 2014, 05:50:22 AM »
I've had a smartphone for less than two years, but I would really miss the GPS.  We use it heavily on trips (several times a year) but I also am frequently going new places in my town and the nearby city.  We have only lived here 2 years.  Maybe if I had grown up here I wouldn't need that. 

Maybe it is stupid to have a smartphone primarily for gps.  I certainly use it for email and web browsing, but I could live without. 

We are currently on Verizon, with our contract ending in November.  Er live in a rural area and have awful service from everyone except Verizon.  What I want is talk, text, and a tiny bit of data from Verizon.  I know republic might fit the bill, but we have awful home internet, not enough to always support phone calls, and no patience to deal with lack of tech support. 

Anyway, long story short, we might do the sprint 100$ a month plan with my brother and mom.  But hen we are locked in a 2 year contract, so if sprint is truly awful we are stuck.  And H does need a new phone as his battery is completely dead and our current models have integrated batteries (HTC DNA).  Ugh. 

Even though I know we need to figure this out and switch, the choices are overwhelming.  I don't fully (ok, at all) understand half of what is said about SIM cards and such.  Can I take my Verizon phone to a sprint MVNO, buy a new SIM card, and have it work?  Is sprint or ATT better for rural service?  My understanding is the Verizon MVNO's suck and don't save much.  I don't even know what MVNO stands for.  After thinking through that all, I am ready to just quit.