Author Topic: Smartphone for wifi/camera use only?  (Read 2749 times)

Gone Fishing

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Smartphone for wifi/camera use only?
« on: December 08, 2016, 10:21:08 AM »
I use a flip phone for my phone calls, but I think I want a cheap, preferably large screened, smartphone simply to take pictures and post/email them easily once wifi connected or show people in person.  I really don't want to have to carry a large phone around for making basic phone calls so I want to keep the flip phone for everyday use .  So basically, I want a cheap wifi enabled camera. What should I get?

Daley

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Re: Smartphone for wifi/camera use only?
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2016, 10:29:13 AM »
A cheap WiFi enabled digital camera. Seriously.

Buying a smartphone means you're investing in a multi-gadget tool that does every job poorly. If you want a digital camera with WiFi capabilities, you don't buy a telephone with internet access using a tiny fixed lens and almost no buttons. You buy a camera.

There's plenty of options from Nikon, Canon, etc., new, used, with WiFi capability... and if you've already got a reasonably modern digital camera already that uses SD cards, there's even WiFi capable SD cards available. Won't give you as "big" a screen for previewing as a smartphone would, but the quality of the photos taken between the two choices will be night and day. If I'm taking photos and have to choose between the two, I want good images, not a huge preview screen.

Roots&Wings

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Re: Smartphone for wifi/camera use only?
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2016, 10:46:12 AM »
I'm not a techie, and have my old flip phone as well as the Blu Studio C Super Camera (it was recommended on bogleheads), which has worked out well for me. 1 year and going strong!

HipGnosis

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Re: Smartphone for wifi/camera use only?
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2016, 01:30:44 PM »
You can get an older smartphone for way less than a camera with WiFi, since that's a fairly new feature.
An added bonus - any cell phone that works can call 911.   You can also install apps (over WiFi) for taking notes, etc.
I've bought my last 3 or 4 phones through Amazon - but not from them.
I research what phone I want, then search for it on Amazon.  But instead of clicking 'Buy', I click 'Used from $xx...'  (not sure the wording is always the same) and then I select 'Refurbished'.
You will specifically want to ensure the phone you buy has a user replaceable battery.  Which are also sold on Amazon.

Daley

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Re: Smartphone for wifi/camera use only?
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2016, 03:37:35 PM »
You can get an older smartphone for way less than a camera with WiFi, since that's a fairly new feature.

No, no it's not, actually - they've been around for over a decade at this point. I found a whole mess of really good used/refurbished WiFi enabled cameras on Amazon and Ebay in good shape for around $30-60, such as the Nikon Coolpix S6/S7c. There are also 16GB WiFi capable SD cards starting from $20. Exactly how good a camera are you going to get on a used smartphone for that money, again?

My point stands.

Roboturner

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Re: Smartphone for wifi/camera use only?
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2016, 04:24:46 PM »
why not an older model ipod touch? you can pick those up off ebay for <$50

jeromedawg

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Re: Smartphone for wifi/camera use only?
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2016, 12:01:18 AM »
You can get an older smartphone for way less than a camera with WiFi, since that's a fairly new feature.

No, no it's not, actually - they've been around for over a decade at this point. I found a whole mess of really good used/refurbished WiFi enabled cameras on Amazon and Ebay in good shape for around $30-60, such as the Nikon Coolpix S6/S7c. There are also 16GB WiFi capable SD cards starting from $20. Exactly how good a camera are you going to get on a used smartphone for that money, again?

My point stands.

The benefit of a smartphone camera is the direct email/Google Photos/etc capability vs turning on wifi on the camera and connecting to it or connecting to the wifi sd card to grab the images. Say you're out and about and want to upload a bunch of photos you just took or you want to email some to friends while at some coffee shop that happens to have a hotspot. With a wifi camera or wifi sd card/camera you would still need a smartphone or computer to get those images so they could be uploaded. Theoretically, with an eyefi card you could preconfigure it to work on whatever network(s) ahead of time, but this wouldn't really make sense in the scenario I just described.

At least, that's how I interpreted the use case that was originally presented: "I think I want a cheap, preferably large screened, smartphone simply to take pictures and post/email them easily once wifi connected or show people in person."

Although, I just re-read and this confuses me: "I really don't want to have to carry a large phone around for making basic phone calls so I want to keep the flip phone for everyday use" when he just said he wants a "preferably large screened smartphone"
« Last Edit: December 09, 2016, 12:03:52 AM by jplee3 »

ooeei

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Re: Smartphone for wifi/camera use only?
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2016, 07:07:53 AM »
I use a flip phone for my phone calls, but I think I want a cheap, preferably large screened, smartphone simply to take pictures ...  I really don't want to have to carry a large phone around for making basic phone calls so I want to keep the flip phone for everyday use .

So you want a large screen phone to use as a camera, but you don't want to carry one around, so you don't want it to replace your phone?  The great thing about smartphone cameras isn't how good they are, it's that they're always with you.  If you end up carrying around your "wifi camera" everywhere, why not make it so you don't have to also carry a flip phone?  You can find a smartphone that will take acceptable pictures for probably $100-150 and will function as a phone.  You don't have to get a data plan with it, you can still just use it as a phone and on wifi.  You also don't have to worry about forgetting your camera when you go somewhere or missing a spur of the moment picture.

If you don't plan on carrying a camera around everywhere and only want it for certain events then I guess it makes sense, in that case IDK why wifi is even a factor.  Just get a regular point and shoot camera and use it the same way people have for decades.

Daley

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Re: Smartphone for wifi/camera use only?
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2016, 08:10:30 AM »
The benefit of a smartphone camera is the direct email/Google Photos/etc capability vs turning on wifi on the camera and connecting to it or connecting to the wifi sd card to grab the images. Say you're out and about and want to upload a bunch of photos you just took or you want to email some to friends while at some coffee shop that happens to have a hotspot. With a wifi camera or wifi sd card/camera you would still need a smartphone or computer to get those images so they could be uploaded.

Some, yes, but not all. There's WiFi cameras that even have email sending built in. Samsung and Kodak were big on pushing that charge, and there are a few used around the $60 price point capable of such feats as emailing, publishing to Bookface, and even using cloud storage all from the camera itself.

teen persuasion

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Re: Smartphone for wifi/camera use only?
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2016, 08:51:32 AM »
Following

Instagram is why I'm considering the same idea as OP - work has a basically useless Instagram account, because we cannot upload pix from our work camera.

jeromedawg

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Re: Smartphone for wifi/camera use only?
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2016, 09:01:40 AM »
The benefit of a smartphone camera is the direct email/Google Photos/etc capability vs turning on wifi on the camera and connecting to it or connecting to the wifi sd card to grab the images. Say you're out and about and want to upload a bunch of photos you just took or you want to email some to friends while at some coffee shop that happens to have a hotspot. With a wifi camera or wifi sd card/camera you would still need a smartphone or computer to get those images so they could be uploaded.

Some, yes, but not all. There's WiFi cameras that even have email sending built in. Samsung and Kodak were big on pushing that charge, and there are a few used around the $60 price point capable of such feats as emailing, publishing to Bookface, and even using cloud storage all from the camera itself.

Interesting, so presumably connecting them to wifi hotspots is pretty easy and flawless? If so then that would remediate the concerns over uploading/emailing photos on the go while out and about and being able to connect to any wifi hotspot with relative ease.

HipGnosis

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Re: Smartphone for wifi/camera use only?
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2016, 11:52:59 AM »
Although, I just re-read and this confuses me: "I really don't want to have to carry a large phone around for making basic phone calls so I want to keep the flip phone for everyday use" when he just said he wants a "preferably large screened smartphone"
I understood that to mean; he is thinking of getting a (relatively) large screen (bar type) smartphone but not put it on carrier service for calls - he will keep using his flip phone for that.  He won't have to carry the 'big' phone ALL the time, just when he will or might take pictures.
I use my old cell phone w/o service as a MP3 player - it saves my 'new' cell phone battery.  The old one also has more free memory so it has more songs.

Ynari

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Re: Smartphone for wifi/camera use only?
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2016, 08:59:36 PM »
I've used an iPod touch for this in the past when I was in another country and had to go the flip phone + wifi-camera route. I'm kinda surprised there aren't a lot of other options like it - there used to be the Samsung Galaxy Player but it looks like they discontinued that a while ago. Guess there isn't a big market in the world of smart phones