For the longest time, I used a Motorola Razr cellphone. This one, actually:
It was great! It was tiny and fit in my pocket, and lived FOREVER even though I always forgot to charge it. I loved that phone. And while my version didn’t have a way to add memory so I couldn’t take too many pictures, I used it for well over 6 years.
Then I got married and we started our own family cellphone plan and my husband convinced me to upgrade to a smartphone. So I researched and finally picked out the Motorola Atrix:
And I finally entered the world of smartphones and texting (I had data/texting disabled on my Razr). However I never come close to using up all my data (I’m on the smallest plan the offer), usually forget to charge it (it’ll last almost 5 days if I don’t use it too much), and still don’t really text. Don’t get me wrong- when I was in Ecuador, I loved being able to use Google Hangouts on my phone (using wi-fi) to talk with my husband back home, and it’s great to be able to take a picture of something while I’m out shopping, send said picture to my sister and get her advice (I’m hopelessly fashion-challenged- jeans and a t-shirt (or sweatshirt) work just fine for me!), and there have been a few times were being able to get online while I’m out and about has come in handy, but most of the features are just a novelty to me. I don’t really need them.
Then, a few months ago, my phone started randomly rebooting. Sometimes it would just do it once and stop, other times I’d find it almost dead in my purse after work because it had been rebooting all day. Usually if I manually power it down, that’s enough to break the cycle and it’ll be fine when I fire it back up again, but last weekend, it got stuck in a permanent reboot cycle. Even after popping the battery and SIM card out (as some sites suggested), I couldn’t even get it to fully boot up before it would restart again. After some intense Googling, it became apparent that the only way to stop the cycle was to reformat the phone. Some people were able to get away with just clearing the cache, but that didn’t help my phone- it needed to be fully reset. I knew I’d lose everything stored on my phone, but there was no way around it. So I reset my phone and, to my surprise, when I got it all back up and running, all my pictures were still there! I had set my phone to automatically sync with my G+ account, so I don’t know if that had anything to do with it or what, but I was pretty excited to see them again!
I know phone-camera pictures aren’t the best quality, but sometimes I just need to take a picture of something and my phone is all I have. For example, parking at work…
My work is seriously lacking in employee parking. They built a parking ramp, but employees can only park on the 3rd and 4th floors, and only if they have a permit, which is based on seniority (last I checked, you had to have worked there at least 12 years to get one). There are a few small lots scattered around, but they fill up quickly, and since I tend to work later shifts, parking is pretty hard to come by. It takes me 11 minutes to get to work if I hit all green lights, but I leave my house 40 minutes before I’m scheduled to start so I have time to find parking, walk several blocks into work and change (I work at a hospital and they provide us scrubs to wear, which is awesome because it greatly cuts down on the amount of laundry I make! I don’t mind doing laundry, but I hate folding it!!)
Anyway… the fact that people park like idiots at my work certainly doesn’t help the parking situation. Fortunately, while I have a long car, it’s actually pretty narrow and can fit into those not-quite-a-full-spot spots that other cars can’t fill. And I thoroughly enjoy taking a picture each time I squeeze my car into one of those tiny spots!
A regular car probably could have squeezed in there, but my little car has plenty of space! (and yes, I purposely parked closer to the truck so that my car was less likely to get hit by the door of that grey car!)
If I recall correctly, this one was tricky because there was a long vehicle across the aisle that made it a bit difficult to line my car up, but I got in!
Winter is the worst because the snow covers up the lines and people can’t line their cars up for anything! The 2 cars I parked between were actually pointing inward a bit, so the spot got narrower towards the top but not even that can stop my car!
Taking pictures is about the most use my cell phone gets, and I don’t need a smartphone to do that! My contract is up in a few months, so I think I’ll be going back to my old flip phone, though if I can drop my data plan, I’ll switch over sooner.
I’m sure there will be some times when having a smartphone would come in handy, but I just can’t justify the cost when I really don’t use it all that much.
My original plan was to keep using my Atrix and try out Walmart’s Smart Talk plan, but since my phone isn’t working all that well, I think the cost of staying on AT&T and not having a data plan will cost about the same as using a smartphone on Walmart’s system (I was a little wary of coverage if I switched plans- I already know where I can and can’t get reception with AT&T). Plus I got my Atrix from Best Buy and have to option to sell it back to them, which will give me a pretty chunk of change :)
What do you think? Do you have a smartphone? Did you get it when they first started introducing them, or did you hold out for a while like me? Do you find yourself using it enough to justify the high price of data plans? Would you consider going back to a regular cellphone?