Smartphones vs. Not-So-Smart Phones: Which one is better?

As you all know this month is Cell Phone month here on the Digital Lovers Blog. Earlier this week, Jaketha posted an article about the Evolution of Cell Phones. Today, I am going to compare smartphones vs. not-so-smart phones or feature phones. But before I begin, lets look at the definitions of each device.

Feature phone
PhoneScoop defines a feature phone as "Any mobile phone that is not a smartphone. Feature phones have proprietary operating system (OS) firmware." Proprietary operating systems mean that the OS is limited to that device/company only. Often times, feature phones cannot download or access third-party software; commonly called "apps." If so, then they in no way interact with the phone's OS. This means that the phone's hardware or software does not increase the performance of the app. Even thought feature phones have limited or no access to apps, they are still loaded with features. Most feature phones today are "socially" designed. That means that more feature phones are coming with enhanced texting/typing abilities, access to web based email (i.e. Yahoo, AOL, Gmail), updated web browsers, and access to Facebook and Twitter. Of course accessing any type of email or social media will cost. Because feature phones do not require any sort of 3G or 4G connection to work properly, Internet access is cheaper (anywhere from $5 to $15 monthly fee).

PhoneScoop defines a smartphone as "A category of mobile device that provides advanced capabilities beyond a typical mobile phone. Smartphones run complete operating system software that provides a standardized interface and platform for application developers." Smartphone are geared toward the business person; having regular access to the Internet is a must as well as receiving cooperate email or storing multiple email accounts. Smartphone have the ability to download apps via the appropriate "app store" (i.e. Android Marketplace, Apple App Store). Smartphones give the user an enhanced experience surfing the Internet with the ability to view HTML5, Flash, and Java based sites (a.k.a. the fancy stuff). Because smartphones utilize your network's 3G or 4G connection, a GPS feature is always available, up-to-date news and weather can be accessed, and keeping your calendar up-to-date via it's syncronizing feature is available as well. Some smartphones have whats called a GPU or graphical processing unit. This enhances streaming media like YouTube, Netflix, and HDMI videos.

So which phone should you purchase?
My answer to that: Great question!?! :) Feature phones are great for those who don't like change. If all you do is make phone calls and text occasionally, then don't waist your money on a smartphone. If you can't get away from Facebook or Twitter, or you have a constant flow of email, then you probably need to look into a smartphone. I know earlier in the article I mentioned that feature phones are generally cheaper than smart phones, but this is not always the case. Carriers are always changing their plans and costs. You can get a low-end smartphone for FREE when you upgrade your contract or if you catch the right deal. But again, there are more costs associated with the smartphone (monthly data fee, phone insurance, basically anything that isn't considered standard). My wife and I made the switch to smartphones a few years ago and we love our phones. Now if only I can find a way to make the bill cheaper.....

PhoneScoop -
Cnet -