Buying a Smartphone

by Betty

I have to say that buying a smartphone is an overwhelming task! I’ve never had one before and have only played around a bit with my friend’s iPhone. But with all of the hype around these things nowadays, I’m wanting to get one. I’m not a techie type person, so I find the idea of basically learning a new type of computer to give me a headache. I’m thinking I’ll either really enjoy it, or I’ll get so frustrated that I’ll hate it and want to go back to using a basic flip phone.

I’d love to be able to send and receive pictures with my kids, and I think if text messaging is easy to use I’ll be able to communicate with my kids more with text messaging. Now they send me messages, but I find it somewhat of a pain to retrieve them, and I almost never answer them because typing is such a pain in the butt. I guess I’m the type of person who just wants to pick it up and have it work. So when I’m thinking about buying a smartphone, I hear about the phone freezing, things not working, operating system updates, etc., and it makes me think that I’m going to have to mess around with it too much like I’ve had to do in the past with my Windows PC.

I guess you could say that I’m hesitating buying a smartphone, but something within me is compelling me to give it a try! I feel like the iPhone is really the best choice, but I’ve heard such awful things about the AT&T network. I think it’s enough to worry about getting used to a smartphone, let alone have to worry about dropped calls and network issues. There’s also people that are saying that Google Android phones are better and that Apple is behind the game, but I usually find Apple products so easy to use. Again, here comes the headache!

I don’t even really know what to ask for help with. I read about how there’s really no one best choice, and it’s really a personal opinion or preference, so I guess I’m just venting. And I just want to express that buying a smartphone is not that easy for some of us, but they do seem to be the future, so I guess learning to use one now is as good a time as any!

Comments for Buying a Smartphone

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Jun 18, 2010
The Challenge of Buying a Smartphone - Part 1
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

Thank you for sharing your thoughts! I can definitely see where you’re coming from. It really is a significant departure from using a basic feature phone. It sounds like you’ve read the page about how to choose the Best Smartphone. So just try to keep things simple in terms of holding the device in the store and seeing how it feels in your hand with respect to size and shape. Then a major element for you will be typing in text. Whether you’re using a physical keyboard or a virtual keyboard, just remember that it will take you a couple weeks or more to get used to it, so be easy on yourself and try not to get too frustrated.

I think once you play around with a few different types in the store, you’ll likely have a good idea of what you prefer. I know that with a lot of touchscreens these days people with longer nails can have difficulty using it because they need to react to the electrostatic nature of your skin, and often won’t work (or don’t react the way they should) if using a nail or even the tip of a pen (with the cap on of course!). And then there are others who find physical keyboards to just be too small for their liking. As you said, it’s a personal preference!

Also, don’t forget to make a test phone call! You noted that you want things to be simple and easy and to just work. So have the clerk in the store show you how to do basic things like make a phone call, send a text message, and read/write an email. Or better yet, try to figure it out on your own for a few minutes first, and then ask for help.

Also, keep in mind that most wireless providers will allow you to return the device within 30 days of buying it. So be sure to check on their policy, because the bottom line is that you’re going to need to use it for at least a couple of weeks before you’ll know whether you like it, or it’s going to drive you crazy! Some in-store playing around will be very helpful, especially to help you narrow down which smartphone you like the best, but I don’t expect you’ll be spending enough time in the store buying a smartphone to be 100% comfortable (maybe only 10%!). So long as you don’t drop or damage the phone when you take it home, returning it shouldn’t be an issue.

Jun 18, 2010
The Challenge of Buying a Smartphone - Part 2
by: PrepaidWirelessGuy

Lastly, it's not like buying a car where it's a massive expense that you'll be stuck using for years and years on end. Even if you decide you're not ready for a smartphone after the 30 day return period, you upgrade it (i.e. get a new/different phone) usually in a year (for postpaid) or just go ahead and buy a new phone (if on prepaid, or postpaid for that matter; it will just cost you more, but still, we're not talking fortunes ;-). And if you're really miserable, maybe you can give it to one of your kids, or even sell it on eBay and buy a new one if you're not eligible for a subsidized upgrade, or don't want to pay full price for a new phone. Though if you go back to using a feature phone (i.e. a basic/standard phone), the cost shouldn't be too bad.

Anyway, thank you again for sharing. All the best, and I hope that buying a smartphone turns out to be a great experience for you!

Feel free to check out the prepaid smartphones found in the Smartphone Comparison table.

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