Comments
5 Inexpensive Smartphones: No Perfect Choice
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mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
8/4/2014 | 8:04:13 PM
Re: I'm not adding insult to injury with expensive smartphone on a contract
The Lumia 520 and AT&T's GoPhone seems like a good deal. Is your son happy?
For me, the lack of front-facing camera is a let down. I read that the 530 -that the article mentions- will also lack front-facing camera.

If I was looking to replace my phone, I believe I'd be better off trying to get something with better specs, but for the same amount of money ($50) on Craigslist.
SaneIT
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SaneIT,
User Rank: Ninja
7/31/2014 | 8:28:28 AM
Re: small phones
I carry one of those Phablet sized devices, primarily because I do a lot of work outside the office and it is a nice blend of small enough that I'm not pulling a laptop out to send quick replies to emails and I'm not using a tiny phone screen to try and open a remote session into a server if I need to give something in the office some attention.  I also have a tablet (Surface Pro) that has become my do almost everything device.  During the day it sits docked on my desk acting like a desktop PC, and when I'm away from the office it goes with me like a laptop.  If I could get a phablet that performed like my Surface this I would jump at the chance to buy one. 
D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
7/30/2014 | 4:26:35 PM
I'm not adding insult to injury with expensive smartphone on a contract
My 12-year-old son was craving a smartphone, but there was no way I was going to buy him an iPhone and then add a $40- to $70-per-month contract on top of the cost of the smartphone. The Lumia 520 was a great, low-cost choice, and with AT&T's GoPhone month-to-month plan, it's $25 per month with talk and text but limited mobile data. He can use WiFi for browsing in many places (Optimum/Cablevision has an extensive network in the NYC area).

My son admits he has dropped his Lumia many times, but it seems to be tough as nails (knock wood).
freespiritny25
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freespiritny25,
User Rank: Moderator
7/29/2014 | 5:57:40 PM
Re: small phones
In addition to making my pocketbook lighter, phablets are great or multi-tasking and convenience.
JonNLakeland
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JonNLakeland,
User Rank: Moderator
7/29/2014 | 4:01:20 PM
Re: small phones
@Laurianne, Actually, that ties in really well with one of the points made in the article, about this price point in developing countries. A phablet may be a more perfect choice, under the assumption that they are less likely to be purchasing multiple devices.
JonNLakeland
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JonNLakeland,
User Rank: Moderator
7/29/2014 | 3:58:01 PM
Re: small phones
I agree that the term is horrible, but I can see the appeal of the form factor. A "normal" sized phone of the flagship variety tends to have more power than can be usefully taken advantage of by the screen. I personally hate to carry multiple devices - Do you really want to leave the house with a cell phone, an ereader, tablet, laptop....? 

 

Tablets are facing the same challenge that cameras did/do - you don't go anywhere without your phone, and it does a "good enough" job at doing what the specialist device does. The only question becomes where the border lies between big enough to optimize usefulness and small enough to stay 100% portable.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
7/29/2014 | 3:47:44 PM
Re: small phones
It is interesting to me that the displays keep getting bigger. I continue to be surprised by the number of execs using "phablet"-size phones. Our readers seem to hate the term but love the form factor. Could an affordable phablet make sense for you?
JonNLakeland
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JonNLakeland,
User Rank: Moderator
7/29/2014 | 9:12:52 AM
small phones
I don't dispute the meat of the article, but the idea that there was "never" a race for the smallest phone is simply untrue. In the late 90's and early 00's (admittedly before the smartphone revolution really took off) there certainly was a push to make the smallest possible useful phone. Even once smartphones became popular, it seemed every new top end phone was bragging about being the thinnest. Smartphone makers (and one would guess, smartphone buyers) seem drawn to extremes.


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