These days, smart phones are the gadget du jour amongst businessmen and students, but at what cost? The Star Tribune in Minneapolis reported “smart phones accounted for nearly 90 percent of the growth in the number of U.S. cell phone users” during 2008 (click here), and a new study asserts that they account for nearly one third of Canadian cell phone users’ devices (click here). Though Blackberrys, iPhones and the like arm their owners with a myriad of capabilities, they hurt wallets just as much. Carriers require a mandatory data plan of up to extra $50 per month, while charging even more for GPS, radio and TV services. As a result, users nearly double their voice and text messaging bills for extra features.
But is all of that necessary? There are plenty of users who need a cell phone just for that—a phone. An extra feature or two, like a camera or a music player, is fine. But why get charged additional fees for extras that they don’t need? Below, find Urbane’s list of “Dumb Phones:” phones that get the job done, add a few bonuses, and leave out the mandatory data plan charges.
Reviews of the Samsung Rogue report good call quality, but it doesn’t stop there. The phone also flaunts a beautiful touch-screen, 3-megapixel camera, a pull-out keyboard and a headset jack that fits regular headphones, enabling owners to enjoy their music without a pesky converter cable. A data plan would enable web browsing and streaming videos, but it’s definitely not necessary to enjoy many of the phone’s other features.
See also: Nokia Intrigue
Even though I purchased it in 2006 or so, it makes me upset that the megapixels on my Sony Cyber-Shot camera are less than the megapixels on the Samsung Memoir. With an astounding 8 megapixels, the Memoir boasts the best camera on a cell phone in the market. Call quality meets the mark, its TouchWiz interface has gotten positive feedback, and design-wise, it’s one of the slimmest camera phones out there. Yes, there are a few other features, but who cares?
The Exclaim is a switch-hitter: it slides up to reveal an alphanumeric keypad for dialing, and it slides out sideways to reveal a QWERTY keyboard for text messaging. Large buttons and simple menu options enable easy navigation, while a large display screen and good quality get the job done. Add a 2-megapixel camera for menial photography, and you’ve got a solid phone.
LG Shine II
A changeup from the previously mentioned touch-screen Samsung devices, the LG Shine II excels by keeping it simple. It’s a slider phone with a durable build, a shiny finish, a 2-megapixel camera and a standard music player. Mobile web, social networking and email are available with data plans, but with an alphanumeric keypad, it’s not worth it. Use the Shine II for phone calls, maybe a quick picture, and that’s it.
See also: Samsung Mythic, Samsung Impression
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