A Smart Phone Can Replace As Many As Five Electronic Devices

A smartphone is a mobile phone with computer-like capabilities, such as email, data processing and personal organization. Especially useful for business purposes, using one smartphone can save using up to five separate devices: a cell phone, PDA, digital camera, MP3 player, and even a laptop. You can combine all the functions of these five electronic marvels into one smartphone. If you find yourself carrying two or more of these electronic gadgets on a regular basis, consider a smartphone for fewer things to keep track of. This article presents information you can use to decide if a smartphone is right for you, and if so, which is the best model and plan to go with it. We'll give you pricing information on the phone itself, as well as available plans and o ther features. When you are done considering this information, you should be ready to make an informed decision as to whether or not you need a smartphone, the best model and plan, at the best prices for your budget. Read on!

Smart Phone Features

Smartphones do so many things now that to call them a "phone" is an understatement. Most smartphones come with the following features:

  • Phone Capabilities
    This is the primary function of a smart phone, the rest of the features can be considered optional extras.
  • Email Capabilities
    Accessing email is one of the features of most Smartphones. From business to personal, you should be able to access all your email with your smartphone.
  • Media Player
    You'll find many models come with audio and video playback capabilities.
  • Camera Features
    Many standard cell phones are now camera phones as well, so it stands to reason that this feature comes with many smartphones.
  • Personal Digital Assistant (PDA)
    So many of us carry at least a cell phone and a PDA, so it makes sense to combine the PDA with the smartphone. No need to carry around so many electronic devices anymore.

Smartphones and Their Accompanying Plans

As with purchasing a regular cell phone, you also purchase a cell phone plan. More than likely you are already on a contract with a cell phone provider, so this is the first place you should check when considering buying a smartphone and smartphone plan. Here are the major smartphones and the service plans to go with them, including prices for both the phone and the plan. You can often purchase the smartphone for a huge drop in price when you sign up for a plan at the same time. For instance, retail prices range from $249 on up to $600 depending on phone model, but careful shopping for both the plan and the phone can save you between $150 and $250 on the phone, depending on model.

Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless plans for smartphones range from $80 on up and include the data plan, which you will need to use email and text messaging. Phone minutes range from 450 on up to 3,000, depending on the plan you choose. The data portion is usually unlimited. Available smartphones from Verizon include several models of the BlackBerry, the Motorola Q, a couple of Palm Treo models, Samsung, and other models. These models are Bluetooth compatible, with features such as media player, email, text and instant messaging, digital cameras, and of course an organizer. Sign up for a two-year contract and you can purchase a smartphone for as little as $100, for a Verizon Wireless PN820, with discounts and mail-in rebates.

At the time this article was written, T-Mobile was offering free smartphones with some of their smartphone plans, for new customers only. Their plans start as low as $39.99 per month for the phone plan, plus $19.99 for the data plan (email, instant messaging, etc). Smartphones from T-Mobile include several models from BlackBerry and the T-Mobile Dash. Prices normally run about $300 for these phones, but they are cheaper going through the service provider.

AT&T Wireless
AT&T offered several smartphone models for free when signing up for their service. Starting prices for mobile and data service through AT&T was $59.99. Smartphone models include the BlackBerry Curve and Samsung's Blackjack.

Final Words

With technology advancing rapidly, it was only a matter of time before someone combined several small devices into another small device for our convenience. The smartphone combines telephone, PDA, media player, camera, and laptop into one device that fits in the palm of your hand. Considering the cost of even one of these devices, the smartphone makes sense, both for your pocketbook as well as having everything you need in one place. For more detailed information on the BlackBerry smartphones and Apple's iPhone, see our related article in this category.

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