Friday, October 4, 2013

A Dummy Gets a Smartphone

     I purchased my first smartphone the other day. You might think I'm behind the times. (Well, maybe you don't, but my children sure do!). But actually the latest figures I found, as of July 2013, say that approximately 30 percent of Baby Boomers use smartphones (as opposed to about 50 percent of the overall population.) So I'm not that far behind the times.

     When I finally made the decision to make the purchase, and came away from Best Buy with a hot little phone in my hand, I felt that I had joined some kind of exclusive club. I felt that, finally, I was . . . smart.

     But now I'll tell you the real reason why I got a smartphone. I lost my digital camera. I was going to buy a new camera -- my Canon Powerpoint was four or five years old, and even though I liked my camera a lot, I wasn't too upset because I figured they've improved the technology by now. But then I started to do some research, and I reached the conclusion that a smartphone will take a photo just as well as any mid-range digital camera. And you get a phone in the bargain.

     I actually talked to the salesperson at the camera counter at Best Buy. I was playing dumb (not hard for me to do) and asked him about various cameras, and I told him how I'd lost my old camera, and I was in the store to buy a smartphone. The camera salesman told me that the new smartphones take just as good a picture as all but the very best of the cameras . . . and you don't have to lug around a big heavy device.

     He pulled out his Samsung Galaxy S4, and showed me the pictures he had taken the other day at the zoo. He explained how he had gone to the zoo with his girlfriend, and after he parked, he opened the back door to the car, intending to get his Nikon from the backseat. Then he stopped and thought, do I really want to have that heavy camera dangling from my neck all day? So he left the camera in the car, and used his smartphone to take pictures.

     He showed me the photos, and they were bright and clear and in focus. He did point out one photo of some kind of lizard. I took this one indoors, he told me, and it's not really that good. That's one thing the Nikon will do better -- take photos in low light. But otherwise, he said, I'm completely happy with the pictures I got from my cellphone.

     Ultimately, I bought the Samsung smartphone, partly because it got good reviews online (yes, I know the i-phone also gets top reviews, but I didn't want to pay the extra money.) Also, as the camera salesman pointed out, the camera offers 13 mp, instead of 8 mp on the other phones, which should give me photos comparable to my old Canon, or even better; plus it has more battery life as well as some other features that he explained but that I didn't understand.

     So now I'm making phone calls, and accessing the internet and trying to get used to the camera, and researching all the apps I'm going to get. But there is one more reason why I got a smartphone. Text messaging. Now, I know you don't need a smartphone to text; but it does make it a lot easier. And the fact of the matter is, my two kids, like most 20-somethings, never answer the phone anymore. They only text. And I want to be able to communicate with my kids.

     My first text was to my son. He never answers his phone. But he texted me back, literally, within 30 seconds: "Whhoooaaa ... never thought I'd get a text from this number!"

     Then I texted my daughter. She never answered, either, when I tried to call her on my regular cellphone. But now she answered right away, and proving that sarcasm can be conveyed in a text, she said: "Wow, Dad, welcome to the 2000s!" 


DJan said...

Welcome to your smartphone! I have an iPhone, which I love, and I text my sisters and other iPhone owners only. You're right: the smartphone takes great pictures. I don't know about Samsung's, but my iPhone 4S does a great job and now I'm lusting after the camera in the 5S, which is apparently awesome. I know you will be showing me some of your pictures on line soon, right? :-)

Olga said...

I thought about buying a smart phone and the saleswoman actually talked me out of it. How behind the times am I?

Anonymous said...

Now that smartphones are being used 24/7 use this great smartphone nightstand from Amazon that floats your phone to the position you want it. (The perfect gift )

Anonymous said...

Great minds and all that. I just got a me Apple iPhone. My granddaughters told me I needed it. Besides, it talks to my new Macbook Air. This should be fun. See you online? Dianne

Florence said...

We have had Blackberries for several years and love texting the family. However, we are trading in our Blackberries for iPhones later this year. I am really looking forward to the much better camera in the iPhone.

Stephen Hayes said...

You're behind the times? Not only do I not have a smart phone but I've never owned a cell phone. They're different, right?

Dick Klade said...

What charges must you pay to operate that nifty gadget?

icedcoffeenosugar said...

Very interesting post...I too would like more info on your charges...thx

Anonymous said...

had samsung s4 as well, a very good smart phone but a battery hug -- need to be charged everyday.

one thing we have to know is
the picture results are different between camera and any smart phones due to the cost of lens on smart phone only aboutn $10 to $20 bucks. the storage image size does not help the true resultion. i.e. you can store image through 10 buck len in 13MB but deviding a not so good image into thousands of pixel does not really help the quality. you can easily enlarge the pictures from smart phone and camera then compare them. (I think you still need to have a camera for having good picutres -- my 2 cents.)

Linda Myers said...

I bought an iPhone so all my email and texts and addresses from all my Apple products could be synchronized. I need to take a class to find out how to use the rest of it.

Tom Sightings said...

I use Verizon, which is not the cheapest carrier, but they're supposed to be better than the others -- better reception, fewer dropped calls, etc. I'll have to pay an extra $30 a month, plus an extra $10 per month for the internet . . . plus taxes of course.

Rita said...

The salesman wasn't correct. A smartphone will never produce photos that are as good as a SLR digital camera. It's all about size -- the size of the lens.

Most photos that people take are indoors. The smartphone just won't perform as well in low light situations.

Then there's the flash. My Canon has a pop up flash. That helps in low light situations.

Good luck, but if you're a photo lover like me, you'll need a digital SLR.


Gwix98 said...

I have an older basic first generation Samsung smartphone.
Works great as is . No need for anything more sophisticated. I prefer a separate digital camera for photos.

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Jonathan Schindelka said...

Welcome to the modern age! Just kidding. In fact, you should know your stuff when it comes to getting into new technology. It's not like you need a smartphone of anything, but having every tool you need at the palm of your hand sure feels nice. It's also neat that the salesperson didn't try to rob you or use confusing sales talk, and instead just showed you why the product is worth buying.

Jonathan Schindelka @ ProWireless

Mary Hagopian said...

You mentioned that one of the main reasons why you bought a smartphone was because you wanted to replace your digital camera. If that is so, then I think you made a wise choice with your purchase. Samsung smartphones have great picture-taking capabilities and large storage. I’m sure you found it very useful in taking pictures.

Mary Hagopian

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