Friday, August 05, 2011

Mobile Experiment: Feature phone and tablet

I am currently experimenting with a feature phone, a Sony-Ericsson Equinox, and a Samsung Galaxy Tab (7 inch). Previously, I had a T-Mobile MyTouch 3G handset, which also runs Android. I have wanted to do the experiment for some time; however, due to ill timing on my phone contracts, I'm stuck paying for duplicate Internet service on my handset and on the tablet. It seems like it would be a waste to not use both Android devices.

Putting all that aside, I have thought that I could conduct my business and be more productive, overall, if my handset were not a smartphone. The idea is to use one device just for calls, and the other for all the other wonderful things it does.

Today was my first day of the trial. One improvement is that the lack of features makes it less attractive to me to play with the phone while driving. At most, I'll call Reqall. The tablet is not an option because you can not easily hold it in one hand and type at the same time. Presumably, you need the other hand to steer.

Another benefit is that it is much easier to not check messages on a tab than it is on a handset. I can't explain the reasoning behind that; it just is.

Battery drain is less of a problem on feature phones compared to smartphones. This means you really do get more talk time and have to recharge less frequently.

I expect that my work flow will change as a result of having a dedicated phone that only does phone calls. My current handset is a spare one we had around the house. What I'd really like is a much cheaper phone with fewer features. There is a little Nokia that can squeeze out 13 hours talk time from one charge, versus 4 hours with the Sony-Ericsson. I don't really talk all that much; but it would spare me the car charger juggling between devices.

I recognize that this experiment goes against the whole notion of using your phone for everything. I was big into that for a while until it became inconvenient to talk on the phone and use other features simultaneously. As mobiles have enabled us to break free of the desk, they also require you to use them for other things, which is tough to do while you're on a call.

Having a dedicated phone seems the way to get the most out of your mobile smart device. At least it does for me.

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