Nearly everyone has a mobile phone and the vast majority of these are smartphones that allow users to connect to the internet and run apps as well as sending texts and making phone calls. Whilst they are amazing gadgets, they are not without their issues and to give you a better understanding here’s a list of 10 advantages and disadvantages of smartphones.
Advantages of having a smartphone
1. Smartphones can be great for drivers. You can use smartphone apps, like Google Maps, as Satnavs, helping you get to your destination and avoid traffic jams. You can even connect your phone to your car’s audio system and blast out your favourite tunes whilst you’re driving.
2. Complaining about products and services becomes a whole lot easier when you can do it through Twitter and Facebook on your smartphone. Many companies now use social media as a part of their customer service. It makes it quick, easy and you can do it anywhere.
3. Having a smartphone makes it much more convenient to check your email, social media or even you bank account while on the go. Need to look at your bank balance before making a purchase? Not a problem.
4. With a smartphone, you’re no longer going to get in hot water using your company’s computer to chat with your friends whilst you are at work. Instead, you can keep your conversations away from the business’s network, protect your privacy and stay within your employer’s IT usage policy.
5. With so many public Wi-Fi hotspots popping up, smartphones enable you to cut down your reliance on your phone network to get connected. This means you can do more surfing without the need to eat into your data allowance. Do be careful though, not all hotspots are secure.
6. With a smartphone, waiting for things becomes less of a pain because you can keep yourself entertained; for example, you can read the news, play games, listen to music or watch a movie. It can make your commute to the office or those four hours waiting to get seen in just fly by.
7. If you are out and about looking for something to do, smartphones can be the ideal tool to find the perfect entertainment or restaurant. Using apps like Foursquare, you can get up to the minute information on where to go and what to do – all based on your current location. You can also find reviews and even get money off vouchers.
8. As a smartphone is essentially a small screen computer, it means you can carry out a wide range of tasks when on the go, for example, you can use your phone to order your groceries, write a report, turn on the central heating and play Angry Birds.
9. As your apps can connect to and sync in the cloud, you can have access to all your information and files, no matter where you are. Using online storage, such as Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive or Dropbox, you can get hold of important information wherever you are. And by using the huge variety of apps available, you can do things like publish a blog post, edit your photos or update a spreadsheet.
10. Recent advances in technology mean you can now use your mobile phone in a similar way to a contactless bank card and pay for things just by tapping the screen.
Disadvantages of having a smartphone
1. Phones can be addictive and spending too much time on them can make you socially isolated from the real world. You should avoid becoming obsessed with constantly checking it. Resist the urge as it can develop into compulsive behaviour.
2. Overuse of smartphones has led to the development of a smartphone etiquette. There are certain social situations where it is just not acceptable to have a phone. For example, it’s not considered polite to interrupt a conversation to check an incoming text, nor do many people feel it’s appropriate to take a phone out when at the dining table. In other words, don’t let your smartphone habits turn you into a rude person.
3. You will lose your smartphone. Several times a day. You’ll leave it in the car, at the office, down the side of the sofa, under the duvet. And when you try to ring it, either the battery will have gone or you’ll have left it on silent. Don’t worry, it turns up – usually.
4. Smartphones are expensive. If you just have to have the latest all singing, all dancing model then you will be paying either a large sum to buy the phone outright or quite a bit for your monthly contract. In addition, there are costs for different services and charges for buying apps. It all adds up. Calls are also more expensive over mobile networks than over home phones.
5. There are security risks with smartphones. You store lots of personal information on mobile phones and many of the apps log you in automatically, giving anyone with your phone access to your online accounts. If your phone does not have an adequate, password protected, screen lock, then all this information is at risk.
In addition, there is also the risk your phone can be hacked or even spied upon.
6. Hello, burglar, I’m on holiday! There are some apps that allow friends to track your location using your phone and if their phone gets stolen, it’s easy for the thieves to find out that you are away from home. Of course, you can make it easier for them by posting a photo of you on Facebook, sunning yourself on the beach.
7. Storage can be a problem. Smartphones are small so there isn’t space for a huge, built-in hard drive. Although you can buy a sizable SD card for your music, images and videos, the vast majority of your apps and the data they download will be stored on the phone’s internal storage by default.
You can move the apps’ data to your SD card, however, whenever the app updates (and most do so very regularly), it will reinstall everything back on the internal storage again. In effect, this limits the number of apps you can have installed at any one time.
8. Danger, Water! Although there are a few waterproof phones beginning to appear on the market, it is safe to say that the vast majority of smartphones don’t get on too well with liquids. You’ll be surprised at how many get dropped down the toilet, in the bath or in the sink. If yours gets wet, turn it off or remove the battery as soon as possible to try to prevent it shorting. The most common remedy, though it doesn’t work for everyone, is to stick it in a bag of rice for 24 hours to soak up any water. Check out the many YouTube videos for help. The best solution is to contact the manufacturer or your vendor.
9. Smartphones are not indestructible or childproof. Besides falling down the toilet, the biggest problem we tend to have is dropping them and the result is often a smashed screen. Whilst you can buy a replacement screen and have a go at mending it yourself, the results are often poor. Getting it done professionally is the best option but it also very expensive. You can massively reduce the risk of smashing the screen by not lending your phone to your kids.
10. On a serious note, perhaps the biggest disadvantage of having a smartphone is that you put yourself at risk of someone trying to rob it from you. There have been instances of people being badly assaulted by thieves stealing phones and this is much more likely if you are flashing the latest, must-have phone. Luckily, a new technology which allows stolen phones to be deactivated remotely after being lost or stolen has reduced the number of thefts taking place. The best solution, however, is to keep your phone in your bag or pocket when in public. Out of sight, out of mind.