How essential to life is a smart phone in the 21st century?

Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

ComUtoR

Established Member
Joined
13 Dec 2013
Messages
6,628
Location
UK
How much does the average smart phone user spend annually on running a smart phone. Incidentally, what is the cost of a middle-range smart phone?
Depends on what you call a 'smart phone' and what you call 'middle range'. The likes of Apple and Samsung will do everything they can to sell you a flagship phone for a Grand. Yet you can get a perfectly useable 'smart' phone for sub £100.
 

GusB

Established Member
Associate Staff
Buses & Coaches
Joined
9 Jul 2016
Messages
2,041
Location
Elginshire
Have the public at large been the victims of subtle marketing brainwashing since the start of this millenium?
I'd argue that the public at large have been victims of marketing brainwashing, subtle or otherwise, since people started advertising their goods. A smartphone is just a product like any other. Like other gadgets they improve over time and have additional functionality. If all you do is make voice calls and send the occasional text, then you certainly don't need one and could happily make do with something more basic. I don't really see my phone as a phone these days; it's a general purpose computer that happens to be able to perform the functions you'd expect of a phone, and much, much more.
How much does the average smart phone user spend annually on running a smart phone. Incidentally, what is the cost of a middle-range smart phone?
Have a look on any of the mobile networks' websites for pricing to get a rough idea. You don't have to have the latest top-of-the-range iThing or Galaxy S6,000,000+. My phone isn't one of the big brands, but I was able to buy it for £150 outright with no contract and it has enough of the features that I wanted.
 

Ashley Hill

Member
Joined
8 Dec 2019
Messages
381
Location
The West Country
Unfotunatly smart phones whether we like them or not (I don't but I have one) are becoming increasingly essential especially for the younger generation. Wherever you go companies are trying their best to encourage/force consumers to use their apps. My bank is frustrated because I won't sign up for online banking or the app and I'm sick of them asking. But,this is what the modern world is becoming,the convieniance of doing things at the touch of the button,phone companies urging us to have the latest mobiles/tablets etc. Then there's social media,not just Facebook or Twitter but sites like this too. Then there's eBay,Amazon and tickets for live entertainment. Add to that Just Eat,restaurant and hotel bookings and home shopping. All can done on the train to work! It's sad that a lot of businesses prefer to work this way. Imagine lockdown without a smartphone.
Many people feel lost if they leave the phone at home and cannot cope if they lose it because it contains all their contacts,photos and other information.
Try removing one from an under 18 as punishment and it's as if you've ruined their life forever.
 

Busaholic

Established Member
Joined
7 Jun 2014
Messages
9,261
Unfotunatly smart phones whether we like them or not (I don't but I have one) are becoming increasingly essential especially for the younger generation. Wherever you go companies are trying their best to encourage/force consumers to use their apps. My bank is frustrated because I won't sign up for online banking or the app and I'm sick of them asking. But,this is what the modern world is becoming,the convieniance of doing things at the touch of the button,phone companies urging us to have the latest mobiles/tablets etc. Then there's social media,not just Facebook or Twitter but sites like this too. Then there's eBay,Amazon and tickets for live entertainment. Add to that Just Eat,restaurant and hotel bookings and home shopping. All can done on the train to work! It's sad that a lot of businesses prefer to work this way. Imagine lockdown without a smartphone.
Many people feel lost if they leave the phone at home and cannot cope if they lose it because it contains all their contacts,photos and other information.
Try removing one from an under 18 as punishment and it's as if you've ruined their life forever.
My bank gets frustrated by my refusal to bank online too, but the last time they tried to persuade me, their systems went down for 24 hours immediately afterwards! But then I was a NatWest account holder when it was still the Westminster Bank before merging with the National Provincial, so I've seen more changes than you can shake a stick at, and many that have been quietly abandoned or forgotten.
 

GaryMcEwan

Established Member
Joined
20 Aug 2013
Messages
1,454
Location
Bridgeton, Glasgow
For me my phone is essential. I have my work email, union email, Skype for Business and Teams all on it. Also because I'm a Union Steward its the most effective way for members to get in contact with me if they need help and advice.

Also all my banking apps are on it, along with public transport apps. I also quite frequently get the latest phones. I've just bought the Samsung S20 Ultra 5G and so far it's pretty amazing. I always trade back with Samsung, so a phone that should cost £1100, costs me £600ish.

I don't pay for a contract either as I have my friends second staff sim card as they work for a mobile network.
 

111-111-1

Member
Joined
20 Jul 2019
Messages
163
Not essential but can be very useful especially when away from access to a desktop or laptop.

As said by others they don't need to cost a fortune, if you buy last years model it will be a great deal cheaper than this years one and unless this years one has a new feature you really need do the job just as well.
 

Lewlew

Member
Joined
15 Oct 2019
Messages
126
Location
London
Like everyone has said, it's not essential but for me it certainly makes things a lot more convenient. I use my phone to pay for things in shops, use it for train tickets/railcard, I store documents in the cloud so always accessible and it's also the best camera I've ever owned with photos automatically uploaded to the cloud so if my phone were to be broken/lost etc then I'll still have access to everything.
 

GusB

Established Member
Associate Staff
Buses & Coaches
Joined
9 Jul 2016
Messages
2,041
Location
Elginshire
Like everyone has said, it's not essential but for me it certainly makes things a lot more convenient. I use my phone to pay for things in shops, use it for train tickets/railcard, I store documents in the cloud so always accessible and it's also the best camera I've ever owned with photos automatically uploaded to the cloud so if my phone were to be broken/lost etc then I'll still have access to everything.
I think this is one of the crucial things - everything is backed up to the cloud these days. When I got my first mobile, all contacts were stored on the SIM. If the phone was lost or stolen it was possible to obtain a new phone and SIM and have your number transferred, but anything stored on the SIM was lost. Then phones started saving contacts on the phone memory, so when doing an upgrade you had to do a phone to SIM copy... Nowadays everything is linked with my Google account.
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
51,229
Location
Up and down the south WCML (mostly)
How much does the average smart phone user spend annually on running a smart phone. Incidentally, what is the cost of a middle-range smart phone?
I've got a Moto G7 which is pretty midrange (actually a very good phone - I prefer it to the far more expensive Oneplus 6T I had previously to it for a number of reasons) and that was about £200. You don't need to pay the outrageous Apple tax for a good phone.
 

Hadders

Fares Advisor
Joined
27 Apr 2011
Messages
7,204
I wa talking to a friend the other day and we were reminiscing about photos taken when we were kids.

Back in the day you'd take a role of 24 photos on holiday and when you returned send the film off somewhere for processing. This was quite expensive because as well as the upfront cost of the camera you had to pay for film and processing.

These days many people take more than 24 photos in a day on their phone. There's no ongoing cost for film or processing. This must save people some money as well as the additional functionality that the smartphone brings.
 

DelW

Established Member
Joined
15 Jan 2015
Messages
1,162
How much does the average smart phone user spend annually on running a smart phone. Incidentally, what is the cost of a middle-range smart phone?
My current Moto phone cost me £150 from Argos last year. It's predecessor was about the same price, and lasted me 5 years. I replaced it not because of any fault, but because its memory was too small to load any more updates.
I use them on PAYG, adding £20 credit about twice a year to cover calls, messaging and internet access. Most of that tends to be spent on internet access when travelling.
So overall, it probably costs me around £1.40 a week on average. With little or no travel this year, rather less at the moment.
 

S&CLER

Member
Joined
11 Jan 2020
Messages
182
Location
southport
People tell me I should buy a smartphone so I can call in an emergency when I go walking, but they forget that in many upland areas there is no signal (yes, I know the 3 words app works in those conditions). I've worked at home since about 1980, so that the phone and fax were ringing all day, and I was always glad to be away from a phone whenever I went out. There are no close friends or relatives surviving for me to be in contact with, the bank branch is 2 or 3 minutes walk away, local transport I can do on my ENCTS pass, and for longer distance tickets I prefer the reassurance of a physical ticket. If mobile phone ticketing became compulsory, I should just give up rail travel, as I decided last year to give up air travel and not renew my passport. Photography doesn't interest me, and smartphones always seem too fiddly. So I've never owned a mobile phone.

In general I'm a technophobe, for whom DVDs were the last technology of any appeal (though a fax machine bought for about £1200 in 1981 paid for itself in 3 months, since it secured me a regular client in Jersey who couldn't have dealt with me by post). Since 1992 I've even done all my serious work, including about a dozen books, on an offline computer using WordPerfect 5.1 for DOS, much more user-friendly than Word! To be fair, only the monitor is still the one I bought second-hand in 1992. If only I could find an HP Deskjet 500 to replace the one that had to be scrapped because of a mechanical fault in the paper feed!
 

Ianno87

Established Member
Joined
3 May 2015
Messages
6,933
I wa talking to a friend the other day and we were reminiscing about photos taken when we were kids.

Back in the day you'd take a role of 24 photos on holiday and when you returned send the film off somewhere for processing. This was quite expensive because as well as the upfront cost of the camera you had to pay for film and processing.

These days many people take more than 24 photos in a day on their phone. There's no ongoing cost for film or processing. This must save people some money as well as the additional functionality that the smartphone brings.
My kids probaby each have about 100 times the number of photos that ever existed of my Dad!


On holidays, we only ever really had 12 photos. Due to my Mum's insistence of taking a second identical picture "in case the first one doesn't come out"!
 

telstarbox

Established Member
Joined
23 Jul 2010
Messages
4,718
Location
Wennington Crossovers
I would say it's essential for my job. I can take the train or drive to a construction site and know that I'm using the most time-efficient route. At the site I can take photos which are labelled with their exact location and timestamp, so they can be automatically loaded onto a project map. I can also refer to any relevant emails without carrying printed copies, and contact colleagues if necessary. To do all of that without the smartphone would cost more and take a lot more time.
 

DelW

Established Member
Joined
15 Jan 2015
Messages
1,162
Smartphones haven't become essential yet, because the human race existed quite happily without them until about 10 years ago, and the systems we used until then still work now. Only when such systems are withdrawn might smartphones become essential. IMHO that would be a risky step to take, committing vital services to digital versions without traditional backup systems, as we may yet find they're less resilient than their proponents suggest. If nothing else, Covid has shown us that things we thought were certainties ain't necessarily so :frown:
 

Aictos

Established Member
Joined
28 Apr 2009
Messages
9,333
I would say it's essential for my job. I can take the train or drive to a construction site and know that I'm using the most time-efficient route. At the site I can take photos which are labelled with their exact location and timestamp, so they can be automatically loaded onto a project map. I can also refer to any relevant emails without carrying printed copies, and contact colleagues if necessary. To do all of that without the smartphone would cost more and take a lot more time.
Same for me, my phone is essential for my job that I do in that without it I would be very handicapped.

For non work purposes, it's nice to have but for work purposes it definitely is essential.
 

Ianno87

Established Member
Joined
3 May 2015
Messages
6,933
Given the NHS Covid App trial on the Isle of Wight, that may deem them 'essential' to have certain freedoms in the near future.
 

Top