Tuesday, March 29, 2011
I've had a "Smart" cell phone for about six years now. My latest smart phone was the top of the line Nokia phone from this time in 2009. I love the convenience of being able to check my email, download podcasts, browse the web, read books, and view my calendar wherever I am, as well as (as you other smart phone users know) thousands of other things I can do with my phone. My wife, though, has NOT had a smart phone. For years she had the same, plain old flip phone, not exactly like the one on the right, but darn close to it. It was the only cell phone she'd ever had, and it literally was at least eight years old. Finally, I went to make a call on it a few weeks ago and saw that the LCD screen was broken so that all of the liquid had leaked around the screen to the point that the screen looked like a Jackson Pollock painting, and I looked at my wife and said, "Honey! We have to get you a new phone!" So we did. And she agreed that--at long last--it was time to get a smart phone.
Huwai Ascend. Many reviews, including the one linked to here, were not flattering of the phone, describing it as "a low end phone" or at best "a good introduction to the Android phone." But there were enough positive reviews, and the phone was cheap enough, so I decided I'd go ahead and buy it, and if it wasn't quite up to par to my top of the line 2009 model, my wife would never know the difference, since she'd never had a smart phone.
But apparently I am the one who never knew the difference, because her 2011 bottom of the line smart phone runs circles around my 2009 top of the line smart phone. Cell phones have changed that much in two years. Her phone is faster, more responsive, and with more applications. I'm not saying I'm jealous, because I'm satisfied with what I have (Also, since mine is paid for by my school district, I don't really have any reason to complain about it). What I am saying is that it's amazing how much cheaper and faster cell phones have gotten in just two years. My wife's phone was half the price of mine and is easily four or five times as fast.
There's a lot of talk in technology education circles about students using cell phones as their primary computing advice. The conversation goes something like this: We go to all of the trouble of forcing students to NOT bring their cell phones to school, or at least to put them in their lockers, and then we struggle to find funds for a 1 to 1 laptop initiative. Meanwhile, there's all of this computing power sitting unused in the students' lockers. Why don't we just let the students use their phones?
I thought that whole line of reasoning was hogwash back a month ago when I thought my top of the line 2009 smart phone was what cell phones could do today. Now that I've seen my wife's cheap prepaid cell phone, my mind has been changed.