Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Smartphones and value for money

Ok so I took the plunge. My shiny new Nokia E71 arrived last week. This is the first time I have bought a mobile phone at its retail price. Before this, I was usually happy to choose among the free phones supplied by the carriers. But this time things are different. There are fantastic smart-phones on the market (like the E71) and I have figured out the math behind why "free" is not free when it comes to mobile phone plans and 2 year lock-in periods.

Still, spending 300-odd Euros on a phone triggered introspection. Do I really need a smart phone that is, well, so smart. Smart is a relative term. I used to sync my old Sony-Ericsson to my PC Outlook and have my contacts and calendar up-to-date. That was smart too. So the question is, is my E 71's extra smartness worth the Euros? After 3 days, here are the things I am doing with my new phone that I could'nt earlier. Offcourse Nokia advertises the things you can do with this new phone, but I seriously doubt I will ever do all that Nokia suggests.

1. Do emails on the train.
2. Use the basic English-German dictionary in the phone
3. Type SMSes faster
4. Set up appointments, to-dos easily on the phone, thanks to its keyborad
5. Get an automatic weather report in the morning
6. Solitaire
7. GPS.. well, perhaps in the summer if I get lost or something (unlikely though)
8. I can chat and Skype-out using Fring.

Well lets suppose the phone lasts 2 years. that would get its price to under 50 Euro cents per day (discounting the cost of capital). That probably makes it worth the money given the list above.

...or am I rationalizing the splurge?