"Feature Phone" irony.


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  1. Snow_Fox

    Snow_Fox Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    When it comes to phones... it really seems to be like there is no middle ground..

    I find it funny they call the dumbphones "feature phones" or "quick messaging devices"

    However, they have no real features, nothing you can't get in a smartphone and usually done better on the smartphone..

    And calling them "Quick Messaging Devices" seems like an outright lie seeing as none of them have swype, they are all resistive (lower quality) screens, and while they may have a nice physical keyboard occasionally..its not like any of them offer any real advantage over smartphones.

    While I realize that every business out there tries to save money where they can... I feel like when it comes to "dumbphones" they outright disregard any concerns they may have about the presentation of the phone, while they at least try to make the higher end phones have a more premium feel to it.

    And I could be wrong.. but, I also feel like the selection of these is shrinking.. if not quickly.. definitely shrinking.

    Call me crazy but, would it be to much to ask that manufacturers actually put some effort into these feature phones? I know there is a huge push in the market to move to smart phones.. but, lets be real here.. not everyone can afford that monthly data plan...

    A lot of effort goes into making smart phones decent.. I fail to see why they can't put some effort into the QMD's.

    I am not expecting dual core snapdragon here.. but, it would be nice if they actually focused on the "middle market" if you will.

    I can't speak for phones.. But, I know in the world of GPU's companies make very little off of the "high end" gpu's.. all the money is made in the mid range..

    Have the high end Smartphones become so profitable that they really don't care about the mid range anymore?
     

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  2. dan330

    dan330 Well-Known Member

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    i am not sure what you are getting at friend..

    they are "ok" for what they meant to be used for.
    "feature" means that for specific needs.
    calls
    texting
    photos
    some web
    some email

    they are simple and not meant to be more.

    dumb phone = calls and messaging
    feature phones = add in some multimedia, and some data.
    smart phones = little damn computers :D
     
  3. Eugene

    Eugene Well-Known Member

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    Thats why I had to go to a smart phone, the dumb phones started loosing features, didn't have a useable calendar/pim. I want to get my wife a new phone, she bought an LG ENV3 because it had a nice camera and keyboard for texting but the call quality is terrible, I hate talking to her on it because of the noise or voice dropping out but there is hardly nothing in the way of phones that are decent anymore without going to a smartphone.
     
  4. Tangent

    Tangent Well-Known Member

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    I always interpreted it a bit differently. Dumbphone and featurephone doesn't refer to the same thing; there are 3 types of phones:

    Dumphones - Simple devices that are first and foremost designed for voice calling. Example: Motorola Razr

    Featurephones - Devices designed to make calls, but also designed for easy texting with slide or flip-out keyboards and larger displays. Example: LG enV Touch

    Smartphone - Essentially small mobile computers with calling abilities. Example Droid
     
  5. Pryomancer

    Pryomancer Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely not. Global sales of smart phones pale in comparison to dumb phones and feature phones.
     
  6. tommy_ed

    tommy_ed Well-Known Member

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    feature phones and smart phones sell about the same in my store, feature phones maybe selling a little more.

    I kind of agree with the OP, althought right now there seems to be quite a few good feature phones (Samsung Intensity II, Samsung Reality, LG Accolade, etc..) but then there are plenty of SHITTY feature phones as well (ZTE Salute, Motorola Rival, etc.)... at least we finally got rid of that goddamn 9.99 data plan that was required on a lot of phones.. that thing really hurt sales
     
  7. SoFLO

    SoFLO Guest

    I think the low-end smartphones are starting to cross over into the "midrange" phone market. I have a feeling dumbphones are going to be relegated to prepaid carriers.

    Featurephones aren't dead though...look at MetroPCS putting LTE into the Samsung Craft rather than a smartphone.
     
  8. Stuntman

    Stuntman Well-Known Member

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    There's an article in the allaboutsymbian.com site that wants to add even more classifications of phones these days. They have "feature phones" on the low end, followed by "smartphones", then "superphones" and up to "tablets." I think this is way too complex.

    I would rather they will all be called "phones." More and more features have been incorporated into phones these days. It's going to be too complex to have a different name for every tier. Probably, everything below a tablet will be called a "phone." Then you will have "tablets" for the larger scale size of these devices.

    The name "phone" is simple and elegant. I've been really cutting back on my use of the word "smartphone" as of late. When I use the word "smartphone", I feel like I am trying to show off too much and is beginning to make me uncomfortable. It implies that others who do not have smartphones have "dumbphones."

    I say we just use the word "phone." Then in the 23rd century when we will call them "communicators" and its counterpart, the "tricorder." :)
     
  9. 3devious

    3devious Well-Known Member

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    I'd like a "feature phone" like the EnV Touch that I have sitting in the closet to just let me tether with my notebook or tablet.

    I've gotten as far as I want to with my android phone and I realize that I'd prefer a normal phone with a physical keyboard for talking and texting (but I do like that speech to text feature.) If I want to do the smart phone apps/games, I'd also prefer a bigger screen. No, the Droid X, (Evo, nor whatever 4.3 inch phone has become the flavor of the week) will not do. I want a real screen for that stuff, forget putting it in my phone.

    The feature phones were OK for email (Verizon's email app is horrible, though.) The Twitter app was decent so for anything more than that, I want to tether.
     
  10. dan330

    dan330 Well-Known Member

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    so..
    you are downgrading to a feature phone.
    and carry a 7-10" tablet everywhere you go?

    thats cool... we are all different.
     
  11. lordofthereef

    lordofthereef Well-Known Member

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    I don't think the idea is everywhere he/she goes. I think the idea is he/she goes places where she infrequently needs internet, but can plan for this (ie a trip or something). My girlfriend is one of those people that really doesn't use here data enough to warrant paying for a sepparate data plan. She just likes to play games and text using a nice touch screen, yet she has a full blown smartphone.
     
  12. dan330

    dan330 Well-Known Member

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    like i said.. it is cool

    i love the idea.. 1 device for MOST of my needs
    phone
    camera
    camcorder
    texting
    gps
    planner
    search stupid answers
    games for when I am bored
    read news
    read books
    mp3
    tv
    video
    radio
    computer
    emails
    internet
    video chat
    social network update
    photo album
    roledex with every business in it
    etc........

    now... I love that it is 1 device. and everywhere I am.. I know all that is soo easy to get to and use.

    soon... it will be our credit cards.. our wallets..
     
  13. 3devious

    3devious Well-Known Member

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    I'm with you on all that, Dan. I just don't feel that they do some of those things well enough. The more you give someone, the more they want, right?
     
  14. dan330

    dan330 Well-Known Member

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    yes.... we will always want more.

    like they say..
    jack of all trades, but the ace of none.

    1 device for all.. is good for quick/fast needs at the moment.
    single-purpose built device will always be better for each need.

    i am ok with the trade off...
     
  15. Snow_Fox

    Snow_Fox Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Well the problem is..

    And I think that it was praised best.. smartphones are now crossing into the "midrange" market and kinda taking over that portion.

    Now that is all fine and well if you can afford a data plan or in my case, if your parents are cool with either A. paying it or B. letting you pay for it.

    However, on the flipside They aren't paying for it.. and for some reason, they wouldn't let me pay for it either.

    Now.. seeing as they aren't getting off their carrier.. When upgrade time rolls around there are a lot of "low end" smartphones now.. but, they still require data.

    I have nothing against there being midrange smartphones.. but, I don't think you can argue taht any phone is "mid ranged" when your required to pay for data.

    Also I hate carriers acting like your getting some sort of great deal when you get a phone.. despite having to pay 300$ minimum in data over two years.. "OH WOW YOU DECIDED NOT TO CHARGE ME 50$ AND YOU LET ME GET IT FREE BECAUSE ITS BLACK FRIDAY AND I JUST SO HAPPENED TO HAVE AN UPGRADE I REALLY SAVED A LOT OF MONEY EVEN THOUGH YOU STILL MAKE 500$ IN DATA OVER TWO YEARS".

    Then again, from another perspective, being as there is no real solid definition for a smart phone..

    I hate these vague classifications.. but, we can argue semantics forever and get no where..
     
  16. Eugene

    Eugene Well-Known Member

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    The real annoying thing is there are not many non smart phones out there, I'm afraid we'll have to up my wife to a smartphone and second data plan even though she, like me, could live without it but to get a decent phone we'll have to.
     
  17. dan330

    dan330 Well-Known Member

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    that makes no sense..

    if you think you need a smartphone just get a decent phone..
    then there is something that the smartphone does that you want! and it requires data to get those functions.

    there are plenty of good/great feature phones and dumb phones. if you can truly live with just what they are designed to do!
     
  18. Eugene

    Eugene Well-Known Member

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    You don't need a data plan to have a decent camera or a decent keyboard for texting, but looking apt the (few) currently selling non smartphones none of them are as good as her current phone feature wise.
     
  19. dan330

    dan330 Well-Known Member

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    feature phones have 3.2mp camera. they dont get bigger than that because.. the cpu in them can not handle to much more. but that is what dumb phones have had in the past.. so no change.

    keyboards in feature phones are just for texting..
    they are not very big phones.. because it is not a smartphone with hugh screens. so the keyboards can not be big. again they are the same as they been in the past.

    you want newer and better features.. more power...
    you are pushing yourself into the smartphone.
     
  20. Snow_Fox

    Snow_Fox Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    I think there is a certain catch here.

    You want the feature's that a smartphone would have.

    But, you do not want to pay for the data package a smartphone would have.

    As I said before, I fail to see why a feature phone can't have a capacitive screen instead of resistive.

    The Samsung Impression had a HUGE keyboard and decent screen by just about any standards despite a plethora of other problems.

    I could actually write a another thread on why it annoys the crap out of me. People on the at&t forums are in many cases just about what I'd call brainwashed into believing you need a data plan with all smartphones.

    The smartphone's obviously get more attention in terms of camera's keyboard's and a lot of other things that require no data what so ever.

    If carriers/manufacturers are unwilling/unable to support decent QMD's with decent specs then, I think that there should be smartphone options that don't require data plans..

    At the end of the day, we can argue that "smartphone" is a buzzword more than anything else..
     
  21. Stuntman

    Stuntman Well-Known Member

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    This is the phone for you: The World’s Simplest Cell Phone | TheCellularGuru

    Check out the awesome address book and gaming features. :)
     
  22. UBRocked

    UBRocked VZW Nexus Please!!! VIP Member

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    Let's not forget that the evolution of cellphones has been a VERY fast evolution! Think back to the absolute "best" phone you could buy in 2000...

    Even before the onslaught of "smartphones", think back to 1998 when the first of the Nokia communicators was released (9000 communicator). There was a market for this type of larger screen, full keyboard, messaging device even before the technology was really supported. I'm willing to wager that none of you actually owned that device. Why? Most likely because it was outrageously priced and you couldn't justify the cost of such a device for what it did (which is why I didn't own one either).

    Fast forward to 2010. Internet has changed dramatically and social networks like Facebook and Twitter have more active members than many, if not most, of the countries in the world have actual citizens. Cameras that still utilize actual film are seen as archaic, mp3 players are a "necessity" for most people...and so on.

    Will the free flip phones that really only serve to make and receive phone calls die? Probably not. There will always be a market for these types of devices as I see it. But once you want to do "a little" more with that phone, I think what we are seeing is that people want to do a LOT more. The feature phone is dying because it's too much of a device for some people and too antiquated of a device for everyone else.

    Cost is also a factor in all of this but consider the following. In 2005, my wife and I had 1500 minutes to share on a cell phone plan. We didn't text or use any other features. We paid around $100 per month (on T-Mobile). 5 years later, we use our devices for EVERYTHING and we pay $150 (on the more expensive Verizon network) with 700 minutes but with Google voice, mobile-to-mobile, free nights and weekend calling that is plenty considering that I rarely "talk" to anyone. I can't even remember the last time I had an long distance plan on my home phone. Most communication to or from my phone is in the form of email, texting, status updates, IMing, PMing, etc. If you consider the $50 price jump to be a lot, consider what we are getting for that increase and then consider that we paid $20.90 for a carton of cigarettes in 2005 and now it is $50 for a carton. The product hasn't changed but the price has increased by nearly 240%!

    Not trying to dis the OP here...just giving my long winded perspective on the cell phone market. Will the feature phone die...yes! I believe the manufacturers know this too which is why feature phones are now usually cheaply built and offer older tech under the hood. Android brought smartphones to the masses faster than any other device/platform in history. How many people knew about Android until the Droid was released just over one year ago??? Android has made smartphones accessible in many form factors and price ranges to fit most anyone that want's more than a basic flip phone. Now with "entry level" devices being shipped with Froyo...those feature phones look pretty sorry despite having to pay for a $30 data plan.

    But don't take my word for it...check out Verizon's site. Look at "Top rated phones". Out of the 26 results that populate only 9 of them are non-smartphones (and that includes 1 mobile hotspot, and two laptops). Ouch! 12 of the phones listed are Android devices. THE FIRST ANDROID PHONES FOR VERIZON HIT IN 2009! Crazy fast!

    If video killed the radio star...Android killed the feature phone :D
     
  23. Eugene

    Eugene Well-Known Member

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    She isn't wanting newer and better features, she just wants as good as what she has now. Only problem with now is its crappy LG phone that doesn't make calls very well.
     
  24. mikedt

    mikedt 你好 Guide

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    Here in China there is very much a middle ground. Most of the population has lower priced feature and messaging phones, that is they have a camera, MP3, Java games, SMS, e-mail and QQ, as well as making phone calls of course. Nokia been the most common brand that I've seen.

    Most phones in China are pre-paid rather than contract, the only notable exception is the iPhone. Large screen Android and WinMo type smart phones can really be expensive here. Most people do not have the money to afford true smart phones.
     
  25. Snow_Fox

    Snow_Fox Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    @UBRocked

    Thats fine and dandy if it is just you and your wife your paying for.

    However, I am one of three children.

    I will probably write another rant on just how *stupid* my parents are in a moment, however, while your paying 50$ more.. for my family at 25$ a person on our network... that would be 75$ for 2gb each.. or 35$ for 200mb each.
    so I am not sure how many minutes we have but, at 5 x 25$ = 125$ right there... + 30$ for everyone to text.

    base price + 155$ is a lot of money.

    And if phone's were still used to talk, that would be fine.. but, the truth is.. if you don't have the feature's these days people just don't communicate with you..

    Don't have texting? good luck getting someone to actually call you if its not business related.
     
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