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For all intents and purposes I don't really have a cell phone - I have the same one I had back in high school, which means basically all it can do is make calls, send text messages, and take awful pictures. I never really use it anyways. I'm with Verizon on my family's account still (I've been mooching this + Netflix since... forever), and lately I've been thinking about maybe getting a smartphone. I can't do it via our existing Verizon contract for weird complicated reasons (long ago my family signed up for unlimited data for my brother, and now that's not available anymore, and if any one of us upgrades our phone, we have to get a new contract, thus getting rid of the unlimited data, which is not a great idea because my brother's not exactly a very responsible dude and at some point he would totally go over the bandwidth limit and charge a bunch of money to the account etc. It gets even more complicated but whatever).
Reasons for thinking I might want a smartphone:
- It would be nice to be able to look up directions and other stuff when I'm lost. Right now when I go anywhere I have to write down directions on a piece of paper and hope I don't screw anything up. If I decide I want to go some other place but I don't know its location or how to get there from where I am, then I'm boned, pretty much. Kind of inconvenient, no?
- Ditto for checking email, checking my Google calendar, etc.
- Right now when I exercise and drive I listen to music or podcasts on my iPod shuffle, but this is inconvenient for switching between the two (I just delete all the music and move podcasts on, and vice versa), I can only have a limited amount of music, no playlists, etc.
- It would be really cool to be able to stream KEXP when I'm driving or exercising, at least sometimes.
Those are the main things, plus a few smaller reasons (it would be easier to calculate prices/compare prices while shopping if I could have a calculator and take pictures of the labels, it would be nice to have an exercise app tracking how far I run each day, I was on a plane the other day and I could have done the "paperless boarding pass" thing and it seems like there are other things that require smartphones which seem to be popping up these days, I could put Grindr on it, etc.).
I have Wi-Fi at home but I exercise outdoors and in a workout room with no Wi-Fi, so if I wanted to stream KEXP or whatever while exercising (and while driving, of course) it would have to be through cellular data.
Spending as little money as possible would be ideal...
So, now, questions:
- Is it worth getting a smartphone, do you think? Obviously I've lived without one all these years, and if doing many or all of the things on the above list is going to be pretty expensive then I just as soon wouldn't bother.
- Which company do I go with? I'm in San Diego if location matters at all.
- Which plan? Any idea how much data I should get?
- I'd rather an Android phone of some sort than an iPhone but whatever does the stuff I want is fine. Presumably what phone I get would be partially determined by the carrier, and I can research phones on my own fairly easily, but advice is welcome. I guess that's not really a question.