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Cellphone Features: Reader Input Sought

motorola_q_2.jpgBy David Ponce

The idea’s been floating around the past few days, and a Mobilemag article pretty much distills it: do people really want all the features on their cellphones?

Do you?

So, chime on in, readers. How many of you actually use every bell and whistle? Who wants more? Who just wants a simple phone that doesn’t crash?

What’s essential, and what’s overkill?







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  • Some Guy

    Don’t be fooled. It’s not that people don’t want more features. Rather, it’s that people want the features that are there to work properly and intuitively. Who wouldn’t take a great voice phone that also took great pictures for the same price as a voice-only phone? The problem with today’s phones is they aren’t great at voice (more because of network issues than phone issues), and the usability (and cost for use in many cases) of the other features is piss-poor. In any case, EVERY carrier offers voice only phones – how many people do you know with one?

  • Belial_77

    I for one, use the majority of features in my LG VX8100. Camera, Bluetooth, MP3/WMA Player, etc. Hell, I even use the “Tip Calculator” about once a month or so. Only feature i don’t use often is video recorder (though i do use the play back option for to watch episodes of Red vs Blue I stashed on the SD card).

  • Austink

    I think phones should fist have a rock solid reliable base with almost no features at all, and then have some features, or a lot of features on the side. too many phones feel like the bells and whistles are all the phone is made of. A little like InternetExplorer vs. Firefox.

  • bobbyshame

    Maybe it is just me, but I am a bit of a minimalist. I want my phone to just be a phone. No camera, no internet, no games, just a very compact, exceptionally clear and reliable phone.

  • NetGeek

    The two features that I find absolutely indispensible are voice activated dialing and my Bluetooth headset. I do a lot of driving for work, and these features ensure that my attention is on the road, not on my phone. My camera is cute, but I could easily live without it.

  • merritt thackery

    Here in the US, the phone you get isn’t as important as the plan its on. We are severely limited as to what phones come with what plans.

    Having spent time in Russia, and seeing the plethora of phones for sale everywhere (SIM cards too) nearly everyone there has as many features as possible. I don’t want to carry around a PDA, camera and phone when my phone can do everything. I think ‘Some Guy’ is right, we want intuitive features that work flawlessly. If I could get a 5 megapixel, EVDO, bluetooth 2.0, wifi, voice activated computer phone (windows mobile 2003se or 5) I would. Even though those phones do exists, they suck right now.

  • Frisco

    I’m probably a medium weight user. In addition to basic phone functions, I use the camera, calculator, datebook. I like the progression toward multi-function service facility. As time goes by, I think “phones” as such will become mechanisms we use to manage various facets of our lives such as bank accounts, entertainment, investments and travel, even health, seamlessly and effortlessly. I don’t object. As long as the connectivity is under our individual control, I’m for it.

  • dponce80

    It’s beggining to sound like “some guy” was on to something. The notion that people don’t want all of these features is looking more and more (at least, from our small statistically insignificant sample) like an expression of the frustration at the poor implementation that many feel.

    So, could we sum it up by saying that we’d rather have a simple phone that works well, than a fancy phone that doesn’t?

  • Allen G.

    I use just about every feature of T-Mobile MDA, and I still think it’s missing some. But, I think more work needs to be done ensuring that “basic” features work reliably and resource-efficiently before new features are added. Also, the technological bottleneck in the handheld industry is not the manufacturers, but the carriers. Is there any reason why we are still paying for service by the minute? It took all of about 4 years before internet service providers switched to unlimited plans. The market is ripe for some new competition to kick these laggard cell phone carriers into action and finally provide U.S. customers what our Asian and European counterparts have had for years…features and functionality, the best of both worlds!