10 Reasons Why Your Next Phone Needs to Be a Smartphone

Trying to justify the expense of a data plan? Here are just a few reasons why smartphones have officially gone from luxury device to irreplaceable everyday necessity.

It wasn’t that long ago that a mobile phone was a device used almost entirely for talking and texting. As a result, nearly any phone would do.

What a difference a decade can make. Voice calls are just one of dozens of functions the modern mobile phone can perform. With easy-to-use interfaces, people can now do everything from bill paying to baby monitoring to live video broadcasting. And with so many devices available, there’s a smartphone out there to meet just about anyone’s needs.

Akin to the birth of your first child, people who upgrade seem unable to remember life beforehand. It’s a beautiful new, connected world, and there’s no looking back.

Here are 10 of the biggest reasons everyone should have a smartphone.

1. Mobile social media
Most of us are well versed in the desktop versions of social sites like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest. But without a smartphone, you are missing out on 50% of the fun. A smartphone allows you to upload photos, videos, and statuses regardless of location, while larger, better-quality screens make the experience that much more enjoyable. You can also join the growing group of people that “check in” at physical locations and events.

2. Email on the go
Many of our conversations still take place through email, but people with a basic phone leave those conversations behind the second they walk out the door. A smartphone allows you to send and receive email from multiple accounts wherever you are. You’ll find the real value in this when, for example, your friends need to discuss afternoon meet-up locations and you’ve been out running errands since breakfast.

3. GPS navigation
One of the biggest wins with a smartphone is the access to navigation apps, like VZ Navigator®. These amazing location-aware tools are just as helpful walking around your home turf as they are driving across the country. And using a smartphone for voice guidance can be much more economical than buying a separate GPS system for your vehicle.

4. Advanced photography and video
The right smartphone and data plan is more than just a phone, it’s a new digital camera as well. Most smartphone cameras have much higher resolution than those in basic phones, and many can shoot HD video. Some apps let you optionally tag your photos with your real-time location, allowing you to see an interactive map of everything you’ve ever shot.

5. The world’s information, at your fingertips
It’s been said that a child with a smartphone today has access to more information than Bill Clinton did as President of the United States in 1996. Whether it’s via mobile web browser or app, that information will be there the second you need it, wherever you are. And a smartphone’s larger screen and true web browsing experience blows away the limited web capabilities of a basic phone.

6. Music, movies, books and games
A smartphone is—among many other things—a home entertainment center that can fit in your pocket. Imagine a world where any song you want can be queued up in seconds, a TV show you missed can be watched the next day, books can be transferred from your local library, and movies streamed during long car rides. This is not far-off science fiction, it’s the everyday reality of most smartphone users.

7. NFC technology
Near field communication (NFC) enables select smartphones to exchange information when they are close (4 centimeters or less) to each other. Don’t feel like dialing, typing or giving voice commands to share your business card electronically? No problem. Just tap your phone on the receiver’s phone, and it’s done.

8. Cloud-based content
Thanks to cloud-based services, you no longer need to fret about which device has “the file you need right now” on it. MP3s, docs, video, photos—in many cases, these can now be synched from your home computer to your smartphone via the cloud. The advantage? Transfers are “automagical,” occurring mostly in the background, and you won’t lose valuable data if one device is lost or damaged.

9. 4G LTE speeds
Whether you want to play games, watch a video or upload a picture message, 4G LTE speeds will make that process faster and, therefore, more enjoyable. Available only on select smartphones and tablets, 4G LTE is up to ten times faster than 3G. Imagine how much more work and fun you can get done with all that saved time.

10. Swipe credit cards
Friend owes you $20 bucks? Not having cash is no longer a viable excuse for not paying up. An explosion of mobile payment apps (coupled with free hardware) now allow almost anyone to swipe credit cards using their smartphone. And transaction costs are usually cheaper than the average fee at the register. Anyone with something to sell (DIY crafters, service contractors, artists, etc.) can now accept payments anytime, anywhere.

Try all that with a basic phone. Once you experience everything that you can do with a smartphone, you won’t want to go back to just texting and calling.

This article was written by an author contracted by Verizon’s Insider’s Guide to provide helpful information on wireless technology. The thoughts, opinions and suggestions of the author may not necessarily reflect those of Verizon Wireless.

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