I need a smartphone.

It’s been a long time coming, but yesterday it really hit me. I need a smartphone.

I’ve always been a late adapter of technology: My Xbox and PlayStation are out-dated versions. I don’t have a camera nor an mp3 player. And a tablet or eBook reader? Are you kidding –  Of course I don’t have one. As for my phone, I have a Pantech Pursuit. A messaging phone.

Don’t get me wrong, the phone does the job. It makes calls, takes pictures, stores music, text messages, it kind of goes on the internet, and of course, it’s cheap. It’s all I really need, and probably more, but as I sit on the sidelines of the happening mobile world, I realize that there’s a whole lot that I’m missing out on. There’s a lot that I can’t do because I don’t have a smartphone:

  1. Get Amazing Apps“There’s an app for that.” Well, too bad I can’t use it. Having digital advertising as an interest makes me aware of a ton of cool mobile apps to try (like this one: New Balance Urban Dash). Unfortunately, I simply can’t even explore them.
  2. Excel with Social Media – I have it all. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, DailyBooth and as of yesterday, Foursquare. But really, my “non-smart” phone is preventing me from getting more involved with each of these. Heck, Foursquare without a mobile device? That’s not ideal for obvious reasons. (Disclaimer: I know that “I have it all” is a wildly inaccurate statement. There are so many social media sites… but I do have a lot).
  3. Scan QR Codes – They are everywhere. Earlier this month, comScore reported that 14 Million Americans scanned QR codes on their phones in June 2011 alone. And that’s only the start. They are growing in popularity and prominence. Me being the curious cat that I am dies a little inside every time I see a QR code. I can’t scan it, and am not allowed to “see what’s inside.”
  4. Stay on top of Pop Culture – Smartphones are changing the world and finding their way into pop culture. Examples: Angry Bird stuffed animals, and my cousin dressing as an iPhone for Halloween. Without a smartphone, it’s hard to keep up.
  5. Mobile Banking – It’s emerging, and it’s amazing. Yes, I can use text for a mini version of mobile banking, but banking apps are becoming more prominent and more helpful to consumers. Heck, now you can even pay for your Starbucks drink with your mobile phone.
  6. Use Internet on a Whim –  I’m an internet addict. Plain and simple. Not having a smartphone for this is a big issue.
  7. Easy Access to Music – Pandora, Grooveshark, etc are all not available with the Pantech Pursuit. Even worse, I learned I’d be able to play these apps over my car stereo with Bluetooth.
  8. Get and Use More Coupons –  Many retailers allow you to use a coupon (or even Groupon you forgot to print) from a smart phone. There’s even been talk of retailers pushing coupons with location-based technology. Very cool stuff.
  9. Have an All-In-One Device –  Smart phones can take pictures, videos, play music, use a GPS application and more. All in one. No need for a camera or mp3 player (neither of which I currently have).

Smartphone-less users should consider re-evaluating their choice. Technology is advancing, and the way that consumers do things is different. As for me, I’ve decided that my next phone will be a smart one. Do you have a smartphone? What do you like or dislike about it?

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