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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Practicality of the Phablet

In some parts of the internet, there is a push for bigger screens for our phones, which, increasingly, are smartphones instead of dumbphones. One idea that has attempts to meet this push is the phablet. In case you don't know what a "phablet" is, it is a tablet computer with phone hardware in it (so you can make phone calls with it).

I see a few problems with the phablet idea. The first is portability. I thought cell phones were supposed to be portable (and able to fit in your pants pocket). Since the phablet has a screen that's bigger than the average man's pants pocket, that means that you are always going to have to carry around some kind of carrying case. Ladies already have this covered in the form of the purse, but the average guy would not want to be caught dead carrying around a "man purse" (different from a laptop bag). Whenever you get a phone call, you usually reach into your pants pocket (or rummage around in your purse) for your phone and then answer the call. With the phablet, you will have to take extra time to open your phablet carrying case and then press the answer button. If you have other stuff you're carrying besides the phablet case, you'll have to set everything else down as well (which, depending on the situation, can be a nuisance).

The second problem is perception of the awkwardness of holding the phablet. The size of the phablet will require you to use two hands to hold it. Many times, I (and others too) multitask while using our cell phones. If we are using both of our hands to hold the phone, we can't multitask anymore. Finding the earpiece is going to be a bit awkward as well if we are in a rush. The only solution I can see for the earpiece issue is going to be a bluetooth headset. That's fine if you want it (or already have a headset), but that's extra money you have to spend besides the cost of the phone.

The third problem is battery life. Tablet computers have more powerful processors than phones do and the faster the processor, the more juice it's going to use. Another aspect of this problem is "instant-on". The device has to always be ready for a phone call to come in and so must have a fast resume from standby time. If the firmware and drivers aren't tuned for this kind of thing, you may end up having some missed calls (that you didn't want to miss).

Let's not forget the important thing: the function a phone should do best is to make phone calls. If it can't do that very well, than what's the point of using the device as a phone? I think we have gotten too wrapped up in the extra things that a phone can do. A smartphone that can't make phone calls is just a computer.

I realize that I might not have covered everything so if there's something I missed or you have a good argument for a phablet, let me know in the comment box below. I would like to know what you think about this.

 While you're reading this, why not try some delicious Mystic Monk Coffee? Mystic Monk Coffee (use this link or click on the picture below to access the store and purchase) is what you really need when it comes to coffee. Trust me, it's good coffee (in most instances, much better than Starbucks coffee) and you won't regret buying some (just keep it away from your computer keyboard or laptop/tablet). If you like tea more than coffee, they also offer tea. If you have a Keurig machine, the monks also have k-cups for purchase as well (known as "monk shots"). Using the link (or picture below) to buy the coffee (or tea) helps the monks out and helps me with my endeavors as well. The coffee (or tea) also makes for great gifts for friends and family as well.

While we are waiting for updates to my windows phone apps (trust me, I'm working on them), if you want to go ahead and get my apps now, please use the following links:

BSA Eagle Tracker download:
Mobile Media Manager (paid version) download:
Mobile Media Manager (free version) download: