I recently switched cell service providers. celebrating the occasion by treating myself to my first large screen Android smart phone-- aka, my first “phablet.”
Wow, was I ever wrong.
Some of the reasons I left my previous carrier included my desire to lower my monthly comm bills and because they really didn’t offer a true” phablet.” in my price range
Which is why I found myself at a local T-Mobile store looking at an approximate $225 (out the door)ZTE Zmax house brand Android smartphone with a six-inch (measured diagonally) screen.
My phablet has changed how I use a smartphone. First, I send a lot more text messages than I ever did on previous phones.Second: I’m much more likely to use my phone to connect to the Internet.
A big reason why I didn’t use my previous phone’s Internet capabilities is simple: Displayed information on itsf ive-inch-inch screen taxed my middle-age eyesight.
With a bigger screen, I immediately found myself installing and using more applications. but I still don’t like using my phone for email, except for cursory glances.
I have a simple rule for my family and close friends, ‘if you need to reach me, text me.”
I can always call them later and most often I can answer their questions by texting.
I loved the increased memory of phablets;My Zmax has 11. 64GB of storage versus 8GB on my previous phone.More system memory means I can install and use more applications.
Some of the applications I use are pretty obscure. I love a fishing app that uses my phone’s GPs reporting capability to provide me with tide and solumnar (moon and sun phases) data.I don’t consider myself a “technical fisherman”“ but i’m approaching that rubicon because of my smart phone.
Agrivi is nother go-to app that makes managing my fsll things agricultural more enjoyable and productive.i I was first heard of Agrivi while visiting Cal Poly Pomona ( an ag and engineering college here in Southern California.)
Agrivi lets its users tap into “best agricultural practices” this app lets me track my plants and trees crops on the go.I really like a feature in Agrivi that works with three and seven day weather forecasts and multi-year weather records.
Weather and field monitoring are critical to growing avocados and peaches here in San Diego County and until I encountered this app i’d never seen or used a smartphone program that has Agrivis capabilities.
Most of the other applications on my phablet are pedestrian customer loyalty or shopping apps. the most important of these is the What’s App messaging platform
User messaging apps could force smartphone makers -- or Google-- to offer larger screen data input keyboards. Their absence as a native feature in Android Kit Kat is a serious shortcoming.
Mandatory disclosure: I have large hands, wear a size 16 man’s’ ring. and am handicapped because of a stroke that wiped out the fine motor control on my left side-- I am “deeply embedded” left handed so I can not switch my dominant handedness.
I do have a major criticism of today’s smartphones that carries over specifically to phablets, Despite better battery life and oversized cases the “VIbrate on ring” feature is too anemic. Manufacturers,I believe absolutely have to make this feature more powerful, and thus more useful.
Until this feature is improved,I’m resorting to a wearable $30 bluetooth wearable dongle called “Ditto” that vibrates when my phone rings, or when I get out of range of my phone’s bluetooth transceiver.
Although my ZTE Zmax is built like a Panzer, , I opted for the $10 a month replacement insurance.
I have been very surprised by the battery life of this phablet. I’m able to go three days without recharging, despite more internet use than “I've ever experienced on a a smartphone. the battery life of the ZTX phablet is, much longer than other smart phones I’ve owned by a long shot and Adroid Kit Kat’s power management software is a big reason why I no longer worry about battery life, or carry a fully charged power pack in my book bag..
The Phablet form factor has changed how I use and rely on a cell phone, which I’ll circle back on in a future post. For now, I’m a true believer in phablet computing, a dream I thought I wouldn’t live to become mainstream in my life. More on phun phablet computing in subsequent posts. Jim Forbes on 02/23/2015