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Staff Editorial April 10, 2012 //  by  // 6 Comments

Smartphones are no longer a useless luxury

Students without smartphones are disadvantaged in today’s technological society. The more often a student can check their inbox, social media and other online necessities, the better off they are in landing an internship or job. Students without such devices are sadly the water buffalos with the bad legs.

A smartphone is not a pittance of course, but with Nokia’s $100 Lumia 900, average Joes can get into the game. Previous to the Lumia 900, the market contained $50-$100 piece-of-crap plastic knockoffs that break on use, $500 Android phones for watching videos and $600 iPhones for wasting time on games and apps.

There is a downside to the frugal nature of the $100 smartphone, the specs. The Lumia 900 uses a basic processor, has mediocre memory of 16 gigs and doesn’t have thousands of (ambiguously useless) apps. It runs Windows Phone 7 which is as simple as an OS can get, although the Lumia 900 is the best of the worst in this respect. And on the bright side, critics say the battery life is good.

Lumia’s multitasking is about as satisfactory as and iPhone or Android, which is to say: Very bad. If you want to open a program, prepare to sit behind a Java powered virtual machine that will clunk and crawl it’s way to progress. The Lumia 900 also is void of removable storage — no slots for flash drives or micro SD cards. Those would have come in handy, especially for students.

This can be a blessing as well though because checking email and keeping up with contacts doesn’t require all the bells and whistles of a child’s plaything. Students with money (or students with parents with money) will be happy with an overpriced fancy looking iPhone. They will no doubt use it to send enraged avians flying, doodle anything and maybe at the end of the day they’ll use it to check on resumes and job offers.

As long as the average student can stomach the two-year agreement with AT&T, the Lumia 900 is the relatively frugal way to stay up-to-date in the rat race.

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  • Jack

    I've been using a Windows Phone for a year and has published apps in Microsoft Marketplace. I'd say the part about multitasking is not accurate. There is no such thing as Java virtual machine in Windows Phone. And you can always press Back or Home button to cancel most task in any given app. Windows Phone will close down any app that uses too much resource automatically.

    Other than that, I think the Lumia 900 would be a very reliable a phone that's capable of most fancy stuffs that iPhone and Android phones can do. This is the top of line model of Lumia. Its specs may not be impressive on paper, but they are enough to work smoothly. People got to be real when buying a smart phone. Even with a dual core CPU and high capacity storage, there is so much a tiny device with limited battery can do.

  • http://www.facebook.com/supvalue Clint Kirchhoff

    When were smartphones ever useless? 2005?

  • Dan

    the iPhone has not cost $600 since 2008. You can get an iPhone 4 for $100 – I wouldn't say it is a piece-of-crap…

    I don't have anything against the overall article (the new nokia looks to be a solid phone), but when you publish news (yes, even opinion pieces in school newspapers) you should use up-to-date facts in your reporting.

  • Tektok

    Agree with Dan… weirdly slanted article that has numbers all over the place. It should also be mentioned that you only sink a lot of money on the first iPhone (and by a lot I mean $200). I sold my iPhone 3G for $200 on eBay, and my wife sold her 3Gs for $120 to a reseller. So we ended up only paying $80 total for our iPhone 4 and 4s. Also, I just counted and I have 4x as many productivity and financial apps on my phone as games… no other device comes close to the versatility of the iPhone, as much as it pains me to say it (it is the only Apple device I own).

  • quikboy

    This editorial has several errors. The pricing range for any of the smartphones outside of the Lumia seem oddly overpriced (are you sure these prices are ones with carrier contract subsidization?) and it depends where you shop. Try checking out Amazon or current 2012 figures.

    The Lumia runs Windows Phone, which does NOT use Java at all. Neither does iOS! Only Android uses Java out of the three, and that probably somewhat explains why Android phones tend to lag unless it has beefier (pricier) specs. Many popular phones, including the iPhone doesn't have removable storage. BlackBerries are also technically considered smartphones and offer very cheap devices aimed towards the frugal youth. The Lumia's 'mediocre' specs may not be the most fantastic technologically, but many reviews would state that it still works very well, because of the operating system's design to take advantage of less resources.

    I like the Lumia 900 and would probably get it if I decided to switch off from T-Mobile (probably not), but this editorial really needs someone who keeps up with tech to have edited this.

  • quikboy

    I disagree with the premise that smartphones have now become a necessity. I don't have a smartphone, but I'm always able to use my laptop's WiFi to do e-mail, social networking, and more. There are plenty of computer labs on campus to drop in, or service at home if you have it. A few hours delay in getting to a computer is not going to mean the difference between landing a job or not. As long as you try to go early and make it before the deadline, you are good. I'm sure many people have gotten jobs without smartphones, and don't need to invest in one just for job purposes.

    I'm very honest that smartphones are nice (I'd probably get a Lumia 900 myself as my 1st choice) to have, but if you have a laptop which is already handy to do real work (like make resumes) and free WiFi, you are good to go. I get by on a feature phone everyday, as do several other budget conscientious friends I know and I have a wonderful job on campus and the world keeps moving.

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