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A very good informational article from Festus - Thank you, sir. I appreciate your time to research this topic.
I have recently discovered that my cell phone provider (Verizon) will not support older generations of technology after 2019. That means that my old flip phone (yes the one Butch likes to make fun of and tell stories about late night texting "conversations") will no longer work. So do I finally break down and get a smart phone? Do I want to make life easier in some ways? After all I do like the convenience of the synthetic voice giving me travel directions. And some of the other apps and functions are really good. Or do I stick to some basic principles and find another flip phone that will work with the updated 4G LTE system? I am the kind of person that likes to take some time to gather information before making a decision. In today's world of technological conveniences as well as the stealing of personal data and invasions of privacy by all sorts of entities it can be a complicated decision of what to do. Especially for someone like me who is not a tech engineer (and has never even played one on TV), does not understand a lot of the background technology, and when trying to learn about such things finds it sucks the life right out of me and I'll be found hours later mimicking a chain saw in the recliner. So, after poking around the internet for a while, getting confused, picking more blueberries, coming back and trying it again..........I think I will still stick with a basic a flip phone. Some of the conveniences of the smart phone really are enticing but I just can't shake the snooping, tracking, invasion of privacy, advertising, etc that seems to come along with those conveniences. By the way, my six watcher has noticed that when he and his wife talk about this or that a few minutes later ads start showing up on their smart phones for the same things that they had just talked about. Hmm, so how does THAT happen? Have not had that happen with the old flipper. And one other thing. In my rural location I get better service the the flip phone than my wife does with her droid. Thus started the hunt for the right flip phone. This should be the downhill slide right? Maybe for some people but for the technically challenged who are trying to make things maybe a little challenging for the privacy robbers and all those ____ advertisers... not so much! For instance: - Verizon's newest model, LG Exalt LTE, does not have a screen on the front so I can see the time or who is calling without having to open it. Non-starter. Plus it can do email and some other things. Doesn't that mean it uses apps? So is it basically a hard to use smart phone that folds up? Again, a non-starter. - Then there is the Kyocera DuraXV LTE. Looks like a sturdy unit that could take the vigors and abuses of outdoor life. Wait a minute. Just noticed it has an HTML browser. Hmm... browser... doesn't that mean it connects to the internet. For a dumb phone isn't it trying to be a little too smart? Or have I gotten myself off track and it would actually be a good unit for me? UGH. I DON'T KNOW. Time to go pick some more blueberries. So let's review the basics for a minute. Some flip phone advantages are: - better battery life (and typically are removable). - smaller, fits in a pocket better. - metadata is still collected but few "apps" to gather detailed data. - typically are Bluetooth capable. - better antennas. - can take drops and knocks a lot better than a smart phone. - electronics creep into life just does not happen like it does with a smart phone. Thus better situational awareness and more time for other things. - significantly less expensive than smart phones. I'd rather put money into the basics of food, water, shelter, and security. - current models typically have decent cameras and short video capability. Don't underestimate the value of this one. Smart phone pluses: - LOTS of functions and quickly applied. - backup to the computer. remember 2 is 1. - better cameras and video capability. Again, don't underestimate the value of this. Side note: For folks who are in the market for a new smart phone check out the CAT phones at https://www.catphones.com/en-us/. Yes, CAT, the folks known for forklifts, excavators, etc. These appear to be VERY rugged with Corning Gorilla Glass 5 and an exterior of military grade protection. Full disclosure: no I am not a paid endorser and there are a lot of things that are tempting with their models, which now can include a FLIR thermal camera and indoor air quality sensors. Now that the basics are clear again it's back to the selection committee. Darn, I'm the only person who showed up AGAIN. Where is my employers tech support department when I really need them? So after a few more clicks on the keyboard up pops a new factor. It seems that yes, Verizon did announce that they are phasing out 2G at the end of 2019. And 3G as well. But wait a minute, it also says the 4G is somewhat limited in rural areas. So they are cutting service that works for customers and pushing us to a "higher" level of service that may not work where I use it. I'm sure that it was a business decision that makes a lot of sense to the management and they will get their bonuses for keeping the shareholders happy but will I be able to use the phone that I'm paying for? Remains to be seen. Oh and one more thing. It seems that Verizon is going to some sort of enhanced version of 4G LTE known as 4G LTE with VoLTE (voice over LTE). Don't know what that means but it must be so new that the actual phone manufacturers don't say anything about it in their technical spec sheets on their products. So will any of the phones I might be interested in actually support this latest version? I wish I knew. If anyone out there in Patriotville has anything to add please let us all know. Thanks. And now back to the blueberries................ Festus