Can Your Smartphone Truly Replace Your Gadgets?

As loaded smartphones like the dual-core Samsung Galaxy SII and Motorola Photon 4G infiltrate the US smartphone market the fall, one question that can be raised is to what extent these devices can be counted on to replace your existing gadgets and tech. We’ve already seen price-slashing from satellite navigation device and compact camera vendors as those devices’ functionality is duplicated in smartphones. But, are the smartphone functions as good as the devices they replace. Are you going to be as satisfied with the camera in your new phone as you were with your recent point-and-shoot?

Let’s take a look at the gadgets that you own that you may never need again: Both the Photon and the SII feature 8-Megapixel cameras with HD video functionality. Could these cameras replace your point-and-shoot camera? The answer is probably “Yes” in terms of an older point-and-shoot, but what about comparisons with the lens in the comparably-priced $199 Nikon CoolPix S6100 with a 7x wide-angle 28-196mm optical Zoom-NIKKOR ED glass lens? Maybe not.

What about a dedicated satellite navigation system? Retailer Fry’s Electronics has TomTom’s 3.5-inch screen portable GPS with spoken turn-by-turn directions for $59 this week-a larger screen than the Photon, and many SIIs, and something you can leave setup in the car.

Flashlight? Both phones can utilize Android Market-available free LED Light. In fact, more than a million of the apps have been downloaded. Usefulness: perfectly acceptable for emergencies and car-to-front door on a dark night, but a search and rescue mission? Definitely not–you’ll need something like the $170 1100-foot range TAC24, or similar at 330 lumens.

FM/AM radio? Both phones have FM radios, but what about AM? You may well need AM for local news stations. Frys sells Sony’s ICF-S10MK2 pocket AM/FM radio for $9.99.

And the rest: Landline phone? Extra long conversations calling your cable company to cancel service because you’ve now got a smartphone plugged into your living room TV supplying content, and that’s your minutes quota wiped-out for the month. Answering machines? Junk them. Laptop? Are you going to write a book with your smartphone?

MP3 player-junk it; Games consoles-free smartphone games like Drag Racing that’s available in the Market will change your life if you haven’t tried them; Magnetic compass, handheld GPS-don’t go exploring Death Valley with only a smartphone for company. If you unwisely do, make sure you’ve got a spare power source with you. The Energizer XPAL Power XP4001 battery pack is at Frys for $53.24 has a 4000 mAh battery good for at least a second charge. Just don’t stay out too long.

Extreme Beam TAC 24 SR Shopping Cart Web Page; B&H Photo Video

TAC 24 SR Series Website; Extreme Beam

Coolpix S6100 Camera Website; Nikon USA

Website; Frys Electronics

XP4001 Power Pack Website; XPAL

AT&T Samsung Galaxy SII Specifications Web Page; Samsung

Photon 4G Tech Specs Web Page; Motorola

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