Tracfone, Android and other thoughts

ZDNet has noted that Android users tend to be cheapskates:

The post notes that “If your budget is $350 or under (whether that be buying the handset outright, or spread over two years with carrier financing), Apple’s got nothing for you.”

Yep. Guilty as charged.

Then again, I do like to say the dictionary definitions for “cheapskate” and “librarian” tend to coincide at about the fourth level or so.  Well, they do for me, anyway.

I’m not doing an endorsement for Tracfone; I’m just stating that I find that service works for me in this area and where I’ve needed it, so I use it. A no-contract cell phone is a practical choice for me and very low-budget.

Nearly two years ago, I had a vehicle breakdown at a busy intersection that proved I still needed to keep a cell phone handy, and most recently, I’ve used my new (larger 5″ screen) model for screen shots to update the ebooks instructions in the Using Ebooks LibGuide.  That, and reading ebooks while I wait someplace for dental appointments, etc.

The phone was under $50 and the case with belt clip under $10 from Amazon, and the 1 year card I got free from a credit card bonus points promotion (normally about $115 to $120). So at this point, I’ve spent less for a new phone and a year of use than most people I know spend in 1 or 2 months without changing phones. I’ve never used up a year’s worth of time yet on these. If I ever need to, I can add more time mid-year.

It is not the latest Android (4.4.2 KitKat) but pretty recent. It will probably not upgrade from that version of Android, which is a limitation of using the Tracfone system, but that’s new enough to have plenty of functionality for my purposes — I’m not that demanding. And the keys are now finally big enough that I can send a decent text if needed, without so much correcting (sue me, I like to spell correctly and I have stubby fingers).

While some who know me think of me as a “gadget” user, I don’t feel I have to have the latest/greatest, or the big brand name (I’ve never used this model’s brand before). I like functionality, rather than every bell and whistle.

And the kicker is, I have to post my cell phone number where I can find it easily, because I almost never give it to anyone, largely because I don’t have the phone on me all the time.

Okay, so I’m cheap and weird in our faces-buried-in-our-phone-screens culture.

Apparently, I don’t need a bite of Apple.