A Dummy’s Guide to Outsmarting the Smartphone

In a previous post I had mentioned that I was now a proud owner of a Samsung Galaxy Y, a Smart phone that made me au courant with the young and reckless. Being a gizmo freak I was quite excited to get a new phone but unfortunately I acquired it when I had no time to understand its features and functions.I dove straight into its use, an  oversight that proved to be my downfall as I was presented with a bill of Rs. 9000 which far exceeds my annual expenditure on a mobile phone.

I marched down immediately to the Samsung Cafe from where I’d purchased the phone, wanting to know if I could understand the phone since it came with neither an instruction manual nor a free hour’s tuition as the Service Provider later on told me I was entitled to as their customer. The person who sold me the phone actually told me that if I needed any help with the phone I had to go to the Samsung Service Centre (the whereabouts of which he obviously had no clue). I still persisted despite his reluctance to attend to me and asked him to show me a few basic features like the Menu which took me to the last call made/received, the calendar etc which I was familiar with on my old Nokia. I was shocked when he told me that I should have gone in for a NOKIA instead!

So this brings me to # No.1

Stick with the company you are familiar with i.e Nokia, Samsung, Blackberry,

#Tip No.2

Always buy a phone using an operating system you are familiar with

You will do well to note that Smartphones operate on different systems
Nokia – Microsoft Windows ( which all MS Users are familiar with)
iPhone – Apple ( which all Apple users are familiar with)
Blackberry, Samsung and all other smart phones – Android ( which is developed by Google)

#Tip No. 3

Always remember to choose a Talk/Internet plan that is suitable for your use. Till you get the hang of your mobile phone use and pattern, it is best to buy a pre-paid plan rather than a post paid one as I found out so dearly.

I asked my Service provider what kind of a plan would be suitable for me. The Customer Care executive replied that it depended on my use. I asked him how it depended on my usage and he just shrugged his shoulders and said, ” It depends” . Now this idiotic answer is all you’ll get from any service provider in English, Hindi or Marathi so unless you want to get frustrated, remember to ask the question properly.

i.e. – I use my phone mainly to make calls – Will I still need an internet package ? How many GB will I require to download XXX emails in a day?
I don’t want to download heavy files like music files and picture files but I Skype for XXX minutes in a day. How much data will be transfered in that case?

It is only when you ask such specific questions can you hope to get a specific answer.

# Tip No. 4

Understand your phone and the terms associated with it.
 – An Application is something you download
– A Widget is an application that is pre-loaded with the phone.
 Remember to put off the Internet connection while it is not in use and more importantly put off the Apps as you will unnecessarily have your meter running with the instrument looking for downloads EVEN if you are not using the application.
– Above all remember that Roaming charges are always more than your regular use so switch off the internet and the applications while roaming.

# Tip No. 5

Don’t ever buy a SMARTPHONE and definitely avoid VODAFONE as a service provider.

A real smart person will continue using a mobile phone for what it was meant to be used and have a regular mobile phone that doesn’t WhatsApp, FaceTime, Photograph, HangOut, send or receive emails and photo files. It is a phone that doesn’t work as your office or entertainment centre – it just helps you connect to people conveniently.


A granny who always sees the humour in life and tries to do things differently. When others make cupcakes, this granny makes banana fritters. When she’s not busy chasing her grandchildren who love making her run around, she indulges in her passions of reading, writing, meeting friends and watching movies. And somewhere between all this she enjoys travelling and cooking!

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