Are smartphones worth the hype?

Jennifer Scott

COMMENT: There really is a lot of smartphones out there. It seems there is a new one in each week, mostly accompanied by statements screaming about how it is the next iPhone killer. And don't forget the new iPhone 3GS as well.

Rumours and speculation run rife with who will exclusively sell the next one, how much for and, before the new model is even released, what the follow up will be like.

But are smart phones worth all the hype or just a little device like any other?

I have only just got a smartphone myself. Often laughed at by iPhone and BlackBerry users, I went for the Nokia 5800. Do you know why? Because it is a phone! Yes, making calls and texts does seem to be this phone's primary function.

Don't pity me, it still has a shiny camera, superb music quality, ludicrous amounts of memory and even a stylus for showing off if I like, but as a recent review I read of it pointed out, it is a phone first.

The pure number of things you can do on the iPhone, BlackBerry, Google phone or the long awaited Palm Pre are terrifying. Now with the majority of vendors getting in on the act, the choices are growing at a huge rate.

The question is do I want all of that loaded in my pocket, do I even need it, or should I ditch my smartphone and lurch back to the good old brick days of the 3210?

Who am I kidding? Even if I wanted to I couldn't. Yes I get overwhelmed with the volume of different phones being thrust onto the market in an attempt to take over from the fruit-based leaders but once you go smartphone you can never go back.

I can get my email, have a map pinpoint my exact location and even dance to a tune on my way to work. I still find it novel that I can update Facebook on the move.

I have always been a PC girl though. I love desktops and notebooks - possibly too much - and love to ramp them up myself, which of course I couldn't do with a smartphone. I like having a heftier computer to do my daily tasks with and to me a smartphone will never take that place.

But it is so useful having so much at your fingertips or stylus that can slide in your pocket with your wallet and keys.

I admit it takes over my life at times I should not have been checking work email when I was at a music festival a few weeks ago for instance and the sycophantic idol worshipping of a certain brand brings me to boiling point.

But my desire for people to get things into perspective is not enough for me to give mine up.

If you aren't on the smartphone bandwagon yet, what are you waiting for? Have a look around, see which one you like and then be prepared for it to become an integral part of day to day life.