Man happy after cheap smartphone downgrade

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There’s nothing wrong with being man happy, regardless of your smartphone status.


It is too bad that “real battery life” isn’t a useful stat on modern phones (if it exists at all).

My old phone, a Galaxy Nexus, had to be recharged daily even with light use.

My new phone, an HTC One m8, can last 2+ days with light use. Great! But I didn’t know that until after I’d used it for a couple days and realized I ended the day with “extra” battery to the point that I don’t have to plug in my phone overnight.

I still carry a travel battery with me.

Most Americans aren’t in a position to “do the math” because the cost structure they’re forced into is so convoluted. Apple fans will say “why would you want anything but the best” without the cost calculation that not everyone wants to spend $100/month for a their phone. I have an $80 smartphone that does all I need it to on a $10/month prepaid plan with a ATT MVNO. I only turn on the data if I REALLY need access when I’m away from home and there’s no Xfinity hotspot in reach (I have a $30 Comcast broadband svc). I can think of lots of things to do with >$1000/yr saved.


I work with mobile computers (basically smart phones for businesses) and I have had some long talks with our battery engineers about how batteries work, what drains them down, how long can a battery be expected to last on one charge, over its lifetime, and other exciting issues.

Many of the people I know who work with these issues carry stripped down phones because they value battery life and the ability to make an actual phone call (i.e. a functional antenna) over apps and getting their mail on their phones.

I used to have a talent for losing phones or getting them wet, and at one point I went with a cheap no contract phone that I absolutely loved.

Nowadays I carry an iPhone mainly for the great camera and an app that makes the camera even better.


I’m using a cheap smartphone as well (a OnePlus One) and I regret going so low end. The thing I mostly want is a good camera.

When I look for my next phone, I’m going for camera first, everything else second. The OPO is cheap, but ultimately I’m disappointed with it almost daily. I usually keep my phone for 2 years, so the difference between a $700 phone and a $300 phone is about fifty cents a day. Low end isn’t worth it for me.

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I’d be happy if I could retrograde (a whole new use for that word!) my current phone to iOS 5. It’s a purely superficial thing, but, damn, I miss how things like the Notes app (which I use frequently) used to look.

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Previously on CoolTools: the surprising utility of a $10 LG 800.

Never did find one of those, unfortunately, but the iPod Touch 4th Gen with small crack I got for $20
ought to suffice.

My octacore phone, which runs at 2GHz, using 2GB of RAM and a 1080p display can do three days on a charge, easy. Two days if I absolutely flog it.

How, you ask? A five amp-hour cell. Bam. The THL 5000 is >US$300.

Too much? How about the same phone (the ‘Tesla’ variant, AKA THL 5000T) minus a GB of RAM, running at 1.4GHz, with a 720p display, and the same 5000mAh cell, for around $200? With light use, you might go four or five days without needing a charge.

BTW, THL stands for technology happy life, LOL. Their battery tech sure makes my life happier.


Why not just get a real camera?

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Because the very best camera phones are good enough now for what I want. I have a phone with me all the time and the price difference between a budget phone and one with a very good camera isn’t all that high. For me, it’s worth spending fifty cents a day on.

I realize that other people would just buy a dedicated camera and carry around two devices everywhere. That’s cool too.

I carry a cheap phone-- a really cheap phone, it was about $30 at Best Buy a few years ago-- and a very good pocket point-and-shoot camera. The combination works perfectly for me.

I have a shitload of apps on my phone that I don’t use, but GPS and a good point and shoot camera are a must.

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Here in Japan, there’s been a surge in sales of “not so smart” phones (limited web access, no GPS or apps)…some people are tiring of the data charges and the constant distractions.


If carrying two devices is no big deal, then this is the way to go.

A $30 phone is essentially free vs the $700 or so that a phone with a good camera costs. The expensive phone works out to $1 / day for the 2-year life. I’m willing to cough up a buck every day to only have to carry one device. It makes sense for me, it might not make sense for you.

The other thing I like about camera phones is the location metadata that is attached to the photos. That’s been pretty useful for me. I’ve written some software that ties my calendar, email, and photos together to auto-create a daily journal.

You can cheat that one with a GPS route logger on the phone, if the phone’s and camera’s times are synced (or the offset is known).

It’s both useful when you need it, and horrifying when you forget to turn it off…


Can we make Man Happy a thing? Like it could be happy about subverting a system that you think is new a novel, but is actually known to everyone, except you?

Cause that would make me man happy.

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$ man happy
No manual entry for happy


Okay, I just discussed this with my wife. Her reaction, “so, ignorant?”. My reply was, " no, there must be an implication of joy and self satisfaction “. To which she responded, " so, willfully dumb?”.

I think the creation of Man Happy is a tautology :smiley: