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Accessorize Your Phone With Another Phone

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the excuse-me-someone-on-the-other-line dept.

Cellphones 171

Rambo Tribble writes "Ars Technica reports that HTC is introducing the Mini, a small, more convenient and feature-reduced phone to tie into your big, cumbersome smartphone. So, dumb is the new smart?" Don't forget a wristwatch phone to connect to the smaller phone.

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Do yourself a favor (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42702785)

Do yourself a favor and buy a ruggedized outdoor phone. They last forever, have long battery life and unlike most smartphones are actually usable for making phone calls.

Re:Do yourself a favor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42703307)

why is this downmodded?

Oh right, cos its sensible advice and this is slashdot...

Re:Do yourself a favor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42703529)

It's down modded because the only thing most moderator hate more than a poster he disagrees with is an anonymous poster. For some reason, they think that associating a post with names like "drinkypoo" or "niris" are someone less "cowardly" than using "Anonymous coward". Some people will claim that "anonymous coward posts don't get modded up because it's a 'waste' of mod points," but then stuff like this happens, demonstrating that's not the whole story.

Re:Do yourself a favor (1)

1s44c (552956) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703483)

Do yourself a favor and buy a ruggedized outdoor phone. They last forever, have long battery life and unlike most smartphones are actually usable for making phone calls.

What model do you suggest?

I love my smartphone because it can do almost anything but I'll admit that a low end Nokia dumb phone is actually better for making and receiving phone calls.

Re:Do yourself a favor (1)

F34nor (321515) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703655)

Samsung Rugby Pro or Sony Acro S

Obligatory... (5, Funny)

Niris (1443675) | about a year and a half ago | (#42702793)

Yo dawg, I heard you like phones, so I put a phone with your phone, so you can use a phone while you use your phone.

Re:Obligatory... (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703091)

Over in 2.

Re:Obligatory... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42703143)

OMG! You just pimped my phone!

Re:Obligatory... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42703173)

absurd, get a normal 3.5" android phone, if you can find one with a real slide out keyboard better. You need something with enough battery for at least a day

Re:Obligatory... (-1, Offtopic)

niyagamu (2825201) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703479)

http://www.cloud65.com/ [cloud65.com] my friend's aunt makes $86/hour on the internet. She has been laid off for 9 months but last month her payment was $17637 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this web site

Start of something big. (5, Funny)

senorpoco (1396603) | about a year and a half ago | (#42702825)

Why stop there? Have a separate camera, a separate music player too. What a wonderful future that will be where instead of one device capable of doing lots of things we have lots of individual devices dedicated to a single purpose.

Re:Start of something big. (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42702937)

That's what I pitched to my wife, reduce her job to a single purpose while I branch out and get another unit that assumes the other role (i.e. "Yo bitch, you make me some sammiches while I sleep with my mistress all classy like"). She didn't seem to appreciate the suggestion.

Re:Start of something big. (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42702963)

Give me a tablet with a keyboard bluetooth headset, and I'm good.

Granted, there are times when you don't have your headset on and will end up talking to the tablet, but that's not such a big deal.

I don't see the motivation for having a wristwatch, or smaller phone, to communicate with my phone. It would seem to defeat the purpose of having a mobile phone in the first place. Hell, you can get an actual phone in a wristwatch today, if that's the way you want to go. But I still want my tablet.

Re:Start of something big. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42702979)

That should have read "keyboard AND bluetooth headset".

There are times when it would not be practical to use the keyboard, either. But it's still useable. That's what I like about tablets.

Re:Start of something big. (1)

interval1066 (668936) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703239)

You're trying to tell me that your tab w/a headset is as convenient as whipping out my handset? You're dreamin' pal.

Re:Start of something big. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703351)

"You're trying to tell me that your tab w/a headset is as convenient as whipping out my handset? You're dreamin' pal."

And you're trying to tell me that your handset can conveniently do spreadsheets and word processing? You're dreaming, pal.

I didn't say it was "as convenient"... that depends on your needs. What I stated was that *I* was good with that particular compromise.

Re:Start of something big. (2)

F34nor (321515) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703839)

I operate heavy equipment, and by the time I can hear my phone. get it off my otter box belt clip, and get my gloves off to swipe to answer it has gone to VM. When I call them back they inevitably don't answer because they are leaving some wordy fucking message that I will never listen to. I would use this for sure mostly because I could kick the shit out of it and not worry. But it doen't go far enough, here is what I want.

Rubberized brick with CPU memory and battery that is induction or wirelessly charged. From there I'd like a series of preogessively larger screen from watch to phone to tablet to monitor to tv that all acccess the same device. The watch for caller ID and sms to screen calls. I'd like a headset phone like this in my pocket that is water proof and possibly a flip design for cheek operation. At home I'd like tablet Asus Padphone like setup and a thunderbolt to internal top of the line GPU so that any screen accesses the same underlying OS and data (Fuck the cloud, only chumps relinquish physical control of their data) and when I want to I can play Crysis at 40 fps. My 2+ year old Atrix can run Ubuntu on a HDMI with mouse and keyboard so it is no a stretch.

So lets pre-reply to the trolls. I don't give a fuck what you want or think is OK there is a 50% chance you are dumber than average so I doubt I would even talk to you in person.

Re:Start of something big. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42704083)

"it has gone to VM. When I call them back they inevitably don't answer because they are leaving some wordy fucking message that I will never listen to"

Easy solutions:
Turn off voicemail? Wait for the text message that someone left a voicemail before calling back?

Re:Start of something big. (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703261)

So do you carry the tablet absolutely everywhere you go?

Re:Start of something big. (1, Interesting)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703373)

"So do you carry the tablet absolutely everywhere you go?"

Do you carry a briefcase absolutely everywhere you go? Or maybe a purse? To be honest, usually I carry a small backpack. Tablet in backpack + bluetooth headset sounds good to me.

Re:Start of something big. (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703467)

"So do you carry the tablet absolutely everywhere you go?"

Do you carry a briefcase absolutely everywhere you go? Or maybe a purse?

No, not when I am sailing, caving, rock clumbing, bike riding, etc. But I always need a phone for safety reasons.

Re:Start of something big. (1)

Mattcelt (454751) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703959)

I've been doing this for years - I have multiple phones in my pockets at all times.

I have a small candybar phone with a 12-digit keypad that I use as a phone, and a 4+ smartphone that my s.o. affectionately calls my "mini-tab", since it replaced my large tablet for all things portable and android.

I tried using the smartphone as my primary for a while, and I nearly threw it against the walls on a daily basis. Texting on a touchscreen with big fingers is very nearly the most consistently frustrating thing I have ever attempted. On my candybar, (literally) on the other hand, I can text with 99.3%+ accuracy without looking at the screen. My ease of textual communication is outstanding in comparison on the small phone.

So even though the candybar has shitty voice quality, I won't give it up as my "primary" phone.

Now if someone would make a bluetooth, T9/multi-tap, phone-sized, reasonably ergonomic, 12-key keypad that I could pair with the smartphone, I'd be in heaven and would ditch the little guy straightaway. But until then, two devices is where I'll stay.

Re: Start of something big. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42703537)

That is what I do with my galaxy note. Works fine and I get to have a 5" phone, which is great for showing people pictures at work (I do site visits for my engineering company a lot)

Re:Start of something big. (2)

pla (258480) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703165)

Why stop there? Have a separate camera, a separate music player too. What a wonderful future that will be where instead of one device capable of doing lots of things we have lots of individual devices dedicated to a single purpose.

I know you jest, but seriously, some functions just don't conveniently tie into an all-in-one device. Smartphones take crap pictures, for example. And as TFA points out, they really don't make a very good form-factor as phones, either.

I actually kinda like your (and TFA's) idea, taken to an extreme. Use your tablet as a sort of personal server for storage and "real" communication, and everything else can just talk back to it via NFC.

Only annoyance there - Power. If we can solve that one without needing to plug in half a dozen peripherals every night, I'd call this a winner.

Re:Start of something big. (4, Insightful)

obarthelemy (160321) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703423)

Not so true about pictures.
1- High-end smartphones (iP4s, iP5, GS3, GNote2...) take okay pictures. For a blog or email, or even regular-size prints, they are more then "good enough".
2- smartphone video compares even more favorably to regular cameras
3- and above all let you have something to take pictures *all the time*. My brother has a semi-expensive camera, and a shitty smartphone that even went through the wash once. The pictures we get of the nephews are more often take with his smartphone, because that's what he always has with him.

Now, if you want to get arty or A4-size, sure, get a true camera. If you want to shoot un-arty slices of life for friends and family, no need.

Re:Start of something big. (1)

cerberusss (660701) | about a year and a half ago | (#42704443)

I know you jest, but seriously, some functions just don't conveniently tie into an all-in-one device. Smartphones take crap pictures, for example.

Modern smartphones take pictures that are good enough for many people, like Ben Lowe, who does photography for the big boys (he uses an iPhone):
http://www.tuaw.com/2012/11/06/time-magazine-cover-shot-with-iphone/ [tuaw.com]

Re:Start of something big. (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | about a year and a half ago | (#42704469)

F. Yeah. Just like in Johnny Mnemonic.

Laugh (4, Insightful)

koan (80826) | about a year and a half ago | (#42702855)

I love how they keep calling them smart "phones", it's really a tracking device with facial recognition, vocal recognition, finger print recognition, your bank info, GPS, and has a "phone" included. (primarily for a constant data connection for the aforementioned attributes)
It reminds me of the vases with clocks in them. "and it has a clock!!!"

Phones indeed...

Re:Laugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42703027)

It reminds me of the vases with clocks in them. "and it has a clock!!!"

This gives me an idea! Listen to this: why don't we make a clock that also has a vase?

Re:Laugh (1)

nategasser (224001) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703047)

I'd still rather call them phones. I can't stand it when people call them "devices."

Re:Laugh (2)

ericloewe (2129490) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703137)

Considering most phones these days place less emphasis on actual calls than on including millions of features, it's probably more accurate to call them devices.

Re:Laugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42703235)

yes zillions of mostly pointless time wasting features nobody really needs and the ones the one may possibly have a need for badly implemented (in most of the cases).

Re:Laugh (1)

Kreigaffe (765218) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703643)

Device is unspecific; phone may not encompass the entirety of the device, but so what? it is a phone, and, in time, the definition of phone will change to match the fullness of the things we call phones.

many things are devices which are not phones, but phones are clearly a smaller subset of things than devices -- use the term phone, not device, as both are devices but only one could be called a phone. even if you never make calls on it.

Re:Laugh (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42703291)

I call mine a tricorder. It does computing, gives directions, takes my pulse, and finds life forms (OK, finds my family via latitude, but it works). My phone does just about everything a tricorder on star trek could do - except for maybe tell me the chemical composition of some random material sample.

Re:Laugh (1)

foniksonik (573572) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703349)

Take a note from ST and call them "Communicators" though that still is not accurate for most. PDA is the closest but that fell out of favor in the 90s.

The Brits probably do it best, "Mobile" is as amorphous as you can get.

Re:Laugh (3, Interesting)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703445)

The Brits probably do it best, "Mobile" is as amorphous as you can get.

Well, in Germany we usually call it "Handy". That's even more amorphous, isn't it? :-)

Re:Laugh (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about a year and a half ago | (#42704395)

Take a note from ST and call them "Communicators"

Too many syllables. Noone is going to call it that. The only reason they can get away with it on ST is that the scriptwriters insist on using a word that sounds "scifi", rather than admitting that they'll prolly still call them "phones" in the future.

Re:Laugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42703141)

Wait until you find out what a dashboard is.

Re:Laugh (5, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703147)

Yeah, it'd be much easier to call them "tracking device with facial recognition, vocal recognition, finger print recognition, your bank info, GPS, and has a "phone" included". Good point.

Re:Laugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42703365)

yeah or t.d.w.f.r.v.rfpr.bi.gps.p. for short

or something

Re:Laugh (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42704213)

I'm pretty sure Ingsoc prefers the term "telescreen" for a reason.

Re:Laugh (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703343)

Maybe by now are more used the lot of extras than the core, but it is still is the core. Phones has evolved from just for calls to what are now piling up features over them.

Anyway, that don't explain why the N900 was called a smartphone if was something that evolved from a tablet/pocket computer by adding phone capabilities to it. Is like calling fish a dolphin.

Re:Laugh (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a year and a half ago | (#42704043)

I love how you call the thing on your head hair. It's really just tin foil designed to stop the government satellites from tracking you.

Re:Laugh (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42704143)

Yet every day there is an article about the abuse of "privacy"
Apple tracking your movements
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/apr/20/iphone-tracking-prompts-privacy-fears
Facial recognition
https://www.google.com/search?client=ubuntu&channel=fs&q=facial+recognition+data+from+stored
Apple storing voice recognition data
http://ediscoverylabs.com/2012/06/does-siri-have-loose-lips-ediscovery-implications-of-apples-cell-phone-voice-recognition-software/

Story after story after story, but you seem concerned with tinfoil (which hasn't been used since the turn of the century) it's just doesn't occur to your gigantic brain and all knowing mind that "authorities" might be very happy to have all that data.

Do they integrate? (1)

Animats (122034) | about a year and a half ago | (#42702867)

Can you get several devices on the same phone number? Do they synchronize their contact lists? And, most important, are you going to be charged for two airtime plans?

Re:Do they integrate? (2)

Internal Modem (1281796) | about a year and a half ago | (#42702957)

The article points out that it connects to the main (mother) phone via NFC. It's a tethered phone rather than one that connects to the cellular carrier.

Re:Do they integrate? (3, Insightful)

Agent ME (1411269) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703015)

It's more like a bluetooth headset than a separate phone.

Re:Do they integrate? (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703065)

Click the link in the story.

The little handset does not have its own phone number or sim card. It connects to your bigger phone (which is more like a small tablet) via NFC.
This allows you to leave your big phone in your inside jacket pocket, or purse, and answer calls on the small handset.

It avoids the duchebaggery of holding a monstrous tablet up to your ear in public, or appearing to be talking to no-one in particular on a Bluetooth headset.

So you only need one number, one data plan, and it goes on your phone/tablet. That tablet/phone uses this as an ear-piece+mic.

The linked story says it uses NFC, but I suspect that is only for pairing. Because, everything the manufacturers have been telling us about NFC to date has made a point of telling us it was only going to work if you tapped the phone on the pay terminal. To suddenly release a device that suggests the NFC chip can be read from several feet away wouldn't sit well with a lot of people.

Re:Do they integrate? (2)

Belial6 (794905) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703639)

That is what I was thinking. I personally find bluetooth headsets to be cumbersome. They are uncomfortable, I don't get enough calls to warrant wearing one all of the time and if it isn't on and paired when the phone rings, you might as well not have one. Having a small bluetooth handset would actually be convenient. Being able to pair it via NFC would make it all the more convenient.

Re:Do they integrate? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703201)

they got jealous about sony-e's android running watch that connects to your phone.
and being the htc they are they couldn't fit it in a watch.

Oh, the wrist phone is connected to the hand phone (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year and a half ago | (#42702881)

The hand phone is connected to the ear phone...

Let's just go with the implants, ok? You can stream everything you see and hear on your facebook page.

Re:Oh, the wrist phone is connected to the hand ph (5, Funny)

bmo (77928) | about a year and a half ago | (#42702921)

Let's just go with the implants, ok?

Yeah, so we really can't tell between the crazies and phone users.

"WTF is that smell?"
"Excuse me, I'm receiving a FAX."

--
BMO

Re:Oh, the wrist phone is connected to the hand ph (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | about a year and a half ago | (#42704115)

"WTF is that smell?"
"Excuse me, I'm receiving a FAX."

Essential communication from those guys in the Darmstadt office, perhaps?

Small really is good (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | about a year and a half ago | (#42702885)

I have this dead 2G Sony Ericsson phone which was small and very easy to carry around. The other week I saw an ipod nano in a shop. It has a little screen with six icons on it. I thought that if apple made an iphone in that form factor I would actually buy one.

Re:Small really is good (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703459)

Where's the implanted 'tooth phone' that the tech companies predicted would be around by now? Instead they want us to buy a phone for our phone? Stop the world, it's officialy gone mad, and I want to get off!

Re:Small really is good (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42703873)

It turns out that most of the people who would buy these tooth phone devices take care of their teeth and do not need dentures and lets face it, few people would ever get a root canal unless absolutely necessary.

In short, the market for it wasn't there.

The biggest problem with Smart Phones seems to be (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about a year and a half ago | (#42702903)

Some smart phones don't keep a charge for a full day. So people are constantly charging their phones and it is cumbersome sometimes. If you have a phone specialized for power economy to keep a charge for days, yet is just a dumb phone tied in on the same number, I'm sure people would go for it. Think about the benefits: 1) If your smart phone's battery dies, simply take your dumb phone for the interim. 2) Since your smart phone is your primary phone, if you lose it, you'll know your dumb phone is on the charger to make a call.... or call your smart phone to find out where you misplaced it. 3) The cost isn't recurring, it should be just a one time cost to get a dumb phone for you.

I don't advocate taking two phones around with you when you walk because that is cumbersome, but having your pick of which one you want to take with you really helps with the major problem of smart phones: That they run out of charge rapidly.

Re:The biggest problem with Smart Phones seems to (1)

Internal Modem (1281796) | about a year and a half ago | (#42702987)

This phone connects to the main phone via NFC, as the article points out. None of the aforementioned benefits would be derived from this setup. Furthermore. running the NFC radio on the main phone (needed so the smaller phone will work) will drain the battery even more. The dumbphone does not work without the smartphone.

Re:The biggest problem with Smart Phones seems to (1)

Fred Ferrigno (122319) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703169)

It only uses NFC to initialize the connection. After that, it uses Bluetooth. It shouldn't be any more or less of a drain on your battery than a Bluetooth headset.

Re:The biggest problem with Smart Phones seems to (5, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703089)

This device is not a dumb phone on the same number. It is merely a peripheral I/O device, like a bluetooth headset. It can't make or receive calls unless it is close to the main phone/tablet.

Re:The biggest problem with Smart Phones seems to (1)

ericloewe (2129490) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703229)

Dunno about iOS, Android or Windows Phone, but MeeGo has a very effective battery-saving mode, which dims the screen, does not use data connections unless you manually start them and automatically disengages once you start charging it. It won't be as power-efficient as a dumbphone, but it does have a much larger battery.

If your OS of choice isn't as smart, if you want to save your battery, manually shut off Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC (may not apply), 3G/4G data and dim the screen.

Re:The biggest problem with Smart Phones seems to (1)

kwark (512736) | about a year and a half ago | (#42704363)

"Dunno about iOS, Android or Windows Phone, but MeeGo has a very effective battery-saving mode, which dims the screen, does not use data connections unless you manually start them and automatically disengages once you start charging it."

There is an app for that.

Smartphone market is saturated... (2)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about a year and a half ago | (#42702917)

... so a new market needs to be created to allow people to buy additional shiny toys.

I'm still waiting for a Zoolander dumb-phone (1)

stuporglue (1167677) | about a year and a half ago | (#42702925)

I am still waiting for a tiny Zoolander phone.

Since it'd be a dumb phone, it could be mostly battery and could last a week between charges.

Re:I'm still waiting for a Zoolander dumb-phone (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42703247)

I still use an old Nokia flip phone. It is so small, you can hide the phone by closing your fist. It it the only phone I could fit in my pocket and forget about it. I can use it for 5 days before recharging. There is nothing smart about a smart phone.

It's backwards (5, Interesting)

Dr. Evil (3501) | about a year and a half ago | (#42702933)

I don't understand this. Why would you take your inconvenient, expensive to upgrade, battery-sucking tablet and put your SIM card inside it? Then bring a smaller device in case it's too inconvenient to take out your smartphone?

Why not have a small phone with great battery life and core features, then just use it as a hotspot for a tablet? I was looking at wristwatch phones and none of them seem to do this. There's even the new Pebble http://getpebble.com/ [getpebble.com] ... which is a wristwatch UI for your fat phone.

This whole trend is backwards. Put the phone on our wrists and let us carry an optional tablet, handset or earpiece.

Re:It's backwards (1)

ldbapp (1316555) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703019)

Yep, that's what I posted, umm, before I read your post. (Premature posticulation.) Let's start our own hardware company. There are no barriers to entry, right? ;)

Re:It's backwards (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42703073)

> Why not have a small phone with great battery life and core features, then just use it as a hotspot for a tablet?

RIM tried that... it was called the Playbook. It sucked.

Re:It's backwards (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703249)

well you hit the gist with "great battery life". a great battery doesn't fit into your phone.

besides, nokia was doing that route already with 770 internet tablet(which did not have a phone and you were expected to use bt connection to a phone to connect to the net on the go). people wanted to be able to make calls with it. an extra device to carry is an extra device to carry.

besides, wrist phones suck ass unless you want to carry a bt headset all the time.

and these guys are just being asses and are just releasing a really high end bluetooth handset/remote. of which we have had plenty.

Re:It's backwards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42703263)

Precisely, I want a cell phone watch that has no speaker, no interface beyond vibrating or tingling when I get a call. Bluetooth to the headsets for calls, voice recognition for outbound calling, and bluetooth or wifi hotspot for the tablet. Perhaps, just perhaps, text to speech and back for texts, but not really; just do that on the tablet, as I'm not big on texting.

Re:It's backwards (2)

Big Nemo '60 (749108) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703293)

Believe it or not, before purchasing my current smart phone, I actually looked for an arrangement like that - a very small (5" max) Android 4.x tablet with Wi-Fi (no 3G) and a small, sturdy phone that could also work as a Wi-Fi hotspot (which cheap Android phones seem to handle pretty well now, btw).

Eventually I gave up because (a) I could not find a tablet smaller than 7" of acceptable quality (this may have changed - I did not check again after I eventually purchased a smart phone) and (b) where I live (somewhere in Europe) network operators charge you extra if you use your cellphone to connect other devices to the 'net (it is actually a separate service from the smart phone data package).

If I could overcome these issues I would still go that way. I would expect much better battery life for both devices (like when I carried a Palm TX and a cellphone) and I would not be a bit surprised if the two devices together would be cheaper than a high-end smart phone. Fringe benefit, I would expect to be able to upgrade each device separately when needed. Also, when I do not need the tablet I could leave it at home.

Details to be defined: where the GPS receiver should be (I'd say in the phone, even if the map app should obviously run on the tablet), what to synchronize between the two (I'd say only the contacts, the tablet being the master).

I am a bit of a Star Trek fan, and I always considered how Starfleet officers carry two devices - a communicator (always) and a datapad (when needed). OK make three devices with the Phaser ;-)

Re:It's backwards (2)

Fred Ferrigno (122319) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703367)

It's just a matter of which device is the one you use most and carry with you all the time and which device is the optional accessory you only carry when you need it. We call them "smartphones" but increasingly they're portable computers that are only occasionally used to make phone calls.

If you spend most of your time browsing the web and watching cat videos, it makes sense to put the connection in the device so you don't have to carry around a hotspot too. Then you have a Bluetooth headset -- which is basically what the HTC Mini is -- for those infrequent occasions when you need to have a long phone conversation. If you're not expecting any calls, you leave the headset at home.

Re:It's backwards (3, Informative)

stephanruby (542433) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703471)

I don't understand this. Why would you take your inconvenient, expensive to upgrade, battery-sucking tablet and put your SIM card inside it? Then bring a smaller device in case it's too inconvenient to take out your smartphone?

Why not have a small phone with great battery life and core features, then just use it as a hotspot for a tablet? I was looking at wristwatch phones and none of them seem to do this.

A watch-sized 4G hotspot with a tiny watch battery would last about 30 minutes in real life.

This device [engadget.com] would do the trick I suppose, but with that baby strapped to your wrist -- it would look more like a court-mandated gps-tracker. And I doubt that's the fashion statement you'd want to go for.

Re:It's backwards (1)

thegarbz (1787294) | about a year and a half ago | (#42704071)

a small phone with great battery life and ... hotspot for a tablet?

And you lost me right there.

Great trick to combat that annoying friend at the party who is always on the phone, grab his phone and put it into hotspot mode. Guaranteed the battery will be dead within the hour.

Yer Doing it Wrong (4, Insightful)

MrLogic17 (233498) | about a year and a half ago | (#42702977)

If your smart phone is too cumbersome, the solution is NOT to get another gadget to add to the complexity.

Seriously, some folks are so gadget happy with their oohh-aaahh features on their phones that they forget why they bought it.Speak with your wallet. Buy a phone that works for your needs, and is easy to use.

Re:Yer Doing it Wrong (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703523)

Almost everything in the retail channels are smart phones.
I still have a feature phone and it saddens me that almost no one manufactures them anymore.

It's gotten to the point where low-end smart phones are being pushed hard into Africa, which has generally been a stronghold for the dumb phone.

Re:Yer Doing it Wrong (1)

Fred Ferrigno (122319) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703543)

Seriously, some folks are so gadget happy with their oohh-aaahh features on their phones that they forget why they bought it.

I think you're confused about why they bought it. We call them "smartphones" but their primary purpose these days is browsing the web, not making phone calls.

Getting ridiculous (5, Insightful)

Arcady13 (656165) | about a year and a half ago | (#42702985)

If your phone is so big and cumbersome that you need a second phone that is easier to hold and easier to handle, then why wouldn't you just get a primary phone that fits those requirements in the first place?

I see these people with their ridiculous 5 inch Android phones. They have them set to dim and turn off the screen almost immediately, because the battery life is so shitty. When they aren't swiping around on them like a crazy person, they are looking for power outlets to keep the stupidly big things charged up.

Screw that. Get a phone with a normal size screen, a phone that fits in your pocket, a phone that has a battery that lasts for a whole day, a phone that doesn't need another phone as an accessory.

Re: Getting ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42703593)

The galaxy note has a really good battery life actually. But it is rather gigantic.

Re:Getting ridiculous (2)

green1 (322787) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703805)

Speaking as someone with a "ridiculous 5 inch Android phone" (actually 5.5" display, Galaxy Note 2) I have never had a problem with battery life, it lasts all day no problem, and as it sits on my bedside as a replacement for my old alarm clock, it charges every night.

As for why have a secondary phone, I can see it. The note is a big phone, but not so big as to be cumbersome in general, and as I wear cargo pants 95% of the time or more, there's plenty of pocket space. Unfortunately though I do occasionally dress a little fancier for one occasion or other, and in those rare cases it would be nice to have something smaller to fit in the reduced pocket space. I personally don't know that this is the solution though, it seems to me that the situation is rare enough for me that the best solution would be a small/cheap dumb phone that I can just swap the SIM in to as needed instead of an even more expensive smart phone with detachable dumb phone.

Re:Getting ridiculous (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42704327)

The next contractor that shows up to my workplace wearing cargo pants is going to get fired. This is not appropriate attire 95% of the time. I don't understand why people think they can go out of the house dressed like bums.

Re:Getting ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42703961)

*Most* people are very logical thinkers. It's those that can't think have this problem...

A nugget with a menu of optional interfaces (5, Interesting)

ldbapp (1316555) | about a year and a half ago | (#42702997)

What I want is a computing nugget that I can carry in my pocket (on a necklace, whatever), and then carry any number of different task-specific interfaces to it. You don't even have to carry them. Just walk up to your desk, and your keyboard and monitor connect and you have a desktop. Pick up your "smart-phone" interface, and go. Pick up your candybar interface and go. But all the computing and storage stays the same. It's your cloud in your pocket. Sell me that HTC.

So what they're really selling is... (4, Insightful)

Gordonjcp (186804) | about a year and a half ago | (#42702999)

... an inconveniently large bluetooth headset?

Re:So what they're really selling is... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42703575)

it appears so, the best feature of the Mini is that it can be used as a remote control when the phone is hooked up to a tv. As something that is supposed to be a mini phone it does appear to be rather big.

Phablet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42703023)

If you carry one like i do since i rarely actually make calls, they do make something called a 'wireless headset' ...

Thats not nearly enough! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42703043)

If each phone is half the size of the previous phone, I can fit an infinite number in my pocket!

Re:Thats not nearly enough! (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703465)

If each phone is half the size of the previous phone, I can fit an infinite number in my pocket!

I hope each one is also half the price of the previous one ...

Useful in my truck (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42703179)

This would be useful in my truck-boat-truck, so that I don't have to hold such a bulky phone while towing my boat that tows my other truck.

Where is the phone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42703183)

I went into a store the other day wanting to buy a phone. They sales staff showed me an MP3 player, internet browser, gaming console, PDA and a radio. I walked out frustrated ... I just wanted a phone!

Re:Where is the phone? (2)

1s44c (552956) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703563)

Phone shops want to sell shiny things not practical things.

You can find low end phones that just work in most airports. Business travelers often break their phones and need to buy a new one in a hurry.

RIM was there first (1)

sbjornda (199447) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703633)

RIM was there first, only the other way around. The BlackBerry handset has the voice+data plan; the Playbook tablet uses a Bluetooth connection back to the handset to browse, read email.

--
.nosig

Re:RIM was there first (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year and a half ago | (#42704009)

RIM was there first, only the other way around.

Yes, and we saw how well it worked for them.

Incidentally, George Santayana was right.

I bet this is immensely helpful... (4, Insightful)

pellik (193063) | about a year and a half ago | (#42703793)

... for calling your phone when you misplace it.

Awesome new idea (3, Insightful)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | about a year and a half ago | (#42704025)

Yo, I've got something that will blow your mind: a phone that stays at your house and can't go anywhere. It get amazing reception, and call quality and dropped calls are never really an issue. Pretty soon every teenager is going to want one. These things are BAD, and can be really big. Big is the new small, know what I'm saying? How come nobody ever thought of a phone before that is JUST a phone and doesn't play Angry Birds? And you'll never ever crack the screen. No giant Otterbox necessary (besides, it is already so big it doesn't need a box to make it huge, like an iPhone). Bonus: you'll never forget it or have it stolen at Starbucks, cause you can't use it there.

Can you like, accessorize it? (1)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | about a year and a half ago | (#42704097)

Can you like get a mini parasitic phone that comes like pre-bedazzled? If I can get a sparkly one that works with my iPhone then I'm like, you know, like sooo in. What about an even smaller one for my min-pin-chin-tzu (you've like GOT to get a custom four-breed tiny dog) to carry around on her collar? lol that would be like soooo cute.

Just a remote (1)

c (8461) | about a year and a half ago | (#42704157)

If you think of it as a Bluetooth remote (NFC doesn't really give enough range that "remote" has any meaning) it's not really all that unreasonable. I spent a good chunk of my morning looking for a Canadian supplier of something not entirely dissimilar [amazon.com] ... remote music control, camera shutter trigger, and since it has Real Buttons it's a little more effective to control music and whatnot while driving.

But yeah, whoever decided to market this as a phone for a phone needs their head(s) checked.

Deviception (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42704487)

So now we have tablets that detach from keyboards, and phones that are put into tablets, and phones that are put into phones. Obviously the super device will combine all of these! You'll have a tiny phone thing with 4g and other communication boards that slot into a bigger phone with a bigger screen and battery and storage and more processing power that slots into an even bigger screen with more battery that connects to a keyboard with and extra battery and another flash drive.

And I form the legs!

Is slashdot the new wired? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42704613)

Are questions the new answer?

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