Smart Phones and PhDs!


======= Date Modified 16 Mar 2011 08:11:54 =======
OK a bit of a tenuous link but I have a really old mobile that I want to upgrade and am thinking of getting a smartphone (are they called that in the UK?) I can only really justify it though if it is really helpful for my PhD! Please tell me it has helped you enormously.... ;-) Does anyone have any recommendations - I am really confused by it all (showing my age!) Also my voice recorder has broken and I need a new one - am wondering if a new all singing and dancing phone could do that for me? Does anyone use it for that? Thanks!


======= Date Modified 16 Mar 2011 09:24:30 =======
I was faced with this dilemma as my PhD involved Smart phone subject matter and I didn't even have a mobile phone!
I have a PAYG HTC (bottom of the range) I put PDF's on it, take research related photos, the calendar is invaluable, there is a free dictaphone built in, it is sync'd with my laptop and I get all my email through it. I use the alarm clock to wake me up in the morning and routinely access Ebay and Tweetdeck with it. It cost me £150 and I have put £10 in credit on it since October last year, I use free WiFi alot.
I would look at the operating system closely, I chose Android because there are loads of free Apps for it, dictionaries etc... outside of these points they are, in my opinion worthless ;-)


You can't go wrong with a HTC Desire - a very powerful, multifunctional, Android-based mobile phone. It has lots of open source apps that can handle .pdfs, MS Office applicationms and network. An Iphone 3GS o4 4 would be a reasonable compromise, though I have a 3GS and think Iphones are a bit over-rated - terrible battery. I wouldn't use any mobile phone as a voice recorder - you'd need a large SD or Micro-SD memory card and I'm not sure how well it would pick up voices. I have a Zoom H2 voice recorder and it has proved to be brilliant - though a tad pricey at the time (it should have dropped now though).


Another vote for HTC! I only have the Wildfire (Desire is better), but it's brilliant. Supports PDFs, Word documents etc, good for checking email and going online, and lots of very useful apps. Oh, and you can make phone calls. :)


I have an iPhone, and while I think that HTC phones can actually be better it does rather depend what you want them for. For my PhD I use the dictaphone, the calendar and an app I got for £3 called 2do, which is a to do list. As I understand it, you can do more with an HTC android phone, but iPhones are easier to use. There is a Mendeley app for the iphone, I assume there is also one for android. I don't actually use it much at the mo, but I think that it could be invaluable in the future. The main advantage of all smart phones is email on your phone.


I have a samsung galaxy S, which is a good android phone. As has already been said, there are a lot of free apps for it. it also have programs that allow you to write notes, to do lists etc. you can access your email and have internet access wherever you go pretty much. It also lets you look at pdfs, edit word docs etc, all the things you can do with microsoft office.

It is really useful - especially if you don't always have computer access. so i think that's your justification - if you need to be able to access emails, materials etc quickly and from anywhere. If you have computer access at home and in the uni though, then in reality you probably won't use all those features that much!


Thanks - will check those ones out.


I use an iPhone - it is fantastic for email, calendar, scheduling, Mendelely, Dropbox etc. I think a cheaper smart phone is certainly worth an investment.