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Readers Respond: Why did you choose a PDA instead of a smartphone?

Responses: 18


From the article: PDA vs. Smartphone

Each of us has different reasons for choosing a PDA over a smartphone. Perhaps you like having two separate devices. Maybe you wanted to save money and didn't like the fees associated with a smartphone.

What are your reasons for choosing a PDA instead of a smartphone? What features of your PDA do you like best? Give us your input.

Love My PDA

I bought my PDA about 3 years ago and use it everyday. As a nurse I have tons of books and programs on it that I can use in the field when teaching or working in patient care. My pda has wi-fi and I can access my email from any hot spot. Smartphone apps do not address my needs. I don't Twitter, Facebook etc. My biggest concern is when the regular cellphone is no longer available and all one can buy is a smartphone with a data package. What am I to do then?
—Guest actrjo

Data Plans Cost Too Much

I'm going back to a PDA & cell phone because all of the providers require data packages for smart phones.
—Guest PK

Why a PDA

I prefer having seperate devices. The phone has a seperate function that should stand alone.
—Guest John

PDA vs Smartphone

Don't need smartphone. Already have cell. Don't need e-mail on cell. Devastated that there are no more supported PDA's available. Written in May 2010
—Guest Nolli H

Independent Devices

Because I don't want the two devices together and it's much more expensive. I don't use my cell phone that much to warrant fancy data plans.
—Guest Catherine


I need an electronic device for downloading large Spanish english dictionaries to look things up and to add glossaries if possible. I do not know what is the best device for this. I do not want it combined with a phone. If PDAs are being phased out what are they superceeded by? It would need to have a large memory to store maybe million word dictionaries and more than one as well as a personal data base glossary if this is possible. Does anyone have any knowledge or experience of this????
—Guest jill

Better build quality and who needs 3g

With the average Smartphone screen size being a measly 3 inches surfing the web is hard not saying it's much better on a 4" palm PDA screen but the res is a bit higher, plus 3g with mobile sites is wasted money mobile sites don't have a large amount of data on them i am still fine using my bluetooth connection to my phone if i am in dier need of internet, but for my main PDA uses , notes reminders typing and MP3 and video the PDA fits the bill much better.
—Guest GeforcerFX


I use a Palm Tungsten T3 because it can do much more and do it better than a combined PDA/phone. For example, with a separate phone, I can make notes while holding the phone to my ear. The T3 is the last PDA that uses RAM rather than Flash (non-volatile memory) so if I lose the device, my secrets disappear as soon as the battery is drained. My previous Palm, the Vx, was even better designed especially ergonomically. So much for progress.
—Guest T

Don't want the Phone

I just want a good PDA device for storing data, but would like it to be WiFi or Web compatible. I don't want the phone or the expensive contracts that go with it!
—Guest Pat Burgess

Phone is a phone... pda a pda

i've never really encountered a gadget that offered me the ideal mixture of a portable data file manager and a mobile phone designed to incorporate data file management... there are tasks that pdas were designed to be more efficient... and the same goes for the smartphone!.. the pda remains to be a more reliable data file manager that doubles up as a contact, calendar and note back up... for me the smartphone is still more than anything a phone and sms gear... smartphones have a bigger chance of getting lost or left behind!
—Guest Marc Ambat

My primary reason for choosing a PDA

The fear of losing the smartphone and all of the data in it.
—Guest Kujo97

Simple organization

My need is for a pocket organizer, calendar, address/phone number book, calculator and collection of memory- jogging stuff. Many of us don’t need or don’t want mobile email, and we surf the Web at our desks, not on-the-go. This response originally appeared on the PDA blog http://palmtops.about.com/b/2009/01/24/pdas-are-still-viable.htm
—Guest Dave


I like the mobility and features of my Palm Tungsten E2 and I have no need or desire to surf the web on a 3″ screen. That’s what a monitor is for. Durability is a big factor also. I have went through several smartphones in the time that I have had my E2 and it has taken much more abuse. Phones are just too fragile (read disposable). Next phone is going to be a basic model. This response originally appeared on the PDA blog http://palmtops.about.com/b/2009/01/24/pdas-are-still-viable.htm
—Guest Juley

Avoid paying for a data plan

I prefer a separate PDA vs the new smartphones because I do not want to pay for all the fees for downloading and using the features of the phone. This response originally appeared on the PDA blog http://palmtops.about.com/b/2009/01/24/pdas-are-still-viable.htm
—Guest Jackie

Larger Touch Screen on my PDA

I think the touch screen is more convenient. I can use the stylus do a lot of things.
—Guest changing
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