Four Standalone Gadgets That are Nevertheless Far better Than Your Smartphone




When Apple announced new iPod music players a number of weeks ago, many men and women questioned why any one would need iPods when smartphones can engage in tunes and extra. I had that dilemma myself – right until I remembered I have been carrying an iPod pretty much each and every day, mostly for my runs.

There are times a standalone unit these as an iPod works superior than a jack-of-all-trades like a smartphone. A standalone device does just one or two issues, but does them seriously properly.

Of study course, this usually means one additional point to obtain and carry, so the phone is normally less difficult. But below are methods you might uncover a standalone product preferable.

1. Songs gamers
Certain, I can hear to music on my smartphone, but it can be not easy on a run. The iPod Nano is significantly less complicated to have, and all the music and podcasts on it will not take in up room on my mobile phone.

Apple just updated all three iPod models, but only the iPod Touch altered appreciably. The Touch is basically an Apple iphone devoid of the cellular connection, so it just isn’t genuinely a standalone new music player. The kinds that are – the Nano and the Shuffle – obtained only insignificant updates, specifically in the alternatives of color.


Then all over again, as a product built to participate in audio, neither requires a tremendous-fast processor. The $49 Shuffle is more affordable than the $149 Nano, but the Shuffle lacks a display and provides you less choices to select tunes, ahead or rewind. The Nano also has an FM receiver and health and fitness-monitoring abilities – nevertheless a standalone health machine is superior for that.

2. Health equipment
I have worn smartwatches like the Apple Look at and normal-goal health and fitness trackers like the Fitbit. I’ve also used my cellular phone and the Nano to observe my workouts.

None of that beats my Garmin GPS athletics enjoy, which specializes in tracking operating, cycling and swimming exercise sessions.

That’s not to say the other gadgets usually are not good. The Apple Check out is really exact when you have an Apple iphone with you, as it borrows the phone’s GPS. The high-finish Fitbit Surge product comes with GPS, as does Sony’s SmartWatch 3 and Microsoft’s Band.


But the Garmin watches I have employed do a good deal extra. You can report splits, this kind of as the time it normally takes to finish a lap. For tempo, you can opt for to show present pace, ordinary pace for the full operate or normal pace because the very last break up.

The model I now use, the Forerunner 310XT, is cumbersome and isn’t really meant for all-day use. You can find no touch display screen or just about anything extravagant. But it’s great for what it truly is intended to do. Moreover, simply because it is really an more mature product, you can uncover a person for well down below the $250 proposed retail rate.

3. book viewers
With a standalone reader, I am not frequently tempted to verify e mail and Fb, as I am looking through on a tablet. In addition, ereader screens are commonly much better than tablets outside since they have to be only excellent for exhibiting black-and-white textual content – not vibrant movie, images or publications. With tablets, you have glare.

I’ve observed Amazon’s Kindles amongst the best ereaders. They are likely to be slimmer and lighter than other readers, and they have looking through-connected extras, this kind of as more information and facts on people, spots and phrases in a novel.

The $119 Paperwhite model will be suitable for most individuals. The Voyage has conveniences this sort of as vehicle-brightness for the display, but it is really also $80 a lot more.

4. Digital cameras
I utilized to shudder when I observed people today depend on smartphones for their precious digital memories, as standalone cameras had been a great deal better. But these days, I ordinarily go away my standalones guiding, too. Smartphones have improved greatly and even outsmart level-and-shoot cameras sometimes with progress software package.

Standalone cameras however excel in two approaches:
When you might be zooming on a mobile phone, you might be getting a software program adjustment that is akin to cropping. The zoomed pictures would not be as sharp as what you get with both position-and-shoots or complete-bodied, SLR cameras. Telephones are way too slim to have the lens itself do the zooming by projecting out.


SLR cameras have much larger sensors, which can choose up light-weight superior. In reduced-light environments, the cellular phone camera’s shutter has to remain open up a little bit for a longer period to permit in ample light-weight, a technique that introduces blur. Much better telephones have image-stabilizing technology to counter that, but it really is not the similar as obtaining plenty of light to start off with.

Ordinarily, a fantastic phone digicam is good ample, but it really is no match for a standalone digicam, significantly an SLR, for those people exclusive times.

When phones are much better
Navigation is a single spot where by a cell phone will do just as perfectly – possibly even better – than a standalone GPS product in a motor vehicle. A mapping application on a cellphone is more moveable, for starters, and can be utilised for walking and transit directions, not just driving.

A standalone GPS system can be mounted on the windshield and is not going to drain your phone’s battery, but you can counter that with a mounting accessory for your telephone and a charger that plugs into the car’s cigarette lighter.

As substantially as I like standalone devices for lots of duties, I really don’t see navigation as a single of them.

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