Monday, December 30, 2013

Top 5 Things that I Learned about Smartphones thanks to Verizon Savers Voices #VZWVoices #Save

Smartphones have come a long way, baby...

Disclosure: I participated in the Verizon Savers Voices program and was provided with a wireless device and six months of service in exchange for my honest opinions about the product.  My participation officially ended on December 17, 2013.  This is my wrap-up post for the program. 

For the last six months I have been writing a number of posts about my involvement in the Verizon Savers Voices program where I have been doing long term reviews of the Verizon Blackberry Z10 and the Verizon Motorola Droid Ultra smartphones.

I am truly amazed at how far smartphones have come in the last few years.  And in 2013, smartphone manufactures really turned up the "smart" features in smartphones to where these devices are so integrated into our lives that it is now very difficult to live without them.

So let me share with you the top 5 things that I learned about smartphones thanks to the Verizon Savers Voices program…


Night photo of Chicago taken with the Verizon Blackberry Z10 - awesome!
1. Who needs a point-and-shoot camera and a camcorder when you have a smartphone

For years, I was a camera snob would never have been caught dead using a smartphone as my primary camera.  I used a wonderful Panasonic digital camera that took awesome photos.  But now, my trusted camera is gathering dust in a drawer because the cameras on smartphones are now on par with regular point-and-shoot cameras.

In August, I attended the BlogHer blogging conference in Chicago and I took all my trip trip photos using only the camera on the Verizon Blackberry Z10 smartphone.  The Z10's 8-megapixel camera is so awesome that I knew all the photos would turn out great - and they did.

And if the photos needed a little tweaking, the Verizon Blackberry Z10 has great editing software built in that can give every shot a professional look.

I made this video in just minutes with the Z10 StoryMaker app

The Verizon Blackberry Z10 smartphone takes not only great photos, but also great video.  And the Z10's "Storymaker" feature makes it totally simple to create a custom video because the smartphone does all the editing for me.  All I had to do was choose the photos and video from the Z10 along with the music (which is also included).  The Z10 did all the rest so making videos is super easy.

Check out my video of the Fairlane Towncenter Fall Fashion Show (seen above) that I made in just minutes using the Verizon Blackberry Z10.

Find the lowest price on plane tickets with the Skyscanner app on the Z10
Slickdeals is my go to smartphone app for new deals posted throughout the day...
2. Smartphones are awesome Money Saving Machines!

Forget Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with the great apps available for smartphones, everyday can be a great money saving day.

I found 5 Money Saving Apps on the Blackberry Z10 that can help get the lowest cost on travel, movies, gas, and everyday purchases.  I was even able to build a Black Berry World App for FREEISMYLIFE so my Blackberry Z10 smartphone followers can always be up on the latest deals posted to FREEISMYLIFE.

And I use the eBay, Slickdeals, and Weekly Ads and Sales apps every single day on my Android smartphone to get the lowest price on all my purchases.

Mobile has totally changed the way we all shop!
3. Smartphones have changed how people shop for everything!

Just a year ago, I would only use eBay on my home computer, which meant I only searched for bargains at night after my son went to bed. But now I am able to get a deal at anytime by using the eBay app on my smartphone. Apps have really changed the way that I shop. And it is not just me, but everyone that has been affected by the great apps available now on smartphones.

During the Verizon Savers Voices Program kick off in Chicago, I met Andrea Woroch, a nationally-recognized consumer and money-saving expert who gave a presentation called "Mobile Technology and Consumers: How Mobile Technology Increases Efficiency, and Saves You Time and Money," The presentation highlighted how consumers are becoming better and more informed shoppers thanks to smartphones.

Eighteen months ago, I used maybe a 3-4 shopping related apps on my smartphone and now I have 10-15 shopping apps that I use every week, and some multiple times a day.

Checkout more about how smartphones have changed the way people shop in my post entitled "How Mobile is making us Better Shoppers with Savings Expert Andrea Woroch"

The Verizon Droid Ultra's 5" screen is wonderful!
4. Bigger Smartphone Screens are Awesome!

Does anyone remember years ago when the fad for electronics was for them to be as small as possible?  Well that no longer applies with smartphones.  Screens are getting bigger and bigger and I for one am loving it.

Where the iPhone only has a 4" screen, newer Android smartphones like the Verizon Motorola Droid Ultra have big, bright 5" screens that make viewing email, texts and messages so much more easier.  I love all the extra screen real estate on the 5"+  smartphone screens and I predict that by the end of 2014,  a 5" screen will be standard on even the cheapest smartphone.

Being able to talk to your smartphone save lots of time and energy!
5. Smartphone Alerts Preview and Touchless Controls are the way of the Future!

I am not much for lots of bells and whistles on smartphones like on the Samsung Galaxy S Smartphones.  I usually like for my smartphones to just do the simple things well - that was until I tried out the Touchless Controls and Alerts features on the Verizon Motorola Droid Ultra.

Just being able to preview all my messages from the lock screen without having to unlock the smartphone and navigate to the apps saves tons of time and energy.  And being able to talk to a smartphone and have it answer back is a pretty cool and useful feature.  I especially like that the Motorola Droid Ultra knows when the user is driving and will allow you to answer the phone and respond to a text just by using your voice.

And the really great thing is that a lot of these features will be built into the the newest release of the Android Operating System (Android 4.4 - Kit Kat) so that more Android smartphones will have  similar features in the future like those on the Droid Ultra.

But if you want to have them now, I thought I would share that the Verizon Droid Ultra by Motorola is now available for only $49 with a 2 year contract - which is $150 off the normal price from just a month ago.

So with this post, my involvement with the Verizon Savers Voices Program comes to a close,  but not my involvement with Verizon.  I have been reviewing Verizon smartphones now for over 3 1/5 years and my relationship with them will continue into 2014.

So watch for my new Verizon smartphone review in January of 2014 where I will tell you all about the super awesome Verizon Samsung Note 3 smartphone with it's 5.7" screen and sweet note taking features.


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