The Case for Carrying Two Smartphones

Are you satisfied with just one smartphone? Maybe you just haven't given two a chance. If you're anything like CIO.com's mobile maestro Al Sacco, you may not only boost productivity with two devices, but improve your quality of life. Seriously.

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Tue, March 27, 2012
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The DROID 4 "physical" keyboard is okay, but I need to use two hands and it's still a bit awkward due to the device's size and weight. The touch-screen keyboard is a nightmare to type on rapidly. Android's message-notification system is a mess. Battery life is weak. And Android is probably the mobile platform with the most security risks right now.

See a pattern here? I have identified two of the best handhelds on the market, with nearly opposite strengths and weaknesses. And, therefore, I get the best of both worlds, while filling in each device's respective gaps. And because the devices are on two different wireless carriers, I frequently have coverage on one handheld when the other drops out or the signal gets weak.

I use my BlackBerry mostly for work, though I do message with friends and family and take the occasional personal phone call. My Android phone is for apps, listening to music, watching movies on Netflix and streaming live baseball games via the MLB At Bat app, among other "fun" things. And I can quickly put work aside, by discarding my BlackBerry--though I admit, this rarely happens.

To sum this up, I strategically use each device only for what it's best for, and in the end, I'm better for it.

Downsides of Carrying Two Smartphones--and How to Overcome Them

The number one downside to carrying two smartphones is that purchasing two devices and paying for monthly data plans can add up to a big chunk of change. I understand completely how this might be prohibitive for many modern smartphone users. But I'm also sure a good subsection of the smartphone market is in a situation like mine: You can probably justify a work-funded phone and afford to pay for a personal phone on the side.

My company foots the bill for my work phone, and I pay for my personal device. And I end up using less data on both devices; I only use my BlackBerry for work purposes for the most part and my Android device is for play. IT is also happy because I never put corporate data at risk or degrade BlackBerry performance downloading random apps.

As for the awkwardness of carrying two devices at once, you get used to it quickly. The positives of carrying two phones, including better battery life, stronger wireless coverage in more areas and everything else mentioned above, easily outweigh the negatives. And most modern handhelds are also generally small enough so you dont need to become a Holster Master to carry two of them. (And you'll never catch me in a pair of skinny jeans, anyway. No how, no way.)

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