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Why does a cell phone need Wi-Fi
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Old 05/10/2009, 06:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Please forgive my ignorance. I've been using Palm handheld devices for 10 years (currently using T/X) but never moved up to their smartphones. I'm just curious as to why you need WiFi with a phone that can always connect to the internet. Are there certain situations where the cell connection is not adequate/appropriate for web browsing? Is there an advantage to a WiFi connection over the cell connection? Any insight would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 05/10/2009, 06:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You pretty much answered your own questions there. There are times where you may not have cell service and you need to be connected. Wifi is also faster, especially if you are out of 3g range. I have a blackberry w/o wifi and live in a very poor service area, even with the airave(which is not 3g capable even though it does boost me to full service) data transfer is horrible. I time out trying to dl small apps all the time. Sending an email with a pic attached takes upwards of 15 minutes every time. I look forward to a phone with wifi.
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Old 05/10/2009, 06:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by klynngullo View Post
Please forgive my ignorance. I've been using Palm handheld devices for 10 years (currently using T/X) but never moved up to their smartphones. I'm just curious as to why you need WiFi with a phone that can always connect to the internet. Are there certain situations where the cell connection is not adequate/appropriate for web browsing? Is there an advantage to a WiFi connection over the cell connection? Any insight would be greatly appreciated!
WiFi is most often faster than a cell connection. And there could very well be places that you won't have a cellular signal that you'll have access to WiFi (I know that I have a few places I have to stop by often like that).
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Old 05/10/2009, 07:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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An example: I live in the US, but when I travel out of country (ie Asia, Canada), I can use hotspots to check email/ Instant Message

WIFI is a MUST nowadays
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Old 05/10/2009, 07:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Cell phone providers may ban certain apps like Skype and Slingbox. You will be able to use them over wifi.
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Old 05/10/2009, 07:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I use WiFi at a local coffee shop and at home. The connection is so much faster, so I like having the option.
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Old 05/10/2009, 09:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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i always wondered the same thing, was like whats the point
my sprint connection is available in 95% of the places i go
and its EVDO rev A so thats fast enough
but for some folks its a deal break if the phone has wifi or not
crazy 2 me
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Old 05/10/2009, 09:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Also, it may be possible that if the Pre os going to have local sync capabilities, it will be able to do it over WiFi, which would be pretty awesome.
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Old 05/10/2009, 10:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I work in a hospital. If I'm in the middle of the building on the third floor of seven, I'm fairly well insulated RF wise and will have low to no EV-DO coverage on my current phone. However, I can use my company's wifi.

As others have stated, it's also much faster.


One other potential bonus is that wifi is a two-way street. On my current windows mobile phone, I can take the EVDO connection and then use my phone as a wifi access point for my laptop (of course, USB and bluetooth connection phone-as-modems also serve this purpose).
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Old 05/10/2009, 10:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Wifi at home is free, free hotspots are popping up everywhere, and no bandwidth cap. Need any more reasons than that?
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Old 05/10/2009, 10:41 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I had WiFi on my 800w but never used it enough and didn't really notice any impressive speeds and the fact that it takes more battery life is another problem for me
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Old 05/10/2009, 11:39 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by hypocaffeinemia View Post
....One other potential bonus is that wifi is a two-way street. On my current windows mobile phone, I can take the EVDO connection and then use my phone as a wifi access point for my laptop (of course, USB and bluetooth connection phone-as-modems also serve this purpose).
I love being able to use my phone as a modem today over blue-tooth. It comes in really handy occasionally. It would be even easier if my phone could simply become a wireless access point for my laptop.
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Old 05/11/2009, 12:45 AM   #13 (permalink)
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3G roaming charges are expensive. Wifi in hotel lobby are usually free.
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Old 05/11/2009, 12:53 AM   #14 (permalink)
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There are mobile broadband/wifi routers that convert broadband/802.11x, and can connect to internet via either mobile or dsl/cable. Linksys has one, about $150.
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Old 05/11/2009, 12:57 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I consider the usefulness of my phone when/if I keep it after upgrading - like I kept my 650 after getting the 755p.

With wifi, the "old" phone is that much more useful when network-blind.
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Old 05/11/2009, 07:24 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Looking for a Wi-Fi hot spot? Try 10,000 feet up - CNN.com
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Old 05/11/2009, 07:27 AM   #17 (permalink)
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There are mobile broadband/wifi routers that convert broadband/802.11x, and can connect to internet via either mobile or dsl/cable. Linksys has one, about $150.
Cradlepoint has much better devices, both mobile (with battery) and fixed.
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Old 05/11/2009, 08:28 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I had WiFi on my 800w but never used it enough and didn't really notice any impressive speeds
The speed all depends on the ISP serving the internet to the wifi connection you were using.
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Old 05/11/2009, 08:45 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I use WiFi for two purposes: one is when I'm indoors (such as at work, or a recent visit to the Emergency Room with Wifey, where there was no cell use allowed, but free WiFi). The other is on those occasions when I need to look at something on the web, and share than info with someone on the phone. WiFi allows simultaneous data and phone use.
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Old 05/11/2009, 08:51 AM   #20 (permalink)
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I use WiFi for two purposes: one is when I'm indoors (such as at work, or a recent visit to the Emergency Room with Wifey, where there was no cell use allowed, but free WiFi). The other is on those occasions when I need to look at something on the web, and share than info with someone on the phone. WiFi allows simultaneous data and phone use.
That's interesting that they still don't allow cell phones in hospitals. I totally understood the policy when cell phones were analog. An analog signal could bleed over anything badly and you certainly don't want that to happen in a hospital. I thought that was basically eliminated with the new digital cell phones.
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