What Matters Most in a Cell Phone?

November 3, 2009

Family Favs reader Liz from Australia wrote in recently with this question and a helpful site about it, so we asked her to be our guest blogger for the day. Here she is:

Recently, my phone was either stolen or lost.  Fortunately, I had the good sense to have signed up for the insurance coverage when signing up for the plan.  Having a smartphone, the insurance plan was the way to go with my particular cell phone company.  My husband, Matt, broke his iphone and the replacement cost, at the time, was in the hundreds.

Having lived with the Blackberry Storm for the past 9 months, I realized that using it hadn’t gotten much easier and that it was still a bit cumbersome.  So, I asked the insurance rep if I would be able to switch phones, as long as they were sending me a new one.  They gave me a couple of Nokia options.
I came across an excellent web site that helped me greatly to make the decision.  It wasn’t about the ratings of the phone, the ease of use or the newer and better features, it ranks the phones with regard to the level of radiation output.  It ranks the top 10 best and worst phones and smartphones.  You can also plug in your phone’s model number to see the level of radiation output.
The web site if from a group in Washington called the Environmental Working Group and the web site is:
The truth is, there is a lot of confusing information out there.  There have been scientific studies linking brain and salivary gland tumors with cell phone use, while the FDA claims that there is no scientific correlation between cell phone use and health problems.  Frankly, it’s an ambiguous risk that’s not worth taking.
In the end, while the Nokia models presented to me were newer, shinier and looked like more fun, they fall on the bottom of the rankings with regard to radiation output.
My cumbersome Blackberry Storm happens to be one of the 10 best smartphones for low radiation output.  So, I guess my priorities are changing. I don’t need the sleekest and coolest smartphone on the market, but I do need one that is a little bit safer, especially when my 6 year old asks me to play a game on it.
Thanks Liz!

This is Probably It As Long As We Can’t Make Any More Money

Friday night Suzanne and I went to see the Michael Jackson movie, This Is It. If you’re a Michael Jackson fan, it’s definitely worth seeing. He really was such a talented individual, and yes, it also confirms how freakish he was. I found it interesting how awkward he was in dealing with other people — when he had to give feedback, he almost couldn’t. He was a perfectionist who was nervous about delivering his marching orders. (When trying to explain to the band how to play something, he repeated “I say it with love” about ten times, almost like, “Don’t be mad at me.”) The one thing I thought was missing was any footage from after Michael died. It would have been interesting to hear the reaction from those who were working so closely with him. Instead it ends with them all hopeful about the tour that was supposed to begin in a few weeks. Again I say, such a needless death, and such a waste. RIP.


The clocks turning back is killing me. The kids are up so early, I am falling asleep by 9pm, and it’s dark out by 4:30.

So I will say good night with the Phillies leading!


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