Do You Know Your Data?
This is a Guest Post by Matt Rawling, an experienced technology blogger who has written a number of articles for Techin5, covering a variety of topics ranging from smartphones to laptops and GPS devices.
Smartphones have offered a sense of freedom since their conception. No longer are you tied to your computer for online entertainment. But one of their more mysterious aspects is the amount of data that things such as texting, surfing, taking pictures, downloading music, and watching movies require. Because of new limitations on data plans and limitations of the memory on your smartcard, understanding the data needs is an essential part of managing your smartphone and the accompanying bill.
Data usage is often calculated in megabytes. The best way to determine the limit to the amount of data that you have is to look at the memory requirements in the SIM cards for smartphones. The average is right around three gigabytes. A gigabyte is 1,000 times the size of a megabyte.
This means that if you continuously stream one megabyte of data every minute on your phone, you will fill up your SIM’s card in 3,000 minutes or a little over two days. Depending on your plan, you could easily exceed your usage if you aren’t paying attention.
Even unlimited texting plans count towards your smartphone data usage. The average text is very low on data usage clocking in much less than a megabyte. While a couple of texts a day won’t significantly impact your data, a teen texting for eight to ten hours straight every single day is going to add up. Thus, your bill could contain some surprises if you have unlimited texting but not unlimited data usage.
Internet Surfing Data
If you are using your smartphone to surf the Internet, you will find that you can visit approximately 17,000 pages on three gigabytes of memory. While it might seem like a lot of surfing, that number is just webpage visitations. That is not counting the data required for watching Youtube videos, posting pictures or playing games. Remember, those type of activities also add to the data usage amount.
A medium quality photo taken with a 3G smartphone is about one megabyte. This means your smartphone can hold about 9,000 of these. But be careful with the uploading. Posting all 9,000 photos on Facebook will run through an entire three gigabytes of data.
Music data does vary depending on the song and whether or not there is a video attached. Pay attention to the amount of data when downloading. For example, Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way” album can only be downloaded about 40 times total for three gigabytes of memory. While you probably won’t download this particular album 40 times, consider the fact that your smartphone can only hold about 40 albums of a similar size and nothing else.
Movies are notorious for their data usage. A single movie can consume a gigabyte or more of data depending on the movie length. For ease of calculation in determining how much data a movie uses, one hour of movie time is about one gigabyte of data usage. A three hour movie is three gigabytes, but you can easily use twice the amount if you are in the habit of picking the high definition over the standard. In high-definition mode, that same three hour movie can use up to six gigabytes or more of data.
One last thing you should know about data is that roaming charges are often thrown in if you are out of your area and you are streaming. Sometimes, you don’t even know if you are out of your area until you open up the bill. If you do intend on taking a trip that includes areas not in your plan, get a temporary phone located in that area. This will save you in the long run and watch out for that little bar that states you are in a roaming area.
High cell phone bills are a result of not knowing how much data you are using. Keeping track of your data on your smartphone will help you avoid those expensive surprises on your next bill. Connect with a 4G smartphone today.