Other than as an Actual Phone, What Do You Normally Use Your Smartphone For?

Inventing the mobile phone was such a great idea; it’s so helpful to always have a phone handy whenever we need it. But that’s not all we use our phones for these days.

Admit it, it’s been a long time since you only used your smartphone for placing and receiving phone calls. We use it for texting, social media, as a camera, for listening to music, etc. We asked our writers, “Other than as an actual phone, what do you normally use your smartphone for?”

Our Opinion

Robert reports that he uses his smartphone for reading the news, listening to podcasts, as an interval training time, and for “ritually Googling ‘trump’ upon waking up in the morning to see what mad things he’s done/said/tweeted during the night.”


Phil says he uses his mostly all day in one way or another. He uses it as a music player, a clock, a digital recorder, and to listen to radio/podcasts. Additionally, he uses it as a cooking timer, meditation assistant, calculator, satnav, and camera, and to text. He also uses Facetime “to talk to the kids as a substitute for having them come over and litter my house with their stuff.”

Damien, like Phil, admits the one thing he doesn’t use his for very often is to make phone calls. He uses his phone “more like a mini PC where I check email, read news, listen to music, watch videos, play games, browse the Web, etc.”

Fabio jokes that he uses his smartphone for everything and more seriously, says he uses it as a calculator, alarm clock, to watch videos, to listen to music, to go online, for videoconferencing, etc.

Vamsi says that other than for making phone calls, he uses his as a dedicated audiobook player, for reading tech news, listening to podcasts, and chatting on WhatsApp.


Kenneth uses his as a WiFi hotspot and loves it that with Android, he can connect up to eight devices.

Ryan reports he uses his smartphone the same way he uses a PC. “It’s the primary way I check emails, keep up with the news, and stay connected on social media. He also uses it to watch TV and movies when he’s traveling and even downloads torrents on his phone. What he doesn’t like doing on his phone is typing, preferring a physical keyboard and larger monitor.

I’m with him on that. And now that my iPad can take phone calls and SMS via WiFi, I don’t need my phone as much. But what I do use it for is as a second screen while working, like if I want to look something up in Evernote while I’m on a different app and don’t want to multi-task on the iPad, and I, too, use it as a hotspot. I also use it in bed to track my sleep, read e-books, as an alarm clock, and use it the next morning to track my weight. The one unique thing I use it for is as a heart rate monitor. I have to track my heart rate twice daily and find it easier to use my iPhone.

Your Opinion

You can see that our writers use their smartphones for many different things other than as a “phone.” How about you? Other than as an actual phone, what do you normally use your smartphone for? Tell us in the comments section below.

Laura Tucker
Laura Tucker

Laura has spent nearly 20 years writing news, reviews, and op-eds, with more than 10 of those years as an editor as well. She has exclusively used Apple products for the past three decades. In addition to writing and editing at MTE, she also runs the site's sponsored review program.

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