Over the course of the past few years, smartphones have undergone quite an evolution.
They are ultra-powerful gadgets that come with super-fast CPUs, as much RAM as mid-range PCs, and numerous communication radios.
Not just this, the modern-day smartphones are truly convergent devices. They can do a lot more than just being a communication devices – from taking photos and wirelessly controlling home appliances to juggling between calls and serving app notifications.
In fact, today’s smartphones are so capable that they have rendered some really popular gadgets all but obsolete.
So here are eight gadgets almost ‘killed’ by smartphones.
Remember pagers, the tiny communication gadgets that could receive (and in some cases, send) text and voice messages?
They are defunct now, thanks to smartphones. That’s because smartphones handle SMS/MMS pretty fine on their own.
Take into account instant messaging apps like WhatsApp and Skype, and it becomes instantly clear why you don’t see anyone with that beeping little pager anymore.
2. Portable Music Players (PMP)
There was a time when a ‘portable media player’ meant a chunky device that could just play a cassette (with barely 10-15 tracks on it) for a few hours before its AA batteries ran out.
And although the Discmans that followed made things better, it’s gadgets like the Apple iPod and other flash-based media players (e.g. Zune) that redefined what a PMP could do. But does anybody buy a PMP today? No, because our smartphones can play all kinds of audio and video files.
3. FM Radio Receivers
Just the mention of FM Radio receivers is enough to bring back lots of memories.
One would diligently adjust that frequency-selector knob repeatedly for hours at a stretch, just to get the perfect reception, and listen to evening news bulletins and songs.
That’s no longer the case, as just about every smartphone comes with a built-in FM Radio receiver these days.
In fact, even dirt cheap feature phones have FM Radio functionality. Pretty great, isn’t it?
4. Point-and-Shoot Cameras
Smartphone cameras have matured from being a novelty to being a necessity.
Over the years, cameras on smartphones have improved tremendously and now have megapixel count running into double digits.
And even though they are still not capable of shooting DSLR-like images, the cameras on smartphones are more than sufficient for everyday photography.
So if you’re planning on buying a basic point-and-shoot digital camera, just go for a smartphone instead.
5. Personal Digital Assistant (PDA)
A Personal Digital Assistant was a gadget that a serious office-goer just couldn’t do without, only until a few years ago.
Who can forget Palm’s line of PDA devices that had everything from a PDF reader to the ability to check email on-the-go. They even came with all kinds of connectivity options like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. But that’s all in the past, as smartphones have morphed into feature-laden PDA devices. Whether you want to organize a meeting with your team, make a to-do list or create a business presentation, there’s an app for that.
6. Voice recorders
These quaint devices from Sony and others are still around, but we’re not sure why. We suppose not every Apple iPhone user knows they have a more than adequate, built-in voice recorder app available with plenty of voice recording space.
7. GPS Navigation Systems
Whether you are travelling to a different state or a new country altogether, having a GPS Navigation System in tow is a must-have.
These nifty gadgets can be mounted on the car’s dashboard and used to get directions to just about anywhere.
But even though GPS systems are still in use, they are increasingly getting replaced by smartphones. After all, who needs an in-car GPS system when you’ve got the power of Google Maps on your smartphone?
Whether it’s turn-by-turn navigation or real-time traffic alerts, mapping apps (and by extension, smartphones), have them all.
8. Portable Gaming Consoles
Nintendo launched the first Game Boy handheld gaming console back in 1989.
The 8-bit video game device went on to become a massive hit and now enjoys cult-level popularity. Years later, Sony launched its PlayStation Portable (PSP) and changed handheld gaming with its high-quality video games.
But if you want to enjoy great gaming on-the-go today, you don’t need a PSP. Modern smartphones with their multi-core processors and oodles of RAM would do just fine.
Just head to the App Store, download one of the many titles (e.g. Asphalt 8: Airborne, Mortal Kombat X) and get playing.
You can even download an emulator app (e.g. RetroArch) and enjoy classic games.