It does it all
The third way a smartphone can save you money is because it replaces so many other portable digital devices you might buy otherwise. This includes a camera, camcorder, radio, MP3 player, landline phone, pedometer and GPS navigation unit, to name a few. Granted, in some cases a smartphone doesn't perform a task as well as a standalone device, but if it's good enough for you — and you have the phone with you everywhere you go — it makes up for the slight difference in quality. In some cases you'll have more options when using your smartphone, such as emailing a photo you snapped right away or calling a restaurant you found via GPS. Many people are even using a smartphone more than their personal computer for some tasks, such as reading email and surfing the Web, as it's convenient to do it on a device you have with you at all times.
Location, location, location
Imagine one day you're walking down the street and you feel your smartphone vibrate in your pocket. You pull it out, glance at the screen and see there's a special on sweaters at Old Navy across the street. Apps like Push A Deal and Deals.by are just two examples of free shopping apps that push hot deals to you based on your geographical location. You can select the kinds of deals you're interested in — such as fitness apparel, restaurants or consumer electronics — and you'll be notified about sales, coupons and giveaways at retailers you happen to be near. These apps use the smartphone's GPS chip to establish your exact location — and of course it works in different cities, states and countries, such as Canada.
It's a middleman
Your smartphone isn't just a device to use on its own — it can communicate with your computer, television, car and home. This can all save you time, money and aggravation, as you can access what you need wherever life takes you. For example, if you need an important file on your computer at home, you can log in with one of the many "remote access" apps on your smartphone and grab it as if you were in front of your PC. Forgot to set your digital video recorder (DVR)? Open up an app to set your favourite show while in line at the bank. Many cars now have apps that let you unlock doors remotely or to see your gas level and tire pressure, and other info. Depending on your home alarm system you can enable or disable alarms through your smartphone and perhaps tap into your surveillance cameras to see what's going on at home — from a distance.