Is Multifunctionality Worth The Extra Cost?


Judging by the fact that my computer is telling me that multifunctionality is spelled wrong as I’m typing this, I’m going to take a guess that it’s not a real word. True as that may be, it should be pretty obvious what meaning I’m trying to get across – is something that can do more than one thing and serve more than one purpose worth paying more for it?

Case in point: I recently bought a new cell phone that also functions as an mp3 player. It is not an iphone (although that would have been nice) but it has many of the same features. My husband and I were due for an upgrade phone if we wanted to extend our current wireless contract. I really hate contracts and didn’t really want to extend ours, but our cell phones didn’t have much life left to them and to get the kind of phone we wanted without a contract extension would have cost us a bundle. (I admit that I am a technology freak and don’t want just a basic cell phone that can only make a receive calls.)

The phones we ended up purchasing are $400 each normally, but we were able to get them for $50 each by extending our contracts. Now we could have gotten a slightly less gadgety phone (there I go making up words again) for free, but we decided that this phone was worth the extra cost. Since I am not one to spend money on something and not do research on it, I had already read the reviews and all the stats on the phones we purchased before we actually made our decision. Knowing what this phone could do and how it could help me, I decided that spending a little extra was worth it. Here are some of the reasons I determined this purchase was worth the extra cost and why many others may pay more for certain items that can do more.

I can use it for more than one purpose. This phone makes and receives calls like all other cell phones. It also allows me to send and receive text messages and check my voicemail like the majority of phones do. In addition, it also lets me take pictures and video and send them to my friends and family (which most phones tend to do nowadays anyhow). But the real kicker about this phone is that it has a built in FM Radio in it, as well as an MP3 player. I had an MP3 player with a radio that I received for free when I signed up for our Internet service provider and I used that at the gym a lot, but the battery life was short and it was a bit difficult to use and I wanted a new one. A new one that would have met my criteria would have been over $100 so the fact that I no longer need a new MP3 player made it worth spending only $50 on this phone. Plus it has extra features like a fitness tracker and a pedometer that can better help me meet my fitness goals.

It’s easy and convenient to use. One of the reasons I didn’t like my former MP3 player was that it wasn’t easy to switch between functions and songs while I was working out. This phone I have, however, fits very nicely in my hand and the buttons are easy to get to and very user friendly. When I have an item that I actually enjoy using and it’s not a burden, I’m more likely to say that that item was worth buying.

It creates less clutter. Because my new phone has so many functions, I don’t have to store or carry around so much. When I go the gym I only have to take my phone with me – not my phone and my MP3 player. I know that sound pretty lame that it’s so inconvenient to take 2 items to the gym, but when you add that to my keys, my water bottle and my sweat towel, it actually adds up. And honestly, I don’t need anything else hindering me from wanting to go the gym – I can find enough reasons for that on my own! And since I take my phone with me pretty much wherever I go, that means I don’t have my MP3 player stashed in my car or on my kitchen counter just lying around waiting for the next time I use it.

It saves me time. My cell phone is usually pretty close to me, if not in my purse. My MP3 player was a different story. Sometimes it would take me 10 minutes to find it before I could go to the gym. Granted, this was only due to my lack of organization, but if I can save myself the time of finding extra things, then it’s worth it.

My multifunctional item that I chose to spend extra money on was a cell phone, but for others it may a kitchen appliance or a car or any number of things. The point is that items that can help us accomplish more in less time in the areas that mean the most to us are often worth the extra money spent.

Image courtesy of Kaptain Kobold

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5 Responses to Is Multifunctionality Worth The Extra Cost?

  1. I don’t disagree, and it sounds like your choice actually saved you some money, but whenever I think about how great it would be to have something like an iPhone, I remind myself that just a few years ago it was no big deal to carry around my cd player and some extra cds, so I can deal with carrying around both a small phone and a small mp3 player. We’re all getting spoiled by this fantastic new technology!

  2. anonymous says:

    I rarely find multi-function devices to be worthwhile, largely because the industrial design is usually lousy.

    A while back I bought a fancy Nokia phone that can play MP3s, surf the web, etc… The only thing I’ve ever used it for is phone calls. Why? The mp3 player is clumsy and doesn’t work well. The web browser is awful on the phone’s small screen. The OS that allows all that functionality is buggy (if I use the alarm clock, the phone freezes).

    I’m tempted by the iPhone, because when using friends’ iPhones it has been pretty robust and the screen makes web browsing actually possible. But I’ve since replaced my Nokia with a cheapo Motorola RAZR which does nothing but make phone calls. It’s cheaper, smaller, and never crashes.

  3. poundwise says:

    Multifunctionality, for all its positive aspects general has one common negative and one fatal flaw.

    The common negative, multifunction devices generally do a lot of things fairly good, and nothing great.

    The fatal flaw, if the device fails, you didn’t just lose one function, you lost a few.

  4. Shannon says:

    Lately, my frustration with multifunctional things is that I usually don’t need or want one or more of the “extra” functions. If I don’t use something, it’s definitely not worth paying more for!

  5. jana says:

    i talked witha technician in my family as a rule, multifunctional things tend to break more often, basically because there are more things to break. if you do use all the functions, good, but sometiimes it is better to think before you buy the thing

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