I have literally over 50 smart phones. No, not in service all at once. I repair and sell them a lot though. I wouldn't go anywhere without my pocket computer. That said, I used an HP Jornada since about 2000 (little palm sized laptop) and many pocket PC devices before smartphones existed. I am a complete electronics geek and programming nerd.
These are absolutely amazing tools, packed to the brim with all kinds of sensors and tools. You can use them for almost any task. I was an early adopter of digital camera's cell phones (old brick ones!) GPS systems, mobile internet, etc. Now all of these things fit in one pocket.
I use mine 100% of the time when traveling. As a GPS, or as a guide to the weather.
I don't even wear a watch anymore. My phone always has the right time wherever I am in the entire world.
For those looking for useful software for their phones, I suggest "Waze" for free GPS with free real time traffic and danger warnings. As well as the prior mentioned "RV Parky" and "GasBuddy", as well as "Gas Guru", "Sanidumps" for a location map featuring dump sites, "My Tracks" to record GPX files and draw where you went on Google Maps, "BBQ Tank Meter" to VERY accurately measure the amount of propane
in a 20 lb cylinder, Google "Keep" to write quick accessible notes like a post-it on steroids. Very easy to use, and you can have the notes remind you of things like a timer, as well as attach images etc. "Coverage Map" to see if there is service where you intend to go, "SpeedTest" to see if it's decent when you get there, and finally but certainly not least, "Zello" to keep in contact Nextel style for almost no data use. Zello is basically my all time favorite piece of smartphone software. Given that I am a smartphone developer, that's some high praise! I was actually going to create something JUST like Zello. I looked, and found that there was no need. They NAILED it.
This list is far from all inclusive. You can even get bubble levels and altimeters depending on your devices sensors. I am posting right now on my solar
powered laptop through my phones connection. It's literally my lifeline, and I do all of my work through it. We carry three unlimited plans, Sprint x 2, one permanently hidden built in the trailer providing internet to all of my sensors and controls as well as current trailer location and speed via GPS (Take my trailer and I WILL find you and make sure you are sorry!), and one in my pocket to access things like battery
voltage, current inside temp, air con/ heat settings, fridge
temp, etc. and one T-mobile with LTE for when we need something online uploaded or downloaded FAST. Just a heads-up though, T-mo doesn't have great coverage yet.
This topic is right up my alley, and it was posted by literally my favorite people on this site. <3 Sorry if I got carried away!
Oh and that phone getting pregnant, that's actually the Lithium Polymer battery
gassing due to age or temperature related failure. Luckily it didn't burst into flames.
They are made as a slurry mixed between layers inside of a foil pouch. LiPo lithium batteries are the most energy dense batteries, and also fairly unstable. They are used in all small high power electronics since we always want the longest run time per size possible. They hate being 100% charged, and they hate it even worse when they
are above 90 degrees and fully charged. Leaving it on the charger does lower the life span due to sitting at a high charge state. However, it's not why it gassed and expanded. Unless the charging circuit failed and allowed to to charge to more than exactly 4.2v +- 0.05v or so, then it was due to some other factor. Sometimes copper tendrils of sorts form inside of the battery with age and cause it to internally short out after one of the barrier layers are pierced inside. Lithium Polymer batteries, like that of which are used in iPads, iPhones, Most ultrabooks, and almost any Android or recent phone are only meant to live about 3 years or 300-600 cycles.
If you have a battery that is puffed dispose of it safely, and right away. It is unstable and /could/ vent. When they vent, they can do so with fire. The phone was likely salvageable via replacement battery though. That is if it was not mechanically flexed and broken from the expansion. In the event that you wish to store a lithium battery, whether it's a spare phone battery, or you intend to use your laptop on AC for extended periods and it has a removable battery, the best thing to do is discharge the device to about 40% then remove the battery and put it in a zip-lock. Place that in a refrigerator
. That's the best condition for the lithium chemistry to outlive that three year mark.
Feel free to ask any questions about tech related things, I am positive I can help.
I've done tech support for years