It seems like every month or so, there’s something new to look forward to having in your next smartphone. Such advances makes techies like me anxious about buying a new phone because we don’t want to settle for last-generation’s tech. I’m talking about Bluetooth 4.0, or Bluetooth LE (for low energy). As the trade group calls it: Bluetooth Smart.
This is the technology that’s been popping up more than a year ago in keyless-entry door locks, fitness bracelets and, ahem, the iPhone 4s circa 2011 (and newer models). The Bluetooth lets phones communicate with another Bluetooth device — such as a Bluetooth sticker on your glasses so they’re easier to find. For those stuck on the Google Android system, Google only began supporting Bluetooth Smart over the summer. So finally more smartphones are getting the technology today.
BUT not all new phones have it. And without, you won’t be able to use a plethora of products and mobile apps that also have Bluetooth Smart built in (like those door locks). And just because a phone may have the new Bluetooth 4.0 chip inside, that doesn’t mean the phone carrier is push out the software that will turn on Bluetooth Smart, said Errett Kroeter, director of global industry and brand marketing for the Bluetooth SIG organization.
So, advises he advised, make sure your next phone is either an iPhone (4S, 5, 5C or 5S), or has Android 4.3 or newer plus a Bluetooth 4.0 chip. Newer Nokia’s (with Windows 8 Mobile) and some Blackberries also have Bluetooth Smart.
Hence, my recent article pointing out the lack of Bluetooth Smart in many of today’s newer phones, plus a chart of what Android phones now are Bluetooth Smart.
- Don’t Buy a New Smartphone Unless It’s Really (Bluetooth) Smart, published in TheStreet.com, Oct. 31, 2013