With the technology rapidly developing, smart phone is an essential device for communicating in our daily life, but today we are not talking about smart phone, but Network radios, why we still need network radios as they have almost the same functions with smart phone?
Network Radios typically contain a small to large touch screen display, dual SIM cards, and a SD card slot. Most of these devices are made to work over the GSM cellular network (usually no CDMA networks like Verizon) carriers such as AT&T, T-Mobile, and others for voice and data. If you add a SIM card with voice and text messaging you can use the radio as a regular cell phone. However to use Network Radio you really only need cellular data. Fortunately Network Radio doesn’t use a lot of data so smaller data plans can suffice depending on your use. Having the dedicated data SIM in the Network Radio will allow you to use the radio anywhere there is cell service. The other good alternative is if you have a smartphone that you carry with you all the time that has a Wi-Fi Hotspot feature connected to the Network Radio rather than pay for a separate service. Using the radio around the house simply requires being connected to your home Wi-Fi. Dedicated network radios all come with a side mounted PTT button on the HT or a PTT hand mic for the mobile/base unit. A dedicated Network Radio gives you the convenience of true push to talk operation rather than pressing and holding the PTT button on your smartphones screen. The audio quality on both transmit and receive can be much better than your phone. Especially the receive audio which will be much louder and higher quality than even the best cell phone. The dedicated radio will should be much more durable than your cell phone and probably a lot cheaper to replace than your cell phone if it gets dropped. The dedicated Network Radios shout stand up to more abuse than your cell phone. If you are going mobile then the mobile / base unit will be more convenient than your cell phone. Plus most amateur radio operators just feel more comfortable with something they can clip to their belt or mounted under the dash. By the way the mobile units are typically not very heavy or deep so it is easy to find a place to mount in a vehicle. Another comforting factor for the radio hobbyist is that these radios come with hard buttons that make it easier to access certain functions instead of fumbling with a cellphones touch screen.