Trail Phone Trends

I was recently forced to upgrade my cell phone after a hardware failure, and started worrying about the market trend of phones growing larger and heavier each year. My phone counts as part of my backpacking base weight (as defined as pack weight minus food and water), since it normally resides in a holder on my pack strap. How long until cell phone weights start seriously impacting base weight, which I try to keep under 10lbs for ultralight hiking?

Tl;dr Summary: Not to worry. My trail smartphones have not gotten unreasonably heavier in 10 years.

Details for Gear Geeks:

This year I celebrate my 10th consecutive year of doing a long backpacking trips each summer. A bulging lithium-polymer battery forced an unplanned cell phone upgrade.

For ultralight gear, I prefer small lightweight phones, but cell phone manufacturers seem to be introducing ever-larger screens and higher-capacity, heavier batteries. It is sometimes difficult to find low-weight new models that can handle the latest, more secure operating system versions. With 10 years of data about my cell phone choices (from past posts about gear lists, as well as a few unpublished gear spreadsheets) let us look at trends and make predictions.

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Apps for Trail Part 2

(Warning, shameless self-promotion ahead.)

Caption. I take many photos each day with the phone, and the problem is remembering why I took a particular picture four years later, and what is the name of that mountain anyway? Caption allows me to easily add text information to the caption property of the photo that does not normally display, but can be read by most photo editor programs and some WordPress plugins.
Some slideshow programs can also display the caption text. I will also refer to the Caption app while inserting photos into my hiking blog each night using the WordPress app.

The app also allows a short audio clip to be embedded in the JPG image file, while staying compatible with all image viewers.

I wrote the Caption app to help document my photos on long hikes, and I hope it can help you, too.

RecAll. A few years ago I wrote an audio recording program that has enjoyed a certain amount of popularity in certain circles, particularly ham radio operators and telephone call centers, where the voice-activated recording feature was used. Now I have ported RecAll to Android, and will use it to make an audio journal for my next long hike.

A Secret. I wrote another app, useful for taking impromptu photos while hiking, that is not quite ready to release. I am not ready to provide details yet, but if field-testing goes well I can talk about when the trip is complete.