Survey: Most US smartphone users experiencing problems...loads of them

Smartphone user
Smartphone problems making you miss simpler times?

Smartphone users don't quite outnumber traditional cell phone owners yet, but judging from a new report, a cellular upgrade may just be a ticket to more problems.

A new study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project has turned up some disturbing trends for smartphone buyers, who may be less happy with their devices than those sticking with traditional cell phones.

With mobile data usage increasing every year, it should be of little surprise that eight out of 10 people who access the internet from their smartphones are occasionally plagued with slow data connections - and almost half say the problem occurs every week.

The trouble isn't just limited to slow data speeds: Nearly 75 percent of smartphone users experience dropped calls, too.

Dropped calls and more spam

What's more, 35 percent of smartphone owners claim to drop calls on a weekly basis, compared to only 28 percent of simpler "feature phone" users.

Spam is also a growing concern, with 30 percent of smartphone owners receiving these unwarranted SMS missives at least weekly, while their feature phone friends only deal with them 21 percent of the time.

Curiously, the Pew research notes the problems are more widespread for African-Americans and Hispanics that Caucasian smartphone users, presumably because these users are "more likely than whites to rely on their cell phones as their primary or exclusive phones for calling and for Internet access."

The rollout of 4G LTE networks - which are strictly used for fast data instead of voice calls - could eventually alleviate some of the nuisances for smartphone owners, with Verizon Wireless users most likely to benefit for now due to its rapid rollout of the technology.