I do think it depends both on the particular meeting involved and the types of communication.
If you are in a business meeting, but get a call/alert saying your (business critical) server has died, you need to receive and immediately deal with that. If you are in an interview, you should not be checking your phone full stop.
The problem is that phones are innately rude devices. They ring and ring until you deal with them. They also encourage rude behaviour. If you consider a situation where you are speaking to someone at their desk and the phone rings, 9 times out of 10 the person will take the call. The better-mannered will say "excuse me" first. Either way, it is quite rude, but it is considered acceptable because it is a phone call.
This whole debate goes into personal lives, too. My fiancée often asks me why I leave the room to take a call. She views it with suspicion. The truth of the matter is that I consider it rude to interupt whatever she's doing (even if it is just watching the TV) by taking a call, and would rather leave the room so she can continue uninterrupted.