A smartphone is your constant companion and your instant connection to the world. Whether you use your device for personal or work purposes, having access to a web browser at your fingertips, instant messaging to communicate with anyone and dozens of apps that help you manage your life is the way of modern life. The smartphone plays an integral role in your everyday routine. You want a smartphone that has all the functionality you use on a daily basis plus user-friendly operation so that you can take full advantage of your device’s features without frustration. But with plethora of choices available, the decision to choose one can be overwhelming to say the least. This smartphone buying guide will help you navigate the options, identify the operating system and device that best meets your needs, and choose a smartphone with the features and functionality you’re looking for which will fetch best value for your money.
Factors to consider before making a purchase
Google's highly flexible software powers the most diverse collection of phones. You can customize the home screen, change keyboards and more. Samsung, HTC, Lenovo, Huawei, Obi, Wiko, Hisense, Vsun and others provide their own user interface to enhance the experience.
Apple's operating system for the iPhone has a very intuitive interface and the largest collection of high-quality apps. iPhones are also known for their sleek designs and top-notch cameras.
Microsoft's platform has an attractive, dead-simple interface made of "live tiles" that show updates from your email, social networks and other services. Also includes mobile versions of Word, Excel and Internet Explorer.
Made for business, Black Berries have the most secure email systems, along with an attractive interface that aggregates all your updates in one place.
Do you need a phone with a large screen, small screen, a physical keyboard? Maybe you absolutely need Messenger Services, Email Services, or a phone with an awesome camera. Choosing both AMOLED & LCD are nice type of screens in their own ways. Be sure to pay attention to the resolution (you want at least 800×480 pixels for a great experience). If you can, find a phone with a 720p or 1280×720 pixel resolution, that’s top of the line. Anything with the word “Retina” in the title would add more value.
A phone with at least a dual-core processor would be recommended, as it will have a longer shelf life than a phone with a single-core CPU. You can go with dual-core or even quad-core processor. This configuration on a smartphone is equivalent to a pocket PC.
The term 4G LTE is really two terms. 4G means the fourth generation of data technology for cellular networks LTE stands for Long Term Evolution and is short for a very technical process for high-speed data for phones and other mobile devices. Together, they make 4G LTE. Being the fastest network available means download speeds four to five times faster than 3G LTE networks. If you are on a telecom operator that supports 4G LTE, then make sure you get a phone that supports the feature. You may not feel that LTE is important now, but remember that you might be getting a phone for two years. 4G LTE is worth the jump.
The difference between a phone with great battery life and a phone with poor battery life is night and day. Battery life only gets worse with time. If your phone cannot hold a charge all day when you buy it, it’s going to be much worse in 12-24 months.
Picture and video capture quality is not just determined by your smartphone's resolution, but also the ability to deliver a good image in different lighting situations. If you use your phone as a camera you may want to look for a model with a dedicated camera button rather than having to hunt through the menu system to capture the perfect selfie. An LED flash can be very useful too when you're taking a photo with a mobile, especially when the available light isn't very good. And if you look for a phone with a front-facing camera, this lets you use your phone for video calls as well.
Headphone connection type
A phone with a 2.5mm or 3.5mm jack will let you use a standard set of headphones to listen to music, while a proprietary connection forces you to use special headphones that are often pricey and of dicey quality.
Mobiles with memory card slots have the option of expanded memory to store photos, videos and music. Check to see the exact type of memory you'll need, as there are quite a few different options for expandable memory.
While most smartphones provide support for online map services like Google Maps, a dedicated GPS chip using an offline navigation application allows you to use your phone to find out exactly where you are without having to use your mobile phone network. The GPS score is calculated using the included software only.
Getting a network signal remains the crucial factor in daily use of a smartphone, although more and more of us are taking advantage of hotspots and Wi-Fi areas to communicate via social networking. But if you still use your smartphone for making phone calls, or you want to go online away from a Wi-Fi hotspot, you need good reception. Before buying your next smartphone, make sure it is optimized for your mobile network.