Smartphones are the gadgets du jour. Since the introduction of the first models a few years ago, smartphones have quickly opened our eyes to the reality that indeed, every important gadget of the last decade could be integrated into one handheld device, the kind that can do virtually everything. A smartphone combines the desirability of a mobile phone and a PDA. Generally more expensive than a mobile phone and usually at the same price range as a laptop, smartphones are indeed today’s most important investment, at least when it comes to communication. Are you buying the right stuff? Here are smartphone buying tips to keep in mind:
Check the Hardware
If buying a smartphone is a smart choice, then take a look at its hardware. To access the functions of the phone, you could either use a keypad or a touchscreen. QWERTY keypads, a design that is prevalent in Blackberrys, remain popular because many users still prefer the tactile experience of typing letters and characters on a keyboard. The touchscreen, always a cool alternative, may not suit everyone but it is a very convenient technology to use, offering quick access to links and other functions.
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Some smartphones have expandable memory but others do not, so transferring or deleting image files may be necessary. A larger memory accommodates more files and allows you to store more images. Today’s smartphone onboard memory usually ranges from a respectable 1GB to a roomy 64GB.
Most smartphones are loaded with an on board digital camera that ranges from about 2 megapixels to a high-resolution 12 megapixels. There are also functions that enhance image capture, such as flash, graphics, clip arts, zoom and even face recognition, among others.
Long battery life means your phone will not die on you when you need to make that all-important call or send a text message. Look for a phone with a minimum of 4 hours talk time. Your phone should have enough power to last for several days of regular use before requiring a fresh charge.
Consider Screen Size
Screens on smartphones typically range from 2″ to 3″. Bigger screens offer better visibility when using the phone but it does require the phone to be bigger and wider. Make sure to choose a phone with a screen that offers crisp and clear images for an enhanced viewing experience. The display feature is usually expressed as the number of colors the phone is capable of showing, so this could range from 65k to an impressive 16M. Most popular brands offer excellent resolution but try to test the phone before buying to see which one suits you best.
[Read also: Smartphone Screen – Is Bigger Always Better?]
Know your Apps and OS
What makes smartphones so useful are the programs and applications they come loaded with. At present, there are 4 major operating systems that are used to run smartphones: Android, Symbian, Rim and Apple’s iOS. The main function of the OS is to allow the phones to be used to connect to the Internet. Each OS comes with its own apps and little programs, so if they differ on one thing, it is probably functionality. Among these, Android is the OS that is available for many phone brands and models, providing new and exciting functions.
Smartphones work in 2G and 3G networks, giving you access to numerous functions, especially those coming from third parties. 3G or third generation phones are capable of faster data transmission and are ideal for people who like glitch-free downloading and video streaming. Smartphones also come equipped with Wi-Fi for easy Internet access from anywhere.
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Should you go by brand?
There are established smartphone brands that offer plenty to be happy about but do not ignore the competition. As technology continues to improve by the day, expect new and exciting features from many different brands. Do not be afraid to explore so you will find the smartphone that has the perfect mix of function and form.
[Read also: 5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Get The iPhone 5]
Did I miss out anything here? Please give us your comments to make this post even more informative.