Seven Things to Think About When Choosing a

Smart Phone

By Michael Cooch  

iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, you've looked at the choices and the options can be as diverse as buying a car. Well here's a checklist to help you pick your next mobile device.

1) Carrier
This is probably going to be your biggest decision. Each carrier offers a myriad of pricing plans and incentives and each carrier has their pros and cons. Remember that you'll be living with your choice for up to two years. To determine if the carrier you chose will work for you, ask your friends and colleagues which carrier they use and where they have the biggest connection problems. Find someone who uses the carrier you're thinking about choosing and invite them to your home and see how well their phone connects to the carrier's network. Granted this test isn't 100% accurate as some phones handle signals better than others but it will give you an idea about the kind of performance you can expect to receive. If you don't have anyone in your circle to do this, you can always review the maps the carriers provide or try a review site such as Signalmap.com.

2) Keeping the same phone number
If you're not stuck in a current contract and can make a switch to a different carrier then you'll need to decide between porting (moving) your existing number to another carrier or getting a new phone number altogether. This is really a personal preference and is a relatively easy thing to do. Carriers have made the porting of phone numbers between them quite easy to do. Just make sure to contact your existing carrier first and tell them you want to enable your account for this process before you go buy your new phone.


3) Operating System
Do you want an iPhone, an Android based phone, a Blackberry or a Windows Mobile phone? There are already numerous articles about the differences between all of these. The only real way to know what works for you is to go to your carrier's store and try them out or borrow a friend's phone. If this doesn't give you enough time to make a decision, then you can always buy the one you like the most and return it if you don't like it. Most carriers have a 14 or 30 day return policy.

4) Is it compatible with your email server
Check with your IT department or IT service provider and find out which of the four types of phones above are supported by your organization's email system. This can sometimes be an issue. For example, Blackberry phones can work with just about any email system. However, those that sport special Blackberry software give you more features such as the ability to sync your calendar and contacts to your phone along with the ability to file email messages in folders. So if these kinds of features are important to you, it's best to check first.

5) Keyboard or no keyboard
Once you've decided on a carrier and the kind of phone you want, the next question is can you live without a physical keyboard or do you absolutely need one. This is a personal choice that bears some serious consideration. Phones with slide out keyboards tend to be a bit heavier and thicker than their "bar" or "candy bar" cousins. The iPhone is an example of a "bar" style phone with no keyboard and the Motorola Droid is an example of a phone with a slide out keyboard.

If you want to get a case for your phone, then know that slider phones use a two piece style case while "bar" style phones have one piece cases.


6) App support
One of the biggest reasons for buying a smart phone is the ability to make it do things that make your life more convenient. Today's smart phones are like mini computers and can run all sorts of interesting applications or apps for short. If you think you might want a phone that can use apps then you should look into what kind and how many apps are available for the phone you want. As of this writing, there are hundreds of thousands of apps available for both the iPhone and Android platforms. These two provide the most flexibility for increasing the functionality of your smart phone.

7) Battery Life & Accessories
Some of today's smart phones eat up the battery quite fast. Gone are the days when a cell phone battery can keep your phone running for a week. Today's smartphones need to be recharged every night and some even need to be charged throughout the day. Some phones allow you to swap batteries while others do not (i.e. iPhone). Keep this in mind if this is an important issue to you. Also be prepared to spend extra for additional batteries, chargers and accessories such as car chargers and car holders. There are many more kinds of accessories so check out what's available for the phone you want before making your final decision.

An Overview of Smart Phones

By Karina Popa  

Over the last decade or two, we have witnessed tremendous technological developments, particularly in the field of electronics. This has led to the development of a number of durable consumable products, which have added to making our life more comfortable. For instance, the features of mobile phones that we get today are so advanced that they have earned the name of smart phones. These features were missing in the models of mobile phones that we have been using all these years. In fact, many of the features are to be found on computers only.

Definition

A smart phone is a gadget that offers a number of features other than making and receiving phone calls plus messages. Some such feature are receiving and sending emails, the editing of office documents, synchronizing the phone with your personal computer, enabling telephonic conferences and video calls, taking photos and uploading them online, featuring GPS, having large memory to facilitate the storing/downloading of games, video, music and many other applications and tools. It has become quite challenging to buy a smart phone, as there are a number of manufacturers, and each offers some unique features, not available in the competitors' smart phones.


Significant features

The smart phones that we can get today come packed with a lot of features that allows the users to perform many complex jobs that could so far be done on computers. As a result, most users of such phones spend more time using their phones than their laptops or personal computers. One of the very significant features of today's smart phones is the fact that they come loaded with an operating system that enables the running of various applications. Some very useful and often required applications include editing MS Office documents, editing videos and pictures, creating playlists, viewing files, using the GPS for getting directions while driving, and downloading numerous other applications via the Internet. These phones allow the users to access high-speed Internet. And the most noticeable feature of a smart phone is QWERTY, which is a touch screen kind of keypad, like we have in the keyboard of a computer or typewriter.

Price

The price of most smart phones is bigger than that of cell phones because of their advanced features. The present market is flooded with various models offered by different manufacturers. In fact, many manufacturers offer more than one model of their instrument, and each comes with some exclusive features. It is not difficult to guess that the price of such an item would largely depend on its physical looks and technical specifications that enable it to offer a large variety of features.