Smartphones for Dummies
Smartphones are fairly complex when you first enter into a decision to get one. After all, many of us grew up in an era where phones were just for texting and talking, and perhaps taking a few photos. Nowadays, we have different operating systems such as Android, Windows, iOS, Blackberry, Symbian and so on, and we have lots of different types of phone at different levels in the market.
This article will help you to understand smartphones a little bit better, including the internal workings of the phones and what might be important to you.
Some of the important features and numbers on phones
Telephone models these days are extremely powerful devices. At the premium end of the market, they have a massive amount of processing power and storage. Let’s take a look at processors.
The processors on telephone models
The processor is the aspect of a phone that enables you to do things quickly, to multitask and to get around your phone smoothly. The better the processor, the more likely you are to receive a good experience. If the processor isn’t up to the tasks that you’re doing, you’ll become frustrated. The best phones on the market these days have quad-core processors of 1.9GHz, such as the Samsung Galaxy S4.
Lower down the market, you find processors that are far inferior to this and even single-core processors with just 200Mhz of processing speed on a single core. If you go for a very small processor, then you must be pretty sure that you are going to be using the phone in very limited ways.
RAM is also an important part of the activities you do. The random-access memory that you have is essentially the amount of information that a device can hold at any one time. If you’re multitasking, the RAM will be important and top phones have 2GB of RAM these days. If you get down to a very small amount of RAM, again you’ll have trouble doing two things, no matter three of four, at the same time
The screens on today’s telephone models are incredible too. You have 450+ pixels per inch displays that are full HD in some phones. These displays are higher resolution than many premium TVs were a few years ago. Indeed, we now have the ability to do more on our phones than ever before, because of the quality of the touchscreen displays.
Of course, the bigger the screen, the bigger the phone has to be and it’s always a balancing act to get a phone that has a big enough screen for your personal preference but also is usable and comfortable in your hand. The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is a huge screen phone and therefore isn’t right for everyone, though some people love it.
You may also prefer to have a QWERTY keyboard on your phone and in this case, your screen will only be around 2.5” to fit in the QWERTY keyboard. Alternatively, you may want a sliding out keyboard or flip phone rather than a candy bar.
You need to understand which your personal preferences are by looking at different models. Even if you’re going to buy online, it’s well worth going in store and trying out some different phones to see whether they suit you and appeal to you.
Most smartphones these days come with the ability to get online to wireless networks. When you’re in your home, it can be a really good idea to just pull out your phone rather than booting up your laptop if you want to check a fact on the internet or browse through your social media.
With the ability to jump onto your home hub, this has become a simple exercise to complete. For most, WiFi connectivity is a must and many phones do have it so if you’re looking at the lower end of the smartphone market, do ensure that your phones do. A good example of a lower end of the market smartphone is the Vodafone Smart 2 which has good all-round performance and includes wireless capacity. It’s available for around £50 on pay as you go.
As well as wireless connectivity, your phone should ideally have 3G and 4G connectivity.
What is 3G and what is 4G?
Telephone models these days come with the ability to connect to mobile broadband on their telephone networks. This provides the opportunity to get online on the go without having to return home or find a wireless Hotspot.
4G connectivity is superseding 3G and is in the process of rolling out. 4G connectivity is ten times as fast as 3G with Orange broadband having found connection speeds of between 8 and 12MB per second on average. This is similar to the average home broadband and therefore is fast enough to do just about everything you could want to do on your phone. If speed is of the essence to you, you should look at a 4G connected phone and 4G contract. At the moment, Everything Everywhere is the only provider with 4G although Vodafone, O2 and 3 will be rolling out their services soon.
Have a budget for your telephone models
It’s important to always budget for your phone needs so that you don’t overspend. It’s very easy to get carried away with the amazing technology on new telephone models and get a device that is really much more than you require.
If you don’t need the power of a premium phone, you may be able to spend £125 or £150 instead of £500 and get a device that is fit for purpose. For example, the Nokia Lumia 520 is available at around £130 on pay as you go and is a really fantastic device for all-round activities. It has a reasonable camera, decent processor and runs the Windows operating system extremely nicely.
As you go up in price, you will get more power and better features but make sure you get what you need and not just what you want, unless you are considering the phone as a status or luxury purpose.
Protect your Samsung Galaxy S4
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(price as of Jul 18, 2016)