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So Many Smart Phones - How to Compare the Features You Actually Need

By Edited Feb 13, 2014 0 0

 

The world of mobile phones can be a confusing one. There are simply so many models on the market that choosing the right device for you and your needs can be difficult. When it comes to smart phones, things get even more overwhelming as you get bombarded with special features, some of which you'll never even use. However, there are some basic features that every decent smart phone should have. So if you're shopping around for a good new phone, here are some of the things that you need to keep in mind while you're deciding what to go for.

Compare Mobiles and their Connectivity...

A smart phone is designed to give you constant connectivity. Obviously it's going to be capable of calling and sending text messages. But there are other communications protocols that you should look for. The basic feature is 3G, which allows you to connect to the internet in an efficient way. All smart phones nowadays come with 3G capabilities. However, some phones now come with 4G. If you're a heavy mobile internet user, then you might want to consider a 4G capable phone, as it will give you faster internet service, with quicker downloading and web page opening. However, you must first find out if your mobile service provider has a 4G network, and if it is available in your location.

Not everyone can use 4G. For an average user, 3G will be fine. Bluetooth ability is also widespread, and is used to connect to other devices, such as hands free sets in cars. Almost all smart phones have Bluetooth, but if you're going to be using it a lot (particularly in your car) look for a phone that runs Bluetooth 2.0 or above. Anything below that is not going to give you the speed and reliability of service that you need.

All about Screens...

The biggest feature of a smart phone is its screen. If you're going touch screen then you're going to want to look at screen size. The size of the screen on your phone not only determines how comfortable it is for you to read a web page or watch a video, it also determines the amount of space you'll get to type on an on screen touch keyboard. Smaller screens mean more fiddly typing. Minimum screen size for a smart phone really should be four inches, but some top end models are coming with five inch screens. When it comes to screen resolution and PPI (pixels per inch), these probably aren't features that are going to affect you too much as an average user. Higher resolution and PPI generally means a brighter, clearer and sharper picture, but display quality in phones is so good nowadays that these differences are hardly noticeable any more, and it's really not worth paying more for a better display unless you're going to be spending a lot of time watching video.

The Camera...

Again, cameras are standard features on smart phones. But you don't really need to pay a whole lot more to get a camera with more megapixels. A simple, standard 8 MP camera is fine for an average user. If you're not a professional photographer, or at least a very keen amateur, then you're really not going to need more than an 8 MP cam.

Internal Stuff...

There are a few specs that are generally quoted in mobile comparisons. The first is processing power. The size of processors on phones is getting bigger and bigger, with dual and quad core processors becoming the norm. However, for a normal user a huge processor just isn't that necessary. You'll get plenty of power and speed on anything that's above about 1200 MHz, so don't worry too much about paying extra for more than that. RAM is another quoted spec, and this determines how good your phone is at multi-tasking or running more than one process at once. For an everyday user who generally doesn't have more than four or so apps open at the same time, around 1 GB of RAM is fine. Finally, there's internal storage. Internal storage is how much memory your phone has, and is a common reason that mobile manufacturers charge more for certain models. Phones nowadays come with up to 64 GB of storage, which is an awful lot. For a regular user anything around 16 GB is going to be fine. If you're not storing your entire music collection or thousands of photos on your device then you really shouldn't need more than 16 GB.

A Decent Operating System...

Whilst it's not a feature as such, an operating system is a key part of your phone decision. Apple phones all run Apple's iOS, which is simple and easy to use, but not very flexible. The majority of phones nowadays run Android, which is also easy to use, but is more flexible than Apple's proprietary system. However, both these operating systems have plenty of available apps, meaning that you'll have a lot of choice when it comes to downloading new software, games and programmes for your phone, and this is a huge advantage. Smaller and less popular operating systems, such as Microsoft's Windows or Blackberry's RIM, offer far less choice and compatibility with apps. The old Nokia Symbian operating system is now being phased out, and is no longer made, though there are still a couple of models on the market that use it.

Anything Else?

The above are the features that you really should be looking for on a smart phone. Anything else is just bells and whistles. Of course, features are a little subjective, and there may be something that you're particularly looking for to make a phone meet your personal needs. Some people look for good audio quality for music listening, for example. But if you're just a normal user looking for a decent, not too expensive phone, then these really are the only features that should interest you, all others are either an added bonus or a waste of money, depending on how much you pay for them.

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