Selecting the right smartphone isn’t as easy as it may seem. Your friends tell you one thing, media something else; plus we’re all bombarded with ads that add another layer of confusion. Before spending your hard-earned cash, we suggest asking yourself and answering the following questions which should help you make a better decision… or so we think. Let’s roll…
1. Which screen size you prefer?
Not everyone likes big screen phones. On the other hand, these so called phablets are getting increasingly popular with the day suggesting that some folks want as much screen estate as they can get. You have to decide whether that big screen makes your daily whereabouts easier or not, and whether you can actually carry this phone around in your pocket. Cause if you answered no, you may want to look for something smaller. In general, today’s high-end smartphones have 5- or so inch screens, whereas phablets take over from 5.3-inches and beyond. iPhones are “stuck” to 4 inches, though.
2. Want/need a contract?
You can either buy a phone from a carrier or unlocked, and then use it with an operator you want, sans any strings attached. Buy it with a contract you’ll benefit from the lower initial investment, but you’ll then have to stick to that carrier (and plan) for two years (in most cases) and use all the minutes, texts and mobile data included as part of the plan. Getting a phone from a carrier is something most users do, except if they want a Nexus phone which is affordable even without carrier subsidies.
3. Does the brand matter?
We see an onslaught of cheap Android devices hitting the market on a daily basis. Most of these are not available from mobile operators and in order to get them, you’ll have to go for an unlocked device (and only later buy some texts, minutes and data). On the other hand, major handset makers tend to release firmware updates faster than smaller companies. So yes – we suggest getting a phone made by the likes of Apple, HTC, Samsung, LG, Motorola and so on.
4. What’s your platform?
You get to choose between iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry. If the app count and the quality of apps matter a lot, you should go for the iPhone or some Android-based device. Microsoft and BlackBerry are also working hard to bring the popular titles to their respective platforms but they still face a gap in the number of apps their users can download, with Windows Phone offering more apps than BlackBerry. There are also other criteria you want to take into account, like available accessories, platform openness and so on.
5. What about the specs?
Specs do matter but not all the time. If you’re getting an Android or Windows Phone device, and if you can afford it, get the best device there is. Simply put – you’ll get a better experience with zero or no lag. Mid-range smartphones, while getting better, can still be pain to use after some time. When it comes to the iPhone and BlackBerry handsets, the situation is different – these companies make both hardware and software and can deliver awesome user experience without using the latest chips.
6. Do you want the iPhone?
For some folks, Apple’s handset is the only game in town. Android seems cool and other platforms are not worth mentioning at all. While we disagree with such point of view, we do understand these users want the iPhone. And “nothing else matters.” Period.
7. Want a physical keyboard?
Tough luck. Not many phones offer physical QWERTY keyboard these days. There’s the BlackBerry Q10 and several low- and mid-range Android smartphones. And that’s about it. You can, however, use QWERTY keyboard cases with the iPhone and get a similar experience that way.
8. What’s your budget?
Perhaps the most important of all the questions and the one that will have the crucial role in your decision to select the smartphone for yourself. As we’ve said it before, getting a phone with a carrier contract could save you some cash initially though you’ll be forced to pay some predefined amount per month, typically for two years.
Now we hope that answering these questions will help you get a better smartphone, one that best fits your specific needs. Good luck.