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A Guide to Mobile Phone Features
So many features to consider, so little time. Here's some tips and information about each of the key features.
Operating System (Android, iOS, Windows Phone 7)
Finding the OS that will be best for you can sometimes be tricky. You not only have to take in to account what you want to do on your handset, but also how you want to do it and how you want it to appear. A streamlined, aesthetically pleasing user experience can play a huge role in how much a user enjoys their device.
The OS is largely responsible for what a phone can do, how it does it and with how much ease said task can be accomplished. On top of the OS is found the User Interface (UI) which is sometimes dictated by the OS provider (such as with Apple, Windows Phone or BlackBerry) and sometimes by the physical phone’s manufacturer, who probably had little or nothing to do with the development of the OS itself (such as with Android).
The easiest way to find out which is best for you is to ask your friends. See if you can play around with a device or two and get a feel for it. If you’re after a high-end device then make sure you test out one of the newer devices of the OS you’re looking at, as older models can create an incomplete or inaccurate picture of what the current top sellers will provide. You can also head on in to a retailer and play around with a demonstration model. This will, once again, not provide a totally clear image, but will at least give you the impression of what to expect.
We also recommend checking out online reviews, both textual and video. Textual reviews often go in to depth than video reviews due to time constraints. However, video reviews can give a great visual demonstration of the OS and UI in operation. Accessing both the in-depth information as well as the general idea of how the OS works via video should give you a good indication of whether or not you could like a device.
As the quality of digital cameras on mobile handsets increases so does the likelihood that phone owners will make use of them. Mobile digital camera quality is often measured purely in megapixel (MP) ratings by companies, as it is the easiest way to quickly gauge the effectiveness of said camera. However, it’s important to note that the MP rating of a camera is not the only factor in what creates a good and reliable photographic experience. The actual physical lens of a camera makes a huge difference in picture quality, as does the software guiding how the image is captured and interpreted. The best way to gauge the quality of a phone camera is simple. Go online and see if you can find a review or summary with pictures taken with the device in question and judge for yourself. Remember to look at more than one source, as a professional photographer will likely be able to create more impressive shots than the average user and you don’t want to make your decision based on a few great snapshots that have been carefully taken by a pro.
Screen size is one of the more subjective areas of a device and it can affect your choice in a few ways. Larger screens tend to mean larger devices. This leads to the comfort factor. Is the device comfortable to hold? Will it fit comfortably in your pocket? These are questions that can only be answered by you. Larger screens mean a larger power consumption rate. Most phones with large displays tend to sport bigger batteries to compensate, but it’s always good to read a review or two to make sure that battery life isn’t affected too noticeably.
Brands can mean different things to different people. In the case of Apple or Blackberry, for instance, it’s a strong indicator of the overall experience that a customer will encounter. Between other large brands like Samsung, HTC, LG, Motorola and others that run on similar Operating Systems (OSes) the difference in experience is lessened. It can therefore become more about physical design, reputation or simply which point in the market release cycle we’re at. For instance, Samsung may have the most highly rated phone one month only for HTC to release an even more highly rated device with the same OS the next. Just make sure that when you read any reviews that you check what date the phone was reviewed on and take that in to consideration if you’re looking to compare.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. How much are you willing to spend per month and for how long a period? Most contracts tend to last around 24 months these days but there are also often 12 month and sometimes even 18 month options to choose from. 12 month contracts are obviously more expensive, especially if there’s a phone included. This is both because the carrier of your choice doesn’t have the security of your unwavering payments for the whole 24 months and because you have to pay off the cost of your included phone in half the time. It’s a good idea to look at the details of the contract, rather than just the monthly spend. One carrier’s $49 plan may offer less or more than the $49 plan of a competitor. Try to ensure that you’re getting the best mix of quality and expenditure to suit your priorities.
Ordering Your Results
How would you like your search results to be ordered? Our set default is by the popularity of phones that we record on our own site. But you can switch it up if you’d prefer a different method.
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