The evolution of the personal cell phone is quite amazing. Our smartphones have become something many of us rely on heavily in our daily lives. From checking our emails and being able to respond on the go, to sharing our pictures and thoughts through social media updates, not to mention listening to music and playing games. It has become an all in one device, that simply put, we can't live without (at least in this technology evolving era). Our smartphone buying guide is here to answer and help you decide on the cell phone that will work best for you.
Cell Phone Operating Systems
When you're shopping around for the best smartphone, the first thing you will need to decide on is which operating system will work for your particular needs. There are four main OS's to choose from: Android, iOS, Windows, and Blackberry. Let's dive in deeper to see what each one is really all about.
When it comes to the Android operating system, it's safe to say that it dominates as the most common OS. You will find that there are many more options when it comes to different cellphone brands and styles with Android. It also has an open source platform that allows third-party developers to create apps and tools, while being designed as a consumer- and social network-centric platform as well. It's extremely easy to customize to match your needs and tastes. There are also thousands of apps available via the Google Play store.
iOS is Apple's operating system for iPhones, iPods, and iPads. If you're new to smartphones, the iOS operating system is a good place to start due to it's easy to navigate, simply styled interface. It offers access to one of the widest app selections in the mobile industry with over a million apps worldwide, and its intuitive interface with built-in features and apps such as iTunes and Safari. Some built-in features included are the Touch ID and passcode options that automatically encrypt and protect against personal information. If you already have a Mac or any other Apple devices, it will be the easiest option to go with an iPhone.
Windows based phones were first introduced in the year 2010. They offer a personalized, user-friendly experience that communicates seamlessly with Microsoft computers and other devices. On top of that it also has an easily customizable touch-screen interface. The SkyDrive app allows easy management of documents, photos and videos.
The Blackberry operating system is mainly created for business users in order to get easy access to e-mail and text messaging, while also being ideal for international use.
Over the course of the past few years, it seems smartphones have been getting larger and larger, let's explore the main 3 options out there when it comes to screen size.
Small Screens (4.5 inches or less)
A small screen cell phone is great when looking for a nice, compact design. Portability is also better with a smaller screen, unfortunately, the small screen category is a shrinking segment in the mobile phone industry. Most smartphones in this size category are entry-level or have low screen resolutions, resulting in many consumers choosing larger screens for better perks.
Medium Screens (4.5 to 5.4 inches)
Medium screen sizes are the most commonly purchased since they are fairly comfortable to use with one hand, while still being able to include great resolution specs. This is the go to screen size that falls right between too small and too large.
Larger Screens (5.5 inches or more)
Screen sizes that are 5.5 inches or more are commonly referred to as "phablets", since they are very tablet-like in size. Many consumers prefer the larger displays for watching videos, reading digital books, and even running two apps side by side, which is possible with certain larger screen smartphone models.
Things to Consider
Size and Weight
When it comes to the weight of any smartphone, it's mostly dictated by the screen size. So the larger the screen, the heavier your cell phone will be. Smaller phones are easier to carry around in pockets or handbags, however the larger they are the more one will feel the weight in either of those places. If portability is the most important factor, we recommend to go with a phone that is less than 5 ounces.
The minimum storage on smartphones starts at about 16GB, however we recommend to choose cell phones with at least 32GB or higher. With the amount of photos we store on our phones, not to mention music, videos, games, digital books, etc. choosing more storage space will be worth it in the end, trust us.
Display Quality (Resolution)
Resolution is another factor to consider when purchasing a smartphone. If you will be watching a lot of videos or movies on your phone, an HD resolution screen will be helpful in showcasing vivid details. The sharpest displays will have quad-HD resolutions of 2560 x 1440 pixels, while full-HD panels with 1920 x 1080 pixels still show plenty of detail and are the most common resolution choices. Screens with 1280 x 720 pixels are typically found on lower entry-level phones, and can result in lost detail in text or movies.
When it comes to documenting our daily lives, many of us have replaced our regular digital point and shoot cameras with smartphones. With that being said, looking at the camera quality on your cell phone becomes a huge factor, as it is much easier to snap a photo with a device that is constantly by your side, compared to lugging around an actual digital camera. 8 megapixel cameras are very common in most smartphones, but there are a few that go as high as 16 MP's too.
Certain smartphones are built to maximize battery hours, this becomes ideal when it's hard to get to an outlet. There are many factors that determine how long a smartphone lasts on a charge, including screen size, processor, and OS. It also depends on what daily tasks and functions one will be using on a daily basis.