Author, Arindam associated with Mobile industry since 1995. In this article he shares his best tips on how to buy a Smartphone.
What is a smartphone?
Smartphones are like cell phones on steroids. These phones can do more things than your average cell phone. Smartphones are the hottest part of the mobile market. According to research firm IDC, the smartphone market grew 57% over the past year as folks ditch their old flip-phones for more powerful handheld computers.
What are the main differentiating characteristics of a Smartphone?
1. Smartphones comes with advanced Operating System like apps.Apple’s iPhone OS, BlackBerry OS, Google Android, HP/Palm webOS, Symbian, or Microsoft’s Windows Phone which open to third-party application.
2. Smartphones more refined and intuitive than the non-smart phones. Smartphone have a different physical shape to make it easier to write messages and navigate the internet. They generally have special interface abilities, like a touch screen or a QWERTY keyboard.
Why Buy a Smartphone?
As a busy person, you know the importance of staying a step ahead of your clients and your family. These cellular devices trace their roots back to the personal digital assistant or PDA.
There are two answers to that question. The first is that if you work for a company that will provide you with one, it may be worth taking up your employer on a free smartphone offer. The other answer is a little more intricate: when your need for the features of a smartphone outweigh the extra fees of owning one, it’s probably time to take the leap.
Smartphone capabilities and usage have created a pathway for brand engagement to happen anywhere with virtually any experience. And this puts a new responsibility on marketers and media planners to factor this channel in when addressing content development, targeting and media buys.
Video on smart phone comparison
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Questions that you need to ask yourself before buying a smartphone?
- Do you want to stay with your current cell phone vendor or do you want to look at other companies?
- What type of quality and service do different vendors offer in your area?
- Will you need a local, national or in between plan?
- Are different data plans offered depending on the type of smartphone you purchase?
- What exactly does “unlimited” mean to each vendor?
- Will you be texting as well as emailing?
- What types and styles of smartphones do your available vendors offer?
- What features do you want and need?
- What features will you actually use?
- So you need to have a clear idea what you actually need, want and will use.
Features to Look for in a Smartphone for Business
Operating System - Smartphones uses operating system. All of these OSes have their strong and weak points. iPhone OS is liked by many, but it is tightly coupled with one phone, with one carrier. BlackBerry OS offers lots of hardware and carrier options and great messaging abilities, but it is weak in
web browsing and games area.Google Android is very flexible. The quality of the experience is not same on all devices.
Video on browser comparison -
Before choosing one smartphone, you need to evaluate whether you are really feeling comfortable with the particular OS. You need to check availability and quality of apps which are the main attraction for smartphone.
Size of device and screen – You have to select the phone based on your usage. Do you want a smartphone small enough to fit in your pocket or will a device that resides in case on your belt or purse do? Does your screen need to be large for easily reading documents or viewing pictures? Will a small screen be sufficient to keep the size down? Do you want a touch screen or simply a view screen?
Memory – How much memory do you need in your device for: processing and to hold programs and documents? Will you be downloading office documents or presentations to review, edit and print from your smartphone? How much memory does the operating system require to run efficiently and how much memory to run more than one program?
Bluetooth – Will you need Bluetooth so that your smart phone can communicate wirelessly with: your computer, a printer, a projector, a wireless headset, a separate speaker system, or some other wireless device not named
WiFi – Will your smartphone surf the web without WiFi? Will having WiFi allow you to cut down on your use of minutes or data transfer amounts to save money? Will WiFi allow you to download pictures, ebooks and other information to which you need access?
Keyboard – There are various options available. Personally I like something that is hidden and will slide out when needed. You can also attach a keyboard to type emails, messages, or notes.
Camera, Video capabilities – This is based on your requirements. If video is required, you need to decide do you want to download video or you want to podcasts from your smartphone. If you want to see mobile TV, I will recommend wider screen phone. If you need camera, you need to decide whether a camera prevents you from taking your phone places that you want to use it. You need to decide whether you want 1 mega pixel, 2 mega pixel, or 8 mega pixels resolutions.
Voice recording – How often do you record voice messages to yourself if at all? How often will you need to record conversations for later accuracy in recall? How long should your smartphone be able to record a message? How easy should recording be: push a button? scroll through a screen with a trackball?
Synchronizing with your computer – How easily will your device sync with your computer? Does it require or use a separate program to sync information than Outlook or the Mac/Linux equivalent? Should the program be able to sync with Outlook or with iCal or Google or Yahoo? Should the sync process allow/require a
cable, Bluetooth, or WiFi?
GPS – Do you want your smartphone to have GPS functionality? If you do, does that change any other choices such as screen size or keyboard needs? What type of GPS program do you want to use and is it only available for certain smart phones or available through select cell phone carriers?
Program availability – what types of third party programs do I need for my smartphone and what third party programs do I want to buy? Do you need money management/expense account software? Do you want a program that will allow you to view and edit business documents? How about programs for games or reading ebooks? Will your operating system need to have programs to tune it up on a regular basis? How about programs to help you organize your smartphone like file managers? Will you want to buy third party organization software that connects your contacts, with your calendar, with your tasks, with your memos? Do you need a GTD program to organize your tasks and projects by steps?
All of these questions are important because they help define exactly what you are looking for in a smartphone. Most smartphones combine a number of these features and each cell phone carrier/vendor offers different operating systems and configurations.
What Are Your Carrier Options?
Since hardware exclusivity agreements are en vogue, it’s entirely possible the phone of your dreams won’t be available on your network of choice. That said, let’s have a look at the four main options for buying a smart phone
Which smart phone is the market leader?
Just a couple of months ago, the researchers at Nielsen found that BlackBerry was still the U.S. smartphone king with 31 percent of the market; the iPhone was nipping at RIM’s heels with 28 percent and Android was in third place — with a bullet — at 19 percent. But the iPhone platform managed to snap a 27.9 percent share in Nielsen’s latest survey, compared with BlackBerry’s 27.4 percent share.
Some of the related article which can help you to choose a Smartphone
3. Hear Me Out: Which smartphone operating system is the best provides real user feedback on Google Android, Blackberry OS, Apple iPhone
5. Tom Conrad’s video on “I need Android like I need a hole in the head can help you to understand how to navigate smartphone seas
6. A discussion onIs tablet a better option than Smartphone