No doubt, most of us agree that Smartphones are the new-age computers. They’re not used only to make phone calls and send SMS text messages but now they are use to send e-mail, conduct video-conferencing, be in touch with friends over social networks, click pictures, record videos, play your favorite games and last but not the least, watch high quality videos.
In the gadget world, with many choices available, it often gets difficult to choose the right device for your needs. And in case of smartphones that’s not an exception. Here’s what you should look out for when buying smartphone.
Processor – The backbone of the smartphone is the processor. These processors are designed specifically for mobile computing and they are not mini version of the computer processors. The processor’s architecture in the smartphones is different from the one in computers. It’s the ARM architecture that rules the smartphone market. A faster processor makes the phone more responsive to the user actions.
Currently, most high-end smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S, HTC Desire and Google Nexus One come with a 1Ghz processor. Apple iPhone uses an A4 processor, which runs at 750-800 Mhz. Snapdragon, Qualcomm’s 1Ghz processor, is considered the ideal processor. Samsung’s Hummingbird also one of the best.
Multi-tasking – This is another important feature to be able to do many things simultaneously. Almost, all the high-end smartphones have least 512MB RAM and also carry the OS support for multi-tasking. More the RAM, better the performance and better the multi-tasking capabilities.
Screen – This is the most important component of the new era smartphones. There are two major types of touchscreens in smartphones – resistive and capacitive. Highend phones use the capacitive type as they are considered faster. Capacitive screens only respond to human touch, not gloved fingers.
LCD, OLED, AMOLED, and Super AMOLED – all types of screens can be found on smartphones. Normally, OLED and AMOLED screens produce vibrant colors and superior brightness indoors but give a dull picture in bright daylight. SuperAMOLED addressed this issue to some extend. TFTLCD screens have poor viewing angle, washed out blacks and poor brightness level. If you like to lot of videos then choose an AMOLED Display.
Another thing to watch for in screens is the size. If the display size is big, it will be hard to handle it with one hand. Experts say, ideal size is 3.2 – 3.5 inches, which makes the phone easily fit into pocket and is just big enough to read the text without straining the eyes.
Keyboard - Virtual vs Real. Experts say that is purely a personal choice. Today, many users are not comfortable with touch-screen QWERTY, instead they prefer the real keypad where they get to feel the key strokes.
Those who send a lot of text messages or email, those who never even look at their phones while typing; it will be practically not possible to use a virtual keyboard. But many users, like me, have no problem using a virtual keyboard.
Operating System – However good the phone’s hardware, finally it comes down to the software that runs is. Currently, Apple’s iOS is considered the gold standard for user experience. Google’s Android, an open and free platform, can be used by any cellphone company.
Recently, Android has gained lots of traction and Froyo, the latest Android version, has been deemed significantly faster than the competing operating systems. Android can be customized by anyone and cellphone companies like to give their own special touch to the user interface. If HTC has Sense UI and Samsung TouchWiz for its Android devices, Motorola offers MotoBlur . Each of these customizations has positives and negatives.
Apps – Apps allow you to customize your phone and extend the functionality offered by the out-of-the-box piece. Explore what type of apps you like and how you use them in day to day life. iPhone has over 250,000 apps available where as Blackberry has about 85000 or so.