How To Choose a Smartphone

Buying a smartphone can be intimidating due to all the different options. Here are a few things to help you determine which phone is best for you.
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Written by Staff Writer • Posted on Feb 01, 2012

A few years ago smartphones with big screens and flashy graphics were rare and expensive, but they’re becoming increasingly more commonplace, affordable, and quickly replacing the old-fashioned cell phone for many users. But with all the competition it can be hard to know what to buy to get the best experience. Here are a few pointers:

Which is best and what’s the difference?

Blackberry is the granddaddy of smartphones, and is still popular in business due to its powerful email and messaging programs, but it’s losing market share to newer competitors and Blackberry phones usually don’t get the latest and greatest hardware.

The iPhone was the first easy to use smartphone, and is a good choice for people who want a smooth and consistent experience. Apple also builds the high-quality hardware itself, and the iPhone often gets the most popular apps before its competitors. But it comes at a price - the iPhone is expensive and Apple doesn’t offer many discounts.

Android, unlike the iPhone, isn’t locked-down to one company, so there are a lot of phones that run it. You can find inexpensive, lower-quality Android phones and top-of-the line phones with enormous screens. Its interface is similar to the iPhone but with a lot of advanced customization for tinkerers. It can take a little more effort to learn , but Android is perfect for both budget-conscious buyers and power users.

Finally, the Windows 7 phone is the newest smartphone entry and it’s very different from the Windows you see on computers. It’s got an attractive, easy to use interface and can do just about everything the others can. It’s a good choice for the adventurous user, but time will tell whether it catches on.

What does your carrier offer?

Smartphone makers sign exclusive deals with cell phone carriers, and not every carrier has every phone. If you already have a phone in mind be sure your carrier provides it!

Try before you buy

Wireless stores everywhere offer model phones to try, and many people have friends who own smartphones, so try out a few different ones while making a decision. Decide how big you want the screen, what you can afford, what apps or games you like, and make sure you can do the tasks you need, like calling and texting!

Buying a smartphone can be intimidating with all the different options out there, but with a little time and patience you might get hooked like so many others as you discover how much you can accomplish with a tiny computer you hold in your hand.