If you’re looking to buy a new smart phone then you might be feeling a little over whelmed by all your choices. Maybe you’re a first time smart phone buyer, or maybe you’re just not that technically inclined, but the mobile market can be a confusing place. Choosing the right phone is important, since not only do you want to be satisfied with your purchase, but you also want to make sure that your money is being well spent. A new mobile is a big investment, so you want to know that your hard earned cash is going on a good quality device. Today we’re telling you all you need to know about buying a smart phone. So, before you get too confused by all your options, here’s the info that you need to make a good decision.
Different Phones Come with Different Operating Systems
The first thing that you should know is that just like your home computer, your mobile phone requires an operating system. There are four major systems on the market: iOS, RIM, Windows and Android. All iPhones will run iOS, and all Blackberrys will run RIM. So with either of these two models you won’t need to worry about the operating system. However, many phones run Android or Windows, and it’s important that you choose the most recent versions of the system, since older versions will be slower and less secure and stable. For Windows you’ll want a phone that runs Windows 7.5 or Windows 8, and for Android you’ll want Android 4.0, 4.1 or 4.2. The operating system that you choose doesn’t really matter, most people simply find that they’re more comfortable with one system than the others. If you don’t know which one to go for, it’s a good idea to play with some demo phones in a mobile operator’s store and find out which one you like best.
Touch Screen Phones are the Standard
There are still some smart phones that come with physical keyboard, most notably many Blackberry models and some Nokia models. However, for the most part touch screen phones are now the standard. The main concern when you’re looking at touch screen phones is the size of the screen itself. Because you don’t have a physical keyboard, you’re going to have to type on an on screen keyboard. The bigger your screen is, the larger your keyboard will be, and this will make typing easier and more comfortable. Plus, on a bigger display it will be easier to read emails, documents and web pages without having to zoom or scroll around too much. Really the minimum screen size for a touch screen device is three and a half inches, and four inches would be better, not to mention more practical.
Technical Specs are Confusing
You’ll want to know about some features of your phone to make sure that you’re getting a good device, but technical specs can be very confusing. In fact, other than screen size there are only really three other specs that you need to look at, and these can be explained quite simply. The first is the processor on the phone, which is often also called the CPU. This is like the engine in a car, and the more powerful a processor is, the faster a phone will be. Speed is a concern because many recent software versions, programmes, games and apps will require a minimum amount of processing power to run. You should look for a minimum of 800 MHz of CPU, but it would be better to err on the side of caution and go for something that’s 1 GHz (or 1000 MHz). Also look for a processor that says it’s dual core or quad core, since these will give you both more speed and more reliability. The second spec that should concern you is RAM. RAM is a kind of memory; actually it’s the amount of memory that your phone keeps in reserve to be used for everyday tasks like opening programmes and apps. The more RAM you have, the more responsive your phone will be to input.
You don’t want a phone that lags, crashes or freezes, which is why you want a phone with enough RAM. On top of this, the more RAM you have, the better your phone will be at multi-tasking or running more than one programme at a time. You should look for around 1 GB of RAM, and the absolute lowest you should accept, even on a budget smart phone, is 512 MB. Finally, you’ll want to look at internal memory. Internal memory will determine how much data (music, photos, games and apps) you can keep on your phone. The more memory you have, the more stuff you can keep on your device. This is important for people that like to take a lot of photos, or those that want to store a lot of music on their phone. The problem with small memory is that once the memory on a phone starts to fill up, the phone starts to slow down and have performance issues. So if your memory is too small you’re going to constantly have to go through your phone deleting photos, music or other data in order to get your phone running back at full speed again. You should be looking for around 8 GB of memory on a standard phone, and definitely never buy anything with under 2 GB of internal memory.
Finally, know how much you should be paying to ensure that you’re getting a good price on a phone. You can get a budget cell phone for under a hundred and fifty pounds these days, and a top of the range mobile is going to cost you over five hundred pounds. But the average smart phone with the kind of specs we’ve been talking about should cost you between two hundred and three hundred and fifty pounds, depending on the model.
Sam Jones wanted one of the latest touch screen phones but wanted to get himself the best deal possible. He shopped around on uSwitch and other price comparison sites until he found the right deal for him
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