The Right Smart Phone for You?

smart phoneWhat exactly is the difference between a cell phone and a smartphone? The smartphone does not have a brain, though some can speak, and there are several other
differences that may be important when deciding on your next phone. Here are some things a regular cell phone can do: make phone calls, take photos and send and receive text messages. A smartphone can do all of these things, as well as easily access the internet, provide GPS services, shoot high resolution photos and videos, accept voice commands and run thousands of programs, called Apps, that do everything from identifying bird calls to ordering pizza with a click.

If you often have a lot of downtime when you’re in public, a smartphone can help you pass the time. Ask anyone who has lost hours of their life playing Angry Birds or Words with Friends, a smartphone can be a great diversion.

With the right smartphone you can manage e-mails and appointments, get directions, keep track of your workouts and what you eat, take your pulse, shop, share information with friends, listen to music and watch movies. Sound like a pocket computer? It is. The iPhone of today has more processing power than the first lunar lander, Apollo 11. Today’s smartphones can now translate languages and speak the results… while you are making a phone call!


smart phone pickerMake a list of all the things you want your phone to do. Do you want it only for music and videos? Do you need it for text messaging? Do you need to keep in contact with family or coworkers? How much will you be using it during a typical day? Where will you be using it? Getting a smartphone often means having immediate access to
work e-mails, social media and the Web. Not everyone wants to be that connected.

Smartphones are not cheap, so do your homework before deciding on the one you want. Go to different service providers and ask questions. How much does the device cost? What are the monthly fees involved? Do I need a separate data plan for it?

Are nights and weekends free? How many text messages do I get per month with my plan? How long does the battery last during normal use? How much memory does it come with? Can I add more memory? Is the screen big enough for what I want to use it for? Being informed makes you a better shopper.

Next, look at the device and ask for a demo. Think about the tasks your planning on using your phone for, and try them out on the demonstration phones in the store. See if the key board is comfortable, and how easy it is to switch between applications.

Make sure that the device fits comfortably in your hand. Are the keys spaced far enough apart for your fingers for typing? Does the device feel good? Don’t just go with looks. This will become a device you will likely be using a lot, so make sure it fits you.

Also, ask the service provider what their return policy is. Can you return the device in a few days if it doesn’t suit my needs? Most providers have 7 or 14 day return policies, and be sure to get their policy in writing if it is not on the receipt.


When you’re deciding how much to spend on a smartphonehave two costs to consider: the price of the phone and the of the plan. The price of the phone is a one-time expense. Cell phone companies also tend to offer lots of promotions and so the phone you want may be cheaper than you think. In some cases, if you sign up for a certain plan, the phone is free. Before setting your heart on a certain phone, make sure its price is in-line with your budget.

If you plan using mainly it for talking and texting, with only a little bit of e-mail or web surfing, see if you can find a plan with less data. If you’re constantly online and want to download apps, games and movies, you’ll want to pick a plan with more data.

To find the right cell phone company, check out which company has the best coverage where you live. Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile are the four major carriers in the U.S., and each has areas in the country where they have better coverage than others. Having a great smartphone is useless if you can’t connect to the Web or are constantly dropping calls.

Look at the coverage maps available at any cell phone carrier’s website. Smartphones tend to work best on the faster 4G and LTE networks. You should also make sure coverage is good in areas where you frequently travel.


For many people, picking the right smartphone is a matter of picking the right operating system. The smartphone’s operating system is the software platform it uses to run various programs. While they can all pretty much connect you to the Web, e-mail, phone calls and texts, each has its own strengths and weaknesses.

There are three dominant smartphone platforms on the market today: Apple’s iOS, Google’s Android, and Microsoft’s Windows Phone. While iOS and Android are by far the most popular options, Windows Phone is growing slowly but steadily. Choosing an operating system might be the most important decision you make when it comes to actually buying your smartphone — it’s what you’ll be interacting with for hours every day. All three have matured enough to provide fast, responsive, and generally reliable
performance on the current crop of smartphones. The decision you make, then, is no longer tied to if one platform is faster than another, but rather aesthetic appeal, which apps and services are most important to you, and what kind of hardware you want.

When you have the new phone, learn the features of it. Play with it! You cannot easily hurt a phone unless you throw it, so don’t worry about clicking the wrong button. Clicks can be undone. And protect it with a good case, as there will come a day when you want to throw it!


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