As smartphones have gotten smarter, they have also become quite similar. Just a few years ago, you could distinguish one smartphone platform from another based on specific features. Today's smartphones all arrive with access to their own app stores, wireless capabilities, built-in music and video players, and decent (if not excellent) cameras. It doesn't take long to become financially invested in a particular operating system's app ecosystem, so picking one that keeps you interested and happy is a choice best made correctly the first time.
Android is hackable, customizable, and it plays into power users' need to tinker. But Android also appeals to regular consumers; devices from HTC, Samsung, LG, Motorola, and Sony generally have large, beautiful displays perfect for Skype, texting, emailing, and reading eBooks. Dual-core processors mean top of the line models never lag or sputter, even when multitasking or playing games. Many Android devices have removable batteries and memory card slots, so expandability and longer battery life are possible.
There were smartphones before the iPhone, but in 2007 this "iPod phone" was the device that truly ushered in the new era of mobile computing. By controlling the hardware and operating system, Apple set the stage for a rock solid touch-based device experience. Granted, it wasn't until 2008, when Apple introduced the App Store, that things really became interesting.
Currently you can opt for the 3.5" iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S, or the 4" iPhone 5. Each model comes in black or white with capacities ranging from 16 to 64GB. In other words, if you are looking for a large selection of phone styles this will not be your best option. But if you want a phone running a mature and stable operating system with a plethora of apps from which to choose, this is it. As a bonus, just about every cool new app developed will run on iOS before versions hit any other operating system.
BlackBerry's BlackBerry 10 OS is newly built from the ground up. Older BlackBerry devices were primarily focused on voice calls and email; once apps took off, the company found that their previous platform was not up to the task. The result was an entirely new experience that still has a powerfully integrated messaging functionality (called The Hub), and it also runs apps well.
Like BlackBerry, Windows Phone 8 is a ground-up rebuild. This operating system has a unique flow; screens slide into one another, and the home screen has Live Tiles to give immediate updates on everything from the weather to social media. Apps are becoming more plentiful, but there are still Android and iOS titles that might be missed by those who switch. Integrated Xbox Live is just one point of interest; Kid's Corner, Rooms, mobile Office apps, and automated backups to SkyDrive are also features Windows Phone 8 users will enjoy.
2.Determine your price range.
iOS phones (iPhones) are typically more expensive than their Android counterparts. Among phone manufacturers, Apple and Samsung are typically among the most expensive (with models ranging from $400-$700 retail), while HTC, LG, and Motorola tend to produce lower cost options (some low end smartphones can be acquired for under $100).
Phones are subsidized when purchased along with a phone carrier contract or sometime even "free" upon signing. This usually commits you to a 2-year billing plan for the carrier and includes penalties for early cancellation.
Some carriers also charge a monthly ‘device fee’ to make up for little or no upfront cost on your smartphone.
3.Pick a carrier.
Most carriers will offer a range of phone options across operating systems (no OS is specific to a carrier). Major carriers often subsidize phones or offer different payment plans and contract combinations to reduce the up-front cost of smartphones.
Some carriers, like T-Mobile, allow you to forego a contract while paying off the phone as part of your monthly costs. Cancelling your service early will force you to pay the remainder of the phone’s costs at once.
Unlocked phones are phones purchased outside of a carrier and thus not linked with a phone service contract. They are more expensive but allow you much more flexibility if you ever need to switch phone carriers.
If buying an unlocked phone, make sure to doublecheck that the model is compatible with your specific carrier’s network. Most carriers have a webpage where you can check compatibility with your phone model's ID information, (for instance Verizon, or AT&T).
4.Pick a phone service and data plan that works for you.
Phone service carriers will usually offer a wide range of prepaid monthly plan options for phone minutes, texts, and data over the cellular network.
You may be able to cut monthly costs by not purchasing a data plan at all, but this means you won't be able to access the internet from your phone if not on wifi.
5.Pick a screen size.
Screen size is measured corner to corner diagonally. Ultimately, screen size is a matter of preference. Smaller screen phones may fit better in your pocket and are often cheaper. Larger displays may be preferable if you plan to watch a lot of videos.
iPhone offers the “SE” series for compact phones and the “Plus” series for an extra large screen.
Android phones come in a wide range of sizes: there are smaller budget models such as Moto G or Galaxy S Mini, higher end models like the Galaxy S or the HTC One series, and oversized models like Galaxy Note or Nexus 6P.
6.Check the storage space.
A phone's storage (usually listed in gigabytes or GB) is a measure of how many files (photos, videos, apps) it can store at any one time. Storage space strongly affects the price of the smartphone so consider how much you're likely to need before settling on a phone model.For example, storage space is the only difference between a 16GB iPhone 6 and 32GB iPhone 6,16GB is estimated to hold about 10,000 pictures or 4000 songs -- but keep in mind that your phone storage must also accommodate all your downloaded apps. Some Android phones (but not all) support storage expansion with the purchase of a microSD card. iPhones do not support storage expansion after purchase.
7.Consider camera quality. Although smartphones are known for taking high-quality photos in general, actual picture quality will vary quite a bit between brands and models. The best way to measure camera quality in a phone is to search for sample pictures online taken with that smartphone model or to demo the camera yourself.While manufacturers often advertise a camera's megapixel count, features like ISO, low-light performance, brightness, and noise reduction are equally if not more important to consider.Most modern smartphones come equipped with front and rear-facing cameras and flash, and will support third party add-ons (such as lens attachments).iPhones are well known for their high quality camera hardware/software.The Lumia 1020 Windows Phone is designed specifically for heavy camera use.
8.Consider phone battery life.
Battery technology is improving steadily so newer phones tend to have longer battery life, however your usage habits are what really dictate how long the battery lasts. Talking on the phone, gaming, and using phones outside of wifi range will all drain a battery more quickly.Average smartphone battery life can range anywhere from 8-18 hours. Most flagship Android models will not support replaceable batteries. iPhones do not support replaceable batteries on any model.Some newer Android phones utilize a quick charge technology to help recharge their large batteries faster (e.g. Samsung Galaxy S series or Motorola Droid Turbo series). Manufacturers claim phones with quick charge can achieve 50% charge in about 30 minutes.