Different Types of Cell Phones
One the the first questions to ask when searching for a personal, pocket-sized communication device is, "What will this be used for?" There are different types of phones that are geared toward different levels of usage, and phone carriers offer various plans depending on the type that a customer chooses. Here are the basic types of phones one can choose from:
- Basic Feature Phones
These are the most basic phones one can purchase. These devices are extremely low-cost and recommended for those who are only looking to talk instead of texting or accessing the web. Flip-phones typically fall in this category. Generally speaking, most phones in this category will offer Bluetooth, GPS, and even WiFi capabilities.
- Advanced Feature Phones
These phones are still nowhere near as feature-rich as smartphones, but they usually come decked with a larger screen than a basic feature phone and provide a slide-out keyboard. They also have better cameras and are better-suited for media playback. These phones are recommended for talk and text.
These devices provide everything that a laptop or desktop computer would in terms of customization and practical processing capability on a mobile level. Smartphones are ideal for those who intend to use the internet heavily on the run and need a device that will handle multiple applications and tasks simultaneously.
Choosing an Operating System
When sticking with a feature phone, the operating system (OS) isn't all that important to consider, since the level of customization and power offered by these devices is too basic. However, smartphones have a couple out-of-box operating systems that have a significant impact on how they're used. It's important to note that each OS has their own application market, so the applications that one can find on Android may not exist on iPhone, for example.
- Google Android
This is currently the most popular mobile OS in the world, offering a full suite of customization options and existing on both low-end smartphones as well as top-tier ones.
- Apple iPhone
Apple smartphones are considered luxury devices, offering seamless integration among their applications and a very smooth user experience. However, they're very costly.
- Microsoft Windows
While not as popular as Android or iPhone, Windows phones offer everything one can expect from a desktop Windows experience on a five-inch screen.
What to Look for in a Smartphone
Because feature phones are basically used for talk and text, there isn't much to look for in one. However, there are many technical aspects of a smartphone that can make or break it. What to look for is strictly a matter of personal preference, and it would be difficult to recommend any particular arrangement of features, such as:
- Screen size, resolution, brightness (measured in nits) and display technology (TFT, LCD, AMOLED, etc.)
- Screen-to-body ratio
- Camera megapixels, ISO, aperture, lens diameter, flash type, pixel size, and format
- Video resolution, frame rate and format
- Processor (CPU) cores, clock frequency, and architecture
- Random access memory (RAM) amount and DDR classification
- Graphics processing unit (GPU) architecture
- Storage capacity
- MicroSD support
- Chassis material, sturdiness, durability, comfort, and appearance
- Hardware or software keys
- Hardware key positioning (on the back or the sides)
- Charging port type and capacity
- Battery capacity
- Speaker arrangement
- Hardware radio specifications
- Wacom and stylus support (for graphic design)
Are High-End Smartphones Worth It?
This is strictly a matter of personal need, but the short answer is yes. There are very practical reasons to pay close to a thousand for a complete "superphone", and it's sometimes even a necessity of one's job. The sheer processing power, multitasking capability, storage capacity, and connectivity of a smartphone is good enough for most users on the low and medium tiers, but there are certainly no drawbacks of aiming for the convenience of a higher-end smartphone if one can afford it.
Top 5 Routes for "Cell Phones"
This site is an excellent source for checking on and comparing the specifications of features phones and smartphones.
This site provides news, tips and how-to articles on all cell phones.
Tom's Hardware is a highly reputable source for all things technology, including the latest smartphone news and advice.
For those who love Android, this site covers everything there is to know about it.
Macworld stays on top of all things Apple-related, including the latest in iPhone technology and how to take advantage of its offerings.
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