How to Choose the Right Smartphone For You

How to Choose the Right Smartphone For You

Joelle Alcaidinho
Jan 14, 2011

We will admit to liking our smartphones a little more than we probably should. The match between ourselves and our phones is one that is truly made in heaven. Choosing the right device is not terribly easy, especially with the myriad of choices that we now have on the marketplace...choices just a bit more advanced than the models shown in the above image. Whether you're on the hunt for a great Android handset, iPhone or other smartphone, these 5 questions can help you find your perfect smartphone match.

1. What Will Be Its Primary Function?
This might sound like a funny question to ask yourself when phone shopping, but not all smartphones are great at every function (and sometimes they don't even make good phones). Every smartphone has its strengths and weaknesses, for instance some are superb at email while others are fantastic at being mini computers.

2. How Important Are Apps?
If apps are a huge deal for you and you already have a few in mind that you must own, browse the app stores of the various smartphones before you make your choice. Does it have the apps that you want and then some? Great! Not worried about apps and want a unique GSM phone? Look overseas.

3. Will You Be Taking Photos With It?
Recently at CES we had the opportunity to snap photos with other smartphones and we were quite surprised by the quality difference. Although the megapixel count might be the same, all smartphone cameras are not created equal and the tech they use makes a huge difference. Don't believe us? Snap some photos with a few different phones and take a gander at the difference.

4. Do You Want to Multitask?
Sadly not all smartphones multitask well or even multitask, period. If this is important to you make sure the device supports it and that the network it will be on supports it as well (we're looking at you, Verizon and your no 3G voice & data use at the same time).

5. Where Will You Be Using It?
If the phone is primarily going to be used in the rural United States look away from GSM smartphones (although this is the future, America) and go to CDMA (aka Sprint and Verizon) handsets. If you would like to use the same handset internationally steer clear of CDMA handsets. With the exception of a handful of other countries that also use these standards, the overwhelming majority of the world is on GSM.

Other items to keep in mind when shopping are aesthetics, OS, and carrier preferences.

What are some of your smartphone shopping tips?

(Images: Flickr members Acroamatic, Nrkbeta, and Closari licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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