Can you remember the last time you left your apartment without having your phone with you? I can certainly remember one or two times in which I was forced to do that over the past five years, those horrifying moments when your smartphone gets stolen or shattered beyond the point where there’s still hope to salvage it, and you are forced to purchase a new one.
During the last decade, our smartphones have become indispensable, all-purpose companions: Your smartphone acts as your phone, messaging device, camera, music player, GPS navigation unit, on-the-go web browser and even as your flashlight or compass if needed. What you can do on your smartphone is only limited by the features offered by your device and by its’ specs. Luckily, there are enough options to keep just about everybody happy.
Since there are so many options, choosing the best phone for you is a big deal. But have no fear! So long as you’re armed with the right knowledge, you can make the right decisions and by the best phone for you. In this guide I will try to share some of that necessary knowledge. If you understand exactly which features and capabilities you’d like to see in your next new phone, it’ll help you avoid paying too much for things you don’t want or need.
When I search for a new smartphone, first I check which operating system does it run, is it Android, iOS, or perhaps Windows? The smartphone’s operating system is the platform it uses to run various programs. While they can all pretty much connect you to the Web, as well as make phone calls and send text messages, each has its own strengths and weaknesses.
Therefore, this part of guide will focus on operating systems. Currently, Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS are the two top smartphone platforms, in both sales and availability of third-party applications, but they are not alone: Windows Phones and to a lesser extent, BlackBerry OS are available and might be an option for you that deserves to be taken into consideration.
For many people, apps are the primary reason to get a smartphone, and Apple’s App Store currently leads the race with more than a million apps that are put through strict quality checks.
The iPhone tends to get apps and games first, partly because developers have an easier time targeting a small set of devices with similar specs. For the same reason, iPhones also enjoy the broadest array of accessories, since there’s almost no variation in design from one model to the next.
Apple’s iOS also boasts a very well-integrated ecosystem. If you already have a Mac, an iPad or an iPod, it’s probably easiest to go with an iPhone. On the other hand, Apple’s tightly controlled ecosystem can feel stifling to some, and iOS isn’t easy to customize or modify.
Android currently dominates worldwide sales of smartphones and for good reason.
The latest version of Android, 5.0 Lollipop, offers a slick and intuitive design, and if you don’t like it, you can simply change it! Unlike the closed ecosystem that is iOS, Android is an open-source platform, which means that it is easy to customize with widgets, launchers and your choice of keyboard, in a while that allows you to drastically change how the phone looks and feels with just a few simple tweaks.
You will also find a lot more choices than in iOS or Windows Phone when it comes to design, display size, specs, capabilities and price, as a result of the fact that Android is used by a multitude of manufacturers.
Some manufacturers add additional enhancements that may lead to slower updates, fragmented third-party app compatibility, occasional bugs, and pre installed bloatware that you simply can not remove. On the other hand, phone makers can and do use that custom layer to create a special twist by adding software features that others just don’t have.
If you’re searching for a wonderland for tinkerers, search no further – Android is for you.
A third option, in case Android and iOS don’t quite speak to you for one reason or another, is Microsoft’s Windows Phone. Microsoft created a simple, appealing interface, although not quite as deep or flexible as Google’s Android, and its app ecosystem isn’t as robust as Apple’s iOS. Still, it offers some compelling features, such as a dynamic Start screen and the Cortana digital assistant.
With solid hardware choices, a usually lower price and a strong integration with Office and with Microsoft’s other services, this may be a perfect match for you.
BlackBerry offers you a Hub that aggregates everything from email to social updates in one place. It’s also fairly easy to multitask on these phones, and you can even get a smartphone with a physical keyboard. However, I never found BlackBerries to be very intuitive, and the app selection is pretty skimpy.
Blackberry would suit you if you are already a fan, if you’re looking for cheaper phones, or if you require a physical keyboard on your phone, especially if you’re not looking for a large variety of options when it comes to customization and apps.
In conclusion, when it comes to software you have several ways to go, depending on your specific preferences; Would you rather have a phone that is easily customized and is full of options? A phone that is part of a well integrated but closed ecosystem? How about a phone that is connected with Office and serves as a hub of communication?
The choice is yours.
While operating systems are the firstmost thing I consider when on the lookout for a new phone, there’s still more ahead of us.
The next part of our guide will discuss hardware, giving you important tips when it comes to camera quality, internal storage, battery life and other important issues so you’ll truly be able find the best phone for you.
For more tips and information regarding phone operating systems watch the video below.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask us in the comments below.
Until next time,
The Stuccu Team