We’ve all been there before and we’ll all be there again in the future. You are at the point where you have either decided to get a smartphone for the first time, or you are upgrading or changing your smartphone to a different manufacturer or model. The question is…..how to buy a smartphone. It’s a tough decision to make seeing how quite often with more carriers you setup a 3 year payment plan option to pay for the phone. Therefore you have to consider the real possibility that this will be your smartphone for the next 3 years.
There are many factors to consider when buying a smartphone, but we would suggest starting at the top of the totem poll with the operating system that you feel most comfortable with. You should go into a dealer and take a look at the 3 main operating systems, iOS from Apple, Android from Google and the Windows operating system for the less popular Windows phones.
The iPhones are known for their ease of use along with a religious group of followers, most of whom would rarely switch to a competitor. They run on the iOS which has high levels of security and integrates well with other Apple products in their ecosystem. Android smartphones integrate equally well with Google services and products, and offer a higher degree of customization abilities, along with a lower cost generally. Windows phones are not as common, but they emphasize integration with Microsoft products and offer high end camera software on certain models.
It’s very important to determine how much you want to spend on your new or used smartphone. iPhones tend to be the most expensive, although some of the newer models by Google are also pushing towards $1,000. Apple and Samsung smartphones have the reputation as being the best so they tend to sell for a premium. HTC, LG, and Motorola tend to produce lower cost options (some low end smartphones can even be bought for less then $100).
While cross-platform options are improving, consider what you already own for other related tech products, you will probably get easier integration by sticking with a smartphone that runs under the operating system of products that you already own. Think about what features you need the most when thinking about how to buy a smartphone.
iOS/iPhone has exclusive features like Siri, fingerprint scanning, FaceTime chat, and iCloud support. Android has Google Now, home screen widgets for great customization, and they also allow 3rd party app installations. Most Android phones today also have fingerprint sensors, cloud storage for pictures, and support the use of Google Drive for documents and cloud storage. Windows Phone uses Cortana for voice activation, has “Live Tiles” home screen customization, and incorporates Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF options.
You should also consider which applications are of interest to you. A lot of very popular apps such as Google maps, MS Office and Apple music are offered across multiple operating systems. However some apps like iMessage, Facetime and Google now are exclusive to their operating system platforms. You should check the app store associated with each option that you need to confirm the apps you want and need are available on a potential competitor platform.
Simplicity is also something to consider, especially for some older people in the crowd who have no need for extensive features that they will never use. For the younger crowd, camera quality may be the decisive factor since you want/need those great shots for Instagram and other photo exchange related apps.
These are all valid considerations to make when deciding on how to buy a smartphone ! Hope you wind up with a great smartphone that you will enjoy for the next 2-3 years.
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