5 May 2013 by Permi Krishna
The cellphone market has taken a huge leap over of late with the advent of the revolutionary iPhone and the subsequent Android devices - the smartphones. Changing the way of communication beyond voice calling, the best smartphones have customized the internet to their form factor- making the web access truly mobile. The multimedia handling capabilities of today's cellphones have been on continuous evolution and there are a few necessary things you should consider while purchasing a best cellphone.
Apps will do
The latest cellphones are designed to perform specific tasks using the applications or apps hosted by a mobile operating system. The most prominent mobile operating systems today include the iOS running on Apple's iPhone, BlackBerry OS running on BlackBerry devices and, Android and Windows Phone running on devices from various brands.
iPhone is a trademark for the smartphones developed by Apple which runs on their proprietary operating system - iOS. Introduced in 2007, the original iPhone has got various hardware and software advancements until today.
iPhones are generally known for their deep integration between hardware and software along with their intuitive touch interface with various multi-touch gestures like swipe, tap, scroll and pinch. Apart from the phone storage, the best Apple cellphones allow you to store your content like music, photos, apps, mail, contacts, calendars, documents etc., on cloud using the iCloud client - granting you the ability to access your content on any other Apple device.
The latest generation Apple smartphone - iPhone 5 sprawled through the various predecessors including iPhone (first generation), iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. The latest iPhone supports a storage capacity of up to 64GB, Apple A6 processor, 4G LTE network and ultrafast wireless, 8MP camera and a 4 inch Retina Display*.
The recently released iPhone runs on the Apple's latest iOS 6 operating system with the ability to upgrade when a newer version is available. Along with various inbuilt productivity apps, iTunes and App Store on an iPhone provide you the access to a huge number of apps (over 800,000), music, movies, and TV shows.
*Retina Display is a proprietary display technology of Apple for most advanced screens, giving you vibrant, detailed, sharp and high-definition pictures.
Android, an open source platform for mobile devices developed by Google accounts for 52% of smartphone sales in US market and 75% globally. The smartphones running on Android are powerful; affordable to most since it is a free operating system and hence it is the most popular smartphone operating system today.
Android runs on some of the best cellphones from the manufacturers like Samsung, HTC, Motorola and more; along with LG which also manufactures Google Nexus as an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer). The best Android cellphones of 2013 offer you different screen sizes, vibrant displays and high-resolution cameras along with different form factors to opt from. The best Android smartphones can be chosen through a global partnership network of over 300 carriers in over 169 countries.
With the ability to access more than 600,000 apps and games on Play Store, along with the millions of songs and books, and thousands of movies - adding up to the productivity with ultimate mobile experience. Android being a product of Google, you could get various integrated useful Google apps specially designed for the operating system: Play Store, Google Search, Gmail, YouTube, Google+ and Google Drive (a cloud service from Google).
The best Windows Phones from the brands like Nokia, HTC and Samsung offer you a fresh look along with live-tiled powerful and fluid interface. The Windows Phone operating system from Microsoft has exceptional integration with its own products like Outlook, Office, Xbox games and music, syncing perfectly and delivering outstanding performance.
Windows Store is the official Microsoft's hub for downloading thousands of apps, games and books for your Windows Phone. The Windows phone has inbuilt basic apps like People, Messaging, Skype and Mail for connectivity, the latest version of Internet Explorer for faster browsing and Bing - a search engine from Microsoft.
SkyDrive, a cloud service from Microsoft gives you the free storage option up to 7GB of data which can be accessed from multiple devices.
BlackBerry devices, once well known for business purposes, have now been manufacturing sleek consumer touchscreen smartphones along with the QWERTY-style cellphones under various product lines. Running on the proprietary BlackBerry operating system, these cellphones are known for innovative messaging options like BlackBerry Messenger app apart from the other necessary apps for emailing, text messaging and social networking.
BlackBerry World is a source for discovering numerous featured apps and games, and along with this, the best BlackBerry cellphones support connectivity features like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC (Near Field Communication).
Feature phones are the basic cellphones necessary for voice calling and text messaging arriving in different form factors like flip, candybar, QWERTY, swivel and sometimes touchscreens too. These cellphones generally run on a software developed by the hardware manufacturer itself. Feature phones generally have lower screen sizes and limited features available at lower costs. Check out our list of best basic cellphones for shopping a feature phone.
Our recommendation on some of the critical features you should consider before you purchase a best cellphone are mentioned below.
Screen size and resolution:
Bigger screen cellphones generally offer higher resolutions like 1280x720 (720p) or 1920x1080 (1080p), which are of high definition (HD) format. Smartphones come with bigger screens sizes, greater than 4 inch and range up to 5.5 inch useful for watching videos, reading books and playing games. Combining the functionalities of smartphone and a tablet, the touchscreen smartphones having screen sizes between 5 inch and 7 inch are termed as Phablets.
Battery life, the most important for a mobile device for functioning all the day, is measured in terms of standby time or talktime. Most of the battery power is utilized for multimedia purposes when your screen, camera and speaker are in use. And if it is a smartphone, it is your processor and the 3G or 4G networks which are responsible for draining of your battery. Lower-end phones offer battery life upto 10 hours and just the half of it from smartphones. Check out our list of cellphones with best battery life.
For capturing pictures, you can get a phone with better camera as you pay more from a basic VGA resolution to a 8 megapixel resolution and more. And a greater resolution camera doesn't always translate the better image: meaning a good quality lens and a great image processor are at the core. Check out our list of best camera cellphones.
Memory and expandability:
Memory is the most essential thing on your cellphone if you want to store lots of music and videos. A sufficient internal storage, which you will get in between 256MB and 64GB, is always good as you don't have to spend extra on memory expandability via SD cards which most of the best cellphones support. If you store a lot of music, videos and photos, always prefer buying a cellphone with higher storage capacity.
Carrier and connectivity:
If you are buying a cellphone with a contract, or the one which is unlocked, the carrier you choose should be able to provide you a wide network coverage, high data speed, flexible talk time, SMS and data plans. And for mobile internet access, most of the carriers in US support 3G and 4G LTE network for faster data speeds. Since you may change your mind buying a new cellphone before your contract expires, you can prefer spending much on a unlocked phone rather than a cellphone with contract.
Major carriers in US: AT&T and T-Mobile support GSM network, and Verizon and Sprint are support CDMA network. Since GSM is a global technology standard, the best GSM cellphones support international roaming and can be unlockable sometimes. Whereas CDMA cellphones are known to have limited international coverage and are difficult to unlock.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and are the standard connectivity features on the latest smartphones and basic phones.