Which smartphone is best for you?
(Flare (Pakistan) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Most smartphones do all the basics pretty well: social networking, mail, productivity and media streaming. But there are a few things that make each smartphone better than the rest in different ways
There are also a number of other Android smartphones to choose from, like the HTC One X and Motorola's big line-up of Android smartphones, but the Galaxy S III will arguably get you the most bang for your buck
Buying a smartphone is an effort in optimization. The answer won’t always be the iPhone, and paying the most won’t always ensure you’re getting the best phone.
Most smartphones do all the basics pretty well: social networking, mail, productivity and media streaming. But there are a few things that make each smartphone better than the rest in different ways.
Many phones on the market are actually going to be well under $200, especially if you are willing to pass on the newest iPhone. There’s a caveat: It’s on the assumption that you are signing a new contract, which locks you up for an extended period of time and can be expensive to terminate. But, odds are, you’ll be picking up a new smartphone next year and the year after, and as carriers constantly improve the hassle of switching carriers outweighs the advantages.
The iPhone 4S, a step up from the iPhone 4, is also under $100 on contract. This is the same physical model as the iPhone 4, but sports more powerful guts and gives you access to Siri Apple's voice assistant program. Aside from hardware changes, the iPhone 4S is about the same as the iPhone 5.
Amazon has a number of “penny phones,” but most of them are worth ignoring because they don’t compare to phones you can get if you are willing to spring just a little extra cash.
Alternatively, the Samsung Galaxy S III, one of the top smartphones running a newer Google's Android operating system, will run you about $100 Best Buy also has an offer for the Galaxy Nexus, which contains a breed of Android straight from Google, for $49.99. For a cheap Android smartphone, those are your best picks.
Odds are, if you already own an iPhone, you’re going to get another iPhone, because there is less of a point in repurchasing applications as it’ll add an otherwise unnecessary cost. If you have an iPad, that also gives even more incentive to go with the iPhone, because you already own apps for iOS the iPhone’s operating system.
The iPhone and iPad arguably have the most robust app ecosystem and typically get first access to the newest apps. It also sports a rich game center and has tons of games. That being said, there are a lot of reasons to look at other options.
The iPhone’s operating system also hasn’t had a significant makeover since its inception in 2007, so there’s a chance you might also be sick of being in Apple’s ecosystem and willing to pony up the cash to repurchase all your apps on a different system.
If that’s the case, you’ll want to switch to Google’s Android, which is the other dominant app ecosystem. It also sports some apps that you won’t find on the iPhone, like SwiftKey a keyboard that predicts the next word you will type based on synchronized information from your various online personas like Google and Facebook.
There’s also something else to consider: When Apple upgraded its operating system, it also installed its own maps app which many consider vastly inferior to Google’s maps application. All Android phones pack a much more powerful version of the Maps application that appeared on the iPhone.
The Nexus 4 is currently the top-of-the-line Android smartphone produced by Google, and boasts the newest version of Google’s Android operating system. However, it’s crimped in one way: It doesn’t connect to high-speed LTE networks. So you won’t get as much juice out of the phone, which will already cost you $299.
While Windows Phone doesn’t sport the same level of depth in its App ecosystem Nokia's new Lumia 920 has an exceptional camera, and will cost you under $100. It’s also a radical departure from the other operating systems, with its own user interface based on a very industrial-styled design of multi-colored tiles on the home screen. It’s quite good looking and performs well but, again, it’s a Windows Phone, so you might not have access to the newest apps. That being said, many of the mission-critical apps are all there: Facebook, Spotify and Twitter.
HTC’s Windows Phone 8x is another Windows Phone that sports HTC’s design quality, and is listed as a penny phone on Amazon’s wireless store.
For those looking for a phone only, the Galaxy Note 2 sports a massive 5.5-inch screen that includes a stylus that you can draw on the screen with. It’s not cheap, costing about $300 for a base-level model, but it’s also built for the kinds of power users that need that size of a screen.
There are also a number of other Android smartphones to choose from, like the HTC One X and Motorola's big line-up of Android smartphones, but the Galaxy S III will arguably get you the most bang for your buck.
If you absolutely have to have a BlackBerry, your best bet is to wait until next year after its newest operating system, BB 10, is due to hit the market on Jan. 30.
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