How do I choose a (first) smartphone?

SPECTRAL PHOENIX

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Jul 25, 2013
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First things first: I have no experience with smartphones whatsoever. I was ground to the firm mindset I didn't need one and ignored them completely until recently. Now I'm fiddling with it and I feel as lost as I was when I first tried to get myself a new computer.

First off, I guess I don't know what I know what a smartphone is for, what should I being using it for? I completely baffled a group when I dared to ask why you can't compare a smartphone to other forms of technology, and I only know other techonology, so since I was going to draw conclusions on that, I'm a little lost.

Next, what is the price range? I suppose I should allocate a budget, so what can I expect? $100-$500? $1000-$2000? I'm lost in these contracts and stuff, they confuse me, I just want the borderline price after all the bull****.

Finally, what "specs" can you compare on a phone? Or are they all the same and it's a prefrence of which company you like the best? (I think I want an android? But there's tons of companies producing andriods....)

At the very least can I have a guide or something so I can get started on learning about his? Pretend I'm your grandmother if you must, I only know that it's a phone (smartPHONE amirite?) it can do internet anywhere somehow, and has angry birds.


 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
what type of os? ios is likely the easiest to learn however it is restrictive. android takes a little bit to get the hang of however gives you the most freedom. blackberry is just crap so you can ignore it.

what size phone? do you need something the size of a small tablet or would you prefer something on the smaller size to easily fit into pockets. keep in mind that the larger the phone the easier it will be to see if you have bad vision.

do you want a keyboard? some models feature keyboards you can buy for them. some do not.

how important is a removable battery and sd card? personally i would never buy a phone unless they were removable. apple charges $100 for an upgrade that in reality should cost $10 since you cannot put a sd card inside and you have to buy it with the memory preinstalled. batteries also go bad over time and if replaceable you can easily pop a new one in a few seconds. its harder if the battery isnt meant to be removed by the user.

how important is phone performance? if you arent planning on running any games or demanding apps you do not need a very powerfull phone. having a phone with a weaker cpu also gives you better battery life.

voice quality is important. you want to make sure you dont get a dud model with crappy voice and speakerphone quality. you should be able to figure this out from some user reviews.

how durable do you need it to be? gorilla glass or a shock proof case might be options you want to consider.

------------------

as far as what smartphones are used for... basically its a mini tablet computer with a phone function.

i use mine to check price comparisions while out shopping, read reviews on products while shopping, as a gps, internet radio as a wifi hotspot for my laptop and as a phone. i'm not a silly follower of twitter, facebook, or any of the other popular hotspots nowdays.
 

jinayhvora

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May 28, 2013
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i would give u this priority list
1. which OS u prefer (Android/iOS/Windows/Blackberry)
2. determine a budget, smartphones are available for anywhere between 100$ and 2000$
3. look for hardware specs (CPU/chipset, screen size/resolution, connectivity, build quality) and brand
 

SPECTRAL PHOENIX

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Jul 25, 2013
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So far I like the sounds of an android, I don''t like the sounds of apples restrictive practices in comparison....it's my phone, not their phone, it shouldn't be up to them to decide what goes on it.

I want to say under $500? I shouldn't be spending like, $1000 on a phone, I bought my (superior I believe) laptop for that price, but I don't want bottom of the barrel.

I think I still need more info on what specs are too....What is connectivity? Are the companies for CPUs the same? Can I build it like a PC? And how do I determine the build quality without purchasing? (And what is that? Hardware? The casing?)
 

jinayhvora

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May 28, 2013
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so we can say we are decided on Android, and though i should not be posting personal opinions, i agree to ur first point :p
500$ is a good point to start, infact u can get the Nexus5 for much cheaper at 400$ for the 32GB version. current flagships from other manufacturers cost more, however u can get previous flagships for 500$ easily
looking at Android makes it easier on the hardware side. Samsung's international phones have thier own Exynos chips, whereas thier US versions rely on Qualcomm's SnapDragon because Exynos doesn't work with US LTE. most other manufacturer's (HTC/Sony/Google/LG) mostly use SnapDragons, though there are some devices with nVidia tegra/Intel Atoms
no u cannot build a phone like u would a PC, phones come with SoCs (System on a Chip) which means the whole system is integrated into one circuit board
for build quality u have to look at review sites. build quality includes how the phone feels to hold and how resistant it is to drops etc
i would rather u get an unlocked phone, so that 1. u get updates straight from the manufacturer without the carrier delaying it or adding bloatware 2. u can change ur phone as and when u like without being bound by a contract
the phones i would like u to look at are
1. Nexus 5
2. Samsung Galaxy S3
3. Moto X
4. Lenovo K900
 

blademaster123

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Oct 30, 2013
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You have to choose carefully as there is a phone for different prices. A good budget phone ($179) is the Moto G, the best in that price range imho, For a bit more I think it's $349 is the Nexus 5 which is definitely a good buy . Also the hardware includes the camera, for good cameras you could try the LG G2, Galaxy note 3, S4, HTC One. The nexus 5 camera is okay or good when the conditions are right. Furthermore you have to choose what type of android you want. HTC Sense skin, or Touchwiz e.t.c. or stock android. The Nexus 5 and Motorola G come with Stock android, so less bloatware and less lag. To conclude i believe you should get a cheap but good smartphone, as it is your first time. Then later on (say, a year or 2) buy an expensive one. My recommendations are the Motorola G and Nexus 5.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
what type of os? ios is likely the easiest to learn however it is restrictive. android takes a little bit to get the hang of however gives you the most freedom. blackberry is just crap so you can ignore it.

what size phone? do you need something the size of a small tablet or would you prefer something on the smaller size to easily fit into pockets. keep in mind that the larger the phone the easier it will be to see if you have bad vision.

do you want a keyboard? some models feature keyboards you can buy for them. some do not.

how important is a removable battery and sd card? personally i would never buy a phone unless they were removable. apple charges $100 for an upgrade that in reality should cost $10 since you cannot put a sd card inside and you have to buy it with the memory preinstalled. batteries also go bad over time and if replaceable you can easily pop a new one in a few seconds. its harder if the battery isnt meant to be removed by the user.

how important is phone performance? if you arent planning on running any games or demanding apps you do not need a very powerfull phone. having a phone with a weaker cpu also gives you better battery life.

voice quality is important. you want to make sure you dont get a dud model with crappy voice and speakerphone quality. you should be able to figure this out from some user reviews.

how durable do you need it to be? gorilla glass or a shock proof case might be options you want to consider.

------------------

as far as what smartphones are used for... basically its a mini tablet computer with a phone function.

i use mine to check price comparisions while out shopping, read reviews on products while shopping, as a gps, internet radio as a wifi hotspot for my laptop and as a phone. i'm not a silly follower of twitter, facebook, or any of the other popular hotspots nowdays.
 
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